OPINION
DYAL SINGH / VANDE MATARAM
The danger of renaming a college
- Amandeep Sandhu
The danger of renaming a college



I guess we all know by now the real issue with the renaming of the Dyal Singh Majithia college in Delhi is not the name per se. It is the fact that the institution is now so low on resources, with such high number of students, that to distract attention, the right wing administration has pulled the renaming rabbit out of its hat.

Frankly, living the last 3.5 years under a right wing rule one knows not to expect anything better. All they do is rename policies, programs, institutions and fill them up with zombies who have no clue of what to do. When in difficulty - distract. Or they make stupid grand programs that fail miserably and then keep tweaking them causing more misery. They know no better.
 
Let us come back to the renaming of this college. One of the ways right wing succeeds is through revisionist histories. It seeks to undo the greatness of past heroes and configure new ones who had a lowly or even contrary role to play in their times. For a moment, forget the fact that Dyal Singh Majithia was a Sikh, from a minority community, did great service to education by donating all his personal wealth, and is respected even in Pakistan. We know these aspects have lost value in these times under the new dispensation.

Look at the modus operandi of the move: the very act of renaming, presupposes a name. A name is a factor of language. Language is arbitrary. To understand, I would like to draw your focus to a game most of us played when we were kids: Name, Place, Animal, Thing.
 

For instance, there is no clue in the word 'chair' that it is a small platform raised on legs with a backrest. Same with 'apple'. There is no clue in the name that it is a spherical fruit, red, green or yellow, crunchy to munch, almost wholly edible. We name Things because we all agree to call it by that name in that language. That is why in language lies a linguistic community's sense and intelligence. Same for Animals. A 'lion' gives no clue that it is a four legged, ferocious mammal that likes to hunt its prey. However, Names are a little different. They are personal pronouns. But for some exceptions, they retain their structure and pronunciation across languages. That is because they belong to a particular Person or Place.
----------
A name is a factor of language. Language is arbitrary. To understand, I would like to draw your focus to a game most of us played when we were kids: Name, Place, Animal, Thing.
----------
What is Vande Matram? It is a phrase. It means: I praise thee, Mother. A phrase is neither a Name, nor an Place, nor an Animal, nor a Thing. When playing the game try scoring points by using a phrase. The other players will not allow it. Of course, given the uber nationalistic times forced upon us by the right wing, the phrase Vande Matram is now an important one but those are feelings. Feelings, however hyper, do not add or reduce anything to the fact that it is a phrase which became a name in a limited context of being the title of a poem. It is like 'good morning' or 'sleep well'. Just because a poem is written around a phrase does not make it a personal pronoun except for referring to the poem.
 
Also Read:  DESH CHORR DO – VANDE MATARAM MAN TELLS SIKH LEADER TO LEAVE COUNTRY
 
Apart from their deviousness, as explained in second paragraph above in their renaming moves, the folly of the right wing is that they are so bereft of reasoning, in this case understanding even the logic of language, that they consider a phrase to be a person, after whom they want to name a place. Or are they? Had the right wing proposed a name, instead of a phrase, it would have defeated their purpose simply because no name really compares in this context.
----------
The danger of such a move is, if it succeeds, there will be no language left for each of us to raise our voice against the right wing or even any other danger.
----------
By bringing a phrase to replace a name, the right wing is turning language banal, meaningless. Now consider the fact that if language turns meaningless, how are we going to communicate with each other? Beyond regard for history, beyond regard for a genuine philanthropist and visionary, beyond regard for a dynamic community that led the freedom struggle, the real agenda of the right wing is to rob people of the tool of communication, to divide and splinter people into minuscule broken entities, and then control us. The danger of such a move is, if it succeeds, there will be no language left for each of us to raise our voice against the right wing or even any other danger.

That danger is our's, our whole society's, not of Sikhs alone.

 
Amandeep Sandhu is working on a book on Panjab.
 
