The Indian Premier League was a great success and a big money spinner. It did bring out names normally associated with domestic cricket and made them quite popular. We realized that there were other good players than the 11 we see in every International series.
The cheapest team won the IPL purely on team work confirming the fact that Cricket is still a team game rather than individual dependent and still the individuals in Rajasthan Royals shined throughout the tournament. One among them was Yusuf Pathan, lesser known brother of Irfan Pathan. Quite effective in the whole series, he did exceptionally well during the finals
As expected with 54 Runs and 3 wickets, he was the man of the match. At the presentation ceremony he was asked by, if I remember right Ravi Shastri if he had a script in mind in the last match.
The Pathan brothers come from a small town in Gujarat and have probably spent most of their childhood in the streets of Baroda, they could not master that much English. During the presentation ceremony, Ravi Shastri realized this and swiftly turned to Hindi in the next question. Irfan Pathan is more comfortable understanding in English and speaking in Hindi but Yusuf Pathan fumbles. Ravi Shastri was smart enough to understand this.
The next day, the English news channel “Times Now” decided to interview Yusuf Pathan. A pretty young thing took the interview and as expected she bombarded him with questions in rapid fire English. Poor Yusuf Pathan just could not handle that and he started muttering in broken English. By now the reporter should have switched to Hindi but she continued her mission to visible embarrass Yusuf Pathan. She did try a sentence in Hindi before she realized that she did not speak good Hindi.
Ultimately the interview ended with a dejected Yusuf Pathan and an excited TV reporter who claimed to have taken a great interview.
Indians for some reason still have the colonial hangover. Most of the Indians think that speaking English is a sign of prosperity and being influential. Some take pride that they cannot speak the national language or their mother tongue at all. People would feel embarrass when they cannot speak English but feel nothing when they cannot speak their mother tongue.
A few year back, we witnessed a big quarrel in our neighborhood. One man who was a B.Sc graduate started talking in English and speaking ill about his neighbors. I tried to intervene asking him to end the matter peacefully but he just wouldn’t listen. The neighbors were not so good in English and tried to fight in their local language. This was becoming funny as both were having a quarrel in two different languages.
I tried to get the man’s wife to take him home but he just wouldn’t relent and started raising his voice. I finally lost it and started to shout at him in English. This somewhat had a desirable effect. The man retreated and he went back in the house. He was becoming unreasonable and the only language he understood was of shouting. The quarrel ended but it made me realize that people use English language to unknowingly establish supremacy over others.
Imagine a quarrel using desi language and imagine a quarrel where the two sides call each other with the choicest English abuses. I have to agree while the former looks crude, the latter is amusing.
There was a time when English was the in-fashion thing and speaking English was a sign of sophistication. Hopefully this has changed over the years. People speak in their mother tongue and even in their profession, they can speak their own language. I pity people who struggle speaking in Hindi or people changing their accent after staying sometime outside India.
In office, I speak in Marathi when I realize that the opposite person is Marathi. Its not because I am proud of being a Marathi or any such reasons but only because Language is a mean of communication and it has to be used to make the other person understand you.
No language is superior than the other and neither English or French become superior by speaking the language. We have just taken the phrase “the Queen’s English” a bit too seriously.
Unless we understand that, people like Yusuf Pathan might feel embarrass to talk when their action had already spoken for them.