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Progress Of Indic Languages Vs English
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->With respect, may I point out that this is exactly what I said in an earlier post in a sentence that was judged as "ad hominem".<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Did I judge it as "ad hominem", so why are you showing it to me.

Also I never said that we should only introduce them because I can learn them in an hour, in fact in my original post I never even demanded their reintroduction until you brought up the point to which I replied that having the roman script along will make it more easier for the transition "if" it is to be reinrtoduced.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->However - some of these things are a gain in some ways and a loss in other ways. I have never seen a school maths textbook that uses Kannada (or Hindi) alphabet/numerals to say
(a+b)^2=a^2+2ab =b^2.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->In a system where people are unable to even recognise numerals, changing the education system to perform algebra in a local language will be an uphill task because even the teachers will require retraining and the textbooks will require changing.

Dear sir,

With due respect, What you have said is a speculation, and only a speculation, based upon some innocent, but I dare say, wrong assumptions.

If you have not come across, does not mean Mathematics or other sciences are not being taught in Hindi or other Indic languages today. Reality is just to the opposite, ALL the Hindi medium schools in North India, certainly those run by the Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal and Uttar Pradesh secondary boards teach the mathematics and other subjects in Hindi medium. I know this, since I am a product of that education board, not very long back.

Above equation (samIkaraNa to us) that you mentioned was taught to us and being taught to millions (yes, conciousely writing, millions) of students every year, even today by thousands of school teachers, like this: (क+ख)^2 = कं^2 + 2कख + ख^2. Do these students learn any less of bIjagaNita than those who learnt the "algebra"? Of course instead of learning Pythagoras theorem, we were taught SridharAcharya Prameya. Did we learn any less of jyAmiti, than the 'Geometry' that our "English-only-please" brothers/sisters of english-medium schools learnt?

(And yes, till class eighth, I had used Devanagari numerals, and all of my family, friends and a vast population I know of are very very very comfortable without arabic numerals)

Please allow me to assure you that there are AMPLE books available, and VERY good quality books, in all the Indic languages, at least upto the secondary education.

Also please allow me to state the fact that, a vast majority of science students that come out of the secondary education are from vernacular medium and NOT from English. I just hope that you are not saying that all of that vernacular educated science student output is a low quality waste.

Again, let me inform you there are several universities, including Allahabad University and Banaras Hindu University, which teach sciences in Hindi even today. Just to mention a side fact here, Dr. Murali Manohar Joshi, who retired as the Professor and Head of the Physics Department of Allahabad University, had proudly submitted his PhD thesis in Hindi+Sanskrit as a student.

About Technical education (engineering and medicine) - yes in this area, books in Indic languages are lacking in comparision to English, and anyways all the top universities offer only English-medium education. Therefore the students from vernacular medium secondary education, do encounter a bit of challenge when they enter it. However, they do come out just fine, except that their English would not be so well, and they do have natural competitive disadvantage because of suddenly being thrown in a foreign-medium of education. (even more, Vernacular students have a disadvantage in the entrance exams - which for so many reasons are much less fair to them)

Now finally, based upon the first hand experience, I can assure you that as a product of Hindi-medium secondary schooling, while I do still have difficulties in the language of English, I never have had any difficulty in the Mathematics or sciences, and am doing satisfactorily well in my engineering profession. Therefore when I say that English-medium education is NOT the ONLY SINGLE path to economic success to masses, it is not just a theory but from the first hand experience.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->I suspect that an attempt to change from this would require a complete retraining of teachers and students.

besides - the dilemma is always "Should one attempt to change the system to use regional languages and change the 30% who are currently getting an education, or should one attempt to include the remaining 70% into the existing system?"

Your speculation was primarily based upon the wrong assumption, as I pointed earlier, that presently the majority education system for secondary IS already English medium. This is not right. Present majority secondary education system, thakfully, still is in vernacular. Change that is taking place due to variousreasons is, that the present vernacular-majority education is being transformed into English-only education, and NOT the other way round. Please check your facts before drawing conclusions.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->the biggest absolute number of English speakers outside the US which would probably make Macaulay squirm because the anglophone media could (if nurtured appropriately by Indian English speakers) be relatively dominated by India. I see great potential in this - because Indian ideas (and yes, Indian narratives too) can be rammed down throats of Western anglophone unbelievers...

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->...English skills can be an opportunity if we are ready to recognize those opportunities.

How about an onslaught of indefatigable and undefeatable anglophone India? That will come anyway as a side effect of what is going on over here. Might as well put it to good use.

What you are proposing is, that, 'If rape is inevitable, at least lie down and enjoy it.' - or - 'let us all wear good clothes, eat, drink and be merry, so what if it comes by selling one kidney or an eye'.

What you dont realize is this. (quoting from a private conversation with Husky, surely he wouldn't mind):

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Language is the sound from the soul of any culture. It is the carrier of sanskars, through the generations. Take away the language of the people, that will take away all the sanskars accumulated through the centuries over the generations. Words can be translated, not the sankars. those are dead. gone. lost forever, replaced by other sanskars.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

then also, you said:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->It will be good to have the world rushing to figure out Indian English rather than Indians copying firangi accents. In fact that is already happening right now - with BPOs shifting from making their employees speak pretend accents to using neutral Indian accents.

Sir, once again you have made a fatal assumption. Voice-based BPOs (known as call centers) are the only segment and relatively a small segment of the BPO industry, where foreign languages - primarily English is required. 75% of the next gen BPO, both by GDP and by size of employment, is DATA and BUSINESS PROCESS BPO - Accounting, IT Support, Product Design, HR, Publishing, Statistics, Payroll, Analytics, all other back office - these huge and up-the-value-chain BPO segments dont require English to be the PRIMARY language of the employee.

