My mother language is Telangana and not, Andhra Telugu!
On the occasion of mother language day, when there are many articles lamenting the ‘corruption of Telugu’ with English words, Vijayshree pays tribute to our own rediscovery of our proper mother language – Telangana.
By: Vijayshree Kurumilla
I have always found my Andhra friends, expressing their surprise at everything, connected with my Telangana identity. I might have belonged to another planet, for all they, know. I do not know whether it is really, because they are ignorant or they are trying to be plain, sarcastic.
Their questions are unending and so are their self perpetuated myths.
The myths will go as follows, that-
1. Telangana people’s language is labour class, and is unmentionable and unpardonable
2. Telangana people are always drunk, and that is why, they ‘stay poor’.
3. Telangana people are not educated, that is why, they are not eligible for jobs.
4. Telangana people are lazy, that is why, they are unemployable.
5. Telangana people will never study, that is why, they do not need educational institutions
6. Telangana do not know how to cultivate crops, that is why, there is no agriculture.
7. Telangana people are naive, so they follow KCR’s words blindly.
8. Telangana people cannot read or write English, so the newspapers can write any nonsense and get away with it.
The list is endless and I have mentioned what I remember, they tell these, directly to our face and also, ask, at times, strange questions like-
1. Do you actually, have a newspaper for Telangana?
2. Do you actually, have a Television channel for Telangana?
3. Are you actually, going to name your state after separation as, Telangana?
And then, there was one of my friends, who had sent at the peak of agitation, a sms joke on Telangana. The joke was, about, replacing the names of popular titles of telugu movies with Telangana names, and that was the first time, my friend, got the taste, of my lashing back, at her.
She is hurt, ‘Vijayshree, I did not know that YOU, had regional feelings?’
And this same friend’s son spoke aloud, his parent’s thoughts, on the eve of KCR’s fast unto death. ‘Good riddance, if he dies.’ That was a seven year old speaking, so I could understand, whose thoughts he was echoing, in his innocence.
This is how children are conditioned, right from the beginning, to look down upon another region’s language or feelings, and besides, filling them with these kinds of lies, by their, so called highly qualified and educated parents.
I would like to salute all our Telangana mothers and fathers, who in their simple ways, did not cloud our minds with this kind of vicious conditioning, of making us, believe in the superiority or inferiority of one, over, the other.
My parents were, hardly educated; they were self taught people, but they had so much of wisdom in bringing up their children and on the contrary, it was me, who as a child, and as, a first generation learner, tried to camouflage my dialect, to please all my Andhra friends and neighbours.
Many of us, city bred Telangana people, might have done the same thing, but in the end our identity came calling on us and we managed to shed, this stifling, artificial cover, with which, we had enveloped ourselves for so long, to come out rejuvenated and with a renewed resolve, to fight, for the preservation of our identity, as Telangana people.
Yes, my mother language is Telangana and not some borrowed, Andhra Telugu. I cannot help it, if our Andhra friends continue to transgress into another world, where these self perpetuated myths, might be of some consolation to them – when they face us.