The Importance of English

The British had to leave bag and baggage as the long drawn struggle for freedom came to an end. Now, India is a free and sovereign country with Hindi as its national language. And the importance of English as a second official and a link language continues. No doubt the British imposed English on India but now it is not a foreign language. It continues to play an important role within the country and outside in dealings with foreign countries. For more than two centuries English has been in India and many Indian writers and authors have made generous contribution in the development of English language and literature. Among great political leaders Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru etc have been prolific writers in the language.

Though the percentage of English speaking people in India is very low, yet it is most widely used among the educated urban people. It is also the medium of instruction in the institutions of higher learning and education. Hindi in devanagari script is the official language of the union and it was stipulated in the Indian constitution that English shall continue to be used For all official purpose of the union till January 25, 1965 but a complete switchover to Hindi was not found practicable within the stipulated date and English in addition to Hindi continues to be used for all official purposes. However, over 44 crore people speak Hindi and it is their mother tongue followed by Bengali and Tamil. The regional languages are the official languages of the states. There are 22 statutory recognized languages in India. Many people are over enthusiastic about removing English and replacing it completely with Hindi and regional languages. They argue that English is a symbol of slavery and colonialism. But they forget that English is an international language and Hindi or regional languages just provide translated material in higher learning and training. Without English it would not be possible to keep pace with the rapid advancements and researchers in science and technology. The mother tongues are Important and so is Hindi and it is desirable that the students are imparted instructions and education in their mother tongues will stop but it does not mean that English is no more important or can be completely replaced by Hindi or any other Indian languages. Total abolition of English would leave India far behind other countries in the fields of medicine, engineering, communication, business, space technology, agriculture etc. It would be suicidal to remove it completely from the scene. Moreover southern states in particular would never tolerate it and there would be a sort of chaos.

Discretion is the better part of valour and it is advisable that English retains its present position an status for some more time to come. English is a link language and a means of communication between different educated linguistic and regional groups will stop it is a language of learning, higher studies, business, science and technology and opportunities. Even those who advocate Its removal in public send the sons and daughters to English medium schools. English is very rich, powerful, varied and widely used and understood language. It is spoken by the majority of the educated people all over the world. It can be called a window Upon the world of business, science and culture. As such, more and more Indians are learning English and there is a flood of institutions teaching Indians how to speak English will stop English is still an important instrument which provides us access to a wealth of knowledge and information of the world.

It was English which helped Indian renaissance beginning from the time of Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Rabindranath Tagore. English helped leaders and people come together inspired by patriotism and national feelings. It is this vehicle which carried their ideas dreams and cries to the other peoples of the world. Removal of English Would cut off India from other countries and international affairs. If we want to grow and develop, we will have to keep close contacts with the other nations of the world. We cannot lose the expertise, efficiency and advantage of English gained after many decades of efforts an exercise because we have inherited it from the British.

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