So why is this news and why this post? Well, it isn't actually. The Hindu has ignored this news item altogether. Most name boards in TN and in Chennai are in two languages, Tamil and English and the labour department is just reiterating a rule that has always existed and has mostly been followed. Even well known American brand outlets like Levi's, Lee, McDonald, KFC take the trouble to transcribe their names in the Tamil script on their boards. It is taken as the natural order of things that signs and name boards should be in the local language, in addition to perhaps another 'link' language. There has been no hand wringing by non Tamilians about chauvinism, no heart wrenching blog posts have appeared about how the culture of the place is being destroyed by local language and culture chauvinism, in other words, it's a non event.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Name Boards in Tamil !
A recent news item in the Times of India reports that "The Labour department will strictly enforce the rule that names of shops and commercial establishments in the state should be displayed predominantly in Tamil, labour minister T M Anbarasan has said. If traders want other languages on display, then it should be Tamil first, followed by English and an optional language."