The place of English in India today is a matter of importance though there are some controversies. Of course, India is now a free country with her distinct culture of different regional languages. Yet it is a bare fact that India was under the British rule for nearly two hundred years. And for that, there is a sentiment against English as a legacy of the colonial hangover.
In the pre-independence days, educated Indians learned English so well that they sometimes made the British dumb. The great leaders of the liberation movement, such as Mahatma Gandhi, Aurobindo Ghosh, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Subhas Chandra Bose, Jawaharlal Nehru, CR Das etc. expressed their demand for freedom in the language of the British rulers. And through English education, educated people of all the provinces of India vibrated into national awareness and won freedom at last. However, more than seventy years have passed after independence, and most official works in India are still carried on in English! Cases in the Supreme Court and the High Courts are still debated in English. Of course, Hindi has been recognized as the national language. But attempts to enforce Hindi have not been very successful in West Bengal, Odisha and Assam, while the whole of South India has totally rejected it. So, for the sake of national unity, English should be continued as an already-established lingua-franca. The use of English will act as a unifying force in a multi-lingual country like India.
Moreover, English provides easy access to the domain of modern science, medicine, technology, computer and others. Not only that, but English is also India’s only window to Europe and the outer world. We must admit that most of the regional languages in India have enriched immensely by coming into contact with English. Yet no Indian language is now capable of expressing all technical things. And so, though it is good to learn the essential things in one’s mother tongue, we cannot neglect our learning English as an international language for trade, commerce and industry too.
Love for one’s own country or language need not create any unnecessary hatred for English. English is going to occupy a special place in India today. The future of English in India is very bright.
to Total abolition of English in primary education for about three decades in West Bengal resulted in extremely poor performance of students of the State. For this, they are not doing well in higher education and in competitive examinations at the all-India level. Ignorance or negligence of English will bring about our isolation from the outer world and hinder our development.
With the increase in the number of English medium schools, one can feel the people’s pulse to get their children acquainted with English at a very early stage. But we must be aware of the mushrooming of low-standard institutions that will lower than upgrade the standard of English at the school stage. A well-thought and well-balanced policy of teaching English at the school and college level is the need of the hour, especially in the age of globalisation.