It has been many months since I changed the language in which my name was written on Facebook. More specifically, in the primary name field, I wrote in Devnaagari script and in nickname field I wrote in English script so that people don’t have inconvenience in mentioning or finding me on facebook.
After I changed the language, most of the reactions I received were of surprise; some to the extent of genuinely questioning me the reason behind this. Some were also of ridicule hidden behind exaggerated exclamation(consciously or unconsciously, doesn’t matter), and others I may never know of. People who have sent me requests after the name change automatically picture me as some kind of a Hindu hardliner, probably of “RSS background”(normal words for an ultra conservative Hindu nowadays).
While I had expected this, that doesn’t change the unfortunate state the current social media scenario is in.
Our name probably is the most important identity for most of us today. Probably all of you who will be reading this, you had your name defined in a language other than English, and most of them had a script associated with them which was not Latin. Most of us started our journey into social media when all the network around us was totally in our mothertongue, and yet we have the whole network language as English. Ideally, I should have a friend list and a news feed with a fascinating array of scripts and languages owing to the people I am connected with, but what I have is Latin and English encroaching and dominating everywhere, except a few days when I get to see a post written in Telugu, or some comments in Hindi(those too are filled with a disgusting ridicule most of the time). And if you believe you are above this, just remember the language in which you write notes or a diary or the language in which you do your signature.
So taking inspiration from V for Vendetta, let me ask you…
How did this happen? Who is to blame?
Well certainly there are those who are more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable(I surely hope so). But again truth be told..
If you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror.
I know why you did it; you were afraid.
Who wouldn’t be? Every nice job in English; Inferiority in your own mothertongue; that nice feeling of being elite after speaking in English..
There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you and in your fear you turned to the language which is the saviour of us all, English. It promised you jobs, it promised you respect and all it demanded in return was you silently handing over the respect of your own language and hence the culture associated with it.
Hence I chose to break this silence. I chose to change the language of my name to remind my fellow readers of what they have forgotten. I hope to remind you of your real identities, and how this language will destroy us until we break our silence, for if our identities are destroyed, we have nothing to protect.
So if you’ve seen nothing, if the crimes of this language remain unknown to you then I would suggest that you allow this post to be ineffective.
But if you see what I see, If you feel as I feel, and if you would seek as I seek..
then I ask you to stand beside your identities; your languages and atleast change the language of your names on social media.
This may not save our languages alone, but this will let your fellow readers know that there is an option, an option to live differently, an option to live as you are, you should be, and proudly.