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Már egy ideje Indiával kelek és fekszem. Volt már néhányszor, hogy Indiában keltem és feküdtem. Reméltem, nem kell sokat várni, hogy újra így legyen. És itt vagyok újra :) A blog régebbi bejegyzései közt megannyi útleírást, az újabbak között véleményeket, kultúrtörténeti és irodalmi írásokat, fordításokat is talál a Kedves Olvasó. Őszintén remélem, úgy érzik majd, nem sok másik olyan forrás akad, amely ilyen rálátást kínál napjaink Indiájára.

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2015. július 15. पेतॅर

A letter to some Indian newspapers

Angolul is olvasóknak.

I have sent this letter to some Indian online news sites and major English and Hindi dailies, mainly Scroll.in, The Logical Indian and Hindustan Times.

Respected Editors,

I am a Hungarian research student in Hindi literature, focusing on women and social issues, and therefore I am deeply concerned about the country where it is spoken. I frequently read your coverages on the inconsistencies of Indian society and the hardships India faces day to day. On many occasions I feel that your articles express just what I think or percieve.

However, I also have the impression that the articles on everyday life written in English cannot break that wall of glass between the agonizing club culture of English medium high society and the crude realities of the world on the vernacular side. They sooth the ache of the learned for not having the desired socio-political environment in their own land, but they fail to reach out to the masses with whose co-operation alone a cross-country change could come closer.

Lately, I have read an interview with Amartya Sen in Hindustan Times online, and I could not help myself stating that as a reader with an agnostic mindset, international life-experience and a previous knowledge or at least an overview of the topics dealt with, I profoundly enjoy this kind of intellectual small talk I would hear, say, in some progressive university cicles here too. On the other hand, I had some doubt if the interview in its present form could ever live up to the goal expressed in it, that is changing Indian society for the better. But why? My answer is that only a tiny portion of Indians will ever read it. Probably those, who have already had worries for the topics discussed and who are confident about understanding complex issues in English.

Certainly, it cannot be assured that everyone will read it who should. But I am convinced that the tone of that interview is very unfamiliar to and almost entirely absent in the Hindi medium Indian press. I am convinced that in their present state the Hindi daily newspapers lack the qualities that can be found in the abovementioned interview. This is also well demonstrated by the fact that I could not find it in the Hindi version of the paper (online). I had to recommend it to my friends, adding: "जिस भेद का ज़िक्र इस साक्षात्कार में हुआ है, परोक्ष रूप से यह साक्षात्कार स्वयं उसी का एक नमूना माना जा सकता है। किन्तु पढ़िए ज़रूर।”

The Hindi editions of BBC and DW are the closest matching voices, but their articles are shorter and generally less analytic in nature; Tehelka and India Today are quality weeklies that cost multiple rupees and involve a different audinece. I wonder whether the revolutionary English language media, like Scroll.in and The Logical Indian, will venture into publishing in Hindi in order to address the lower middle class for any measurable social impact, and if the giant Hindi dailies would shift from often फुलझड़ी छाप seeming writing, with assorted Sunday book-reviews at their best, to a more serious journalism that has a resolution of educating readers, instead of (or at least cutting down a bit on) just echoing for revenue what they want to read.

Bharatendu’s evergreen but ever disregarded and disrespected “निज भाषा उन्नति अहै सब उन्नति को मूल, ˙˙˙ सब देसन से लै करहु भाषा माहि प्रचार” is what I was raised up on in my home country. ”Nem lehet ott eszméket tisztogatni, ahol a nyelv az eszméket összezavarja,” Ferenc Kazinczy had warned us, it translates: ideas cannot be cleansed where the language confounds the ideas.

Warm regards,
P.S.

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