Name: Sana BaigCourse: English Grammar and CompositionDate: Tuesday, October 31, 2017Response to MacaulayMacaulay’s ‘Minute to Education’ was not just an endorsement for English in the subcontinent, it was a signpost for uprooting and vastly annihilating Indian culture and heritage through orphaning their native languages or ‘vernacular dialects’ as referred to by Macaulay. In his dogmatic piece of work, he paints a utopian picture of what English will do for the ‘poor and rude’ Indians, completely disregarding their opine and what the repercussions will be.
The British Empire did pass the legacy of English to the Indians, but also passed down forced linguistic chauvinism ,resulting in the Orissa Language movement and a further decaying of Indian hierarchy still prevalent in today’s world.Language is a skeleton when forming one’s body of identity as it gives shape to one’s perception of life, as a whole. It carries culture, through orature and literature, exactly what British preyed upon, with much more vigor after Bentinck’s endorsement of Macaulay’s Minute.
It is a fundamental aspect of identity which they cultivated, only to convey their thought, beliefs and customs onto the Indians, colonizing them psychologically and geographically.Macaulay argued that none argued against English, which proved false, as people in Orissa were extremely outraged after this bill and the Orientalists in Orissa fought for struggle over the language of their textbooks. There were competing views of British colonial language policy, competition for control of the educational system and eventually the Oriya language movement was successful eradicating the hold of Bengali or English in Orissa.
Furthermore, the English Language has ever since created a stark divide in India, which is evident from their elite to their working classes. Various kinds of Indian English is spoken throughout this country, there is no homogeneity in the use of English in India, not in terms of proficiency nor in understanding of the language. Contrary to Macaulay’s utopian English speaking India, one finds users of English with minimal competence e.g. waiters, salesmen or tourist guides who speak English in their personal spheres of activity but their overall competence in the language is practically negligible. Such “Englishes” in India are labeled as Babu English, Butler English, Bearer English, and Kitchen English.
The Elite capitalize over this difference and there is a formidable barrier amongst the two classes which hampers the democracy, where the elite cannot rule as they don’t understand the problems of the common man, and the common man is stuck grappling in substandard use of English.Conclusively, the British left the remnants of English in the subcontinent, which the Indians are imitating, and imitation is pretense ; a definition of the original, it is similar to it, but not the same. The colonialist forced them to imitate, and this imitation still lives, in daily usual matters and personal connections as well as using language and identity form. But, some have fought against it and succeeded, much like the people of Orissa who are still taught in their native language while the rest pendulate between English, Hindi or other local languagesBibliographyKachru, Braj.B. “”Indian English: A Sociolinguistic Transplanted Language.
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2 (July 2011): 177-123.Tully, Mark. “English: an advantage to India?” ELT Journal, Volume 51, Issue 2 (April 1,1997): 157-164 https://doi.org/10.1093/elt/51.2.157