Mana Sanskriti (Our Culture)

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Chief Editor: Sreenivasarao Vepachedu, PhD, LLM

Issue 84

5106 Kali Era , taarana Year,  maargasira month
1926 Salivahana Era
taarana Year,  maargasira month
2062 Vikramarka Era, 
taarana Year,  maargasira month
 2005 AD, January

A Sacred Mantra to Save Endangered Cultures

Language gives us the identity, culture, religion and science that distinguish us from others. However, language probably had little to do with our survival or social organization, as we are not the only life form that has a complex social organization or that has survived on this tiny Earth in this universe.  Nevertheless, language is the most important distinguishing feature of us.

I think human language is a product of evolution that has distinguished us from the rest of the life forms in the world.  We are a very young species with very little genetic diversity.  Yet we exhibit enormous cultural diversity that other life forms really don't show, at least to our knowledge.  I attribute this diversity to our language to a large extent. We have different religions, marriage systems, dances etc. and the differences are all primarily due to our language. The language is the standard by which the scientific studies differentiate cultures.  The day we lost our language, the distinction between us and the rest would be erased. In addition, we need variety and diversity among ourselves as human beings, just for the fun of it! Otherwise life would be monotonously homogeneous.

Humans evolved their cognitive abilities from an enormous number of mutations.  These were acquired through exceptionally intense selection favoring more complex cognitive abilities. It was social interactions that pushed for bigger brains among the earliest humans.  Humans split from monkeys 20 to 25 million years ago at which point mutations in genes that build the brain mushroomed in the human line.  The University of Chicago researchers reported, in the journal Cell in December 2004, that 24 genes had undergone rapid evolutionary changes in humans and not in the other three species studied - monkey, rat and mouse.  Seventeen are involved in building the brain and regulating behavior, and their rate of mutational change was two to three times greater than that of chimps and monkeys.  Human brain is 6-9 times larger1 than the brain of a monkey, our relative. Another set of evolutionary pressures on the brain set in about 4 million years ago with the development of primitive tools and other cultural accomplishments that ultimately lead to language.  Cultural development meant not only genes but also learning could pass on new information to offspring. Most of our brain develops after birth from the experiences it encounters in its environment during the long childhood and dependency on parents and society.  Intelligence matters even more now than it has even in the recent past. Children go through all kinds of hurdles to rise up in society.  People are constantly competing largely based on their mental capacities than ever before.  We distinguish us from others either by language & culture or intelligence. 

Measuring cultural diversity is difficult, but a good indicator is the number of languages spoken in a region or in the world as a whole.  Agriculturists wiped out languages, when they moved out of Mesopotamia and replaced hunter-gatherer cultures in Europe and elsewhere 10, 000 years ago.  As a result, today we have only a fraction of diversity left.  Now, half of the world's population speaks one of the ten most common languages.  Approximately ten percent of the world's 6000 languages are now spoken by 100 or fewer native speakers.  The 1961 and 1971 censuses had listed 1652 languages as mother tongues spoken in Bhaarat (the Indian Union), of which 33 languages are spoken by more than 100,000 people each. Today, there are only 18 national languages recognized by Bhaarat2.  United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) says, "Losing a language and its cultural context is like burning a unique reference book of the natural world.3"

We are in another major transformation and are going through a period of precipitous decline in the world's cultural diversity4.  David Graddol of UK says, "We are living through an extraordinary moment of linguistic history.  The world's languages system, having evolved over centuries, has reached a point of crisis and is now rapidly restructuring."  He thinks that we will experience a rapid and disorienting change resulting in a new linguistic world order5.   Some experts suggest that mass migrations of people moving from poor regions to rich areas will destroy our cultural diversity.  To say that we will have one big homogenous world may sound like a hyperbole; however, there is that possibility distinctly hanging on our neck like a sword of Damocles.

