language politics

Hindi-speaking ghost terrorises Tamil family. Watch this wicked protest against language imposition

Comedy group Put Chutney’s video mocks the Centre’s decision to force Hindi on southern states.


The moon is ominously full, looking down on a bungalow inhabited by an unassuming, happy family. A poltergeist seems to have entered the house: phone calls are interrupted, the television seems to be possessed, and the power goes off.

Put Chutney’s video does feature a ghost, but a Hindi-speaking one. You could call it a spirited fightback against the Centre’s decision to impose Hindi on everyone everywhere in India.

In March, national highways in Tamil Nadu featured milestones with Hindi signs, triggering state-wide rage. Put Chutney’s spoof, titled Hindi Thinippu Pei (The Ghost who Imposes Hindi) is a priceless protest.

Film references abound. The members of the family featured here have the same names as the characters from Vikram Kumar’s horror film Yaavarum Nalam (2009), and a popular piece of Tamil film dialogue is rendered in Hindi. The five South Indian states are fused into one big “Madrasi” territory – the view from the north.

The video’s wickedest scene is when a priest attempts to summon the spirit by uttering “Parichaya, Prathamic, Madhyama, Praveshika,” which is a clear wink at the Dakshina Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha, which was set up in 1918 to promote Hindi in the southern states.

The eight-minute video vigorously champions the Tamil language. “I have been an Indian only for over 70 years, but I have been a Tamilian for thousands of years,” the protagonist tells the kurta-pyjama clad ghoul.

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