Excerpt from a newspaper article
BJP campaign to “rescue” Tamil from atheism:
The BJP is looking to build a campaign to “reconstruct” the identity of the Tamil language and “rescue” it from “atheistic propaganda.” … “These organisations (Dravidian and Tamil Nationalist) have created an image that religion and Tamil were independent of each other” says BJP State president Tamilisai Soundararajan.
Tamil does not need the DMK nor the BJP to rescue it. Languages exist for people, and in some cases, in spite of people. Language doesn’t owe its existence and growth to politicians. On the contrary, quite a few politicians owe their existence and growth to language.
A language is a mode of communication. It helps people to communicate and exhange ideas, thoughts, emotions, belief and knowledge. Through language, we can spread hatred or love, faith or disbelief, theism or atheism, right or wrong, good or bad, support or opposition… anything across the spectrum. This is applicable to all cultures, religions and nations.
On one hand, each language has its own beauty and can be admired by both literary people and the common man. There is joy in appreciating a language for its innate beauty. One does not need to only look at just the message that the word brings; sometimes, the word is in itself beautiful.
On the other hand, what is the relationship between language and religion?
The relationship between language and religion is that of medium and message.
- Religion, politics or culture has a message.
- Language is the mere vehicle or tool or medium.
- Therefore, language is the medium of expression for a religious, political, or cultural message.
In this case, the BJP is talking about a belief system, alleging that the DMK has used Tamil to promote atheism. Well… what else would they promote it with? Sign language? One can promote their faith or ideology in whichever language and whichever medium they want to… art, theatre, language, cinema.
Associating a whole language with just one ideology has but one aim – to politicise a universal concept such as language to gain a local vote bank. This is a “Divide and Rule” strategy used by political parties (be it DMK or BJP or ABCD) to polarise people.
Throughout history, we read that one of the strategies used by people who want power is taking a strong identity that people have (like religion, ethnicity, language or nationality) and pitching people with differing identitites against each other, so that in the ensuing battle, they can gain power.
What remains to be seen is whether Tamils are gullible enough to allow such political parties to fuse/confuse their religious identity with their lingual identity.
வாழ்க தமிழ்! வளர்க தமிழகம்! வாழ்க இந்தியா!