Hindi Medium Or English Medium, Your Character Or Intelligence Are Not Dependent On Your Language

The Logical Indian Crew

April 24th, 2017 / 6:55 PM

Hindi Medium

Image Credit: suchtv

It cannot be denied that English holds a hallowed place in Indian society. It is the primary means of communication in most educational institutions, it has been recognized as the language of Indian courts, and as the country’s lingua franca, it bridges different states, the centre with the states, the bureaucracy with the polity and the government to the people.

There is no logical reason to eradicate English from India. The arguments made by traditionalists, of it being a foreign language and one introduced by colonizers, are outdated and impractical. India’s English proficiency is enabling Indians to compete in the global market, even having an edge over traditional English-speaking countries in the West. India ranks 22 out of 72 countries in the 2016 EF English Proficiency Index – higher than Spain, France, Japan, and China. This, coupled with the predicted English boom in the country, where the percentage of English proficient populace is slated to exponentially increase, should incontrovertibly indicate that English is here to stay.

However, the significance and potential of English aside, we must never mistake English proficiency for intellectual capability. There is no correlation between knowing English and knowledge, much less between English and character.

We must keep in mind that knowing English in India is still a privilege. Only 4% of Indians are primarily comfortable in English. To most Indian English speakers, the language is a second language. Therefore, most Indians are either not proficient in English or not very comfortable in English. That by no means makes them less intellectual or less erudite than their English-fluent counterparts.

English can open many doors of opportunity; it does not, however, in any way guarantee you a better personality or character. An English-speaking Indian is not better than a non-English-speaking Indian. That is prejudice.

More often than not, we, who are proficient in English, tend to admonish or overlook those without knowledge of the language.

There is an assumption that English is readily available in India – this is untrue. Studies show that its usage is actually restricted to the elite because of inadequate education in large parts of the country. The use of outdated teaching methods and the poor grasp of English exhibited by the authors of many guidebooks has disadvantaged students who rely on these books. If there is an individual with a decent education who is mediocre in English, it reflects more on the failings of our education system rather than that individual.

Parents and the elderly are particular targets of this language bias. Because they grew up in a different time, before the Digital Revolution, before India’s economy was liberalised, they grew up during a time when not much importance was placed in English education. They are more comfortable in Indian languages – as most Indians remain. This should not be a handicap for them to live their lives smoothly.

Sadly, however, it is proving to be a handicap, especially for the urban populace. The mainstream media is predominantly English, social media is chiefly English, their children’s schools’ administrations are chiefly English – in the midst of this vortex of English, our parents and grandparents are suffering the brunt.

To highlight the problems faced by Indians not adept in English, Irrfan Khan is coming up with a movie called Hindi Medium.  The trailer can be watched below.




 


Contributors

Written by :

Edited by :

Related Stories

Multilingual Groups India

90% Hindi & 80% Bengali Speakers Know Just One Language; Urdu Speakers Most Multilingual: Report

Hindi Fastest Growing Language

Hindi The Fastest Growing Indian Language While Number Of Dravidian Language Speakers Come Down: Census Report

Govt Ready To Pay Even Rs 400 Crore To Make Hindi An Official Language At UN, Says Sushma Swaraj

This Tribal Village Is On A Mission To Become The First English Literate Village Of India With The Help Of Their Local Language

Official Language

“I Don’t Understand Hindi; Kindly Write To Me In Odiya Or English”: BJD MP Objects To Union Minister’s Hindi Letter To Him

Chandigarh Stalking Incident: A Clear Example Of Victim Shaming And Character Assassination

Latest on The Logical Indian

News

In A Peculiar Bid To Combat Water Crisis, UP Assembly Adopts Half Glass Water Policy

Exclusive

Bihar Flood: This Group Of Student Volunteers Are Extending Help Flood Victims

Exclusive

Bihar Flood: This Group Of Student Volunteers Are Extending Help Flood Victims

Fact Check

Fact Check: No, The Child In The Viral Picture Did Not Die In Bihar Floods

News

Another Starvation Death In Jharkhand, 40-Yr-Old Man Dies After Starving For Over 10 Days

News

Detailing Pro-Khalistan Activities, India Submits 23-Page Dossier To Pakistan

x

Stories that deserve attention, delivered to your inbox!

Handpicked, newsworthy stories which deserve the attention of a rational generation.