Importance of local language

Translation has certainly come out of confines of university curriculum and literary activities. Local language has become too vital for communications in all the spheres of life. Let us have a look at one such scenario.

Fishermen across India’s 8,000 km coastline are faced with an unusual problem. The draft notification on the Coastal Management Zone (CMZ) 2008 which has been put on the website of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, invites objections and suggestions from ‘any interested persons’ within 60 days from May 1. But there is a catch here. The draft notification is in English and there are few fishermen who understand the language.

Unhappy that the government had made little attempt to enforce the coastal regulation zone (CRZ) notification of 1991, the fishermen are now demanding that the latest CMZ notification be translated into Hindi, Gujarati, Tamil and other national languages so that the message could be disseminated among all members of their fraternity who neither have access to a computer nor understand English.

P Kandasamy, convenor of the Singaravelar fishermen’s movement for livelihood rights based in Tranquebar in Nagapattinam district in Tamil Nadu, is worried. “We were told that the new draft notification restricts fishing only to the territorial waters (12 nautical miles from the coast). Our village alone has about 4,000 fisherfolk families. The restriction is bound to affect almost the entire community of about 25 lakh fishermen in the state.” Kandasamy claimed to have accessed the details of the CMZ draft notification from the office of the Cuddalore Fishermen’s Association. It was translated to him by an activist.

“We will collect signatures from the fishermen along the state’s coast against the draft and hand them over to the chief minister,” said Kandasamy. Fishermen across the country are staging protests against the government’s attempt “to sell out our coasts to commercial plunderers, condoning all violations that have taken place since 1991.” and demand that the draft notification be translated into local languages so that they would be able to read and understand it.

“This (a draft notification in English inviting objections on the website) is a cruel joke on these fishermen, already facing adversities like declining fish catch and industrial pollution along the coast. The notification makes no attempt to allay their apprehensions about the opening up of the coast to various industrial and tourist constructions,” said Harekrishna Debnath, chairperson of the national fish workers’ forum.

Sudarshan Rodriguez, a researcher with the Bangalore-based NGO ATREE, said the 2008 draft notification ushered in new players on the coast and in light of the newly proposed Resettlement and Rehabilitation Act and the new Land Acquisition Act, this would have disastrous consequences for fishermen, many of whom do not possess any land records.

He said in the preamble to the draft notification that the environment ministry allows greenfield airports and the expansion and modernisation of existing airports in coastal areas.

(Source: The Times of India)

One Response to “Importance of local language”

  1. heather Says:

    I would like you tell you that your site is marvelous. You have done a brilliant work by making it as a free service to the people. I was looking from a long time for some online dictionary for simple translation. Translation has certainly come out of confines of university curriculum and literary activities. Local language has become too vital for communications.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: