The Fundamentals of Language
Each language has 5 fundamental characteristics.
- It must have its own verbal forms.
“Ram is going”; in Hindi, Ram ja raha hay, and in Saḿskrta, Ramah gacchati. English has its own verb forms, “is going,” Saḿskrta also has its own verb forms – “gacchati”.
Páharii Punjábi is also a language because it too has its own verbs – for example, akśa basha or akśaŕa dasha. This is the first characteristic of a language: it has its own verbs. In Saḿskrtá, there are some verb endings such as -ti (gacchati), -tah (gacchatah), -anti (gacchanti), -si (gacchasi), -thas (gacchathah), and -tha (gacchathá), etc.
- Case endings for nouns
For example, “Ram’s sister is eating bread”; in Saḿskrtá we say, Ramasya bhaginii rot́ikáḿ khádati. In Hindi we say Rám rii bhaen rotii kháráhii hay. And in Paháŕii language, Rám ki bhaen rot́ii khándii. In Punjabi language there is a tendency to pronounce in the tirjak style (the “a” sound tends towards the “o” sound).
In English “Ram’s” means “of Ram”; in Saḿskrta Ramasya (we add -sya); in Hindi, Ramki; In Páháŕii, Ram rii (the suffix -rii is added). These are called case endings; they vary from language to language, and from the linguistic point of view, every language which has its own case endings deserves to be recognized as a language.
In this respect Páháŕii Punjabi is also a language different from Hindi, since both have their different case endings.
- Its own pronouns.
For example, we say, “He is going to Calcutta.” In Saḿskrtá, Sah kalikátám gacchati. In Hindi, “Vah kalikátá ja raha hay.” In Pahari, Naeśae kalkátta calao jásao. Thus each language has its own pronouns: “he” in English, vah in Hindi, sah in Saḿskrta and sao in Páháŕii. (There is some similarity between Páhárii and Saḿskrta). In this respect Páháŕii is a separate language, not merely a dialect; and Dogrii, too, is also a separate language, as I have told you previously.
- Its own vocabulary.
Even if a learned person contradicts you in this regard, you should give a firm reply. It is my conviction that all will accept your logical opinion regarding the science of linguistics. Any language which has its own vocabulary has to be recognized as a separate language. Some reputed scholars in Hindi may argue against this; thus you should know the correct reply in advance. Some orthodox supporters of the Hindi language may argue in Hindi, and you will have to give the reply in Hindi. If you speak in English, they may not like to speak with you, because in their opinion English is a foreign language. There are some people who do this to hide their weakness in English. But the strange thing is this – that they send their own children to study in English-medium schools.
The word “wheat” in English is gehun in Hindi and kanaka in Páháŕii, kanakha in Punjabi, and kanaka in Dogrii. In Paeshácii Prákrta the original word was kanaka, from which the other derivatives kanakha, kanakan, etc. have come. From the mother language of Paeshácii Prákrta have emerged the three languages of Dogrii, Páháŕii and Punjabi. For instance, when we say in English, “What is the staple food of the Punjab?” (Usually the article “the” is not used before the name of any particular province; but it is used before Punjab. This is a peculiarity of the English language). The Saḿskrta translation of this sentence will be saptanadasya mukhyánnah godhúmo’sti. In Saḿskrta godhúma means “wheat”, and asti means “is”. (Asti in Sanskrit, ast in Persian. So you see what a great similarity there is between these two languages).
Again, in the Persian language it is said, Hanoj Dehlii dúr ast (“Delhi is still far from here”). Yá dost nist dushmane dushman ast (“He is not my friend, he is the enemy of my enemy”.) In Saḿskrta násti, in Persian nist – what a close similarity! In the same way, there is another word nest nábud (“no solid ground under one’s feet”). The Hindi rendering of the Saḿskrta sentence Saptanadasya mukhyánnah godhúmo’sti will be Gehun Punjáb kámukha khadya, and in Páhárii it will be Ka naki Punjab naedii pradhána, or Kanaka Punjab nadii khás. “Wheat” in English is godhumá in Sanskrit, gehu in Hindi, and kanaka in Páháŕii. Thus these four languages each have their separate vocabularies. And as Páháŕii has its own vocabulary, it should be recognized as a separate language.
- It must have its own literature, classical or folk.
Now, when the Páháŕii farmers sing songs at the time of harvesting, are these songs composed in pure Urdu of Lucknow city? Certainly not. They are composed in the farmers’ own Páháŕii language. The songs are their folk literature.
