ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Examining the Linguistic Dimension of Draft National Education Policy, 2019

The Kasturirangan Committee’s framing of the draft National Education Policy, 2019 seems to be rather ill-informed linguistically. Despite its politically correct rhetoric, most of its recommendations are linguistically unsound and simply unpractical.

Language and Translation in a Multilingual Nation

A Multilingual Nation: Translation and Language Dynamic in India edited by Rita Kothari, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2018; pp VII + 365, ₹1,495.

What Are the Implications of the English-language Education Policy of the Andhra Pradesh Government?

Led by the Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party government, Andhra Pradesh has recently announced its decision to offer English as the medium of instruction in government-run schools across the state. While supporters of the move hail it as a landmark decision to correct the historical injustice meted out to the marginalised, critics fear the potential threat to Telugu language and culture.

Examining the Draft National Education Policy, 2019

This paper on the draft National Education Policy 2019, examines its timeframe and the possible implications of its implementation in terms of the overlapping categories of gender, caste, and class identities. It also focuses briefly on issues of language and the way in which historical precedents are invoked. This is followed by a discussion on the wide-ranging changes envisaged in higher education. I suggest that the document needs far greater scrutiny than it has received so far, and that a hasty implementation will have grave consequences, diluting if not reversing the serious and painstaking attempts that have been made to democratise the contexts, and contents of education for decades.

How is Multilingual Freelance Journalism Transforming the Media Landscape in India?

Changes in the technological landscape and the political economy of news media have opened up new spaces for freelance journalism, particularly in multilingual spaces. Freelance journalists occupy a precarious position due to their place within neo-liberal logics, but at the same time, are less beholden to many of the political, social, and commercial pressures constraining reporting and editing in big media houses. Biographical sketches of three Chennai-based freelancers demonstrate different possibilities of engaging as a freelancer across languages.

Breaking the Chaturvarna System of Languages

The Indian language policy is informed by a pull towards unilingual identity, inspired by the European model of nation state that is predicated on the homogeneity of its people. Language hegemony works at two tiers in India—at the state and the centre. The Constitution fails to pay more than lip service to the linguistic plurality and multilingual ethos of the peoples of India and has created a chaturvarna (four-tier order) of languages, with Sanskrit, Hindi, the scheduled, and the non-scheduled languages occupying various rungs of the ladder. English—the language of the conquerors—being outside the chaturvarna system has emancipatory potential.

Style as ‘Alternative Normativity’

Doing Style: Youth and Mass Mediation in South India by Constantine V Nakassis; Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016; pp 352, ₹ 1,656.

Applying Mathematics

What does it mean to apply mathematics? Why is mathematics considered as essential to natural sciences? Why do scientists consider the applicability of mathematics as something mysterious? The applicability of mathematics is mysterious and unexplainable only if we subscribe to a particular view of mathematics, namely, mathematics as a logical, axiomatic and formal system, which deals only with a platonic world and not our real one. In contrast, there are enough reasons to believe that mathematics is a fertile lived-language, sharing many characteristics with other verbal languages. Thus, to understand the applicability of mathematics, we need to first understand the applicability of languages, for example, the 'applicability' of English. The paper discusses some common characteristics in applying English and mathematics and offers a particular model to explain why mathematics seems to be so effectively applicable in science.

Perspectives on Mathematics

This collection of seven papers is an indication of the kinds of issues involved in understanding mathematics in a broader perspective. What we hope to achieve is to generate insights into understanding one of the most creative languages humans have created and instil a more balanced response to mathematics as a language, culture and a living presence amidst all of us.

The Locations of Hindi

Hindi Nationalism by Alok Rai , Tracts for the Times 13, Orient Longman, Delhi, 2000; pp 138, Rs 150.

Language, Power and Ideology

Language has been intimately related to ideology and power in Pakistan. While Urdu is conspicuous as a symbol of Pakistani identity and national integration, other ethnic groups have seen this as a version of internal colonialism. Indigenous languages thus become tools that serve to assert ethnic identity and ensure a wider mobilisation.

Figure of the 'Tapori'

Cinema in late 20th century India has also engaged with cities to represent the new experience of modernity, and to produce new and complex representations, that often reflect the fluidity and fragmentary character of urban life in India. This essay is about recent appropriations of the city 'street' through the construction of a subculture of masculine performance, strongly rooted in the urban cultures of Mumbai. It is this subculture that gave rise and constructed the popular figure of the 'tapori' a male persona who was part small time streethood, and part the social conscience of the neighbourhood.
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