Words of Wisdom:

"Boys do have feelings, but like "who cares"!" - Jod

Mother Tongue

  • Date Submitted: 09/04/2014 09:17 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 70.7 
  • Words: 387
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Those days I was a teacher at Shantiniketan. One day I went to invite Rabindernah Tagore for the annual Hindi Sammelan, when he started a discussion with me. During the course of our conversation he asked "Besides teaching what else are you doing over here?"

"I wrote stories in Hindi which are published in the leading Hindi magazines. During my stay here, I have written a lot and also earned a good name for myself."

"But your mother tongue is not Hindi. You are a Punjabi. Why don't you write in the Punjabi language?"

I felt Tagore was a narrow-minded, provincial man; at that time I did not realised an artist must first be nationally known in the true sense of the word, before he is internationally acclaimed.

"But Hindi is the national language. It is language of the entire nation Why should I write in any provincial language, when I can write for the entire country?" I said.

"I write in Bengali, which is a provincial language; yet, not only the people of Hindustan but people all over the world read what I write."

"I am not a great writer like you, I am just an insignificant writer."

"It is not the question of greatness or smallness; a writer has a relationship with his own birthplace, his people and his language. It is only from them that he can perceive the warmth and feeling of being one of them."

"Probbly you do not have much knowledge about the conditions prevailing in my state. In Punjab, we either write in Hindi or Urdu. No one writes in Punjabi. Punjabi is a very backward language. If you want a honest opinion, it cannot be called a language It is a sub-language, a dialect of the Hindi language."

"I do not agree with you. The Punjabi litereture or the Bengali literature is very old. Can you look down upon that language and call it outdated or backward, the language in which great poets like Guru Nanak have written?"

And then he recited a few lines of Guru Nanak, which I now remember by heart. But at that time I was absolutely...

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