Wednesday December 12, 2018

English as Trojan Horse in India


Since time immemorial, languages like English have been used as a tool of cultural and linguistic imperialism. The plight of indigenous languages throughout the world is more or less the same. The imperialists use similar modus operandi everywhere i.e. of subjugating native populations by attacking their culture, language, self-esteem and replacing them with their own.

In India, for instance, English distinguishes those in executive authority from others and prevents the effective participation of the masses in the government process while working as a gatekeeper to better jobs.

Author David Cooke describes English as a ‘Trojan Horse’ – or a virus – and argues that it is a language of imperialism and of particular class interests. This analogy is of particular interest.

Legend has it that Greeks constructed a huge wooden horse, and hid a select force of men inside so as to enter the city of Troy and win the war. The Trojans, after noticing that the Greeks had conceded defeat by sailing away, carted off the horse into their city as a victory trophy. That night the Greek force crept out of the horse and opened the gates for the rest of the Greek army. The Greeks entered and destroyed the city of Troy, decisively ending the war.

Likewise, English, as Trojan Horse, creeps into a society and then gradually destroys and replaces its indigenous languages.

Professor Richard R Day calls this process ‘linguistic genocide’. In the book ‘Language of Inequality’, he writes about his study of gradual replacement of Chamorro in Guam and the North Marianas and pessimistically concludes, “… as long as Marianas remain under the control of the United States, the English language will continue to replace Chamorro until there are no native speakers left. This has been American policy and practice elsewhere and there is no reason to believe that Guam and the North Marianas will be an exception.”

Professor Alastair Pennycook in his book ‘The Cultural Politics of English as an International Language’ warns that English poses a direct threat to the very existence of other languages.

‘More generally, however, if not actually threatening linguistic genocide, it poses the less dramatic but far more widespread danger of what we might call linguistic curtailment. When English becomes the first choice as a second language, when it is a language in which so much is written and in which so much of the visual media occur, it is constantly pushing other languages out of the way, curtailing their usage in both qualitative and quantitative terms.’

How language shift affects native people

The shift from native language to foreign one may take a long time but the end result, usually as can be seen around the world, is the death of the former. As the example of Marianas shows, the language shift there from Chamarrow to English was completed in but a few generations. When the native language is no longer the first language learned by children, it dies a painful death.

For instance, when the Native Americans i.e. Indians made a switch from their language to English, their language died because there was nobody left to speak it. The death of Native Americans’ language was not voluntary. In India, the spread of English and its wide-spread usage in educational institutes and bureaucracy has ensured that the country’s slavery was kept intact even after our independence.

Today, those who know English rule the roost and this ensures that masses are kept away from the corridors of power and decision making. English is literally a passport to good jobs; the speakers of native languages are seen as inferior beings.

Sankrant Sanu – an entrepreneur, writer, and researcher based in Seattle and Gurgaon shared an anecdote with NewsGram related to his recent visit to IIT Kanpur.

Sanu has been hopping from one place to another, delivering lectures in schools and universities, educating the youth about the pressing need to create equal opportunities for those who wish to study in their mother tongue.

“A friend of mine who had gone with me to IIT Kanpur for my lecture was initially dismissive about the damage caused by English to our society, especially the youth. However, during my speech when the students themselves began sharing their plight, how they suffered because of their lack of proficiency in English, light finally dawned upon him… So much so that he at once handed over a cheque of Rs five lakh for my work that is aimed at securing justice for Indian languages.”

Like those IIT students, there are millions of Indians whose stories need to be heard and shared to ascertain the reason behind their lack of self-confidence and self-esteem. English – or Trojan Horse – that is read and spoken by only a fraction of total Indian population should not be allowed to sabotage the lives and careers of so many bright Indians who can, if given a chance, do pretty well by studying in their own languages.

