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Essay on “English in India” Complete Essay for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

English in India

English is a foreign language in India, but not in the same sense as French, German, Russian and Chinese are. English became official language of India in 1837. Indian Constitution has made Hindi the official language of India, but there is also a provision for the simultaneous use of English initially for a period of 15 years from the year 1950. But this provision for the simultaneous use of English has been extended several times because English still occupies an important position in India. English is a language of great literary heritage and higher technical and scientific learning. The scientific and technical importance of English can hardly be over-emphasized. English is spoken and understood all over the world. English is essential for us for higher education, learning, scientific and technological development. English can be called link language of the world. The U.N.O. has recognised six languages, but most of its work is done in English only. English has played ‘a great role in unifying India and in fostering the spirit of nationalism in pre-independence era.

We have also produced much of our literature in English. Mulkraj Anand, R.K.Narain, Raja Rao, Bhabhani Bhat-tacharya, Nayantara Sehgal, Toru Dutt, Khushwant Singh, etc., have written in English and won fame. Pt. Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi and many other national leaders of India had a good command over English. They used it as a vehicle of expression of their ideas, thoughts and national fervour. English still occupies a privileged position in India. In public schools, universities and higher institutions of learning English is still a medium of instruction, but it cannot go like this indefinitely. With the passage of time English will have to quit like the Britishers. It cannot occupy the dominant position for a longer period.

In post-independence era, English has lost much of its utility specially at lower levels of education and instruction. Many people use English only because they still regard it as a status symbol. First, they think in their respective mother tongues and then speak in English as a fashion. It is not natural with them and so it is a sheer waste of energy and efforts. Only a small percentage of Indian population uses it. It is not the language of the masses. More than eighty percent of our population lives in villages. They do not understand English. Therefore, English cannot be our link language or a medium of mass communication.

English should no more be taught as a compulsory subject in schools. It should be an optional subject. Study of English besides Hindi and or regional language is an unnecessary burden on the students. Much of our talent is being wasted because of instruction in English. Many students feel handicapped and develop complexes because they have no aptitude for studying English. ‘They should be taught and instructed in their mother tongues. English should go sooner than later and be replaced with the mother tongue as a medium of instruction. Gandhiji once very correctly observed, “English education has emasculated us, constrained our intellect and the manner of imparting this education has rendered us effeminate”.

Teaching of English as a compulsory subject is a kind of imposition and an insult to national pride. There is hardly any need now to hang on English slavishly. It should not be totally abolished, but it can no more occupy the preeminent position. When the Russians, the Germans, the French and the Japanese can make their technological and scientific advancements through their own languages why cannot we Indian do the same. It is a very lame argument that only English can be chief vehicle of scientific and technological advancement in India.

It is imperative that we develop our own national language and regional languages to the extent that they become fit vehicles of science, technology and higher education and research. We have to make a beginning some time, but why not now. How long can we depend on a language which was imposed upon us by the foreign rulers? The Britishers have gone, so should English. We are a free nation and so its place should be taken by our own languages. No doubt English is a very rich language and spoken and understood as an international language, but its study as a subject should not be forced upon the common people who have nothing to do with international politics, business or relations. Let it remain the language of the elite few.

English may continue as a link language for some more time, but it will have to quit ultimately. The sooner it does the better. Continuation of English as a medium of instruction and as a link language is against national pride and interest. It puts the masses at a great disadvantage. Moreover, English is not easy to learn because it is not a phonetic language. What is written in English is not pronounced exactly the same way. There are many silent and mute letters. It is an unnecessary burden on the students. Hindi is easier to learn because it is phonetic and more scientific. Hindi is rich and flexible which can be further developed to suit our scientific, techno-logical and research needs. Our regional languages like Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Telugu, Kannada, etc., are also very rich in literature, culture and national heritage. They can very well replace English. Our students in colleges, schools, and universities feel greatly handicapped because of English as a compulsory subject and medium of instruction. It is a great injustice with the nation. In the all public examinations, the candidates should be allowed to answer questions either in Hindi or in their regional languages. Continuation of English is certainly discriminatory. It puts the students of public schools, wards of rich people living in cities and towns at a great advantage which goes against the interests of the majority of students of rural areas who cannot afford public schooling in the cities.

One may learn English, or for that matter, any other foreign language, if he or she so likes. The more languages you know, the better. But English should not be forced upon the people Better if besides Hindi, other regional languages are taught in schools and colleges. It would go a long way in strengthening national integration, unity and understanding. The continuation of English as a prominent language of India is irrational.


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