C. N. Annadurai speeches and writings

Two Dogs and Hindi

A Tale from the Speeches of C. N. Annadurai

K. Chezhian

TAMIL TRIBUNE, January 1999 (ID. 1999-01-04)
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I have heard the story "Two Dogs and Hindi" many times during my college days. The story was attributed to former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister (1967-1969) C. N. Annadurai. I am unable to track down a published version of the story. Some of Annadurai's speeches were never published. It is possible the story was published in one of the magazines he edited (He edited or published the Tamil magazines Dravidanadu, Kanchi and Malai Mani, and English magazines Homeland and Home Rule at various points of time.) Copies of those magazines from the 1950s and 1960s are hard to find these days. Irrespective of whether Mr. Annadurai told this story or not, this story drives home the irrationality of arguments for making Hindi the link language of India. Here is the story.

A man had two dogs - a big one and a small one. He wanted his dogs to go in and out of the house freely without him having to keep the house door open all the time. So he built two "trap doors" - one big trap door for the big dog and one small for the small dog. Neighbors who saw these two doors laughed at him and called him an idiot. Why put a big door and a small door? All that was needed was the big door. Both the big and the small dog could use it!

Indian government's arguments for making Hindi the official or link language of India are as ridiculous as the need for a big door and a small door for the big dog and the small dog. Indian government agrees that English is needed for communication with the world, and every school in India teaches English at some grade or other before one passes the high school. Why do people outside the Hindi states have to study Hindi for communications within India while they already study English for communication with the world? Use English for communications within India and outside India. Let both the small dog and the large dog use the big door. Let people use English for communication within India and with outside world.

[NOTE: I have also heard that the story of two dogs and two trap doors was first told by the renowned scientist Sir Isaac Newton, without any reference to Hindi of course. This may or may not be true. It is quite possible that C. N. Annadurai or someone else adapted the story to point out the ridiculousness of the Indian government asking non-Hindi peoples to study Hindi in addition to English. Whatever the origin of the story, the story is worth publishing.]

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