With reference to Justice Markandey Katju’s article on Tamils learning Hindi (Sept. 28), I would like to share an experience I had when I visited north India with my wife in 1989. After touring Rishikesh and Hardwar, I asked in English a well-dressed man which bus went to my destination. He kept silent. I repeated my question. He said: ‘Hindi mein bolo.’ I told him I belonged to Tamil Nadu and did not know Hindi. He still remained silent.

A Tamil woman who was in the queue approached us. She said ‘these people know English, but they won’t speak.’ I went back to the man and said: “If you come to Tamil Nadu, even our rickshaw-wala will try to communicate in Hindi and help you.” It would be better for Justice Katju to appeal to north Indians who refuse to shed their superiority complex.

K.S. Pattabiraman, Chennai

Keywords: Hindi language

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