Tuesday, May 24, 2016

After Indians these monkeys are also civilized !!!

This photo hit me in social networking site today. The immediate reaction prompted me to post this article. My reaction was "At last after Indians, these monkeys can also be civilized as they can read"

According to Westerners Indian history starts with their ability to read and write. Prior to that whatever they managed to do is not considered authentic history. When Wikipedia says Rig Veda (oldest surviving text in the whole world) is composed between 1500-1200 BC they mean the first written account of Rig Veda. They do not consider our oral tradition. The west considers that Indians became civilized only after they knew how to write/read. Before that they were just nomads, no need to understand their civilization. Hence there is no serious studies happening (forget Indians, we wont even learn about ourselves) in era before 1500 BC.

Oral is bad?

We live in a world where we are required to produce proof (in writing) for anything. This practice has stemmed from the "Orient" or British about the over-importance we give to written form of communication. The rest of the world is just following this practice.

If you think of a language, what comes to our minds are its letters, its written form. We have forgotten that language is for communication, and talking is an important attribute. We have given less importance to dialects compared to languages. A dialect is mainly a "talk-only" form of communication. Its considered inferior to language.

Kerala is said to be highest literate state in India, having 93.1% literacy rate. What it means that 93.1% of people can read/write the letters in the language. Nothing more than that. Here again the emphasis is on written/read forms of language.

I feel that we have lost our ability to "listen and react" by blindly following this tradition of read/write. We load our children with books on their back on the way to school. They are first taught to write/read letters. If letters are taken out of lives of people, whole world would be chaotic. Nobody will know what to do.

I feel this is the major cause for inability to communicate.

As Rig Veda points out: आ नो भद्राः क्रतवो यन्तु विश्वतः
Aa no bhadrah kratavo yantu vishwatah
May good thoughts come to us from all over the world

We should give an equal importance to the oral communication method as equal as written/oral form. Any communication method (for ex:- literacy) should be considered with all the 3 ways mentioned.

I pray may there be a renaissance of Indian culture dating before the written tradition. 


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