Biodiversity is essential to the long-term survival of life on earth.  Similarly, it can be argued that human cultural diversity is vital for the long-term survival of humanity.  Thus, the conservation of indigenous cultures is as important to our survival as the conservation of species and ecosystems is to the life on earth as a whole.

Our ancestors respected everything in this world, but today we don't even respect our own mother tongue. Language is not just for communication; it is the mother of our culture.  The vitality of any culture rests in the continuity of the language. Language strengthens the bonds between generations. It is really difficult on a community when grandchildren can’t speak fluently with their grandparents. We should recognize that all languages are equally valuable and they allow us to see the range of human expression.  In addition, there are academic reasons, community identity issues and economic benefits in preserving our languages and cultures.  It is also important to understand that language should not be viewed in isolation, but in conjunction with broad acculturation and destruction of native cultures by dominant religions and economies.6  If people want to save or destroy their language and culture, that is their right. However, leaders need to understand and educate the population of dangers of acculturation. Ultimately, it is the people who decide, at least in the so-called democracy of ours.

The long-term viability of any language will be endangered unless it retains some territories in which the speakers of that language are a majority.  Unless people are forced financially to move and assimilate into a new culture, most people prefer to stay where they are and continue doing what they have always done. It's the natural tendency for cultures to be cohesive and exclusive.  That is the reason why we have so much diversity in terms of castes and tribes in Bhaarat - the most ancient and diverse cultural conglomerate surviving today.  That is because "humans display forms of social behavior that favor living in small groups, such as rewarding cooperation, punishing those who deviate from the norms, and being wary of outsiders," according to Mark Pagel, a professor of evolutionary biology in the School of Animal and Microbial Sciences at the University of Reading in England.  So, the action has to be in the native land and among those communities.

Telugu language is fortunate to have at least one state with three distinct regions of Andhra, Rayalaseema and Telangana where the speakers of various Telugu dialects thrive.7  In the past, native languages have been wrested from people by colonial domination.  However, as English dominates the day-to-day affairs of people, the whole state is becoming Tenglish, displacing Telugu speakers.  In addition to advantages of smaller states, as understood by everybody, if Andhra Pradesh is divided into three states, they would have an opportunity to officially communicate in Telugu.  Telugu becomes an interstate language with three states supporting it.  Similar to Hindi in the north that has several states to support it, Telugu will flourish.

As a community shifts to a new language, features of the ancestral language may appear in the new language, in this case Tenglish.  However, it is foolish to think that it is Telugu, while the reality is that Telugu is dying. According to the US Census Bureau report based on census 2000, released in December 2004, Indians in America are the most fluent and comfortable English speakers, with 10.3 per cent saying they spoke only English at home, and 57.6 per cent saying they spoke English very well even if they spoke other languages at home. I bet more than 30% in Andhra Pradesh don't speak Telugu at home!8 It is good for Indians in America, because America is an English speaking state.  But I don't think it is good in Andhra Pradesh.  It’s getting harder and harder for the millions of Telugus to hold a conversation in the native Telugu language; not because the language is lacking in vocabulary, but because people are forgetting their vocabulary and are replacing it with more prestigious English vocabulary, e.g., mummy, daddy, aunt, uncle, rice, curry, water, dog, cat etc. This has to be arrested. 

However, we are not alone and this malady is not limited to Telugu only.  It happened before to other languages and new languages developed such as Yiddish, Ebonics etc., and it is happening to various languages that are forced to live in societies dominated by another language, due to migration.  Spanish is metastasizing into something altogether new language known as Spanglish, which in large part is the result of sweeping demographic changes due to illegal immigration of uneducated Hispanics across the borders, supported by helpless capitalists to save the struggling American economy. While the Spanish language is still thriving in Spain, a new daughter language of Spanish is taking over English America.  Soon there may be many languages that are daughters of Spanish dominating the world.  Spanglish is used predominantly by people of Hispanic descent in the United States and the Latin America.  Spanish-linguists and the supporters of the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language in Madrid deem Spanglish a fast spreading cancer to their precious and centuries-old tongue in Spain. However, there is a big distinction between Spanglish and Telugu.  What is happening in Bhaarat is different.  They are creating new languages all right, but not in other countries.  They are replacing their languages with Indlishes. The heartbreaking thing is that the Indlish cancer strikes Indians in their own native land, destroying their culture. Well, it is not the fault of Indians.  This is a sad legacy of the Islamic and Christian colonization and slavery of Bhaarat for over a millennium, which continues today in the form of cultural inferiority complex.

