Breaking colonial midcuffs
Has self and identity become subjected to a second, more pervasive form of colonisation: language?
Colonisation did not end when the British flag came down and the Indian flag was raised. Its debilitating effects linger in the psyche, where self and identity become subjected to a second, more pervasive form of colonisation: language. Language is about transmitting knowledge and ideas across minds. The utterances that people make can create bizarre ideas that formulate feelings, thoughts, emotions and shape narrative. A chain of words, written or spoken, remains simply that - a chain - until they are understood. Just as Mandarin to a person with no knowledge of that language is just a string of sounds without meaning, in the same fashion, written or spoken utterances only become relevant and useful as a communication tool when understood by the reader or listener. Language is powerful. The language and words one uses go to shape thoughts, feelings and actions, which in turn form stories; and from stories, narratives and ideas that directly implant from one mind into another. This essay explores how narratives formed through language continue to have a long-lasting, detrimental effect of colonisation on the Hindu psyche.