Tamil Tribune

Hindian Arrogance in Indian Internet Chat Rooms and Discussion Forums

P. Krishnan

TAMIL TRIBUNE, November 2011 (ID. 2011-11-01)
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Hindian: People whose mother tongue is Hindi (similar to Tamil speakers are sometimes referred as Tamilans or Tamilians).

I have been reading about people from northern Hindi states coming to Tamil Nadu and trying to communicate with local non-Hindi peoples and businesses in their mother tongue Hindi. They are annoyed and angry if Tamil people do not understand Hindi or do not wish to talk to them in Hindi. I have been reading of a similar situation in Kannada speaking Karnataka and Marathi speaking Maharashtra also, and the displeasure of Kannadigas and Maharashtrians. In fact this Hindi arrogance is a reason for violent backlash against Hindi speakers in Mumbai, Maharashtra in 2008. I do not support the violence but I do understand the underlying frustration.

I have seen the same kind of Hindi arrogance in Internet chat rooms and discussion forums. In some chat rooms frequented by Indians, I have received messages in Hindi from some Hindi speakers. No other language person, be it Telugu or Punjabi or Bengali or Marathi, has ever sent me a message in their mother tongue. Only some Hindians have done this. Occasionally a Malayali may send me an English message asking me if I know Malayalam (because some Malayalis do have the name "Krishnan"). When I say "no", they chat with me in English. That is not the case with Hindi people. They do not ask if I know Hindi. They automatically assume that I know Hindi or I must know Hindi because I have an Indian name.

When someone starts a chat with me in Hindi, I am never polite with those people. I respond rudely why they think that I know their mother tongue (not necessarily in those words). I am usually a gentleman but I am irritated by these Hindi people's arrogance that every Indian should know their language. May be these people would think twice before starting a chat in Hindi next time.


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