We have to develop a sound bilingual policy in which people are fluent in at least two languages, viz., mother tongue and English.  Bilingualism is not a facility or a talent, but it is a result of being forced to function in two distinct languages having different vocabularies from a young age, when it is nothing but a play for the child. Babies arrive into this world as world-citizens, ready to adapt the language of their parents. Whatever language babies hear becomes a permanent part of their life. Learning language begins surprisingly very early, even when the baby is in the womb. At around 6 months they start to identify the special sounds of their mother tongue.9

Bilingualism means an equal ability and skills to communicate in two languages.  This includes an ability to hold conversation without jumping back and forth between two languages for lack of vocabulary to express oneself or due to laziness.  Some linguists think that bilingualism is the ability to speak pure at least in one language (especially in the mother tongue) and some working knowledge in an international language.  It is very important to realize that bilingualism doesn't mean mixing two languages.  A true bilingual society retains its culture and at the same time has an opportunity to do business with the rest of the world in an additional language as well.  Every linguistic nationality in this world has to comprehend and appreciate bilingualism, including Americans whose language has become the world language, at least for the sheer potential mental health and intellectual benefits.10

For Indians, the window to the world is English. In addition, it is not only one of the official languages of the whole Indian continent ever since the British colonized it, but also the legal and scientific language of the continent. Today, with the superiority of American economy and business, English became inescapable for the rest of the world too.  In European countries like Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, etc., approximately 80% of the population is fluent in English.  In countries like Russia, France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Portugal etc., teaching English is a big business.  English has acquired the status of the International Scientific Language, a single language of the wisdom of the world.   Whether we like it or not, English is the most understood and sought after language anywhere in the world, thanks to the technological and scientific preeminence of the United States of America, the globalization of science and economy and past English colonization. Over the next six years, 15 percent of information technology jobs required by U.S. companies will be done in Bhaarat, a new report predicted in December 2004. The new AMR report estimated that the Indian IT labor force would be larger than 3 million by 2010, and half of the workers would be performing jobs for U.S. companies. AMR projected that by 2010, savings from offshore outsourcing would spark an added $30 billion per year in new investments from U.S. companies.  So, we ignore English at our own peril.  Yet, we should never forget our mother tongue wherever we are and especially in our native land, the cradle of our unique culture.  It doesn't matter if I forget Telugu in America and create Tenglish, but it is a disaster if Telugus forget Telugu in Teluguland.  Spanglish in America may be a new language species that is bound to undermine English, but if it replaces Spanish in Spain it is definitely a disaster for Spanish language and culture in Spain.

We have to educate the general population about the mechanisms that cause language shift. In addition to the pressures on adults to speak English themselves, they are naturally concerned for the welfare of their children. It is impossible to be a banker, doctor or lawyer without using English as the working language, especially in cities like Hyderabad.  Telugu Indian parents know that their children must speak English to get good jobs.  Many Telugu Indians also think that their children have to emigrate to English-speaking countries if they are to get good jobs. Therefore English is absolutely essential.  However, to think Telugu has little practical value is suicidal.  Unfortunately, many educated as well as uneducated Telugu Indians associate Telugu with poverty and regard it as an obstacle to social and economic advancement for their children. The adoption of a Western lifestyle, which everyone desires due to the perceived inferiority of their own lifestyle, brings increasing contact with English. All these things force Telugus to downgrade Telugu (bad karma) and embrace English (good karma). This doesn't mean avoid technological advancement and live in caves.  We need computers, but not English vocabulary to replace Telugu words for mother and father.  We need both English and Telugu, but not Tenglish.  Tenglish is a cancer for both English and Telugu and also to our mind.

