ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Dividing Telugu Language

K Purushotham’s article (“Prosifying the Poesy: A Dalit Critique of Modernisation of Telugu”, EPW, 8 February 2014) is very well researched. However, I think each group within the Telugus must make the move to understand the other. The sanskritised, or “coastalised” Telugu should be encouraged as much as the unaffected and mass-friendly dialects. It is a shame that one can argue that a particular group of people in large numbers should now determine the meaning of what constitutes Telugu. One must, at both ends, recognise that Telugu means different things to different groups. Either one must coin different sounding names to these meanings or just accept that alienation from masses is one dimension of a hard form of Telugu; a Telugu which, it must be remembered, any person irrespective of her origins can cherish and practise. Our past is our collective past, this segregated reclaiming of meaning to the word Telugu is in part a self-deceiving tactic. No one should be selectively proud or ashamed of our ancestral endeavours.

Y V S Aditya
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