India Uncut

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Friday, April 22, 2005

The 20 letters in VHP English

The Times of India reports that thousands of schools in Jharkhand, run by the VHP, teach only 20 letters of the alphabet. This is because "there aren't any names of Hindu gods" beginning with the six omitted letters, which are, in case you're setting a quiz or something, E, F, Q, W, X and Z. (From the examples given, I note that not all of the other letters are taught with a reference to gods: while A stands for Arjun and B for Brahma, C stands for Cow. They're messing with me, these guys.)

Now, I can't imagine what's the point of teaching English to these kids if they're not going to teach the entire alphabet. Will they forever be constrained to deal in words that don't feature these letters, and live in a world with four vowels? Imagine if one such girl gets a job in a call centre, and receives this call:

"Hello, my name is Quentin Weezer, I'm calling from Florida, my fridge isn't working."

Now, how does she deal with that? Or if someone goes down on one knee, or even both if he's tired, and proposes? She's never learnt E, so she can't say "yes". Hell, she won't even know what "wife" is, that has three banned letters. And even if she got past all that, what about "sex" (two banned letters)? What a life. What an education. Someone stop these madmen.
amit varma, 11:07 AM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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