In addition, young people are continuing to leave the villages, for higher education, careers and excitement to cities like Hyderabad where English is more valuable than Telugu, which is very harmful to Telugu. Parents are not prepared to sacrifice their children's welfare to the ideal of Telugu revival or survival, and therefore many do not raise them with Telugu as their first language any more even in Andhra Pradesh. It is understandable in America, if Telugus raise their children, English as their first language, because English is the language of America and we adopted this country and language.  But, it is unpardonable if we do this in Andhra Pradesh, simply because the language of Andhra Pradesh is Telugu, but not English.

Strengthening of the local economy is one of the solutions to the problem, so that local people do not have to leave their villages to find work.  Providing higher education and vocational training in Telugu is a must to achieve this.  Rural Indians toil in their lands or perform casual labor on other people's land in about 680,000 villages in Bhaarat.  Agriculture in Bhaarat is highly fractured and uneconomical due to smaller plots and outdated farming mechanisms. More than a third of rural population earns income from non-farming endeavors. Yet only 9 million Indians are employed in manufacturing, while 100 million Chinese are employed in this sector in China.  However, it appears that in rural Bhaarat, only women are working in the fields and men are emigrating to towns and cities for work.11  Despite the fact that Indian policy makers believe in village and want to keep small plots and uneconomic outdated farming methods hoping to keep populations poor and rural, rural Bhaarat is migrating to cities.  This is inevitable.  So, we need to concentrate our efforts not only in rural Bhaarat, but also in urban Bhaarat and make sure that the mother tongue is respected.

Furthermore, the attitude of people that Telugu speakers are uneducated has to change, especially in the urban setting.  It is very popular in Andhra Pradesh to use English words in day-to-day affairs for it is cool and prestigious.  This attitude can only change when we develop a healthy respect for our own culture.  It is easier said than done, due to the flawed government policies on one hand and hundreds of years of slavery of the whole culture on the other hand.

People seem to eat the same foods, watch the same films, and drive the same cars everywhere in the world today. International forces like Globalization, Westernization, Christianization, Islamization etc., have been eroding the pride and dignity of native cultures all over the world. Today, languages are being lost at a rate of one per day due to this globalization of economy, religion and culture. However, these are the global forces with tremendous power and influence with which we have to reckon and reconcile with; not only because they are invincible, but also because they help develop and raise the levels of health standards and alleviate poverty in the world.   So, in this global economy and information age, it is impossible to insulate us from such international forces. It is very easy to be swept away by these forces into a homogeneous human mass or attempt to totally insulate us in communism or conservatism, rather than interact with the force and hold our ground against the tide. Thus, it is imperative that every culture develops mechanisms to withstand the onslaught of these global forces - the necessary evils.  We need tremendous courage, resourcefulness and will power to withstand and interact with these international forces and yet retain the culture.  This is a major challenge facing every culture today.  We cannot take shelter in a Darwinian competition for "survival of the fittest" and ignore the death of cultures.  Instead, we should intervene and try to make our culture fit to survive.  Just like we would help a disabled or diseased person survive in this world, we must protect the cultures dying due to the diseases like inferiority complex and intellectual laziness.  We must develop methods and mechanisms to protect the weak and endangered species, peoples, and cultures.

Moreover, just as there are economic reasons for language suppression and destruction, there are economic reasons for supporting and protecting a dying language.  The global economy would benefit from having more multi-lingual people because they will be more productive working in their mother tongues.  But, this is only possible when the languages/cultures are proud like French or Tamil. 