 
 
 
 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________
Most shared Punjab Today articles:

 

ARNAB GOSWAMI WATCHES PADMAWATI, KARNI SENA IS HAPPIEST


DESH CHORR DO – VANDE MATARAM MAN TELLS SIKH LEADER TO LEAVE COUNTRY

 

DYAL SINGH COLLEGE TO VANDE MATARAM MAHAVIDYALAYA - A DESIGN NEFARIOUS?

 

HONESTY CERTIFICATE TO MAJITHIA TRIGGERS CRISIS IN TRIBUNE 


THE FINAL HONESTY CERTIFICATE: ISSUED BY THE TRIBUNE

 

WAS IT MEANT FOR TRUMP? OR US?  – Bush, Obama said this on Diwali

CHALO, PATAAKE CHALAYEN – CM Amarinder Singh & Parkash Singh Badal Jee

NO TIME TO READ THIS STORY? – That’s OK - Please do not feel guilty 

ELECTION COMMISSION - YOU FAILED TO CONVINCE. TRY AGAIN.

THIS IS WHY ELECTION COMMISSION DID NOT ANNOUNCE GUJARAT POLL DATES – Decoding the mystery 

BJP TO EDUCATE FARMERS ABOUT AGRI & RELIGION LINK – Will tell them Modi did so much 

AYE BHAI, BINA DEKHE CHALO –  Walking with the blind in Chandigarh

BAD, BAD WOMAN! – Punjab’s top playwright slams woman complainant against Langah

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL – On Amod Kanth’s badge of shame

OPEN SALE AT GNDU – Have Rs 25,000? Get your compartment cleared. Rs 50,000 for two subjects

SUCHA SINGH LANGAH : KAMAAL JAARI HAI... Sucha Singh Langah wins, even in his darkest moments

ABEY TU BAHAR NIKAL, CHOWK MEIN AA   The 10-yard-radius protest

PATIALA, VIA PANCHKULA. SOON REACHING YOUR CITY. HAIL DEMOCRACY! Halaat kharaab nahi hone chahiye!

PEHLU KHAN CASE   Will Govt Now Compensate The Magnificent Six? The Nation Needs to Know

MR HOME MINISTER, WILL YOU BE VISITING FAROOQ AHMAD DAR'S HOUSE? Deconstructing Modi's narrative

THE RYAN DEBATE: HOW INDIA MISSED THE GREAT CCTV ANGLE?  Not covered by cctv, so not covered by tv either

POLITICAL ECONOMY OF EXTENSION IN AGE OF RETIREMENT  What’s wrong with retirement age policy?

THE GORAKHPUR DEAD SPEAK TO PUNJAB  From Patiala to Gorakhpur, the tale of the dead

WE WILL KILL 40-50  Haryana BJP, Govt calculated death toll before firing first bullet

RELAX! ALL 30 WERE DERA PREMIS  Panchkula says something stinking about its conscience

LET'S KILL PAASH  Dr Sumail Singh Sidhu on the importance of Paash

A DOKLAM IN EVERY FIELD: Farmers not only produce food. They produce peace.

TO SUKHBIR SINGH BADAL: Speaking truth to power, and asking some tough questions

DECONSTRUCTING NAVJOT SINGH SIDHUThis is a duel -- pistols drawn, hands on hip, 20 steps across, aim taken

SURGICAL STRIKE YOU DID NOT KNOW ABOUT: Indian jawans killed everyone at this forward post of Pakistan

PUNJAB: AN IDEA IN SEARCH OF WORDS: Punjab, more than a poster boy of progress or a renegade from modernity

 _______________________________________________________________


Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT

 






Comment

your name*

email address*

comments*
You may use these HTML tags:<p> <u> <i> <b> <strong> <del> <code> <hr> <em> <ul> <li> <ol> <span> <div>

verification code*
 







MOST VISITED
YOU MAY LIKE

TOPIC CLOUD

TAGS CLOUD

ARCHIVE



Copyright © 2016-2017







NEWS LETTER