Language as an Ethic

Language as an Ethic

Product ID: 12775

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Author: Vijay Nambisan
Publisher: Penguin
Year: 2003
Language: English
Pages: 182
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0143030213


Global communication has created new possibilities as well as dilemmas for language, its meaning and uses. But as battles, riots and rock concerts from far and near come live into our homes, the right use of language and representation becomes even more important. In this essay Nambisan argues that as with power politics, so with language, truth can only be learnt through honest means. Dishonesty I speech and writing is always a pointer to an essential lack of morality.

Since earliest times, language has been magic put in the mouths of humankind. It is the one single tool without which a society cannot evolve. Once the fabric of language loses its integrity, society itself has begun to degenerate. When the World is prostituted, nothing any more is sacred.

Drawing on sources as disparate as the language of Indian cricket journalism, of politics and of Political Correctness, Nambisan defends his opinion that a writer who does not write honestly cannot write well. With the debate on the use of English in India as a case in point, he demonstrates how stances are often assumed for political purposes rather than for artistic reasons.

Nambisan concludes his essay by making both the writer and reader responsible for the right use of language. History, he believes, will uphold his belief in language.

Interrogating India is a new series that looks critically at the common sense prevailing on some of the most pressing issue of our times. Provocative and incisive, it has essays on themes ranging from secularism, political representation and nationalism, to corruption, terrorism and language, which figure prominently in today’s middle-class discourse. Passionate, accessible and opinionated, these reflections form some of India’s best minds should help us make better sense of the public debate on these issues while hopefully provoking us to respond to the challenges they present.