English is one of the most widely spoken languages across the world. In India, it was first introduced by Lord Bentinck. It was supported by many eminent personalities and social reformers. English has made an invaluable contribution towards the unification of the country.
It has become an integral part in every section of society, be it government, media or education. It is taught in public as well as government schools. English is must for the Indians aspiring for higher education or seeking better job opportunities. It is very much a part of communication in urban society. Some people of Hindi speaking areas in India are against the usage of English. English is considered as a passport for a secure future.
English is one of the most widely spoken languages. It is probably the only language which is spoken in all the continents of the world. Most educated Indians are well versed in the language. It is extensively used in Government offices, by Media-both electronic and print, in educational institutions of higher learning and the legal world. It is also used for social interaction and in the business spheres.
In India, English was first introduced by Lord Bentinck in 19th century. It was supported by many eminent personalities and social reformers like Raja Rammohan Roy, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru etc. In pre independence era, Indian leaders used English for spreading the message of national struggle. With the help of English, they could speak about the Indian struggle for freedom to the International audience.
English has made an invaluable contribution towards the unification of the country. Although India is a multi-lingual country having 22 official languages, yet English remains an associate official language. It is widely used in communication. English acts as the link-language in our country. It is easier to find people in every part of the country who know English. Thus a south-Indian can communicate easily with a north-Indian, if both of them are well-versed in English. Today most of the educated Indians are bilingual. People of all religious, races, colors and nationalities speak English. Now it is the poor class in India, who is aspiring English education for their children.
In media also, English has an important place. English newspapers are published and read in almost all Indian states. There are several popular English news channels.
India is the third largest English book producing country after USA and UK. Creative writing in English has been an integral part of the Indian literary tradition for many years. Writers like Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, Raja Rammohan Roy, Taru Dutta, Michel Madhusudan Dutta, Sarojini Naidu wrote in English language. Today also Indian writers have been able to successfully use the language to create rich literature. Indo-English literature is now well developed and internationally recognized. Vikram Seth, Arundhati Roy, Jhumpa Lahiri, Kiran Desai, Anita Desai, Upamanyu Chatterjee, Arvind Adiga etc. are some of the important names in this field.
In education system of India, English is the premier language. Most of the public schools and colleges prefer to have English as their medium of education. It is taught in public as well as government schools.
Enrolment in English medium schools in India has gone up sharphy in just two years fro 4.3 percent to 6.3 percent. The surge in English enrolment propels it to third place after Hindi and Marathi, in terms of total number of Indian children being instructed in that language. Increasing enrolment in English language schools in India is in line with international trends where English is establishing itself as the language of global commerce.
As English is an international language, if we want to remain in touch with the outside world, we will have to retain English. English is must for the Indians aspiring for higher education or seeking better job opportunities abroad. English is an important working language of the United Nations. Many Indians who have excellent communication skills are working in international agencies under the united nations. Indians like Shashi Tharoor are famous for their commendable speeches and debates at international forums.
English is important for every field of knowledge. Careers, in any area of business or commerce, in science and technology, require knowledge of English. Moreover, most of the latest literature in science and technology, space research, nuclear technology, medicine engineering etc. is available in English.
English is used for correspondence between different departments of Union and State Governments between centre and states, between states and states. Most of the business houses in the country use English language. Most public sector enterprises prepare their reports and carry out their day-to-day work in English language. With the increased use of computers in small and large offices, English language has got a further boost. Most young people who have received their education in public schools feel more comfortable while interacting in English language.
After Independence, states of our country were reorganized on the basis of language spoken and Hindi was declared as the national language. But imposition of Hindi as National language was opposed tooth and nail by the southern states of India. These states were assured by Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru that Hindi would not be imposed on them. On the other hand, some people of Hindi speaking area in India are against the usage of English. But we can not ignore the importance of English language and its utility in binding people of different states of India.
The growth of English is more in non-Hindi speaking states, mostly the southern states which account for over 60 percent of the students enrolled in English medium schools. English medium also accounts for well over 90 percent of the enrolment in the north-eastern states.
English language has taken deep roots in the country. It has acquired its own identity and character. English plays an important part in maintaining professional relationship between India and foreign investors, flocking to India. Indians have attained a high degree proficiency in this language. The upsurge of Multinational companies and BPOs in India is due to this proficiency of Indians in English.
India is set to give a boost to education in 11 five year plan. Planning Commission has decided to give 20 percent of plan’s total fund for education. It has also been said that additional money will be used for teaching and promoting English language, which is considered as a passport to a secure future. English has played and will continue to play a key role in different spheres of Indian life.
Rapidly rising enrollment in English-medium schools, despite official discouragement, suggests that more room ought to be made for English in school curricula. Apart from being a link language to the world, English is also an indispensable link language between Indian states. Studies have shown that knowledge of English can break down caste and gender inequalities while allowing the hitherto underprivileged to get the white color professions. English also breaks down barriers between states, and act as an effective antidote.