The Telegraph - Calcutta (Kolkata) | Opinion | Something to learn and ponder
D.D. Kosambi was a Marxist polymath. From his eyrie in Deccan College, Poona, he used to wander in the hills behind, pick up sharpened pebbles (‘microliths’ in archaeologists’ jargon), and wonder which of them shepherds had used to circumcise their goats as they migrated between their winter pastures down in the hills and monsoon refuge in the Western Ghats. In a 1960 article included here, he asks what should be India’s national language. He rejects both Sanskrit and English because they were imposed by ruling classes, and Hindi because its adoption would scare Madrasis that they would be overrun by Marwari shopkeepers. Having rejected all common languages, he is left with the alternative that everyone should speak his own language — whether they understand one another or not is immaterial.