English Language in India
Background of English Language in India
Education in English Language was introduced by the British in India. English education was imparted in schools, colleges or universities. Thus English became the medium of instruction in all stages.
Education was thus limited to a small circle of upper and middle-class people who rose to power and position by reaping the benefits of the English education. This promoted the growth of an alien culture which was vastly different from the traditional culture of the country. The anglicized Indian was a hybrid product of this new system. In this outlook, moral, and spiritual and even in the common matters of life like eating, clothing, etc. he aped European customs and manners and everything national became an object of scorn to him. Knowledge of English Language thus regarded as badge of superiority. It was a sure passport to power and affluence and prestige.
The introduction of English Language in India proved as blessing in disguise. It ultimately led to the stirring of national spirit in the educated people. That is why a new movement arose in the various sections in national life – political, religious and social. Consequently the country made a stride in the path of progress, quite in keeping with things that were going on in the other civilized and free countries of the world.
Today in the context of independence the validity of English language in India has been subjected to a good deal of rethinking. A popular sentiment against English has already gained a good deal of strength. Some people now think that the English have quitted the country; English should also be packed off without further loss of time. But in this context, Gandhiji was too clear-sighted to ignore the other side of this picture. He said, “I do not want my house to be walled in all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the culture of all the lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible”.
Presently English is an international language and is not only the language of the Britain. It has been said that more people outside the island speak English than within it. Thus English is the gateway of the knowledge in all spheres of thought.
International relations have assumed a large importance in the modern world. Exchange of thought, ideas, and materials things of life is necessary if India is to develop as a great country and take its place in the comity of nations. We cannot be separated from the outside world if we are to exist at all as a civilized free country. English is the one and only medium of this international communication. It has rooted too deep into our national life to be displaced from it all at once. It is only a parochial patriotism that leads the crusade against English saying that love of English is a sign of slave mentality.
Medium of Education:
It is a fact that our national languages are not so much developed as to become a suitable substitute for English in our higher education, especially science education. Standard books on various branches of knowledge are mostly written in English. Even all the works of great non-English authors found through translations into English. Hence the case for retaining English Language in different academic sections is a must.
Medium of Communication:
The importance of English Language as a medium of communication cannot be denied. Because our administrators, scientist, doctors, lawyers and engineers cannot even utter a single sentence without using an English word. That’s why; English will remain at least for a few decades in this country.
However, English Language should not be forced upon all students in all stages of education. It has been wisely given up as the medium of teaching at the secondary stage. But at the higher levels i.e. in the university level, English cannot be replaced by any Indian language.
Anyway there is no reason why English Language should be completely abolished from the study. English is now not the monopoly of English people and it can be studied for our own advantage. So it is wise to keep it as a second important language for the students of India and regional languages should be developed. But English ought to be taught from the primary level so that the pupils may be equipped with the power of communication at the international level.
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Importance of English Language in India
Introduction: English is one of the most important Global language. Most of the international transactions of recent times were concluded in English. The language has contributed significantly in narrowing the gap between the geographical boundaries.
The benefits of learning English can be seen in the economic, social and political life of the people of the country.
India has undertaken the gigantic task of rapidly developing it’s economy, and becoming a powerful country. To fulfill this, people must have up-to-date knowledge of the different branches of science. Without expert technicians, mechanics and engineers much progress is not possible. We need them in increasing numbers.
Besides this, a growing nation has also to guard her against various internal dangers. Under such conditions, the selection of language to be studied by the youth of the country becomes very significant. English is the store-house of scientific knowledge. Hence, its study is of great importance for a developing country like India.
Importance of English Language in India’s international affairs: India’s foreign policy is the focus of attention of all the countries of the world. The whole of the world expects to quench its thirst for peace with this policy. India wants to be friendly with all countries. She has to explain and convince others that her point of views is correct. This cannot be done without an effective medium for the exchange of ideas. English provides us with such a medium. This is the language which enjoys the status of an International language. In the U.N.O., the discussions are carried on in this language. In fact, the majority of the countries of the world conduct their business in this tongue. If India wants to play her role in international matters effectively, her people must study English.
Importance of English in internal matter: India is a country in which people living in different parts have their own languages. The regional languages are quite different from one another. The leaders and the administrators of the country cannot remain in contact with all these regions without a common language. It is not possible for everyone to know ten or fourteen languages. We do not have any common language at present, except English.
During the English rule, all tried to learn this language. We can feel at home in any corner of the country, if we know this language. English is the language best suited for maintaining internal unity. If we want to crush the provincial, communal and separatist tendencies of our people, we must continue to study it. English is the most important means of national integration with terrorism raising its, ugly head in different parts of the country. We must study English or perish.
Importance of English in Technological and Scientific advancement: Major technological and scientific advancements have been written in English language. This is the age of science. The world is changing at a terrific speed. This is all due to the scientific and technological progress which the other countries have made. If we want to keep pace with these fast moving countries, scientific and technological research must be made in our own land. We can advance only through knowledge of these subjects. Ultimately, we have to depend upon English. To produce first rate scientists and technicians, English must be taught to our people as good and useful books on these subjects are available in this language only.
Importance of English for higher studies: For proper mental development it is essential that we study the best literature. If we want to shed the feeling of false superiority and to broaden our minds, we must be ever-ready to take the best from others. Now, the literatures of other counties and of our own different languages can be easily obtained in English. In our own languages, modern up-to-date literature is not available. This makes it essential that our young men continue to learn English. Moreover, many a young men go to foreign countries for advanced studies. They need good knowledge of English. Its importance for such scholars is indeed very great.
Conclusion: English must be studied as an important foreign language. It must also continue to be the medium of instruction, at least in science and technology, and in other subjects also in higher classes. At the same time, our regional languages should not be ignored.
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