The War Of Languages

The government of India has two official languages English and Hindi. India DOES NOT have a national language.

India is one of the most diverse nation in the world. A land where culture, ethnicity and language changes every few hundred miles. We cannot expect or force the people to abide by one language.

Statistically speaking only 40% of Indians speak Hindi which doesn’t make India a Hindi speaking nation. Hindi faces stiff opposition from southern and eastern states as they have their regional languages. People prefer English to Hindi there. Thus, English can be used to interact with them. Hindi is usually seen as a third language.

The most spoken languages in India, according to India’s census data, are Hindi (422m), Bengali (83m), Telugu (75m), Marathi (71m), Tamil (60m), Urdu (51m), Gujarati (46m), and Punjabi (29m).

Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going. ~~ Rita Mae Brown

Comparing Hindi with English is like comparing apples and oranges. In this era of globalization we can’t live with an Iron curtain around us. While it is true that English is integral for communication between states, the Central Government and foreign companies, is it really necessary to use it within a state where most people have the same mother tongue? To be perfectly clear, no reasonable person could advocate that English should not be taught. In fact, it would be imprudent to not teach it but there is no reason to believe that people could not be fluent if they learn it from their early years onwards as a second language. That is what is done in so many other nations like Sweden, Germany, Japan, Thailand, Greece, Finland, Italy, Egypt, and so forth.

Knowing english makes you a Global citizen. 

Indian Information Technology got it’s edge over China or European countries mainly because of availability of English speaking people. Although the service outsourcing started with more low-level services such as call centers, the English superiority is now getting us more lucrative ones such as legal, financial and medical services move to India. The $150 bn Indian IT is supported by millions of English speaking Indians with relevant technical skills. Good English helps to you crack GRE, IELTS, TOEFL like exams for higher studies and opportunity to study or work in USA, UK, Canada or Australia.Almost every digital application or web tool is mainly based on English. A few applications now offer other regional languages option to give a personalized experience but only to a limited extent. Most of the information in books, journals, websites is available in English.

One language policy will just not work given the diversity of India. It is evident that multi-languages need to be taught in India. Making regional and English language compulsory.  Our mother tongue makes us feel as ease, it’s the language we think in. We can’t ignore the importance of our own languages. It’s how we preserve our culture. Equal importance should be given to all.

The conquest of learning is achieved through the knowledge of languages. ~~Roger Baco

It would be unfair if I say that discrimination doesn’t exist as the elite prefer English as their mode of communication. But what we need to understand is we can’t judge a person’s intellect by a language they chose to speak. It’s just a medium to communicate their thoughts. It’s the quality of thought that matters not the language its expressed in.

The limits of my language are the limits of my world. ~~ Ludwig Wittgenstein

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