These five above-mentioned characteristics are the essential conditions of a separate language. Thus I say that Páháŕii is a full-fledged language. It is not Hindi, it altogether different. Those who cry out “Hindi, Hindi!” in fact want to forcibly impose the Hindi language on the Páháŕii people so that they will become the slaves of the Hindi-speaking people, just as English was imposed on the Indian people to enslave them. This is a type of psycho-economic exploitation. Try to understand well the implication of this.
Let me make the matter of psycho-economic exploitation even more clear. Suppose a certain Hindi chauvinist has come to see you. When you speak to him, you will certainly speak in Hindi, and so will he. But he is speaking his mother tongue, whereas you are not. Perhaps ungrammatical Hindi words will come out of your mouth. But it is obvious that in your expression there may be some fundamental errors, and the use of words will not be precise and to-the-point. This will create a diffidence in your mind, a kind of inferiority complex, whereas the Hindi-knowing people may suffer from superiority complex. They may think of you, “What a fool he is! He cannot speak with grammatical precision!” But instead if you speak in your own mother tongue, your expression will be grammatically correct. So when you speak Hindi you become somewhat inferior to those Hindi-speaking person and, talking advantage of our inferior position, they may exploit you economically.
They should not be given this opportunity of psycho-economic exploitation. If this sort of psycho-economic exploitation is tolerated, if they are given the opportunity to exploit for long, they will become rulers and you will become their subjects. This is how psycho-economic exploitation is perpetrated; in the first stage the exploiters impose inferiority complex in your mind by creating psychic pressure. When your language is suppressed, you will feel mentally inferior and develop some psychic weakness. Taking advantage of this psychic weakness, the exploiters will continue their psycho-economic exploitation. So those who advocate the cause of Hindi thus pave the way for psycho-economic exploitation. Actually they are not your friends.
It is also true that the Hindi language has many dialects; the spoken language varies from district to district. But Páháŕii is not a dialect of Hindi, Páháŕii itself is a language altogether different from Hindi. I hope you have well understood these five characteristics of a language.
So if the Páháŕii-speaking people demand that the Páháŕii language should be used in all spheres of their social life, that will not at all be irrational; in fact, Páháŕii should be used in courts, schools and colleges, in official correspondence, in airports, and in radio stations.
Three scripts can be used writing Páháŕii: the Táḿrii script which is the popular script of this region, Dogrii script which is used in the Dogrii-speaking areas, and Sirmaorii script which is used in the Nahan areas. Devanágrii script is not popular here; it is the script of Gujarat. Hindi is also the script of Gujarat; it has no relation to the script used in this area. The inscriptions on the rocks and stones that can be excavated from this area are not carved in Nágrii script because Nágrii script was never popular in this area. The Táḿrii script is popular in Kinnore area also. This script has some similarly to the Tibetan script. In a mountain cave in Tibet, it is written in Táńrii script, Oṋḿ mane padme hum, oṋḿ mane padme hum.
Thus Táḿrii script should be used in writing the Páháŕii language. As I already told you, when the Dogrii language will be used for local purposes, the Dogrii-speaking people will also feel proud. They will think that they, too, have something of their own, that they are not anyone’s slave. If some one contradicts you in this regard, you should give them a fitting reply. Although no written book is available now, yet three or four-hundred-year old books in Dogrii script will certainly be found right in this area. If there are any Saḿskrtá knowing scholars here, they will tell you all about this. There should be many Saḿskrtá-knowing scholars, because wherever there were kings, there were Saḿskrtá schools and Saḿskrtá scholars. You should search for old manuscripts written on bark or palm leaves. Many manuscripts were written on bark or leaves (bhurjapatra), and I find many bhurja trees all around this area.
As I told you earlier, the old books were not written in Devanágrii script, for this script was imposed from outside. In fact, the Devanágrii script is a script of the Gujarat scholars. As many people are not aware of the exact history, they wrongly think that Devanágrii is the original script for writing Saḿskrtá, but this is not at all the case. Actually Saḿskrtá has no script of its own; so there was a rule that when Saḿskrtá was written, it could be written in any script. Thus Saḿskrtá is always written in the script of the concerning area. It is written in Bengali script in Bengal, and in Tamil script in Madras. It is not written in Devanágárii script in Madras. When the British established universities for higher education, they decided that when Saḿskrtá would be taught in each university, Devanágrii script should be used to write it.
The language of Himachal Pradesh, the local language here, is born out of Paeshácii Prákrta, and Hindi is born of Shoraseni Prákrta. Many people are not aware of this fact. Had they been aware of it, there would not be so much conflict regarding languages and scripts. Even those who are educated and respectable people are also not aware of this fact. Had they known this, they would have certainly conveyed these facts of history to others.