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LEARN ENGLISH

        The Language of global economic and technological super power  is the  lingua franca of the World. The United States of America is the sole super power and till the ascendancy of China, the world would have to learn English as the predominant global language. The world learned Pali during Mauryan period. Language of the country where future happens first would be the most preferred language. Even if the language of the United States is Swahili or Bhili the world would has to learn it. However the use of English in Native language countries and India differ.

The greatest mistake of India in using English is that it is not used because English is a global language,but because it was the colonial language.If the French or Portugese had succeeded in India,French or Portuguse would have been the official language. The use of English in native language countries does not lead to inequality of opportunities and state does not sponsor linguistic discrimination. It is freedom of choice of the people in selecting the domain of use.

  • The UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) evaluates a candidate for competency in English to recruit top civil servants who invariably have to work in states where the official language is Indian languages.  
  • One can become a doctor, engineer or banker without knowing English in even very small native language countries, but one cannot become even a clerk in India.
  • English is learned as a foreign language and not the language of instruction in schools. But in India English is the sole language of instruction at all premier institutes.
  • The press is dominated by native languages, but in India English newspapers corner maximum revenue in terms of advertisement despite low readership. Less than a fraction of people read English newspapers in any of the cities of native language countries such as Seoul, Beijing, Mexico city or Jakarta.
  • The entire cyber world is dominated by local languages in native language countries. But none of the Indian languages have any internet presence. They are made unfit for Information and Communication Technologies.
  • The language of administration and judiciary is the language in which politicians seek vote. But in India English is the official language and state languages are marginalised.
  • It is ironic that India that has only a microscopic English speaking population insists in speaking in English within the country and not in communicating, especially through writing and speaking, in Indian languages for effective dissemination of knowledge. It is a well known National Inferiority Complex of India that speaking in English is important than Indian languages.
  • The language of communication in any country needs to be the language of workface and language of customers that are Indian languages, but premier management institutes like IIMs seek competency in English.

The fallacy at the top level gets dissipated down the lower level to establish put a class dividing line between work force and management, and between government and people. The primary employment generating sectors are Health and Hospitality industry; the Pharmaceutical companies recruit medical representatives in Kerala screening for competency in English to market their products to doctors virtually all are Malayalis. The Hotel receptionist, waiters and managers in the hospitality industry require competency in English to serve the customers most of those are Malayalis.

Use English and Don’t lose English:-

         The colonial legacy that insist on imitating the native language English speaking population of the Unites States of America and the United Kingdom has done immense damage to the social psyche and economic development of the country. The best option is reading English with understanding and encouraging the academics, business leaders and administrators to write and speak in Indian languages so as to effectively reach more people and disseminate knowledge better.

Value of the language is decided by the worth of its people:

          The preference for a language in trade, culture and education depends on the influence of the country that dominates world economy, entertainment and technology. After the disintegration of the Soviet Union it is the United States of America that dominates world economy because of its huge market size, trade exposure, and state of the art technological developments. Hollywood has ensured that except south Asia every country in the world is glued to American culture and entertainment. Moreover second to none research institutes and incredible quality of higher education makes it imperative to learn from United States. More than half of the Nobel prizes in sciences in recent years are given to American scholars or scholars based there. So there is no doubt that one has to know the language of America to update with latest developments in science and technology. English happens to be the language of the United States and the countries that have English as native language get peripheral benefits of recognition to its language at the cost of Americanisation of culture.

           American dominance in technology in general is not doubtful to anyone. But at the same time language preference in certain domains and industrial sectors are determined by dominance of the countries/Multi National Companies (MNCs) in those economic activities.

Russian: When Yuri Gagarin became the first human being to go into space, the whole world was trying to learn Russian. Though the glory of soviet era marked by the dominance of Russia in space research, AK 47, and nuclear weapons had elapsed, still Russian is an important language.

French: If you want to know the latest developments in nuclear fuel, perfumes, wrist watches, diamond cutting and aesthetics, French is important. Discussions regarding solving the problems of Africa and nuclear disarmament are better in French.

Japanese: The world has to borrow technology from Japan in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence. Japanese is needed to get spiritual by grasping the latest understanding on Zen meditation and Buddhism.

German: Know German to read about recent research on world class car engines, communication equipments, sport items because it is the language of engineers at Mercedes Benz, Volkswagen, Siemens, and Adidas.

Italian: Best dressed people are Italians because designing is an Italian dominated activity. Want to know the most recent interpretation of religious philosophy and catholic theology, and then Italian is a must because Vatican is seated at Rome.

Arabic: Language of Equality and of Quran with glorious past and efficient writing system.

Spanish: One has to learn Spanish to enjoy the latest interpretation of Karl Marx, understand race relations, romance, and the beautiful game. It is the language of Maradona, Fidel Castro, Shakira, and Garcia Marquez.

Bantu Languages: Learn African languages like Swahili, Zulu, Hausa and others to understand African pride, ethos, innocence and cheerfulness. The beauty of Africa and its women is best expressed in their music, songs and language.

Chinese: Secrets of team leadership is best learned in Chinese and those who master it become the next super power. China is getting close to it.

Scandinavian: No region has better sense of gender equality and environmental awareness than Scandinavian countries. Learn Danish, Swedish and Norwegian to keep up with latest debate on environment and human rights.

Hebrew: Want to know the secret of turning deserts into fertile lands, and then know Hebrew because Israelis have done it. Israel pioneer not only water management techniques but also Intelligence Collection and sophisticated small weapons.

          Anglo-centric approach of Indian academia and ruling elite is self-defeating and disempowers India. While lakhs of Americans and British study foreign languages hardly any language other than English is learned in India. Each language carries particular ideas and ethos that need to be learned and unlearned to accept the best of progressive elements. Unfortunately Indians are missing the joy of not only speaking established native languages like Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, but also languages of Africa.

       Dominance of one language means dominance of a way of thinking that is more marked in shaping attitude and approach to societal problems. The reliance of American management techniques in the Indian context will not lead to better running of an organisation. There is more to learn from every part of the world.

           Open societies that provide equality and freedom of opportunities for all citizens to excel in the area of study and entrepreneurship have contributed to the development of science and technology. The language of invention and innovation is determined not only by the developmental stage of the country but also its educational system especially higher education. Germany was an open society before Hitler. So it is not surprising that the best of modern science in twentieth century happened in German language. Albert Einstein wrote his theory of relativity in German. So were the research findings of Max Plank. The greatest works of Max Weber, Karl Marx, and Sigmund Freud in sociology, politics and psychology were all in German.

          United States is now the leader of science and technology because it is an open society and economy provides best of incentives for development and dissemination of knowledge. It is not that other countries like India have to be a borrower of technology and not creator forever, provided equal opportunities to excel in particular field are extended to every citizen. But unfortunately a myth has been well established that English is sine quo non for higher education and Indian languages are worthless for creativity 


Read Malayalathinde Bhaavi-Bhasha Asoothranavum, Maanava Vikasanavum” (The Future of malayalam - Language Planning and Human Devolopment) in Malayalam written by K. Sethu Raman published by Maathrubhoomi Books for further details and analysis.