My cousin in Hyderabad asks, "what is the purpose of Telugu?" Even street vendors and rikshawallahs in towns and villages speak Tenglish nowadays.  It saddens me to note that Telugu has no purpose for 75-80 million strong Telugus in Andhra Pradesh.  Some people argue that every living language has to influence and be influenced by other languages.  Languages give and take vocabulary.  Usually they point to English, which heavily borrowed from various European languages and the colonized languages.  It is true, but English borrowed words from various languages to increase the vocabulary. English usually does not replace English words with new vocabularies and forget English words altogether, like Telugu does.  Forgetting vocabulary is not a sign of growth, but a symptom of a debilitating disease that leads to death.

By immersing the youngsters in the language of their parents, we can save the language and thereby the culture. It seems more difficult to do this in Hyderabad than in America nowadays.  My daughter speaks only her mother tongue at home, while my friends across the street use only Tenglish or English at home with their children. I notice the same attitude in Bhaarat also.  My sister in Hyderabad uses Tenglish at home, and argues that for now my niece has to learn English day-to-day vocabulary and use in her conversation with her mother. It is very competitive even in kindergarten you know, especially in Bhaarat! Interestingly, with greater recognition and celebration of cultural differences, today, immigrant Americans are more likely to maintain and share their ancestral language with their children and to promote bilingualism as a reflection of ethnic pride and identity.

The concept of bilingualism and teaching two languages at a young age is not among Indians in general and in Andhra Pradesh in particular.  My friends insist that they would teach their children Telugu later! One persistent argument against teaching two languages to a two-year-old is that it confuses the child.  You may not believe it, but it is true that the daycare centers in Andhra Pradesh admonish the parents and ask them to stop teaching Telugu at home, if they want their children to succeed in kindergarten!  If you spoke Telugu, you have to wash your mouth with soap! Without a doubt, this kind of attitude discourages people from speaking the native language in schools in Andhra Pradesh and Bhaarat. I think this is perverted and wrong. 

Contrary to widely held beliefs in Andhra Pradesh and among Indians, most researchers agree that a child who is exposed to two languages at an early age and simultaneously, will naturally learn to use both languages.12  In general, speech-language problems are less likely to occur when both languages are introduced early and simultaneously.  Children may also experiment with the two languages to express themselves in specific settings. For example, one language may be identified with daddy (foreign tongue) and the other with mommy (mother tongue): this has been working very well for us so far.  Or one language used for home and family and the other for school and activities outside the home. This should work very well for Andhra Pradesh as the successive state and central governments have been resolutely working either in Hindi or English only, to eliminate the state and local languages from the mainstream, with a shrewd intent to make Bhaarat speak one language, perhaps Hindi, for the unity of the Union.

Even more absurd is that while people are struggling to learn two languages and are giving up on their mother tongue, most of the state governments have the so-called "three-language" formula! Many policy makers argue that we need to learn Hindi.  They argue that the money spent on Hindi is from Central Government, so it doesn't hurt Telugus to learn a third language.  They point out the advantages of learning many languages.  This argument goes counter to the argument presented by my cousin above.  But, the same people would argue for the three-language formula!  We cannot even handle one language, but we have lofty goals of mastering three languages. There is a saying in Telugu, "uTTikekka lEnamma swargaanikekkutundaTa," meaning roughly, "a person who cannot climb on to attic desires to rise to the heaven!"  Actually, I would like to learn Arabic, Chinese, German, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, and a couple of African languages as well, if I can.  The father of Indian reforms and the modern Indian economy, the Former Prime Minister Venkatanarasimharao Pamulaparti (PV)13 was a polyglot who had knowledge in 17 languages.  So, it is not impossible to master many languages.  But first, don't we have to learn our mother tongue enough to maintain a trivial conversation at the dining table without indulging in bombastic English words for cup, curd, curry, glass, milk, plate, rice, spoon etc?

Other Indian languages are disappearing as well. The native speakers are dying off (by adopting a new language).  The Indian national languages cannot compete against English, which is pervasive through television and other forms of pop culture.  The native language is going to be gone if we don't do something. The best people to learn a language are kids in the developmental stage of pre-kindergarten and kindergarten.

