The English Language and India
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This paper explains that, beginning in the 18th century, the British missionaries and their establishing institutions of learning, which initiated much of the early education of the Indians, thought that if English was intrinsically healthy, it stood to reason that the Indian languages were the opposite. The author points out that, to find employment in a civil service position, an individual needed to pass an English qualifying exam and receive a "western degree"; therefore, it is no surprise that the educated class, in some cases, became more English than the English. The paper relates that, with the leadership of Gandhi, who was once an avid Anglophile, the many Indian languages came to be favored over English; however, even today, English is used as a kind of national language for affairs of state because India is multi-lingual and having a unifying language is seen as important. Several long quotes.
From the Paper:"The group that benefited possibly the most was the Bengalis.
The Bengalis developed a vigorous Westernized culture quite independent of their British neighbors. Education became a mark of social distinction as well as a means for advancement. Competition in the schools and universities was (and is) fierce by Western standards. The highly educated and literate populace gave rise to a great demand for books. A few blocks south of the Marble Palace is the College Street Market where, adjacent to the dignified buildings of Calcutta University, there exists a prodigious collection of publishers and booksellers. The market is an intellectual phenomenon in itself, probably the largest book market in the world. Books on every conceivable subject are published both in English and Bengali. The Bengali authors have a marvelous facility with the English language and at its best the quality of literature in Calcutta ranks with that of any center in the world."
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The English Language and India (2006, June 10) Retrieved December 02, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/essay/the-english-language-and-india-66391/
"The English Language and India" 10 June 2006. Web. 02 December. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/essay/the-english-language-and-india-66391/>