Tamilians cannot think

Amalendu Upadhyaya
Posted By -

Justice Markandey Katju

Tamilians cannot think

Tamilians love to boast that there is a letter ழ in Tamil which does not exist in any language in the world.

But what of that? There are many letters which are not in Tamil but are in Hindi, Sanskrit and many other languages.

For instance, there are no aspirated consonants in Tamil (an aspirated consonant is a consonant combined with 'ha').

Thus, त+ह=थ. So थ (tha) is an aspirated consonant, because it is formed by combining त with ह.

In the Devanagari script, the consonants are arranged in sequences (vargas) of 5 alphabets each, the second and fourth of which are always aspirated consonants.

Thus, the ka (क) varga is : क,ख, ग,घ,ङ. Here the second ,ख (kha) and the fourth, घ (gha) are aspirated consonants, because they are made by combining a consonant with ह (ha).

Similarly, छ, झ, ध, ठ, ढ,फ,भ are aspirated consonants.

There are no aspirated consonants in Tamil, as there are none in Kashmiri, and only two in English (the two exceptions being 'tha' as in think, and 'sha' as in shot or shallow).

Kashmiris pronounce 'ghar' (house) as 'gar', and 'jhaadu' (broom) as 'jaadu'.

Since there is no letter 'tha' in Tamil, a Tamilian cannot pronounce 'think', but says 'tink' ( just as he cannot say 'Thank you' but says ''Tank you').

That is why a Tamilian cannot think, but only tinks !


(Justice Katju is a retired judge of the Supreme Court of India. These are his personal views.)

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