SPO­KEN ENGLISH

Alive - - Editoral -

In the ul­tra-na­tion­al­ist cir­cles, there has been a cam­paign against English as it is the lan­guage of the colo­nial pow­ers that sub­ju­gated the na­tion. Much has been done to make Hindi as the only of­fi­cial lan­guage of the coun­try at the Cen­tral gov­ern­ment level. Also the state gov­ern­ments have been pro­mot­ing their re­spec­tive re­gional lan­guages, so much so, ed­u­cated per­sons feel they are al­most il­lit­er­ate when they go out of their state. Even in the cities in their own states, they feel hand­i­capped for lack of pro­fi­ciency in English.

The re­al­i­sa­tion that English knowl­edge is es­sen­tial for op­por­tu­ni­ties to get jobs and pros­per­ing in life has been dawned on com­mon peo­ple. As a re­sult, ‘shops’ teach­ing spo­ken English have come up all over the coun­try.

The Delhi Gov­ern­ment of Aam Admi Party (AAP) has earned ap­pre­ci­a­tion for its fo­cus on ed­u­ca­tion. Re­spond­ing to the de­mands of stu­dents and their fam­i­lies that are fi­nan­cially un­able to send their chil­dren to ex­pen­sive English medium schools, the state gov­ern­ment has of­fered a course in spo­ken English skills in the Cap­i­tal’s gov­ern­ment schools. This will en­hance the self con­fi­dence of stu­dents pass­ing out of gov­ern­ment schools and in­crease their job op­por­tu­ni­ties.

The mis­guided Hindi-pa­tri­o­tism has played havoc es­pe­cially in Tamil Nadu (Madras) where anti-Hindi ag­i­ta­tion be­came vi­o­lent when there was an at­tempt to in­tro­duce Hindi as the of­fi­cial lan­guage. Prime Min­is­ter Jawa­har­lal Nehru re­treated from the step and de­clared English would con­tinue to be the of­fi­cial lan­guage along with Hindi. And the lan­guage ag­i­ta­tion in the South ended.

It is nec­es­sary to pro­mote Hindi, but it need not be at the ex­pense of English that is still the link lan­guage for the var­i­ous re­gions of the coun­try. But why blame Hindi-speak­ing states alone? States like Ben­gal and Ker­ala too, in their ea­ger­ness to give im­por­tance to their re­spec­tive re­gional lan­guages, ne­glected English teach­ing. Af­ter 70 years of free­dom, if English still re­tains its promi­nence, there is some strength in the lan­guage, and con­sid­er­ing it as the mother tongue of aliens is not wise. English has at­tained the sta­tus of the link lan­guage of the world and dom­i­nates in in­ter­na­tional sphere. Even ul­tra-pa­tri­otic Is­lamic coun­tries and na­tions of the East like China and Ja­pan, now have be­gun to re­alise the im­por­tance to English.

Our pa­tri­o­tism and na­tion­al­ism should not be Hindi Vs English. It should be Hindi and English. All states should em­u­late the Delhi gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion to in­tro­duce spo­ken English in school level.

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