Short essay on the Place of English in India

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As the position stands to-day, Hindi must be given the top-most place among all the languages. It should be developed to become the link language. The people in certain parts of the country pressed for the continuation of English language. It is this reason why English was given the status of associate official language of the Union.

English has come to be accepted as a foreign language in India. As such, one might think of bracketing it with other foreign languages such as Russian, German, French, Chinese, and Japanese and so on. But, English deserves to be given a special position. The chief reasons for this are:

(i) It is a world language.

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(ii) Indians have had contacts with this language for more than 150 years. According to Dr. P.D. Shukla, it is “a unique situation” for English and for India both.

There is another observation about the unique status of English language. According to an expert view:

“Whatever the future of English may be in India, one thing is certain. In India, as in other countries, English will maintain-quite probably increase-its immense usefulness as a library language.” The Indian Education Commission also expressed some such view:

“In fact, English as an important ‘library language’ would play a vital role in higher education. No student should be considered as qualified for a degree, in particular, a Master’s degree, unless he has acquired a reasonable proficiency in English.”

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In this capacity, it is to serve a key to the store-house of knowledge not yet available in the Indian languages. The continued use of English language is desirable as it is the only language “through which maximum knowledge can be imparted to students.”

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