This leads to the question - do Indians appreciate their own English? Ultimately, I think they do. It has been said that Indians have made English into a native language with its own linguistic and cultural ecologies and sociocultural contexts. My informants indicated that in many ways, Indian English is very much their own. Its special functions have engraved English into the cultural life of India, and it is very much a part of the experience of being Indian -- even if one does not speak it. Many Indians feel that the use of English should be actively encouraged because of the many advantages it confers - the greatest of which is its universal character.
The Indian writer and philosopher Raja Rao wrote,
"Truth, said a great Indian sage, is not the monopoly of the Sanskrit language. Truth can use any language, and the more universal, the better it is. If metaphysics is India's primary contribution to world civilization, as we believe it is, then must she use the most universal language for her to be universal.... And as long as the English language is universal, it will always remain Indian.... It would then be correct to say as long as we are Indian -- that is, not nationalists, but truly Indians of the Indian psyche -- we shall have the English language with us and amongst us, and not as a guest or friend, but as one of our own, of our caste, our creed , our sect and our tradition" (quoted in Kachru 1986, p. 12).
LINGUISTIC AND SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS OF INDIAN ENGLISH
Clouds is out now!
4 weeks ago