Debaprasad Bandyopadhyay

দেবপ্রসাদ বন্দ্যোপাধ্যায়

 Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata

March 2, 2000

Indian Journal of Applied Linguistics, Vol. XXVI, No. 2, pp. 117-130, 2000

This paper provides a snapshot of Indian plurilingual milieu in the context of present hyper-real cyber-spatial speed communication. The point is that without understanding the Indian plurality of communication, it is very difficult to execute language-planning policy following the monolingual path under the supervision of derived nation statist imagiNATION. It is a long time since we are told that the diversity of languages is a great insoluble problem for India’s progress until we are ready to adopt monistic solution. One solution is proposed by the technical intelligentsia to solve the possible problem of supposed language barriers. According to them, the complexities of Indian plurilingualism can be solved by the wo/man-speaking machine interface or by creating a cyberspace without considering the large-scale grass root spontaneous linguistic convergence. This new space is a simulated space, a hyper-realty, where wo/man-machine interface is supposed to solve the heterogeneous human communication. For this purpose (of cyber-communication), Linguistics emerges as a post-industrial scientific epistemology by subscribing itself for the cause of cyber-communication, in which the myth of Babel is supposed to be turned over by the omniscient “local “ (or “global”) area network. The meaning of words in computerized lexicon has become algorithmic, fixed, binary, and componential. 

The primitive anthropomorphic role-reversal of subject-object turns us towards a hyper-reality of cyberspace, where one can simulate machine to pretend like a wo\man, and on the other hand, being simulacrum of machine, human beings within the manipulative, behavioral world, have become non-interactive simulated existence or non-being. The very nature of “Turing Test” once proved such metamorphosis of woman and machine. This cyberspace leads us to, what Foucault (1978/88) called as “power over life” via panoptical control over the docile human body by considering it as a machine that gives birth to the anatomo-politics of the body. It is a type of disciplinary technology appropriates the human body by deploying mechanical algorithms in computers. These algorithms are supposed to be explored from the human cognitive (specifically language) domain ignoring the mismatch between human computation and machine computation. Thus, the procedures of power here violently get a chance to know and penetrate the body via computational technology. The procedures of power also penetrate the human species by deploying the universal mechanics (what Foucault called as ‘bio-politics’) and intervene into the species body with regulatory controls. The new language planning enterprise in the cyberspace determines and regulates the linguistic behavior of mass by employing speaking machines. Through this intervention in the inner domain of “natural” plurilingualism, the anatomo-bio-politics of Computational Linguistics, that subscribes the notion of parallel brain, succeeds to enter into the linguistic creativity, a genetic endowment of human body, by imposing the fragmented algocentric principles by the way of internalization. Computational Linguistics, therefore, emerges as a disciplinary technology that encourages the linguistic regulatory practices by implementing one single condensed and telescoped, fixed and appropriated variety. Poster (1904:146-69), following Foucault, showed the triumph of such regulatory practice that deploys panoptical computational control in certain territories.


Number of Pages in PDF File: 16

Keywords: Cyberspace, Pluriligualism, Simulation


About Debaprasad Bandyopadhyay

Debaprasad Bandyopdhyay (b. 1965), through his 25 years journey in the realm of institutionalized academics did 27 different types of works, which are someway different from the earlier paradigms or, one might say that those works are not only mere reproductions of his inherited institutionalized cultural capital or a mimicry of a colonially imposed model that leads to intellectual anorexia or rather a type falsification of earlier paradigms. However, that might be not only a lofty claim but it also hid the fact that all our information and knowledge are socially accumulated knowledge that was, it is matter of regret, posed as private property through the sign © and the wisdom is rarely available. Bandyopadhyay’s works and projects are the products of his social milieu. Bandyopadhyay is a local sub-altern public sphere academician, who avoids the technical intelligentsia (followers of Sahib’s models and they are not committed to the persons who are accommodating surplus work-time to them by performing surplus labour) or inorganic intellectuals and thus fails to be a part of academic tribe and its subsequent socialization process. Of course, that socialization process does not lead to legendary Socratic dialogue. He is also a political activist though he has not affiliated to any political parties as he was always talking about the corporatization of political parties within the money-sign-based democratic system. He is a regular participant in TV and radio talk-shows and documentary films, street-corners’ talks and International seminars on socio-political, psychological, linguistic, environmental and economic issues. He also writes editorial columns in newspapers. He is also a part of parallel academics as it is found in West Bengal’s Little Magazine Movement, though that was not counted as the part his academic pursuit by his parent institute. His parent institute justifiably does not believe in the domain of parallel academics as this unorganized sector does not directly contribute in the transactions of formal/organized print capitalist eco-enemy paper-publication. Though the dissemination of knowledge is also observed in this space of these parallel academics as all these writings in public sphere simultaneously influence the classroom-discourse and some of them are translated into English, French and Italian. Not only that, Bandyopadhyay also sought engagement with the people, who, by supplying their surplus labour, are sustaining his livelihood. Bandyopadhyay, a linguist by training and a Ph.D.-holder (1996), a junior lecturer (1999-2011) in an autonomous central government institute in India, tries his best for those from he has received and is receiving the manifestation of surplus labour by executing some self-funded projects on economic issues in West Bengal, India. Recently he has got a consolation promotion to the post of Assistant Professor. He has done following 27 research works: 1. Crippled Creativity: An inquiry into language, psyche, society: 2. VALENCY OF BANGLA VERB AND PROBLEM OF COMPOUND VERBS: 3. Archaeology of Bangla Grammar : 4. CAN COMPUTER SPEAK? 5. FUZZY LOGICAL EXPRESSION IN BANGLA : 6. FOLKLORE AND FOLK-LANGUAGE: MYTH OR REALITY? 7. HISTORICISM IN THE DISCOURSE OF BANGLA LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE 8. ABHABA, ECP, DELETION AND TRACE 9. SVATVA OR MY-NESS AND ECONOMIC ENTITLEMEMT 10. TRANSLATION STUDIES 11. MASCULINITY STUDIES 12. YAYATI & BABAR COMPLEX 13. SOCIO-ECONOMIC SURVEYS IN AGRICULTURE AND INDUSTRY IN WEST BENGAL 14. CONCEPT OF BODY IN INDIAN PHILOSOPHY AND ARCHITECTURE 15. THE CONCEPT OF ERROR (KHYATI) IN MAD-(WO)MEN’S LANGUAGE 16. THE CONCEPT OF PERCEPTUAL TIME AND GRAMMATICAL TIME IN BANGLA 17. BANGLA CALLIGRAPHY, LANGUAGE ART AND LINGUISTIC PEDAGOGY 18. WO(L)D SPACES: NON-EXISTENCE OF WORDS 19. ANEKANTA METHODS 20. SILENCEME: SILENT OTHER IN LINGUISTICS 21. IMAGINED BOUDARIES AND PRE-COLONIAL INDIAN IMAGI-NATION 22. MAKING OF THE INDIAN PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE 23. SEGMENTING THE SUPRASEGMENTALS : MUSICKING IN SPEAKING 24. INTERPRETING GENETIC STRUCTURE BY DEPLOYING LINGUISTIC STRUCTURE 25. GLOTTOPOLITICS OF LINGUISTIC SUBALTERNITY OR AN AGENDA FOR PLANNING FROM BELOW 26. SEMIOTICS OF PHOTOGRAPHY 27. SOCIOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY ACADEMICS
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