I was part of the Privilege class in India, who got the opportunity to study in an ‘Elite’ English-medium school. We, as a society are so much obsessed with English, We look down upon those who could not speak English as well as, or as fluently as the certain others could. Many Indian families have tried to remedy the problem of lack of opportunity by sending their children to English-medium schools.
There are many such schools have mushroomed across India, many of which lack quality, some even lack recognition from the Government. Kerala is one such state which is popular for 100% literacy rate, has abandoned its own native language Malayalam, due to this English obsession. Unfortunately, only children from relatively rich families learn anything at English-medium schools. In fact, those that are those children that belong to the Upper middle-class elite.
Of course, English opened the doors to the outer world. It helped us to connect with people across the country. People everywhere whether its college, school or anywhere for that matter, those speaking English with “Anglo-Indian” accents were treated more respectfully.The necessity of learning English and having English-medium were wrong and came from the something imposed on his due to 200 years of the colonial regime.
Many people in other countries speak English as a foreign language, enough to speak a few phrases to travel. It should be noted that English is spoken by about 150 million Indians, which is about 10 percent of the total population. India’s obsession with English holds us back in many another way.
This obsession of English-medium schools and use of English which was created with Western Christian Education system, supported & funded by the Britain Empire. Indian Government is still continuing the policies made famous in the Macaulay minute favouring English over other languages.
Countries like Japan and South Korea learned science, technology and business in Japanese and Korean without switching to English medium. So is it time that we, as a society give up this English obsession & looking down upon who can’t speak proper English?