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List of UPA Schemes Renamed by Modi Government

The above comparison shows that BJP is not only trying to steal the credit of previously launched schemes by Congress party by just repackaging them as new schemes

India, elections, vietnam, BJP
Modi's LPG scheme reduced household air pollution: Study, VOA

A lot of BJP supporters claim that government led by Narendra Modi has launched several schemes for the development of nation in the last four years. What they failed to acknowledge that Narendra Modi has done nothing else than repackaging and renaming the previous schemes started by Congress and took their credit to his name. Shocked, aren’t you? In the last four years, Modi government has failed to develop any original ideas. So in order to appear like the government is working, they have renamed various successfully running schemes started by Congress party to fool people of the nation into believing that BJP has launched numerous schemes in the country. If you find this fact hard to believe, here is the list of s Modi government schemes that are nothing but altered name previously running schemes in the nation:

Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana

Originally Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account (BSDBA)

The (BSBDA) scheme was launched in August 2012 according to RBI which provided facility of no minimum balance required to maintain the bank account and avail all the banking services. The number of withdrawals were however limited to 4 per month. The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) is nothing else than a wrap up on BSDAB scheme adding Rs 1 lakh of accident insurance, overdraft facility up to Rs 5,000 and a life insurance of Rs 30,000 to previous BSDAB accounts.

Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Yojana (BBBPY)

Originally National Girl Child Day programmes

The government has initiated a lot of programmes to bring about a change in the attitude of people and stop these kinds of social evils. Wikimedia Commons

According to a report of Centre for Development and Human Rights presented in 2016, the girl child education programme listed under the BBBPY scheme is nothing but the repackaging of older Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan started by Congress.

The act of similar repackaging of scheme can be found in BBBPY’s programme to improve child sex ratio and reduce the dropout rates of school girls. These programmes were already available under Congress party’s Dhanalakshmi and Sabla schemes.

Swachh Bharat Abhiyan

Originally Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan

One of the major Modi government schemes, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched in September 2014 is nothing but restructured result of Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan scheme which was started by Congress in April 2012.

Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan was also a renamed scheme by Congress party which was originally introduced as Central Rural Sanitation Programme by Congress in 1986.

Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana

Originally Indira Awaas Yojana

Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana, BJP
‘Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana ‘ is an initiative by Government of India in which affordable housing will be provided to the urban poor.

According to a parliamentary standing committee report, it is found that the most anticipated Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojna by Narendra Modi nothing by rechristened format of Indira Awaas Yojana. The funny fact about the renaming of this scheme is that several web pages of Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana still open as Indira Awaas Yojana documents.

Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana

Originally Rajiv Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana

According to an information release by government on 23rd July 2015, the Rajiv Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana stated by Congress is merged under the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana launched by BJP with no significant changes.

Soil Health Card scheme

Originally National Project on Management of Soil Health and Fertility

According to the Outcome Budget 2015-16 of the agriculture and cooperation department, a soil health card was included in the scheme of National Project on Management of Soil Health and Fertility. The similar soil cards were also issued by Congress under the National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture.


Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana, BJP
The aim of this scheme is to form 10,000 clusters over the next three years and bring about five lakh acres of agricultural area under organic farming to develop agricultural activity in the country


Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana

Originally Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana and other programmes

The lack of creativity and insight in Modi government schemes can be seen in its Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana which is nothing but the fusion of some existing components which are amalgamated together as a cluster based programme. This fact was reported in the Outcome Budget 2015-16 of the agriculture and cooperation department.

Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Yojana

Originally Jan Aushadhi scheme

The Jan Aushadhi scheme was developed by Congress to supply unbranded medicines at reduced prices. This scheme was executed on 23 April 2008 and the first store under this scheme was established on 25 November 2008. According to an statement issued by Loksabh on 144th March 2017, the Jan Aushadhi Scheme is renamed as Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana.

Make in iIndia, BJP
Make in India, a type of Swadeshi movement covering 25 sectors of the economy,

Make In India

Originally National Manufacturing Policy

The funny part about BJP copying this scheme from Congress National Manufacturing policy is that they forget the remove the information of previous policy in the new website of Make In India scheme. The broken download link redirects to the 2011 older policy document of year 2011.

Also Read: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Appeals MPs To Utilize Their Winter Season Well

The above comparison shows that BJP is not only trying to steal the credit of previously launched schemes by Congress party by just repackaging them as new schemes, but the BJP lacks credibility and insight required to develop new schemes necessary for the development of the nations. Some other Modi government schemes that were actually the brain child of Narendra Modi and BJP part resulted in drastic disaster in nation. GST and demonetisation are two biggest examples of such failed Modi government policies.