The English

The English

English is not just a book to be read or words to be spoken, it’s the Pandora box of everything a language can withhold in itself. You can feel emotions through a simple adjective, know the severity with an accurate verb and define your past, present and future by tenses. All this and much more, with mere intentional different permutations of a series of 26 letters.

Even though its origin lies within our dark past, English has emerged to be the language of our posterity. English in India has roots in every nook and corner. And just like every major policy or rule or lifestyle, it has a certain amount of impact on our routine life.

It starts with Sociological effect. For many of you who are in darkness about the actual meaning of “sociological”, it means, in simple terms, pertaining to human behaviour and the society as whole. As one may wonder, how can something as insignificant as a language control a rational human being’s nature? Look around yourself and tell me how many of you automatically consider a person with first language as English much smarter than he or she might actually be? English has become the talk of the future, literally (pun intended). If you can talk in English, you’re the leader, the guiding light; it might even get you a few steps ahead of others on the ladder of success.

But is it necessarily a good thing that a few, with better knowledge of a language that’s not even ours, get to have a hold over others who might not have had a chance to learn it? Consider the previous generation, is it fair to demean them because at their time the society held no importance for English? Do we really get to laugh at our seniors or parents who cannot pronounce a word correctly?

Keeping the cultural impact in mind, we have moved on from the hegemony of “Western culture is ruining our country” to a point where we want to read our scriptures (which we could never do because of the lack of working knowledge of absolute Hindi) in English because it’s simply easy and interesting. The paradigm shift when we start reading newspapers, journals, even novels in English is a major turning point in the minds of millions of Indians who suddenly get to face the crass reality of life outside their shells.

On the other hand, killing our traditions because they do not “sound English” or undermining the credibility of Indian writers who still prefer to write in Hindi takes the language downhill.

Eventually it’s not the language that rules your mind, it’s your mind that rules the language. As a rational being, you get to choose what to follow, all you got to do is choose wisely.

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