The road to education is broad and unspecified. No short or any step here is at all advisable. This is a solid truth that merit the attention of those educational planners who want to oust English from the educational curriculum in India.
The basic consideration regarding the place of English in the educational system of India, should be practical and even utilitarian. After all, the future of a language cannot be determined without the proper understanding of its role in the material as well as intellectual uplift of a nation.
There is nothing to doubt that English education, in early stage of its introduction, imprinted an alien culture on the social life of the country. But at the same time, it brought about a significant resurgence in national life as well as education.
The renaissance of Indian thoughts and ideas in the 19th century was the direct result of the impact of English education. Different people offer different arguments against the continuance of English education in India. Some of them, no doubt, are well-grounded and merit consideration.
- First, detractors of English say that no self-respecting nation can afford to have a foreign language as its national or official language for Ever.
- Second, as a foreign language, English does not reach the masses of the country. It has also indirectly set up a barrier between the intelligentsia And the masses of the land.
- Third, as pointed out by Mahatma Gandhi, English has stunted the Natural growth of different national languages. It’s popularity and superior- Ity have adversely affected the development of the regional languages of India.
- Fourth, English education generally puts a heavy strain on a large number of an Indian student, especially of the rural belt. They hardly have the power to follow a foreign Rightly and to use it correctly. This naturally leads to an unwanted wastage of National energy.
- Lastly, English, a foreign language, has a very little affinity with the National Culture or tradition of India. It has also an unfortunate effect of Vanity on a section of the educated community by developing an alien Culture or taste. This section of people assumes air and starts considering others as inferiors.
The above-mentioned arguments are forcefully refuted by those who Favour the retention and continuance of English education in India. Their argument
- Firstly, English happens to be an international language and India can ill-afford to remain isolated by discarding English. Hindi
as well as the regional languagesare not fully developed. India cannot have intercourses With the outside world without the aid of English.
- Secondly, in the present age of science and commerce, knowledge in English is essential to the Indians. Both for the promotion of their scientific studies and for commercial enterprises, they are required to be conversant With English. The creative energy of the Indian scientists, which is now universally recognized, can hardly miss the boon of English for further progress in their sophisticated work.
- Third, the rich treasure of English literature must not be ignored. This Was inspiring for Indian literature in the past and will continue to inspire Future Indian literature. Indian culture and intellect will surely grow and expand under the happy influence of English.
- Fourthly, in a multilingual country like India, English is found to Establish communication between different communities. In this respect, it Is useful for fostering national unity and for serving the cause of National Integration.
- Lastly, English has become the mother-tongue and common medium of communication of a large number of Indian people. Those people must have the same right, with their brothers elsewhere. to learn their own language And have education through it.
The arguments offered for or against the continuance of English in India are, no doubt, weighty. But the fact remains that English, if not British rulers, has come to stay in India. It is today part India part of India’s national Languages.
Hindi has been accorded the status of the mother-tongue in the constitution of India. It is not in a position to replace English as yet. Promoting and popularising Hindi is alright.
But the attempt to rid Hindi of All English words just because they remind a few detractors of foreign domination is not only unwise but also impracticable. Words like University. Telephone and Television are understood by all and sundry.
Whereas their pure Hindi counterparts, if used in common language will generate confusion and laughter. Khushwant Singh, a popular writer, of modern India is right when he says, “English is our foreign bride dressed in a Banarsi saree”.