Lastly, to quote from the speech of the most venerable Sir Thomas Babington Macaulay himself:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->"Propter vitam vivendi perdere causas," ["<b><span style='color:red'>To lose the reason for living, for the sake of staying alive</span></b>"] is a despicable policy both in individuals and in states. In the present case, such a policy would be not only despicable, but absurd.
But in our case, what we are proposing is exactly this.

Finally, I repeat, I sense only the innocent but wrong assumptions, leading to somewhat unreal conclusions in your assertions.
now that, partly the conversation was already shared, here is the rest. From Husky:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Language is only an approximation of what population groups try to communicate: emotions that they experienced, thoughts and ideas that occurred to them, concepts that only make sense to them ('theology' for instance). When we use other people's terms to communicate our experiences, we are referring to other people's approximations which they had only ever developed to communicate their experiences.
So the errors that have crept in when we try to explain or illustrate in a borrowed language are immense (it's a double approximation where the approximation of using another people's words to explain our own thoughts, is infinitely greater than that of communicating them in our own words). Also many ideas and experiences we have do not have words in the English language and vice-versa.

Language is an imprecise attempt to define what a person or group of people knows - to bring into sound whatever otherwise undefined things were floating in our heads or whatever experiences we have shared. Language is not an attempt to define what we don't know.
As the English have not experienced (that is, do not *know*) what we have, their descriptive set (vocabulary) at best only overlaps with our own - and at times it is just plain insufficiently expressive to vocalise our intentions, knowledge and experiences. Vice-versa too, of course.

- A somewhat tragically poor example illustrating the frustration of language in general: When one uses 'beauty' does the word even express what goes on in one's mind when one feels the appreciation? Looking at a lovely sunset for instance, can that word 'beauty' encapsulate - to any degree - what your private emotions about the event itself was? For me, it's a No. The word is a very, very poor approximation. At best it will indicate to some other person, who has not seen the same sunset and felt the same inspiration on seeing it, that the sunset obviously was of a profound, meaningful (and aesthetically pleasing) import to you. If they have seen some other sunset and loved it, they will be reminded of their own experience when you refer to yours as a vision of beauty. The word 'beauty' in this case is sorely lacking in the ability to express what no words can express.

- In some abstract sense, this frustration is similar to what the same word 'beauty' means when different populations apply it to individuals. Aesthetics has long varied among populations, and even among the same region's population over time. (That it might have slowly started converging nowadays because of everyone the world over being bombarded with boring old hollywood movies where very few are actually attractive, is another matter.) So the word 'beauty', when an Indian used it to describe another, is different from when a colonial British person used it. Tamil people tend to use 'kalai' to indicate some inner radiance or other spectacular quality (associated with our Gods or those who remind us of them) that has no equivalent in English or any other European language I know. A European colonial might never even have considered that same person attractive to whom our ancestors might have applied Kalai.

Language also works in reverse: it has a formative effect. One can become somewhat limited by one's vocabulary: if you can't find words for other ideas, you can't express them (unless you're creative, like Shakespeare was and invent new words like him) and eventually you don't go there. To anglicise one's language is to basically anglicise ('westernise') oneself. If you don't know about or stop using local Indian terms which do not have corresponding words in English, you slowly ignore and forget the associated concept or application of that concept. I often want to use Kalai for instance. I think 'Kalai' and then I say 'magnificent' and a bunch of other English words to approximate the unapproachable Kalai curve. At least I get to use Kalai regularly at home.  <!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<!--QuoteBegin-sengotuvel+May 5 2007, 07:38 AM-->QUOTE(sengotuvel @ May 5 2007, 07:38 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->But the numerals are Roman numerals and I see no easy way of implementing math education using regional language numerals AND alphabet such as would be required for the simplest algebra.
[right][snapback]68312[/snapback][/right]<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Yes, you must indeed have had a hard time working with Roman numerals:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->I + III = IV
(a+b)^II=a^II+IIab +b^II.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--><!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->
Don't worry. Yes I do know - well, I <i>assume</i> - you mean to refer to what the earlier Europeans wrongly called 'Arabian' numerals (which the Arabians called Hindu numerals, because they got them from Samskritam). Thankfully this is a widely recognised fact now.
Bodhi that was a great and very informative post - and I will quote only a part of it below to comment on it.

<!--QuoteBegin-Bodhi+May 5 2007, 10:02 AM-->QUOTE(Bodhi @ May 5 2007, 10:02 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->If you have not come across, does not mean Mathematics or other sciences are not being taught in Hindi or other Indic languages today.  Reality is just to the opposite, ALL the Hindi medium schools in North India, certainly those run by the Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal and Uttar Pradesh secondary boards teach the mathematics and other subjects in Hindi medium.  I know this, since I am a product of that education board, not very long back.

Above equation (samIkaraNa to us) that you mentioned was taught to us and being taught to millions (yes, conciousely writing, millions) of students every year, even today by thousands of school teachers, like this: (क+ख)^2 = कं^2 + 2कख + ख^2.  Do these students learn any less of bIjagaNita than those who learnt the "algebra"? Of course instead of learning Pythagoras theorem, we were taught SridharAcharya Prameya.  Did we learn any less of jyAmiti, than the 'Geometry' that our "English-only-please" brothers/sisters of english-medium schools learnt?

In fact this is news to me. My views are heavily skewed by my area of learning - allopathic medicine which currently has no route for anyone to follow other than an English only route.

Of course - I have a lot of friends who studied in regional language schools. Some, such as a "Venky" I have mentioned in another thread coped remarkably with English medium education in college. Others fell by the wayside - not for want of intelligence - but for lack of adequate English.

The people who had studied in regional language schools were facing an uphill task competing against people who had an English language education in school. Typically, those students whose parents knew English tended to do better and cope better than those whose parents knew no English. Significantly - every one of these people has opted to put his or her children in English medium schools.

