School level essay 1 —English in modern India
School level essay 1…
English in Modern India
Lord Babington Macaulay introduced formal English education in India in 1835. His motive was two-fold. First, the colonial administration needed clerical hands and junior-level officers to man the many administrative positions in government. The second was, of course, to ‘enlighten’ the ‘backward’ natives in the ways of the ‘superior’ British culture. No doubt, he succeeded in his objectives. However, Indians owe him a deep sense of gratitude for the many unintended benefits that accrued to India because of his energetic promotion of English education in colonial India.
If we see a strong, coherent, and united India today, it is because of the early introduction of English. Our judicial system, bureaucracy, universities, robust mainstream media, communication networks, postal system, and armed forces hold our country together against centrifugal forces inherent in a multi-lingual, multi-religious and multi-ethnic country such as ours. Common use of a single language facilitates trade, inter-province migration of workers, and free and frank discussion of regional issues in the national media and in the Parliament. Such exchange of ideas, and discourse reduce tensions, thus, cementing the many fault-lines that crisscross our polity.
Coming back to our very modern times, we see India getting increasingly drawn into the globalized economic framework. Globalization has brought jobs, trade, industries, technology, investment and foreign expertise to India. In the same way, there has been a reverse flow of capital, managerial expertise, skilled manpower and intellectuals to destinations outside the country. All these would not have been possible if our young men and women had been deprived of English language skill. Inside India, proficiency in this international language gives us the passport to upward mobility in our careers. The spectacular increase in IT and ITES sector, the expanding manufacturing base, increased inflow of tourism etc. are the most conspicuous benefits of English learning in India.
Even, regional literature, art and culture have got a boost because of the fact that English is widely read and spoken in this country. Literary works of eminent authors writing in their provincial languages are readily translated to English. As a result, they become accessible to domestic as well as foreign readers. From Tagore to Amitabh Ghose, from Subramanium Bharati to Satyajit Ray, from Mrinal Sen to Adoor Gopalakrishnan, we can cite myriad names of Indian intellectuals who have got global recognition because their works got translated to English.
This is why, we see English medium schools and English speaking training institutes mushrooming all over India today. English, despite the opposition from myopic politicians like Mulaym Singh Yadav, has entered the DNA of India. It will propel India to the top league of the most powerful nations in the world.