Unlike other dominant languages, Telugu doesn't have books to teach Telugu to foreigners.  We didn't even have a thesaurus in Telugu until recently.  An American citizen (Rao Vemuri) compiled the only one I know of!14 If you visit any bookstores or music-stores anywhere in the world you would find lullabies and nursery songs in the local language, but not in Andhra Pradesh.  Native Telugus have to do more.

To preserve the language, recording everyday Telugu conversations on audio and videotapes, popularizing Telugu conversation - not Tenglish conversation - then transcribing and translating the conversations for the spread of Telugu globally has to be taken up. It has to include people engaging in various vocations, preparing dinner, eating meals, and even playing games. 

Telugu is the official language of the State of Andhra Pradesh.  However, it is not implemented strictly.  Government departments and agencies, including the central government institutions stationed in the state, should set up special units staffed by fluent Telugu-speakers (not Tenglish speakers) to serve the people. The working language of the state should be Telugu and every Telugu has to promote Telugu, (not Tenglish). A bilingual state is a state where the principal institutions provide services in two languages to citizens.  Unfortunately, Andhra Pradesh is a tetra-lingual state (English, Hindi, Telugu and Urdu) with a three-language formula and, paradoxically, fails miserably to provide services in Telugu.  Whatever, they claim to have provided in Telugu is only a lip service.  Every document received by my mother in Hyderabad from any government institution or private institution or utility services requires help of an English educated neighbor because of extensive use of English.  It appears as if the state governments have conspired with the central government to eliminate the state languages and do business in Hindi and English only. 

Ultimately, it all depends on native populations in their own native lands, e.g., Telugus living in Andhra Pradesh. Unless the attitude of the people and the governments change, the collective march of our languages and cultures toward extinction is inevitable.  I am afraid the Indian cultures may be on the path to eradication in a short while, unless they do something about it now.15 Let us hope the international seminar on 'Telugu culture and performing arts: philosophical dimensions' that is being organized by Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University from December 29, 2004 will have some impact.

 When I was in 12th standard, my zoology teacher Ramakrishnareddy, teaching a course in evolution, said that humans would have larger heads and smaller bodies in the future.  I was skeptical. How can a woman with a small body give birth to a baby with a large head?  Here is a bottleneck for our brain evolution - our birth canal and skull size.  However, U. of C. geneticist Bruce Lahn thinks that slowly and steadily vaginal birth is giving way to c-section in the developed world. We need not be surprised to see richer countries with people with larger heads with more disk space and RAM, i.e., more intelligence.   I am still skeptical.   Larger heads don't mean more intelligence.  We really don't need larger heads to be more intelligent, if we go by the evolution of computer.  Further, a baby's head is smaller than an adult head indicating that  we don't need larger heads at birth.  What we need is more learning and training at a young age.
  2. See also, " Indian Languages"
  3. See also, " Indigenous Languages in Distress"; Globalization: Threat to the Global Cultural, Linguistic, and Biological Diversity.".
  4. See also, "Providence."
  5. "The Future of Language" David Graddol, Science, 2/27/2004.
  6. See also, "The Cultural Fate of Hyderabad State,"  and note 4 above.
  7. See note 6.
  8. It may be more.  Approximately 20-25% of the population is Muslim and they prefer to speak Urdu, a hybrid Islamic language with Arabic script.  Most of the educated Telugus speak only Tenglish nowadays.  So, the Telugu speakers are dwindling in the state.
  9. See also, "Benefits of Bilingualism."
  10. See note 9.
  11.  "Cure for Indian's Rural Woes Lies in Ability to Escape the Farm," Edward Luce, Financial Times, 12/7/2004.
  12. See note 9, Benefits of Bilingualism.
 Please read PV's  message in Telugu for Telugus regarding Telugu at:  
Prime Minister Venkatanarasimharao Pamulaparti (PV) was the father of modern Indian economy, who changed the direction of the country for good and opened up opportunities for Indians they never had before - the possibility of becoming rich and a super power.  
PV was the first politician from outside the Nehru-Gandhi family to head a Government at the Centre for a full five-year term.  He was also the first Telugu Indian and the first South Indian to become the Prime Minister of Bhaarat.   It was just a disaster, the reluctance of an Italian widow to take the reins of the empire, fractured but ruthless Congress politicians who needed a mild puppet, and strange fate and circumstances that catapulted a retired Telugu Brahmin intellectual,an impossible choice, into the throne.  Once in the throne, he shattered the dreams of ruthless Congress politicians by changing the fate of the Union, who never forgave him, even after his death.  He deviated from Nehru-Gandhi socialistic policy and brought shame to the Congress Party and the dynasti by single handedly making a U-turn to make friends with Israel and America at a critical time in the world history and opened up the country to become a (possible) super power.  He helplessly or otherwise oversaw the fall of an old dilapidated mosque built by brutal dictator on a revered temple that resulted in the possibility of a real democracy from communist style one party dynasti rule, which was never forgiven by the dynasti.

