Home CATEGORIES Sports & Culture Independence Day 2020: India is Independent of English. But What of Anglicisation?

Independence Day 2020: India is Independent of English. But What of Anglicisation?

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India officially got independent from British Rule on August 15th, 1947. The years of struggle of thousands of people and the political leadership of our leaders at the right time finally culminated in the freedom of our beloved nation. On the 15th day of August 1947, the citizens of India gained political and legal freedom. However, years and years of the anglicisation of Indian citizens by the British has stayed back in the psyche of people even after English has long ago left. How long will it take to be Independent of that?

English Language Supremacy

The English language was insisted upon by the Governor Generals during the British rule for the benefit and convenience of them. The language was used as a medium to inculcate English values and beliefs among the young impressionable minds of India which would over time help in consolidation and strengthening of their own rule. The British culture, literature was glorified through education, making Indians believe that British ruling over India is a good thing for Indians and it is a ‘White Man’s Burden’. The Indians at the time failed to realise the drain of wealth caused by the British under the guise of good governance before Indian intelligentsia such as Dadabhai Naoroji raised their voice against it.
The English language supremacy still persists in India, 74 years after India’s Independence. The English language has become the bane for Indian youth who are unable to secure well-paying jobs without it. Premier Indian B-Schools such as IIMs requires English proficiency to even qualify its entrance. This directly puts the students that have studied in vernacular language mediums at a disadvantage.
Knowledge of English is equated with smartness or intelligence of a person in India. A person with insufficient knowledge of English is looked down upon. Despite the realisation of these factors, English supremacy is nowhere close to its end. If anything people have become even more obsessed to enrol their children in English medium schools. Because of this, the current millennials of India have half baked knowledge of every language. Their vocabulary for vernacular language is insufficient and their knowledge of English cannot outrun that of the native English speakers. So they are neither here nor there.
Research has shown that for healthy cognitive development of a child, it is advisable that the child studies in his/her mother tongue for the primary years of education. This helps in strengthening the basic concepts which will further improve their understanding of the universe and application of the said concepts. Draft Education Policy 2020 has incorporated the provision for this. If successfully implemented, it will be a start to ending the English Language supremacy. But more concentrated efforts will be needed by the government to bring about the change. Businesses will play a huge role in this, for they will have to change their ways and provide equal opportunities and pay for vernacular language proficient candidates.

Western Fashion Hegemony

Western Fashion has completely taken over the Indian market. Women relate western fashion to freedom and broadmindedness. Indian outfits are reserved only for festivals or special occasions. It is often said that India is at least 50 years behind in terms of fashion. Pastel colours are viewed as elegant whereas bright colours are viewed as tacky.
Men’s fashion has been totally eliminated of Indian outfits, not preferring them even during certain festivals or events. They are viewed as uncomfortable.
Indian climate and culture call for brighter colours in fashion. While western fashion is suitable for the climate there, Indian fashion has its own personality. It is more suitable for the festivities and culture of India. It is in no manner inferior to western fashion. It is the result of the anglicisation of Indians and is one of the major reasons for the drain of wealth in colonial times as well as in recent times.

Communalism

Indians were never divided from one another on a communal basis even at the peak of Mughal era. In fact, the first-ever revolt experienced by British right after the Battle of Buxar in 1765 was ‘Sanyasi and Fakir Rebellion’ which lasted from 1770 to 1802. In this rebellion, the Hindu Sanyasis and the Muslim Fakirs rebelled together against the extreme plundering activities by the British forces. Unity between Hindus and Muslims was also observed in the 1857 rebellion – popularly known as the first war of Independence. The rebellions brought about a realisation among the Britishers regarding the strength of the people when united. In order to break this unity, the policy of ‘Divide and Rule’ was adopted by them. Under this, Hindus were offered jobs in the government while Muslims were marginalised by the British. After years of marginalization, when the Muslim community was unable to progress as much as the Hindus, the British laid the blame of their stagnation over Hindus to cause a rift between communities.
The rift resulted in a communal divide, which independent India inherited with the partition of India into India and Pakistan. The communal divide is still prevalent among people. The wounds caused to each other now run too deep to resolve them easily. None of the communities is ready to forget and forgive. Independence from this divide is prerogative to India’s progress.
When Mahatma Gandhi demanded Swaraj, he demanded swaraj in a complete sense, including Freedom from the foreign rule as well as Freedom from foreign thought. We managed to gain freedom from foreign rule in 1947. However, freedom from foreign thought is yet to be gained.