Is English Language Dividing People in India?

English Language in India is a status quo as it provides a sense of superiority in people over the non-speakers and has also segregated the society into upper and lower class

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Learning English Language. Pixabay
  • English medium schools are preferred over the government schools in India
  • Despite the mother language of India is Hindi, it is looked down upon whereas English spoken in India is deemed as a status quo
  • People who speak the English language in India are assumed to belong to the superior class over the others who don’t

July 5, 2017: Indians have always been class conscious which they feel comes from their language and the credit goes to our past rulers – “The British”. This is where the obsession with the English language comes from. In India, especially Northern India, a person’s smartness and the background is judged not by his skills or behaviour but by his fluency in the English language. This class division on the basis of language is more commonly adopted by females for whom speaking in English provides a superiority complex to their personality.

However, English proficiency helps a person in many ways, for example, getting a job in an MNC is possible only if you are really good with this language, it helps the drivers and shopkeepers to converse with foreigners in English and it helps Indians who travel abroad. For this reason, people prefer to send their children to private English language schools rather than government schools where English is regarded as the students’ first language followed by Hindi, their second language. It is a fact that in most of the private schools, it is compulsory for students to study Hindi language only till 8th grade whereas it is the 12th grade for the English language.

For a child to learn good English, it is essential to send him/her to a good school and getting admission in a good school is no less than a rat race. A very good support of my statement above is the movie “Hindi-Medium” in which the director was successful in showing what the parents go through in getting their child admitted in a good English-medium school. It was shown that the parents are well aware of the fact that their child can find it difficult to adjust to the society if he/she is unable to speak proper English. In another movie called English Vinglish, the characters have displayed that the child gets embarrassed to take her mother for parent teaching meeting as she is unable to converse in English.

Also Read: World’s oldest Languages: 10 spoken in world today 

It is unfortunate that the people who speak their native language get uncomfortable in social gatherings and parties where the majority of the people are communicating in English. We Indians are of the mindset that if someone speaks in English, they must be very well educated and from a decent family background whereas the same opinion does not withstand for someone who converses in the Hindi language. We should not forget that language was created by humans for providing ease at communication and not for the division of the society.

– by Harsimran Kaur of NewsGram. Twitter: @Hkaur1025