"The English language in all an advanced and flexible one and its teaching should not be discarded altogether. Indian cannot afford to ignore this language". -Dr. Rajendl'a Prasad
India inherited' English' from the British who ruled our country for more than two centuries. After independence, there have been a great deal of argumentation in aspect to the position of English in free India. The Orthodox view advocated the complete stoppage of use of English in any forum. According to experts the English language is an embodiment of western culture and thus the learning or studying English can endanger our own culture and values .
“In my considered opinion English education in the manner it has given to us has emasculated the English educated Indian, constrained our intellect and endured us effeminate" - Mahatma Gandhi
It is a bitter fact, that' English' has created a wide gulf between the few English educated and many uneducated. The English learned scholars of India, contributed a lot to English literature, but these were not given any credit in the history of English Literature. The works of Rabindra Nath Tagore, Jawaharlal Lal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi, Dr Radha Krishnan were beyond doubt a real contributor for the literature of English language, commanded much praise and admiration throughout the world, but not in the history of English literature.
The moderates felt the necessity of making study of English optional during at that time and according to many others, under the existing circumstances a sound knowledge of English is necessary at least for acquiring higher education. They advocate the importance of learning of English for the advancement and growth of technical education in the country. They argued in favor of making the English subject compulsory in school and universities.
The crux of the problem lies between the two theories, one says making English as medium of instruction for all education, another says, making English necessary just for higher education. Undoubtedly learning of English is very important for scientific and technical education, but making English medium of instruction in school education shall not be an appropriate option in Indian perspective. Ours is a rural based society, our mother tongue is Hindi. We are using either Hindi or any other regional language in our daily life, in-house, in market, and for all general communication.
English is an alien language for the general public, under such circumstances,attaining knowledge through a foreign language is so cumbersome, irritating and painful that the average student whether graduate or postgraduate, has degenerated into a mere crammer of the text books, unable to express himself well, all his energy and intelligence is consumed in cramming the text books to secure good marks. Even after 56 years of independence, passing a compulsory paper of English is so painful for an average student that he crams some essays, letters and other grammar rules, to secure just the pass marks.
India does not lack the intelligentsia. Indian students have earned a reputation. a name in higher education, in IT, Space, Science and Technology where medium of study is English.
It is thus undisputed that learning of English as language is very important as it is not only necessary for higher scientific and technical education, but it is a linking language, spoken through out a large part of the world. It is one of the most popular international language for all diplomatic, political conferences, treaties and scientific discourses. One can't imagine to arrange any international conference, scientific discourse, without help of English, as medium for communication among the members.
English had played very important role in making the Indians enlightened about the many revolutionary ideas during the British rule. We can't forget the role played by Indian scholars and educationist in our freedom struggle. Our freedom could have been a dream even as yet if we lack scholars that they have been able to tell us what is freedom. In present condition when India has attained freedom English is playing very crucial role in the progress of the country. The Indian students are the most favored engineers, technical experts in European countries because they could understand and communicate well in English.
The name of Indian students in IT Space, is world wide recognized. They could acquire the knowledge and expertise in the respective fields in English. The study of English language is thus very necessary to introduce us into the fast developing world. If India has to keep pace with the. developed nation in the present scenario of glob3lization and liberalization we must give due importance to the learning of English language. If India has to keep abreast with other fast moving nations of the world, in the field of literature, science,space, computers, economics, we can't ignore the importance of learning English.
Imagine, had Kalpana Chawla, Hargovind Khurana, Dr. Amritya Sen,etc. not acquired the knowledge of English, would they have earned the recognition, they possess today? Shakespeare' once said, "Sometimes out of ills cometh the good". Macaulay introduced English in India to produce clerks but the study of English radiated on Indians an exhorting influence that made them confident of wining the freedom. But all this do not mean that English should be a cause of irritation, frustration among the general mass. English should not be a medium of education compulsorily.
For these reasons, English is no more the only medium for answering the questions in almost all competitive examinations. Even in States and Indian Administrative Services examination one can opt Hindi or other language for written examination. English can be a supplement, but can't be allowed to be supplant of our mother tongue. No doubt learning of English is very important even in Indian perspective to acquire higher qualification to have pace with the fast progressing world economy. to have communication with world's emissaries, leaders. scientists etc. yet English should not be allowed to be used as official language or for medium of imparting education at school or college levels.
"For more than two centuries of intimate Contact has made English an integral part of our educational system mid this can't be changed without endangering our education in India. Moreover, English has today become one of tire internationally spoken language of the world and we Indians can't neglect its study as it will put us in backwardness but the medium of instruction must be from the every nature of the case by the mother tongue", said our late Education Minister Maulana Azad.