I was glad to read the article “Is there life after Vernacular Journalism” in Mint today. The article clearly shows the depth of knowledge Mrinal Pande has about media + Indian languages. Some excerpts,
Interestingly, the corporate world, having realized the market potential of the vernacular media as a vehicle for reaching the consumers in India’s small towns and rural markets, is now busy putting its money where its mouth has actually always been. This has ensured an era of plenty for Indian languages, particularly for Hindi, whose footprint covers 11 populous northern states. This means that the vernaculars have also (for the first time in our history ) become the language of power discourse within Parliament and the legislative assemblies.Today, when leaders with unshakable vote banks such as Mayawati, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Lalu Prasad, Nitish Kumar or M. Karunanidhi speak, they do so in the vernacular. And no one grimaces or smirks, everyone listens. When Karunanidhi’s daughter speaks in Hindi or Sushma Swaraj tries to speak in Kannada, people again nod appreciatively.They quietly slot them as leaders with a pan-Indian appeal. Even in popular TV shows on English language channels, vernacular audiences frequently speak up in their own tongue now and are applauded for their views. No longer forced to accept that the topics and attitudes of the English media are the only standards of judgement; they are now far less prickly when fielding naïve queries about Urdu papers’ stand on Kashmir or the quality of Hindi journalism or Marathi blogs.
- English – 34%
- Hindi – 25%
- Tamil + Telugu + Kannada + Malayalam – 24%