This English Thing
You know we were sent to school by our parents. They thought the best for us. I wonder why they spent more and did not send us to a government school? People still do so all over India. Shiv Nader in Delhi, St. Columbus, Shri Ram School, St. John’s in Chandigarh, Sacred Heart in Chandigarh. All English medium schools. When the call centre boom came we were ready because of our english speaking skills. Our business was stolen by the Philippines because they had a better American accent. People were taught US accents but I suppose they were not convincing enough.
Some of my friends ask me, “why don’t I write in Punjabi?” Well I can read and write Punjabi. I can read and write Hindi. Alas we fell in love with english literature and its detective novels and Sherlock Holmes and a glut of Hollywood Movies. We were young; in our early teens. It was not a choice we made.
This English shaming has got to stop. We already cannot understand the tough Hindi imposed upon us by television and the papers. Have mercy! We are learning. But don’t destroy a multilingual society just because you have a chip on your shoulder about English!
English has allowed the nation to communicate with each other despite being multilingual. It is true the reigning regime tries to impose its language. Persian was our court language for some time, then Urdu and then English. Ok our lifetime has passed maybe a Hindu Rashtra will impose Hindi on its people! So be it! Luckily our generation will be dead and gone by then. Perhaps Sanskrit would be a better fit for the fanatics?