The point I am trying to make is not that education cannot be given in regional languages - but that education is skewed in favor of English -and the higher you want to go the more your knowledge of English matters.

Secondly, the point about "If rape is inevitable lie back and enjoy it" comment is IMO seriously misplaced because I have been trying to point out that rape has already occurred. It is not as though rape can now be resisted or enjoyed. The rape is over and what we are left with is lost virginity. I believe it is naive to think that the clock can easily be turned back to some golden period when rape had not occurred. I repeat that people who talk about this are typically people who have already acquired the benefits of education in English. Those people probably had parents who spoke English, and their children too will have studied in English medium schools.

I do not mean to get personal, but please tell me that you are one exception in that neither of your parents spoke English and that your children are now in regional language schools as an example that proves that regional language education is equal to English medium education. I salute you for your ability to communicate and my respect for you would only grow if the above holds true for you, but I still think that you would be an exception rather than the rule. Things work in boring cliches, and not as rare exceptions.

Intentions may be noble but we are dealing with contaminated ground over which a lot of water has flowed, washing away a lot of what existed. Sentiment may call for attachment to a language - but hunger and economic hardship, and the promise of a good life are powerful motivators that put linguistic attachments on the backburner. Any feeling for any regional language will have to take these hard facts into account.
I believe that one way of indicating "seriousness" in promoting regional languages would be to ensure that technical textbooks are all translated into regional languages, followed by the setting up of regional language colleges that awarded engineering, medical, pharmacy or other degrees that are on par with qualifications obtained in English. Do such universities exist? Is there any serious body that translates technical jargon into regional languages or at least Sanskrit? Are there any regional language textbooks on computer programming? I have never seen one. Who are the people working in this direction? Who funds them?

But then again if Infosys (or Apollo Hospitals) for example recruited the English graduate in favor of the regional language one would there be a need for reservation for regional language graduates? With control of the technical knowledge and economy based on that being in the hands of English speakers, what methods can be used to pass at least a part of that control to regional language speakers?

Would it have to be a government/political initiative? Can private groups do anything?
Let us first define where we are disagreeing.

Since apparently you have not been able to go through the earlier posts and discussion on this thread, here is a summary of what majority posters on this thread, before you joined, have seemed to be agreeing on:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->1. Good knowledge of English, verbal and written, is a must for the Indian of coming generations.  No opposition to teaching English as a language, and a very important language to know indeed for empowerment in the global information age.
2. Although It must be one of the language, and important subject of instruction. However, there is no need to make English the PRIMARY language, the First Language, and the mother language of the Indians. 
3. Teaching English is not the same as teaching all the knowledge in English.  English can still be learnt and used very well, as a subject.
4. Medium of instruction therefore should preferably be the regional language of the child, till "X" standard.  X is a variable - not yet been discussed.
5. Natural common single language of the Bharat, and thread that ties all other languages, is (still) Sanskrit, which must be promoted as an equally important language to learn, eventually the secondary language.

Having stated the above, let me see where we agree and where we disagree.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->allopathic medicine which currently has no route for anyone to follow other than an English only route.

Agree. And still, like Bharatvarsh and Vishwas have tried to point out earlier in a different context, that nobody here has so far suggested that the English should be stopped as the medium of Allopathic medicine education. Nor for several other fields of higher education for example Engineering, or international trade.

What we have so far said is only related to a) 'whether it is a must to have english as the medium of <b>primary and secondary education</b>' and spoken/promoted at home as the FIRST language. Noone yet has talked about higher education.

Now, in your posts this presumption is evident : that, most if not all 'good' employment depends upon the English knowledge. What is the ratio of jobs created in India in the areas that 'require' English as the medium of the higher education vis-a-vis the other fields that do NOT require the English as the medium of education? Granted, that we have already counted Medicine, Pharmacy and Engineering as the ones that require English as the medeum of education. We can come back to these later, but for now, let us see whether other careers exist where English as the medium of instruction may not be required.

The most obvious case that comes to my mind is LAW. There are as many lawyers or more, as there are doctors. Why should the law be taught in English? Any logical reason? Commerce and Accountancy. Why should an accountant or a banker be instructed on these trades in the English language? Other sciences - eg. agriculture technology, leather technology, Paper and pulp technology, military sciences. History and Philosophy? Why should the primary language in these humanities be English? Why not Sanskrit? (in fact, several of these that I mentioned are so far being taught in the Indic languages overwhelmingly) Once again, please dont answer from the stand point of 'English Knowledge' but from the standpoint of 'English as the medium of education'.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->I have been trying to point out that rape has already occurred. It is not as though rape can now be resisted or enjoyed. The rape is over and what we are left with is lost virginity.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Well, believe me, this is something to do with the perception. India is not Mexico or Phillippines, that its culture can be easily replaced by something else. Indic with its vast momentum, is a different case. My perception is this, that the 'attempt to Rape' has started, but it can still be prevented. Let us not be defeatist.

See the post 22 about Bharatendu Harishchandra. He was also faced by the same challenge. He was a fighter and he did prevent the rape of the language in his time. The problems are different now, and solutions will be different too, but the same 'will' shall be required as he had demonstrated.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->I do not mean to get personal, but please tell me that you are one exception in that neither of your parents spoke English and that your children are now in regional language schools <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
I am not any exception. There were plentiful like me in my graduation class. Even in my post gradualtion, out of the class of 14, there were at least 4 of us who were from vernacular backgrounds. (2 Telugu, 1 Tamil, 1 Hindi). My parents can speak English. About schooling of my children, that time has not yet come. Will be sure to let you know once I reach that stage <!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo--> But I am firm that they should get early education in Hindi.

