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'We can use India's many languages to fight the battle for civilisation'

January 27, 2014 11:38 IST

'We can use India's many languages to fight the battle for civilisation'

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'But we don’t use our languages for that; we use them to create distances between ourselves.

'Yeh section 377 kiska kanoon hain (whose law is Section 377)? The root of homophobia is not in our legal system, it is inside us, it is inside our hearts,' says writer Jerry Pinto.

Look at your Rs 500 note. It has a dozen scripts.

That is what I love about India. That we have so many living languages and we can use those to fight the battle for civilisation and fight amnesia.

But we don’t use our languages for that; we use them to create distances between ourselves.

I also love our many laws -- the Right to Food, the Right to Information -- and I want action on the basis of these laws. I want the last tribal in the last village near India’s border in Arunachal Pradesh to benefit from these laws.

I dream about a utopia where all of us, the last one of us, can have food, education and information.

I hate it when we dilute laws and when we undermine them.

Yeh section 377 kiska kanoon hain (whose law is Section 377)? It is an imposition by the British!

The root of homophobia is not in our legal system, it is inside us, it is inside our hearts.

Jerry PintoJerry Pinto is a Mumbai-based author whose books include Em and the Big Hoom; Leela: A Portrait, and Helen; The Life and Times of An H-Bomb. He has been awarded the Crossword Book Award, the Hindu Literary Prize and the National Film Award for the Best Book on Cinema for Helen.

He spoke to Sanchari Bhattacharya.

The complete series: Why I love India


Image: Students cheer after performing a cultural programme during the Republic Day celebration in Chandigarh.
Photographs: Ajay Verma/ Reuters