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7:00 PM - 8:00 PM (UTC+5.5)
Language: Shaping Identity, Reflecting Consciousness, Instigating Conflict
The INDICA Center for Bharatiya Languages presents a conversation with Dr Ramesh Rao, one of the authors of the book Communicating Across Boundaries – The Indian Way, published by INDICA in 2021. Indian philosophers and sages have dealt with the nature of language for thousands of years, and Indian advances in linguistics have been profound and withstood the test of time. Indians reject the idea that language has a physical foundation, and that instead, language is “Consciousness”. Philosophy of language has always been a part of the general epistemological inquiry in India, and therefore it has led to the search for evidence to verify belief and knowledge. But beyond this inquiry into the depths of our very being, languages, the very many in India, have shaped modern Indian identities. How we speak a language and what language we speak can affect our power and how we are perceived by others. How is it that in some Indian states there is a larger percentage of native language speakers than in other states? What does it say both about the mobility of Indians and the waning of the influence of some languages? What is the reality in India about multilingualism despite the avowed three-language formula? What should we do about the language of instruction? What should be the status of English in India? In this conversation, Ramesh Rao, a Professor of Communication, sketches some of the features of the Indian ‘language-scape,’ and how conflict is generated because of our language identities, choices, and abilities.