I had mentioned my own example for no other reason but to respond to this comment of yours, and to show that the Indic medium secondary education does produce more than ayas and domestic help. At the same time, English medium education is no guarantee to alleviate poverty.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->But for those who are on the wrong side of that "English boundary" in India - their only future is becoming drivers, "ayahs", "domestics" and low paid laborers working for the English speakers of India. It is strange that those English speaking Indians should oppose the entry of more Indians into benefits of a wider education
More than what different disciplines are taught in, my more immediate concern has always beeen with unnecessary mixing of languages which I see as the death knell of Telugu, when I see people unable to form a single sentence in speech without English mixed in that tells me a lot about the state of the language and it's not like you need English either, I used to be like that until a few months ago but once I started I can now manage 85-90% in pure Telugu and only use English terms when it's unavoidable or if the Telugu term is no longer understood by the common people. I see people who aren't even able to retain basic vocabulary for mother and father, it's a sad state of affairs when that happens.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->I repeat that people who talk about this are typically people who have already acquired the benefits of education in English. Those people probably had parents who spoke English, and their children too will have studied in English medium schools.

I do not mean to get personal, but please tell me that you are one exception in that neither of your parents spoke English and that your children are now in regional language schools as an example that proves that regional language education is equal to English medium education. I salute you for your ability to communicate and my respect for you would only grow if the above holds true for you, but I still think that you would be an exception rather than the rule. Things work in boring cliches, and not as rare exceptions.
But, that is precisely the problem, sengotuvel. Using us, your interlocutors on this thread, as examples for your argument eliminates a lot of other people who may serve as a more representative sample. The people on this thread are self-selected: we know English well enough to waste our time on the web arguing about irrelevant stuff. However, a Telugu medium student may only be interested in using English for business purposes, - for him it is the language of work.

I know atleast 5 people who studied in Telugu medium until SSC (one of them went on to complete his BSc in Telugu medium), all of whom except one are working as software engineers in the US, the one is a civil engr in Dubai. All have done very well in their fields. One of them is a manager in Microsoft. Now, if they had a choice, would they put their children in a Telugu medium school? I think NOT. However, their perceptions about Telugu medium are not as important to us as the objective fact that they have been successful in an area like software engineering, which depends a lot on communication.

That is objective fact - that the current economic conditions can support young people educated in the vernacular. But, ultimately, it does not matter. Perceptions matter. And when a Telugu medium student is perceived as little better than an uneducated farmer by his peers, and also finds that his chances of marriage are affected, he will decisively turn his backon his mother tongue.
From post 86:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->I believe that one way of indicating "seriousness" in promoting regional languages would be to ensure that technical textbooks are all translated into regional languages, followed by the setting up of regional language colleges that awarded engineering, medical, pharmacy or other degrees that are on par with qualifications obtained in English. Do such universities exist? Is there any serious body that translates technical jargon into regional languages or at least Sanskrit? Are there any regional language textbooks on computer programming? I have never seen one. Who are the people working in this direction? Who funds them?<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->This bit is interesting if it were completely true in the Indian case.
If so, then the Indian government is either being defeatist or sabotaging our identity on purpose.

Though I didn't do uni in DE or NL, I do know with certainty (as I looked into it) that the medium of *every single subject* is German and Dutch alone - from primary to tertiary education. (Unless some stuck-up person studies in an American school or whatever they're called.)
The same is true in France and I'm guessing all European countries.

At uni-level, Germans and Dutch people at least are able to translate their own journal articles into English for publication in English-language journals - in addition to their original article written in their own language which was also meant for publication. They are certainly not bad at all in English when they are at university. I've had to read quite a few such articles translated into English by the PhD students from NL and DE. (The original ones were not accessible to me from where I live.) And this holds true for technical fields in NL and DE.
In fact, some of the self-translated works by these students were in better English than those of native English speakers. Nothing to be wondered at since I saw a British drama were an Italian actor and a Romanian-German actress - both in their first English-language roles - spoke in superb English, leaving the RADA-trained English actors for dead. That was classic.
You can't say the same for people educated in English medium in India. Catholic schools in India are in many ways worse in English than even the Hindu Indian-medium schools. It's like what Bharatvarsh, I think it was, said: that truly multi-lingual people tend to be quite good in <i>all</i> their languages, monolingual people can't even make it in their chosen one.

Why can't India do the same? I don't see the Dutch and German populace running to say that 'allopathic medicine is English and ought to therefore be taught in English'? They will never do that, they'd rather commit suicide first. German and Dutch it is. Same for CS, Engg, and everything. A great many CS terms are originated in the English language, yet no one has a problem teaching the subject in European classes in their local mediums. They've adapted in the last 10 years to keep generating equivalent words in German (and French), or they just use the English term for recently-invented concepts - with or without modifications - in Dutch and Flemish.

Only Indians seem to have such a low opinion of ourselves that we can't wait to make ourselves as western and as unIndian as fast as may be. I don't see why we need to roll over and die when others are perfectly able to keep up.

In India's case, it may be too late for some fields to be taught in an Indian-language medium since we did not have the foresight of the Germans (not even that of the Dutch) to adapt terms in certain technical fields into our own languages. Or maybe the situation can still be salvaged, I don't know.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->But then again if Infosys (or Apollo Hospitals) for example recruited the English graduate in favor of the regional language one would there be a need for reservation for regional language graduates? With control of the technical knowledge and economy based on that being in the hands of English speakers, what methods can be used to pass at least a part of that control to regional language speakers?<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->And again, if this were true, it's a post-rationalised symptom stemming from Indians' self-loathing and Indians' admiring anything western to the point where we negate what we have. This would <i>never ever</i> happen in NL or DE or FR. They will employ you as long as your Dutch, German (or French) is impeccable. They'd love for you to have good English and other European language skills, but the imperative is on knowing <i>their own</i> language.

