Should English be the national language of India?

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English is one of the strong Colonial influences that had crept in to the lives of Indians after a slavery of 250 years. India got independence in 1947, but is still following the law formulated by the then English government and the language of the office. English people believed that Indians can very well become mediators with the non-native English populace. They aimed at creating a breed of such individuals who are Indian by blood and colour but English by taste and opinion. This gave rise to the modern Indian society.

According to statistics, India is the third country in the world in terms of number of individuals speaking the English language after USA and UK. However, only 4% of the total population speaks English. But even this small portion becomes considerable since India is the second largest populated country in the world. This small portion comprises of the most influential strata of the society who runs and governs the economy. When constitution was implemented in the country, it was decided that gradual transfer of English to Hindi will be made in the coming 15 years. But that status is still pending and the transformation has yet to be made.

There is no denial from the fact that English has become a global language. Whenever trading or travelling internationally, people prefer English as the first language. Even at home front, English is more acceptable in the southern part of the country than the national language Hindi. The South Indian states have always opposed the national language status of Hindi. This reluctance has also fired the controversy and supported English as the proposed national language of India.

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Well, it is good to have a knowledge and competency in an alien language which is so widely accepted in various countries of the world. But sacrificing own language and traditions on its behest seems nothing more than irrationality. Making English the national language would discourage the Indian literature which is mostly composed and created in Hindi or other local languages. Already the younger and upcoming generation is unaware of the historical epics and heritage of India. Officially promoting a foreign language will only deteriorate the situation.

The huge 96% of the Indian population who is unable to speak the language would feel betrayed if such decision is executed. Learning a language and effectively mastering it is a commendable step but not the enough reason to make it a national language. International trading and dialogues are better done in a commonly comprehensive language. But then again there are democracies like Japan, Russia etc. who are far better at trading and business than us and still follow their local language as the primary language.

English should be taught at basic levels and promoted for matching the standards of the modern world. But this should not be done at the cost of Hindi. Both the languages are historical in origin and should be continued in the same pattern. Making English the national language will not only widen the existing societal gap of urban and rural class and the rich and the poor. But it will also cut off the coming generations from the history and traditions of our rich heritage. A country that is ignorant about its history cannot prosper in future times.

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