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Re: Language issue

Please help make the Manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!
As far as I know, the people of India have a choice.  You can go to an
English Medium school and learn all the subjects in English in addition to
learning Hindhi and another language.  They also have a choice to go to a
school where the medium of instruction is their Mother toungue.

It should remain this way.  This gives the choice to people to choose one
over the other based on what is important to them.  It is not right to force
either of these systems on people.  If someone thinks that they can be in
Telugu medium school and still be successful in going across the national
borders let them try it.  Some of them will succeed and some of them won't.
People in general will figure out what is best for thier children.  If they
see lot of their friends write GRE and go to US, and if they think that is
success, they might put their children in an english medium school.  I don't
have a problem with that.  Ofcourse just because you go to an english medium
school, it doesn't mean you will do well in GRE.  But if you are ina  Hindhi
medium school, GRE will definitely be tougher.

Language, in my opinion, has two aspects to it.  1. Medium of communication
2. Art

If you confine your self to a particular state, that states language is
enough.  But if you don't want to, you might want to choose either Hindhi or
English.  The argument that many european countries have thier own language
is not of interest to me.  In fact, I think that is a disadvantage for them.
If you or I want to go to France or Germany we know we won't be able to
communicate efficiently.  If you are in that situation, I am sure you wish
they had English sign boards etc.  Just because someone is doing something,
we can't take that as example.  One of the biggest advantages the Indian IT
force has in the world is that most of these people can communicate very
well.  But if your range of motion is within a particular state in India, it
is perfectly OK to not learn a lot of english.

If you are seriously interested in the "Art" aspect of a language, there are
many programs available for your encouragement.  Just because you are in
English medium it doesn't mean that you know English Poetry well.  You will
have to go beyond high school to learn this and develop that "skill" anyway.


-----Original Message-----
From: Komaragiri, Param (Param)** CTR ** <param@lucent.com>
To: debate@indiapolicy.org <debate@indiapolicy.org>
Date: Friday, December 01, 2000 10:56 AM
Subject: RE: Language issue

>Please help make the Manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!
>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
>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?
> ----------
> From:  MV [SMTP:maxv@vsnl.com]
> Sent:  Thursday, November 30, 2000 3:36 PM
> To:  debate@indiapolicy.org
> Subject:  Re: Language issue
> Please help make the Manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate
> >If I request
> > something from  a clerk across the counter in a government office
> > speak to him in indian language, there is sometimes reluctance to
> > with information. But if I use English, the guys thinks I am great
> > that I could put him to trouble and does the job without much
> 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
> > people and gradually excluding others.  Now, is it possible that
>we can
> > ever have the 'beautiful' day when everybody in this country is
> > educated in english, who can appreciate Shakespeare and who
> > 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
> > Therefore the conclusion is that it is ok, let the masses not have
> 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
> > point of rising incomes of these people, it may be ok, but the
> > inequalities in the society would be  widening, by the gradual
> > of indian languages. I have no case against IT. But, we cannot say
> > 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
> > tick as an indian, if one cannot converse with the masses in their
> > 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
> > consciousness together, had he not communicated in indian
> Can you imagine Gandhiji doing what he did  without his English
> Education? What will be the situation if Gandhiji knew only
> 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
> > as real tools for development, would it ever be conceivable to use
> > without indian languages? Could even Kaun Banega Karorpati become
> > 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
> > the country, apart from sheer beauty of literature and poetry. In
> > Andhra, for example, you have Vemana, Kandukuri Veeresa Lingam,
> > Rama Murthy, Gurajada Appa Rao, Sri Sri and so on. Similarly, you
> > the works of Jyotiba Phule in Maharashtra or Fakir Mohan Senapati
> > Gopinath Patnaik in Orissa.  Decline of usage of indian languages
> > mean that the next generations would be deprived of the valuable
> > 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
> > a quick buck now, but perhaps we as a nation would not be able to
> > farther, as definitely the vast majority of the people are not
> > 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
> > which are  not recognized as languages. There have been
> > anthropologists,even foreigners,  who learnt tribal languages and
> > to understand them, bringing unique insights and valuable
> > of their societies. There is a need to protect and promote such
> > languages too, if we are interested in our collective progress as
> > 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
> > getting unduly burdened, as they are made to study a number of
> > languages. There are studies which have shown that for a small
> > the more opportunities it has for varied communication, it is the
> > 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
> > English, as they have inherent  individual liberty. Of course,
> > 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
> > 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.
> This is the National Debate on System Reform.
> Rules, Procedures, Archives:
>This is the National Debate on System Reform.       debate@indiapolicy.org
>Rules, Procedures, Archives:            http://www.indiapolicy.org/debate/

This is the National Debate on System Reform.       debate@indiapolicy.org
Rules, Procedures, Archives:            http://www.indiapolicy.org/debate/