Sengotuvel, as your point does not hold for other cases, I see no reason why it should hold for India. In fact, I don't see why Indians' self-loathing should continue. If India must needs emulate western nations and can/will not beat a path for herself - why in the world should we look to the UK or America for our example when there are far better examples in mainland Europe? Most English and particularly American people are proudly monolingual - nothing to be proud of in my opinion; and more importantly, their situation is therefore the least similar to our own. Whereas Dutch people learn 4 languages (compulsory) by the time high school is out. Germans at least 3.
We should be able to manage 3 as well: local, Samskritam and X, where X is presently English. Most Indians are raised <i>at least</i> bi-lingual anyway - except the psecular kind who can't even speak English well. So how hard can it be?
And if some visionary Indian(s) were to try and reclaim transmission of all tertiary education in the local medium, we can move the overly technical sciences that are currently only taught in English into Samskritam.

But as you said, it depends entirely on the government. Pseculars can't speak well in 'Indian' therefore they want to make it English so they can understand those funny Hindoos.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->I repeat that people who talk about this are typically people who have already acquired the benefits of education in English. Those people probably had parents who spoke English, and their children too will have studied in English medium schools.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->I was never educated in the English-medium until very late high school and uni. Then again, I wasn't educated in Tamil either. My sister was clever even as a baby, so she got into an already-overflowing Hindu school (Tamil) in LKG. By the time it was my turn, my parents could only find a place for me at some greedy beat-em-up English-only catholic school. I learnt no English there, only to keep quiet. Fortunately for me, we moved soon.

My parents did speak English, but even their circumstances are not due to public schooling nor English-medium schooling. My father is exceedingly good at languages mostly because he had already been taught a number of languages at home by my Grandfather. My mother only went to Tamil-medium Hindu schools all the way through to her degree.
My English may not be good, but I have spell-check in MS Word for when I need to submit essays or whatever <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo--> Not planning on becoming an ayah to a memsahib or a domestic any time soon. Well, if the pay was really good... <!--emo&Wink--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/wink.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='wink.gif' /><!--endemo-->
Not related to Indian languages. But I thought these might be interesting.

(1) German in America:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->To allay further the anxieties of those who fear that the large Hispanic American presence is an unprecedented threat simply because of its size, we do have a comparable example in the nation's past. We can draw a parallel with the almost 4.9 million Germans who entered the United States between 1841-1900, a number roughly comparable to all Hispanic immigration since 1971. In doing so, we need to keep in mind the total U.S. population was much smaller then (23.1 million in 1850 and 62.9 million in 1890, compared to 203.3 million in 1970 and 248.7 million in 1990). Also radio, television, and movies in the twentieth century are ubiquitous English-learning media unknown at the time of this large German presence.

Although we could speak of regions within states like Pennsylvania or small cities such as Hoboken, New Jersey, where Germans outnumbered others and maintained their language and culture for decades, we shall focus on an even more massive region. In the mid- to late-nineteenth century, so many hundreds of thousands of Germans lived in the area lying between Cincinnati, Milwaukee, and St. Louis, that it became known as the "great German triangle."

Because so many German children attended public schools in the German triangle, the states passed laws permitting all academic subjects to be taught in German, whenever the demand was sufficient to warrant it. Ohio passed its statute in 1837; the others followed in the 1840s.

Consider for a moment the profundity of this action. In major cities, as well as in rural regions, the states of Ohio, Missouri, and Wisconsin (other states too) authorized German as an official language for all classroom instruction! Cultural diversity, including that of language, was not only tolerated, but also encouraged.

The use of German in the public schools served a purpose other than academic instruction. It was intended to preserve the whole range of German culture, even more so after the unification of Germany in the 1870s. With an increased pride in their origins, German immigrants and their children developed a greater sense of their ethnicity than they possessed before their emigration. Since language enhanced their sense of being German, the German Americans continued to speak their language in their schools, homes, churches, and in everyday business transactions.

As extensive German immigrant settlement in the region continued decade after decade, German-language instruction in all subjects continued in the public schools. Such was the case in the private schools as well. By 1910, more than 95 percent of German Catholic parishes had parochial schools taught in German, and more than 2,000 parishes conducted German-language services, much to the consternation of the Irish-American church hierarchy.

<b>During World War I, patriotic hysteria to drive the "Hun" language out of the schools prompted states such as Ohio and Nebraska to pass laws prohibiting instruction in German in all schools, public and private.</b> A legal challenge to this action reached the U.S. Supreme Court in Robert Meyer v. Nebraska (1923).

Although the Court upheld the states' right to determine public school instruction in English only, its ruling on private and parochial schools was an important one with regard to language rights. Ruling that all state laws prohibiting the teaching and use of German in private or parochial schools were in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment and therefore unconstitutional, the Court declared that the rights of both parents and private/parochial schools to teach their children in a language other than English was within the liberty guaranteed by that amendment.

Despite 1) the institutionalization of academic instruction in German, 2) the steady influx of large numbers of German immigrants, and 3) over sixty years of German language maintenance, German language usage declined. That process had already begun by 1885, as indicated by the complaints then of German-American leaders that the younger generation was losing the German tongue and that parents no longer insisted on their children studying German in the schools.

As with other ethnic groups, English gradually replaced the homeland language, even among the millions of Germans so heavily concentrated in regions such as the German triangle. The German language rose once bloomed mightily in the United States, but it has faded, its petals drifting downward and blending with others that fell earlier. Perhaps the Spanish language is another such rose.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Or maybe l'Espagnol will take over! <!--emo&Wink--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/wink.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='wink.gif' /><!--endemo-->

By the way, interesting that German was popularly regarded as a Hun language in early 20th century US...
Also, rate of US population growth is astounding. But then, they weren't genocided by British famines.
(2) Language proliferation on the internet and in general
Note the date though:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Online, and Off, English's Hegemony Is Challenged Globally</b>
By Barry James International Herald Tribune
Monday, February 12, <b>2001</b>

Has English become THE global language of communication and education? The question might seem obvious, but the answer is not so simple. Yes, English is the international language of commerce and science. And its utility has spread because up to now it has also been the prime moving language of the Internet. But this is beginning to change, and very fast.

