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Ajit Tendulkar writes in to inform us that he totally agrees with Mr Jawed Naqvi in the Dawn:
Given the inherent difficulties of dealing with diverse languages, it is baffling that authorities in Pakistan have been asked to decode Hindi and Marathi, the two languages in which India has given them Ajmal Kasab’s confession about his involvement, and that of his other Pakistani accomplices, in the November terror attack on Mumbai.
But what is truly baffling, he says, is that he can't, for the life of him, figure out why this bafflement is prefaced with the following:
MARATHI is a rich language, richer in many ways than Hindi. Pula Deshpande, Vijay Tendulkar, Kusumagraj, Prahlad Keshav Atre, Saney Guruji, Shanta Shelke are some of the towering icons of Marathi literature.
If Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has read any of these writers, it must be in Urdu or English, the two languages we know he knows.
It is highly unlikely that Home Minister P. Chidambaram, whose mother tongue is Tamil, would be able to read the Marathi or even the Hindi version of any of the fabled writers. His English is good though.
Or what, indeed, he goes on to wonder, is one to make of the concluding remarks:
The new foreign minister has raised hopes for a new informed initiative with India’s neighbours. If he is from the Marathi-speaking musically gifted Dharwar region of Karnataka, as I suspect he is, he could begin by helping translate for the Pakistanis the badly needed piece of evidence they need to nail the culprits of Mumbai. There is far more for him to do than to quibble over a brief that his interlocutors can’t read.
Um, what if he were not from the Marathi-speaking musically gifted Dharwar region of Karnataka? The mind boggles.