Sunday, November 23, 2008

The emerging National Language of India - English!

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The emerging National Language of India - English!

The emerging National Language of India - English!

Written by: Reshmi

"We walk English, we talk English, for English is a very funny language"…this is what Amitabh Bachhan has said in one of his most famous dialogues in the super hit movie of yesteryear, namely "Namak Halal". In the movie, it was said in a jocular mood, but somehow I feel this has become true for the average urban Indian in the recent times. All of us, irrespective of the regions we come from in India, seem to be conversing in English with our friends, colleagues, siblings, parents, family members…phew and that has become the order of the day! This is true especially for those living in metros, or the cities for that matter…but the rural places are also fast catching up.

I have absolutely no prejudices against speaking or expressing our thoughts in English. In fact, it is laudable that we Indians have progressed so remarkably from being a colonial subjugate of the British kingdom to become one of the pioneers of the language. But that should not mean that we forget our own mother tongue and start communicating everything in English. I have seen many parents, responsible and sensible ones too, seem to take pride in the fact that their wards are more comfortable in speaking in English than in their own language. In fact, it is a matter of pride for many moms who openly flaunt their children's grandiose expertise over communicative English. In places like Bangalore, even the roadside vendors speak in English, expecting everybody to comprehend and reply to them in the same language, openly sniggering at people who are not very comfortable in English.

Ironically, all our political leaders, who raise a great hue and cry about the protection of our mother tongue, have all their children studying in prestigious English Medium or International schools. This has increased the hankering for English medium schools and the need for verbal fluency in English language to such unprecedented heights. People nowadays go to any extent to put their children in such schools, and not in the State Board or the Vernacular medium schools.

I feel that English being such an important, easy to understand and master a language, we should definitely inculcate the habit of reading, writing and even communicating in English among friends and peers, where it becomes easier to speak in one particular language that will be comprehensible to everybody. But, at the same time we should see to it that our immediate family members and our kids do not forget their mother tongue. They should at least know how to read their own language, so that they can savor the richness of our cultural heritage and the opulence of our regional Literature, which can never be fully appreciated in a translated or transcription form. What do you feel?

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