English came to India with the British rulers. With their prosperity on the Indian soil, their language English also prospered. Since the British left Indian shores, it was hoped that English also would leave this country at no distant date, but English has stayed with us. Some people resent it stay and others welcome it. The continued use of English in post-Independence era, is viewed with hostility. English is a foreign language in India is true, but with a difference.
English is one of the richest languages of the world. It has become the language of science, commerce, trade and international negotiations. It cannot be ignored for higher scientific technological studies. Hence we must benefit ourselves by this language. Almost 60% of the world’s advanced research is done in English and the rest is quickly translated into English. So it becomes necessary for an Indian to know English otherwise he will cut himself off from the world knowledge. The history of English literature and language, shows that English has not become what it is today by a sudden leap, but it has gained in strength and maturity by perseverance of its votaries.
English is an International language. It is understood and spoken by more than half the population of the world. If we want to remain in touch with the outside world, we will have to retain English. Those who wish to go for higher studies, to carry on research work, to be in touch with great scholars of advanced countries, to enter into foreign service and to travel abroad, cannot possibly do without having a good working knowledge of English.
States like Tamil Nadu threatened to break away from India, if Hindi is enforced on them. In Tamil Nadu people feel that English is very important and should be studied by all the students compulsorily. There have been outcries from the champions of Hindi. Nothings and drafting can be done in Hindi in government offices. Any competitive examination including I.P.S. and I.A.S. can be taken in Hindi, also telegrams can be sent in Hindi, but English has continued to enjoy the same position as it did decades ago.
English acts as the link-language, because it is easier to find people in every part of country, who know English. Therefore, a north Indian traveling in the South can communicate with them, if he knows English. The same cannot be done in Hindi. The experience of replacing English with the regional language as the medium of instruction of the university level has proved extremely harmful. The regional languages are not fully developed. Moreover books in different subjects are not available in regional languages. This makes the task of teaching in the regional language very difficult.
With the adoption of English as the official language by Nagaland in 1967, it has acquired the status of a regional language. In spite of all these facts, in India after the achievement of independence, people have a set reaction against it. They want English to be abolished, as it was the language of the British who kept us slaves for a long time. We should always keep in mind the contribution which English had made to India. Learning of English does not mean that we will evolve a slave mentality. Hence English should be encouraged to be learnt.