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RE: Language issue



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I am curious to know how prosperity is linked to Universal English medium
instruction that kills all diversity of Indian languages.
Then what can be attributed to prosperity of European countries who do not
care a bit of english ? The language which is nearly non existant there,
where every sign board, every communication, every computer is there in
their own languages. How Japan has its own software written in Japanese ?

It is still diffcult to comprehend how english education helps resolve caste
disparity. 
There are many IAS , IPS officers who successfully defeated rest of
'english/convent educated candidates', themselves being educated in local
Languages till 12th grade or more. How is it then true that english
education every where helps equal competition ? 

Being able to speak better english depends on learning that subject itself
and reading habbits.
And there are many Convent educated who speak buttler english. How these
things, competitiveness, caste, english proficiency are interrelated?

Parameswar


 
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	From:  MV [SMTP:maxv@vsnl.com]
	Sent:  Thursday, November 30, 2000 3:36 PM
	To:  debate@indiapolicy.org
	Subject:  Re: Language issue

	
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	Please help make the Manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate
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	>If I request
	> something from  a clerk across the counter in a government office
and
	> speak to him in indian language, there is sometimes reluctance to
part
	> with information. But if I use English, the guys thinks I am great
or
	> that I could put him to trouble and does the job without much
hassle.

	This is the primary reason why we should change the language of
	instruction in schools all over India to English. We are already
	using english as the language of instruction in our Universities.

	we need to have the *common language*  as the language of
	instruction in our schools and in our universities, administration,
	business communication... otherwise we are *consciously* continuing
	the evil of *caste* system and have just replaced Sanskrit with
	English.

	A nation cannot prosper if the language of instruction at the
	school level is different from the one at the university level.


	> Thus, growth of English or Hinglish or whatever is making public
	> services more available, of course, very gradually, to english
speaking
	> people and gradually excluding others.  Now, is it possible that
we can
	> ever have the 'beautiful' day when everybody in this country is
'nicely'
	> educated in english, who can appreciate Shakespeare and who
conduct
	> themselves with English manners? For the vast majority of our
people, we
	> are not able to teach their own languages in terms of reading and
	> writing. How can we ever conceive of teaching english to the
masses?
	> Therefore the conclusion is that it is ok, let the masses not have
it,


	This is a common misconception using english as language of
	instruction at school level does not mean people should read
	shakeshpere, or conduct themselves with english manners.
	It will only equip 1000's of brilliant children in our villages to
	communicate and participate effectively in the development of India.
	Has the english education substantially changed the culture or
	customs of our middle and upper class people?

	Are the children in 1000's of village of India, different from
	your and my children?


	> but middle class and upper class people will have English. From
the
	> point of rising incomes of these people, it may be ok, but the
	> inequalities in the society would be  widening, by the gradual
decline
	> of indian languages. I have no case against IT. But, we cannot say
that
	> thousands or a lakh of people getting employment in Information
	> Technology has contributed to development of the masses.

	Prosperity can come only if we increase the productivity of people 
	in our villages and that can be done only with education. Prosperity

	in our villages will substantially increase the prosperity in our
	towns/cities.

	> Thirdly there is something about a nation's honour. What makes
somebody
	> tick as an indian, if one cannot converse with the masses in their
own
	> language? Nowhere else in the world are people so apologetic to be
	> speaking in their own mother tongues, as you find here in India.
Was it
	> possible that Gandhiji would have been able to bring the entire
national
	> consciousness together, had he not communicated in indian
languages?

	Can you imagine Gandhiji doing what he did  without his English 
	Education? What will be the situation if Gandhiji knew only
Gujarathi!
	We need thousands of Gandhijis to bring prosperity to this nation of
	1 billion people. That is exactly why we should use english
	as common language of instruction at our school level.

	> If social mobilization and participation are increasingly
considered
	> as real tools for development, would it ever be conceivable to use
them
	> without indian languages? Could even Kaun Banega Karorpati become
a
	> success without Amitabh Bachchan using Hindi?
	> Fourthly, there is a treasure of ideas and history of
understanding and
	> reforming our society through great works of various people
throughout
	> the country, apart from sheer beauty of literature and poetry. In
	> Andhra, for example, you have Vemana, Kandukuri Veeresa Lingam,
Gidugu
	> Rama Murthy, Gurajada Appa Rao, Sri Sri and so on. Similarly, you
have
	> the works of Jyotiba Phule in Maharashtra or Fakir Mohan Senapati
or
	> Gopinath Patnaik in Orissa.  Decline of usage of indian languages
would
	> mean that the next generations would be deprived of the valuable
lessons
	> of history,  however efforts one might make in terms of
translations to
	> English.  Instead of building upon the social capital  which  such
	> people have contributed over generations, we may be aping the west
for
	> a quick buck now, but perhaps we as a nation would not be able to
reach
	> farther, as definitely the vast majority of the people are not
included
	> in this journey through english language.

	English medium schools in our towns/cities teach local language.
	The language of instruction being english does not in any way
	handicap the children in learning local language or reading the
	local literature. The teachers training programs in India
	use english as the language of instruction so all the teachers
	know english, their pronunciations may not match Queens english
	that is ok, even enlighted members of IPI may not use perfect 
	english pronunciations but still we can communicate effectively.


	> Fifthly, there are many indian languages, especially tribal
dialects,
	> which are  not recognized as languages. There have been
	> anthropologists,even foreigners,  who learnt tribal languages and
tried
	> to understand them, bringing unique insights and valuable
understanding
	> of their societies. There is a need to protect and promote such
	> languages too, if we are interested in our collective progress as
a
	> pluralistic society.

	Using english as language of instruction in schools does not
	mean people should stop using local languages. I know 4 Indian
	languages i will encourage my children to learn as many or
	more.


	> Sixthly, there is no factual basis to think that children in India
are
	> getting unduly burdened, as they are made to study a number of
	> languages. There are studies which have shown that for a small
child,
	> the more opportunities it has for varied communication, it is the
better
	> for its overall mental growth and skill absorption in later life.

	I agree with you absolutely.

	> I conclude by saying that it is ok for some or many people to
learn
	> English, as they have inherent  individual liberty. Of course,
English
	> is a good link language for communicating between people across
	> different States. But,  growth of English should not be at the
cost of
	> decline of indian languages. Vigorous efforts need to be made at
	> Government level and also by the society at large, to protect and
	> nurture indian languages, which are now facing a severe threat of
	> extinction. This is the only way to promote cutural plurality and
	> diversity, which is extremely important for the overall
development of
	> the society.

	We need not worry about decline of Indian languages, english 
	education for the middle and upper class people has not reduced 
	them using vernacular languages, reading local news papers, reading
	books, seeing movies etc.

	> I wish we had the means of sharing this piece  with the IPI
members in
	> any Indian language. The absence of such facilities illustrates
further
	> the point I tried to make here.

	If the Venture Capitalists, Dot com companies, Cell phone wallas
	and umpteen Software companies who are investing millions will
	invest a couple of million each in every village to set up english
	medium schools they will be able to reap rich profits in a few
	years. Think about it....

	MV.









	
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