He was also the first Brahmin Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh and may be the last.   He was also the first Brahmin ruler of a southern Indian kingdom in two millennia.  Telugu people would never have elected a mild and lonely Brahmin intellectual as their Chief Minister.  PV was simply imposed on Telugus and fractured Congress politicians for a short period by the ruthless dictator from New Delhi - Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.  He was also the first Prime Minister who didn't have a popular base and a support group in his own state (because he belonged to the Brahmin caste).

He was also the first Prime Minister to be humiliated by frivolous law suits from which he was exonerated after about 8 years of trials in various courts.
A household survey released by Transparency International on 17 December 2002, reported high levels of corruption in public institutions in South Asia. Of the seven major public institutions, the police emerged as the most corrupt in all five countries surveyed (Bangladesh, Bhaarat, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka). The judiciary was identified as the second most corrupt area in all countries except Pakistan, where land administration and the tax authorities were identified as the second and third most corrupt areas respectively. Land administration figures prominently in the list of the most corrupt sectors in four out of the five countries. The TI report identifies high levels of corruption encountered by citizens attempting to access seven basic public services, at

PV passed away on December 23, 2004 and became the first Prime Minister to be cremated outside New Delhi contrary to the tradition despite his wish to be cremated along with other Prime Ministers in New Delhi, where he lived for the past 30 years - a special humiliation bestowed upon him, a life-long Congress Party servant, by Sonia Gandhi and Congress Party for his service.  Although Congress party denies any role to PV in the Indian nuclear program, PV is the architect of Bhaarat's nuclear program and when the history of Bhaarat’s nuclear programme is written, PV will figure prominently
He also achieved another dubious distinction after death - he was the first eminent leader of the largest democracy in the world who was humilated during his own cremation ceremony by an utter disrespect to his corpse, which would be a crime in the United States of America.  His half cremated corpse and utter disregard shown by everybody to the sanctity of the cremation of the PM was shown in mass media.  

The extraordinary humiliation and death of this humble servant -- who knew 17 languages, had a record number of firsts and accomplishments as a PM, who was considered modern Chanakya who guided Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, and rescued the Congress Party that is bereaved by the assasination of its dynastic head and the country to provide a stable government and a new direction -- are buried in an extraordinary and rare tsunami that hit the Indian Continent killing in one day more than 150,000 people (more than the 100,000 dead in Iraq in the past one year, man made disaster) in more than twelve countries, reaching as far as Africa from Indonesia and killing even European and American tourists (
please visit to learn how to help the victims of tsunami:  When a live PV maintained "samadrishti (equanimity)" through the ups and downs, it is not the time for Indians to worry about the honor and humiliation of PV in the face of an unprecedented devastation, (a blessing in disguise conveniently for PV haters and the dynasti).  

