Special Correspondent

Dalits can use it as a tool to face social challenges: author

‘English is not a language in the Indian context’

‘It is only a political and social package’

SHIMOGA: Author and Professor of English at Kuvempu University Rajendra Channi said on Friday that Dalits should employ English language as a tool to face the challenges of social inequality. Learning English could not be termed as linguistic fanaticism, he added.

Speaking as the chief guest at a seminar on “Namage Bekada Kannada” (Kannada that we need) at the Sahyadri Arts College here, he said English could not be construed as a language in the Indian context but could be at the most considered as a political and social package. “As such English could be supportive of the exploited sections in the midst of a society dominated by social inequalities,” he said.

He said it was wrong to thrust Kannada as a language unless social discriminations were done away with as any attempt to do it would prove to be counter productive making more harm to the language than any good.

Prof. Channi said that there was a need to enter the broader sphere of Kannada overcoming its all narrow, regional and chauvinistic overtones.

He suggested that Kannada should be developed with a clear, comprehensive and complete understanding of the language.

He said that Kannada had the capacity to meet the political, social and economic challenges thrown up by globalisation and it was important to note that such challenges would make the language all the more strong and powerful. He, however, said that there was a need to be cautious about the status of the mother tongue at a time when progressive and social movements were becoming ineffective.

It was more necessary particularly at a time when society was exposed to several aberrations.

Vice-Chancellor of Kuvempu University B.S. Sherigara inaugurated the seminar.

A. Jayadevappa, Principal of the Sahyadri Arts and Commerce College and Basavaraj Nellisara of Kannada Bharathi of Kuvempu University were present.