"We are observing more and more that other languages are taking over the Internet," said Victor Montviloff, who is responsible for information policy in the communication and information sector at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization here.

Languages like German, Russian and Spanish are spreading at exponential speed on the Web, Mr. Montviloff said. French has lagged relatively behind, he said, because France until now has seemed more preoccupied with protecting its language against foreign invasion than promoting it. But now, the number of French-language sites also is fast multiplying.

Because the Internet makes it possible, other languages are also starting to challenge the hegemony of English in distance education. The Internet is helping to revive minority languages and cultures by bringing together widely scattered linguistic communities. Researchers note a sudden surge of interest in endangered languages, such as those spoken by indigenous groups in North America.

<b>Global Reach Inc., a market research company, estimates that English is now the mother tongue of less than half of all Internet users, and the proportion is falling all the time. </b>

An estimated 320 million people speak English as a mother tongue — fewer than those who speak Spanish or Mandarin — and demographic trends indicate that native English speakers will decline as a proportion of the world's population. Probably more than 1 billion people speak English <b>with varying degrees of proficiency as a second language.</b>

David Graddol, a language researcher and lecturer at the Open University in Britain, said that, on the one hand, English is becoming a language of everyday usage in some countries in Northern Europe. "Something like 70 percent of the Dutch population claim now that they can hold a conversation in English quite comfortably," Mr. Graddol said. "For them, it is not a textbook-based foreign exercise. They are already exposed to English in the environment. People have learned a little bit of it before they even get to school, and they can see immediately that it has some use in their lives. In countries like the Netherlands, Sweden or Denmark you need English to complete your education.

"In other countries, however, English is more truly a foreign language," said Mr. Graddol, whose consulting firm, The English Company, produced a worldwide report titled "The Future of English" for the British Council a few years ago. "In some countries, like China, there is not very much English in the environment and people may be learning it from teachers who may not speak English very well themselves."

In a third group of countries, like India and Nigeria where English has been used a long time, distinct local varieties of the language are emerging, complete with their own dictionaries, textbooks and literature.

"English is so important in these countries that people use it in part to create their own social and even national identity," Mr. Graddol said. "When that happens, the language starts going its own way. The variety of English that proficient speakers in such countries are learning may not be terribly useful in an international context.

"In England, people like Spencer and Shakespeare went on an inventive spree of creating new words and usages and made the language suitable for literature. We are seeing some of the new Englishes almost going through that stage. In India, authors are not just using the street language, but creating a literary version of the local English. This means that different centers of authority are starting to emerge. English, like Latin before it, has become a language that is no longer the property of its native speakers, and like Latin, it too may give way to a variety of vernacular tongues.

<b>"Thus, the very reason for the rise of English — its guarantee of mutual intelligibility among people of different cultures — could dissolve if the language continues to fragment into a variety of 'Englishes."'

"My view is that English will remain the world communication language, but we will all come together with our own kinds of pidgin,"</b> Mr. Montviloff said. Will this mean that one day there will be a movement for the protection of correct English? "There might be," he said, but who will decide what is correct?

Bertrand Menciassi, of the European Bureau for Lesser Used Languages in Europe, said the use of a world language both helps and hinders linguistic diversity. People can use English for their outside contacts, while cultivating their own tongue or dialect for use at home. On the other hand, he added, English is tending to push European national languages like Dutch or Danish into a corner.

"In the Netherlands, there was a proposal a couple of years ago to make English the language of instruction in all university teaching. That could be extremely dangerous, because the university is the brain of the country and this proposal raises the question whether Dutch continues to be an all-purpose language."  <!--emo&:o--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ohmy.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='ohmy.gif' /><!--endemo-->  <!--emo&:o--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ohmy.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='ohmy.gif' /><!--endemo-->  <!--emo&:o--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ohmy.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='ohmy.gif' /><!--endemo-->
(NOooooo! Beautiful Dutch, don't die. Never die.)

Maintaining linguistic diversity is an important aim of the European Commission, which is concerned that the increasing acceptance of English as the European lingua franca should not detract from the vitality of other languages. <b>The Commission argues that the ability to speak two or three tongues will give the Europeans economic and technical advantages over their monolingual American rivals in a world of diversity</b>, and is about to kick off "The European Year of Languages" in an attempt to promote multilingualism.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Great, so all us non-native English speakers will ever amount to is speaking pidgin (local variety of English). Oh, yay. That's what we're all trading in our languages for - rushing to speak a dumbed-down version of someone else's language?
The only peoples currently speaking pidgins are the peoples so far colonised that they had to relinquish everything. This includes enslaved people who were transported away from Africa into islands near the Americas. In such cases it's understandable because they lost their languages.
We survived colonisation and still have our languages - but not for long, if some Indians can help it...
A few different bits and pieces that I thought were interesting:
(3) http://exchanges.state.gov/forum/vols/vol38/no1/p2.htm
(US state department)
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>The Role of English in the 21st Century:</b>
            English has been an international language for only 50 years. If the pattern follows the previous language trends, we still have about 100 years before a new language dominates the world. However, this does not mean that English is replacing or will replace other languages as many fear. Instead, it may supplement or co-exist with languages by allowing strangers to communicate across linguistic boundaries. It may become one tool that opens windows to the world, unlocks doors to opportunities, and expands our minds to new ideas.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Good plan: Sell all our Indian languages - some of which we've had for many millennia - and learn English which we can possibly keep for another estimated 100 years (as per extrapolation) or maybe 200 years! After which we can toss that away and move on again, as if we were linguistic nomads. At that point it doesn't matter if we switch from English to any other language anyway, we would already have lost our own.