  14. Telugu Thesaurus by Rao Vemuri,
  15. See note 3, Providence.  Life and death are inevitable in this universe.

dvau imau purushau koke ksharas cha ksharaeva cha
ksharah sarvaani bhootaanikootastho kshara uchyate

There are two kinds of personality in this world, the mortal and the immortal.  The personality of all creatures is mortal. The personality of God is said to be immortal. It is the same forever.
-The Bhagavadgita, Chapter XV, verse 16.

iti guhyatamam shaastra idam uktam mayaa nagha
etad buddhvaa buddhimaan syaat krtakrtyaas cha bhaarata!

O Indian! This is the most sacred of all the truths I have taught you. He who has realized it becomes truly wise. The purpose of his life is fulfilled.
-The Bhagavadgita, Chapter XV, verse 20.

Then why worry and act at all? Because, so long as we lead embodied lives we cannot escape from action.

nityatam kuru karma tvam karma jyaayo hy akarmanah
sarirayaatraa pi cha te na prasidhyed akarmanah

Activity is better than inertia.  Act, but with self-control. If you are lazy, you cannot even sustain your own body.
-The Bhagavadgita, Chapter III, verse 8.

saktaah karmay avidvaamso yatha kuruvanti bhaarata
kuryaad vidvaams tathaa saktas chikeershur lokasmgraham

O Indian, the ignorant work for the fruit of their action, the wise must work also without desire pointing their feet to the path of the duty to maintain the world-order and diversity.
- The Bhagavadgita, Chapter III, verse 25.

Further Reading:
1) Neurolinguistic Aspects of Bilingualism, Michel Paradis
2) Neurolinguistic Theory of Bilingualism, Michel Paradis
3) Encyclopedia of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, Colin Baker, Sylvia P. Jones
4) Foundations of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, Colin Baker
5) Beyond Bilingualism: Multilingualism and Multilingual Education, Vol. 110
Jasone Cenoz (Editor), Fred Genesee
6) Bilingualism, Suzanne Romaine
7) Bilingualism in Development: Language, Literacy, and Cognition, Ellen Bialystok
8) Meeting the Needs of Second Language Learners: An Educator's Guide Judith Lessow-Hurley
9) One Child, Two Languages: A Guide for Preschool Educators of Children Learning English as a Second Language, Patton Tabors
10) Bilingualism Reader Li Wei (Editor)
11) Bilingualism and Language Pedagogy, Janina Brutt-Griffler
12) Bilingualism in Society and School J. Normann J¦rgensen, E. Hansen (Editor), A. Holmen (Editor), J. Gimbel (Editor)
13) Dual Language Development and Disorders: A Handbook on Bilingualism and Second Language Learning, Fred Genesee, Martha B. Crago, Johanne Paradis
14) Bilingualism and Testing: A Special Case of Bias
15) Parents' and Teachers' Guide to Bilingualism, Colin Baker
16) Growing Up with Two Languages: A Practical Guide, Una Cunningham-Andersson, Staffan Andersson
17) The Bilingual Brain: Neuropsychological and Neurolinguistic Aspects of Bilingualism, Martin L. Albert, Loraine K. Obler
18) Bilingualism in Ancient Society: Language Contact and the Written Word J. N. Adams (Editor), S. Swain (Editor), M. Janse (Editor), Contribution by Penelope Fewster, Contribution by Philip Burton
19) Bilingualism, Education and Identity: Essays in Honour of Jac L. Williams Bob M. Jones (Editor), Ghuman Paul A. Singh (Editor), Paul A. Singh Ghuman (Editor)
20) Childhood Bilingualism: Aspects of Linguistic, Cognitive and Social Development Peter Homel (Editor), Michael Palij, Doris Aaronson (Editor)
21) Code Switching in Conversation: Linguistic Perspectives on Bilingualism
Peter Auer (Editor)
22) The Handbook of Bilingualism Tej K. Bhatia, William C. Ritchie (Editor)
23) Issues in Bilingualism and Biculturalism: A Hong Kong Case Study, David C. Li
24) Spanglish: The Making of a New American Language

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Vepachedu Educational Foundation, Inc
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