Tamil Tribune

Cooking Gas Explosions and Hindi Instructions (Tamil Nadu, India)

K. S.

TAMIL TRIBUNE, January 2014 (ID. 2014-01-01)
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1. Cooking Gas Explosions

2. Inflammable Materials and Railway Accidents

3. AIDS Prevention Books

4. Pharmaceutical Labels (Prescription Drug Labels)

1. Cooking Gas Explosions

Hundreds of thousands of people use cooking gas in India. Tamil Nadu State has its share of cooking gas users. Cooking gas, if not handled properly, could cause dangerous explosions, injuries and death. So cooking gas cylinders have safety instruction (see the photograph taken in 2013). It says in English "switch off regulator when not in use". The same safety instruction is written in Hindi also. There is no safety instruction in Tamil on cylinders sold in Tamil Nadu. Indian government's attitude seems to be "if you don't know Hindi or English, die of cooking gas explosion, it is your fault." This is true in all non-Hindi states. Indian government is more pre-occupied with thrusting Hindi into non-Hindi throats than caring for the safety of non-Hindi cooking gas using housewives and others.

2. Inflammable Materials and Railway Accidents

[A more detailed discussion of this section may be found in a Tamil Tribune article by Thanjai Nalankilli in 2007 (updated in 2012) [Reference 1]. Those who have read it may skip to Section 3.]

The same callous disregard for non-Hindi lives is shown in Indian Railways too. Indian Railways does not like people carrying inflammable materials like kerosene in trains; if such inflammable materials are transported in trains without proper safety precautions, they could cause explosions, injuries and death. So Indian railways placed safety advertisements in newspapers. In Tamil Nadu, it chose to place the advertisement in Thinathanthi, Tamil newspaper with the largest circulation. The advertisement appeared in Thinathanthi on May 24, 2012. It says "Small articles lead to big accidents. Please do not carry inflammable articles during your rail journey." The problem is, the advertisement is in Hindi. This is a state where very few people can read Hindi. Is Indian Railways interested in the safety of Hindi speakers only? Would it not be better to publicize this safety message in Tamil in Tamil Nadu? In the name of establishing Hindi supremacy all over India, it is blacking out this useful safety message to non-Hindi speakers. Who cares if people who do not know Hindi die in railway explosions? What matters the most is that Hindi is propagated throughout India.

3. AIDS Prevention Books

[A more detailed discussion of this section may be found in a Tamil Tribune article by the author in 2004 [Reference 2]. Those who have read it may skip to Section 4.]

Here is another example of Indian government's disregard for the welfare of non-Hindians in order to establish the supremacy of Hindi. AIDS (Acquired Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome) is a menace to the human race. Although there is no cure for AIDS and there is no vaccine to prevent it as of now (January 2014), certain relatively simple measures by individuals could protect them from getting this dreaded disease. So, in 1999, the Indian government Ministry of Health and Family Welfare funded the writing and publication of AIDS prevention related books. A good move. But the funding is for writing and publishing these books in Hindi only. Sure it helps to educate Hindi speakers about AIDS prevention. What about the Assamese, Bengalis, Kannadigas, Malayalis, Tamils, Telugus, et al?

4. Pharmaceutical Labels (Drug Labels)

[A more detailed discussion of this section may be found in a Tamil Tribune article by Thanjai Nalankilli in 2006 [Reference 3]. Those who have read it may skip this section.]

Pharmaceutical labeling (prescription drug labels) used to be in English only. Indian government issued an order to the pharmaceutical industry that all pharmaceutical labeling should be in English and Hindi from April 1, 2006. If the Indian government truly wants to help sick people buying drugs to understand the benefits, side effects, dosage and other information better, it would have ordered that all labels include the local language. Then sick people in Tamil Nadu can read and understand the labels in Tamil, people in Andhra Pradesh in Telugu, people in Assam in Assamese, etc. That would be fair. But as far as the Indian government is concerned, only Hindi people matter. It does not care if non-Hindi peoples overdose or misuse drugs.****


 1. Read the Update U1.1 in Hindi Advertisements in Tamil Newspapers: Does it Make Sense? (by Thanjai Nalankilli), TAMIL TRIBUNE, February 2007 (9 KB) 

 2. India: Health and Welfare for Hindi Speakers Only (by K. S.), TAMIL TRIBUNE, June 2004 (10 KB)

 3. Pharmaceutical Labels in Hindi: "Indian Customers" mean "Hindi Customers" to the Indian Government (by Thanjai Nalankilli), TAMIL TRIBUNE, May 2006 (8 KB)

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[Summary: There is no safety instruction in Tamil on cooking gas cylinders sold in Tamil Nadu. But there is Hindi from a thousand miles away.]

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