(4) http://www.aiic.net/ViewPage.cfm/page731.htm
This is an article that's rather good reading, even if not everything it says is wholly accurate. Pasting a large segment from it:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>The notion of an international language and the case of English
Martin WOODING offers a broad perspective on the rise and fall of lingua francas.</b>

<b>To begin with: a dose of relativity</b>
Over the entire course of recorded history, languages have gone in and out of fashion as a preferred tool of international communication. At the dawn of civilisation in the ancient Middle East, Egyptian rose to preeminence among nations; by the end of the Middle Ages it was extinct. In the Hellenistic period, Greek was spoken all the way from Athens to the banks of the Amu Darya in Central Asia; now it is confined to the southern extremity of the Balkan peninsula. <b>Latin once reigned supreme over European territory south of the Danube and west of the Rhine, not to mention North Africa;</b> it even survived the fall of Rome by well over a millennium, and was actively used by scholars as a pan-European language as late as the eighteenth century. <b>Today Latin is no longer used for communication (except in the Vatican), and appears to be rapidly disappearing from school curricula.</b>
(Umm, the christian church manufactured illiteratis in Latin, the priests had even ruined Latin - see McCabe. 
It was only later, in the Renaissance and afterwards in the Enlightenment, that people tried to resurrect Latin again.)

<b>These examples serve to demonstrate that there is nothing new about the concept of an international language, and equally that no one language has secured this status permanently,</b> though the life span of a successful international language is a long one, amounting to a thousand years or more. None of the languages mentioned extended their sway beyond a certain region of the globe; other regions have seen the development of their own international languages (like Arabic in the countries of Maghreb and Mashreq, Mandarin Chinese in South-East Asia or Swahili in Eastern Africa). What is different about today’s situation is not so much essence as scale: for the first time in history, due to the political developments and technological progress, it is possible to speculate about the emergence of a global language.

<b>Language and political power</b>
The status of a language is less a function of how many people speak it, than of who those people are and what power they possess. Past international languages have achieved their position purely through the military and economic expansion of the nations which spoke them. It was the hoplites of Alexander the Great who took Greek from its classical homeland to the depths of Asia, the legionaries of Rome who spread Latin beyond its obscure origins in a provincial town of central Italy, and the warriors of the Prophet who carried Arabic from Medina to Damascus and Tunis. In this process, the motivation for conquest had nothing to do with language, nor did conscious administrative steps usually have to be taken by the conquerors to impose the use of their tongue. Rather, the control which the conquerors exerted over the economic life of their territories led, as a practical matter of survival, to the wider use of their language by subject peoples.

In some cases, the imperial language, without any special effort, managed to eliminate native languages altogether. The case of Latin is best known; over a period of five hundred years or more, it totally supplanted the Celtic and other languages spoken in large areas of the Empire. No language, however, achieves such feats without serious cost to its own integrity. As long as an international language is spoken by a well-educated elite using some kind of central standard, it retains a degree of homogeneity; but if it is to be adopted by a broad mass of people who learn by word of mouth and care little for grammar or pronunciation, then it is going to be seriously distorted. This is a process which linguists call creolisation and it has been responsible for the Romance languages of today’s Europe, each of which is, in its own way, a thoroughly debased and mangled version of the language of Cicero.
(The various Italian dialects, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italic languages in Switzerland and on the Franco-Italiano border are all due to creolisation of Latin. Pidgins are somewhat different from creoles.)

The political facts of life behind international languages are occasionally forgotten by those who approach language in a romantic spirit. To linguists, language is a matter of fascination. It is easy to be carried away by contemplation of the intricate structures and originality of a given language. It is thus that many have recommended the virtues of this or that language for international status purely on the grounds of the number of nominal cases or the absence of grammatical gender. These matters play no role in the practical choices of non-linguists. Language is a tool of communication and that is its sole reason for being. Its fate is decided by the great mass of non-linguists, who are in turn affected by politics. By most standards, for example, Russian is not an easy language; it has six cases and three genders, and obeys very complex phonetic rules. This did not impede it in any way from being the common language of ordinary citizens everywhere within the vast Soviet Union, and has not stopped it from being adopted as an official language in Central Asian countries even after the breakup of the Union.

<b>The current world situation</b>
At the dawn of the third millennium, the United States holds supreme global power. The existence of a single global superpower is a novelty in historical terms. The USA has seen off its only real rival, the USSR, and potential future challengers, like China, have a long way to go before making good their threat. Today, the US accounts by itself for 22 % of world GDP and no less than 36% of world spending on armaments.
(Oh, don't write off Russia. The only actual battle for which the outcome would be unpredictable is between China and Russia.)

<b>By a quirk of history the people of today’s superpower speak the same language as those of the country that dominated much of the world in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.</b> At the height of its power the British Empire embraced one fifth of the earth’s land area. Many of the countries formerly ruled by the British have continued to give special status to the English language. Those at the core of the English-speaking world (Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the US itself) all derived their language from British settlers and with it supplanted the indigenous languages formerly spoken on their territories. In other countries of Africa and Asia, where there is sometimes a large number of local languages, English has been found useful as a national lingua franca and enjoys either official or quasi-official status. Taken together, the countries in which English has maintained a special place in the wake of past British imperialism account for more than of a third of the world’s population.

<b>The situation in which the Americans acceded to global power was thus one in which their language had already acquired global status.</b>

<b>The situation in Europe</b>
After the civil strife of 1939-45, the European powers found their resources too depleted to aspire to world leadership. Their continent became divided between the two remaining powers, the USA and Russia. The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation was set up to bind the Western half of Europe to the US. Britain did not hesitate to throw in its lot with the Americans. Germany, deprived of its eastern half, also became heavily dependent on the US. France alone had qualms about the extent of American power, and sought to create a European counterweight through which it might regain some of its lost influence. The European Community was born.

In the decades immediately following the Second World War, the western half of Europe had two languages which might have aspired to international status in the region. In the south (Italy, Spain, Portugal), French tended to be treated as the most natural foreign language; whilst in the north (Germany, the Netherlands, Scandinavia), English tended to be favoured. German, itself a budding international language before the War, underwent a serious setback with the defeat of Germany and the amputation of a certain German-speaking hinterland to the east and south-east. In the eastern part of Europe, the international language was Russian, though fewer people had the option of international contacts.

By the late nineteen-seventies French was already showing signs of giving way to English in western Europe. A symbolic watershed was the use of English by French president Valéry Giscard d’Estaing and German chancellor Helmut Schmidt to cultivate their notably close relationship. Both Giscard and Schmidt began their political careers in the post-war period, in a world in which American power was already a fact. Both also began with a specialisation in economics, a branch of science in which English dominates as in no other.

Less than fifty years after the end of the Second World War, the sole remaining European power with global ambitions, Russia, was also found to have overextended itself. With the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of communism, the Americans emerged as the ultimate victors of the Cold War. As a result, a whole generation of Eastern Europeans has plunged headlong into the study of English.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->The article goes on at the given link, so read if interested.

WWII changed everything in a way.

Every single article I've looked at today says the same thing: proliferation of English is only due to British colonialism and nothing else. And this article makes that clear and adds to it that Americans therefore merely inherited a favourable situation for their language.

If Rome could fall - by all means more organised than any 'superpowah' today - anything can happen.
Another world war can once again change the dynamics on the ground. The Golden Rule: whoever's got the gold makes the rules. No doubt there will be psecular opportunists then as well, ready to sell what others have. But one thing is certain, if we don't keep our languages, once they're gone they're gone (out of common usage) forever.
(5) Good read. Written in winter 1998-1999. So it is just a bit younger than start of prolific use of the Internet and its associated vocabulary. Take that into account:

<b>The New Linguistic Order</b>
by Joshua A. Fishman
After indicating the expanse covered by English and its vast usage:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Yet professional linguists hesitate to predict far into the future the further globalization of English. Historically, languages have risen and fallen with the military, economic, cultural, or religious powers that supported them. Beyond the ebb and flow of history, there are other reasons to believe that the English language will eventually wane in influence.</b> For one, English actually reaches and is then utilized by only a small and atypically fortunate minority. Furthermore, the kinds of interactions identified with globalization, from trade to communications, have also encouraged regionalization and with it the spread of regional languages. Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Spanish, and a handful of other regional tongues already command a significant reach---and their major growth is still ahead. Finally, the spread of English and these regional languages collectively--not to mention the sweeping forces driving them have created a squeeze effect on small communities, producing pockets of anxious localization and local-language revival resistant to global change.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->What is to come of English? <b>It may well gravitate increasingly toward the higher social classes, as those of more modest status turn to regional languages for more modest gains.</b> It might even help the future of English in the long run if its proponents sought less local and regional supremacy and fewer exclusive functions in the United Nations and in the world at large. A bully is more likely to be feared than popular. Most non-native English speakers may come to love the language far less in the twenty-first century than most native English speakers seem to anticipate. Germans are alarmed that their scientists are publishing overwhelmingly in English. And France remains highly resistant to English in mass media, diplomacy, and technology. Even as English is widely learned, it may become even more widely disliked. Resentment of both the predominance of English and its <b>tendency to spread along class lines could in the long term provide a check against its further globalization.</b><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->So according to this writer, if English did start favouring some people, it could restrain the language.<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->There is no reason to assume that English will always be necessary, as it is today, for technology, higher education, and social mobility, particularly after its regional rivals experience their own growth spurts. Civilization will not sink into the sea if and when that happens. The decline of French from its peak of influence has not irreparably harmed art, music, or diplomacy. The similar decline of German has not harmed the exact sciences. Ancient Greek, Aramaic, Latin, and Sanskrit---once world languages representing military might, sophistication, commerce, and spirituality--are mere relics in the modem world. The might of English will not long outlive the technical, commercial, and military ascendancy of its Anglo-American power base, particularly if a stronger power arises to challenge it. But just because the use of English around the world might decline does not mean the values associated today with its spread must also decline. Ultimately, democracy, international trade, and economic development can flourish in any tongue.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->About last statement: Nah. Democracy is a Greek word. International trade was known to everyone of the Old World, economic development too. What do these 'values' have to do with English? English has unfortunately become synonymous with imperialism thanks to British colonialism and America's little bid for glory and immortality.

<b>Check out the photo on page 11</b> of the PDF (p.37 of the journal): see a psecular English-educated Indian trying to strike up a conversation with an Indian (looks like he's inspecting the ranks, rather).

Article contains this interesting section:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->LOOKING AHEAD
Since all larger language communities have opted to maintain their own languages in the face of globalization, it should come as no surprise that many smaller ones have pursued the same goal. If<b> Germans can pursue globalization and yet remain German-speaking among themselves, why should Telegus in India not aspire to do the same?</b>

Multilingualism allows a people this choice. Each language in a multilingual society has its own distinctive functions. The language characteristically used with intimate family and friends, the language generally used with coworkers or neighbors, and the language used with one's bosses or government need not be one and the same. Reading advanced technical or economic material may require literacy in a different language than reading a local gossip column. As long as no two or more languages are rivals for the same societal function, a linguistic division of labor can be both amicable and long-standing. <b>Few English speakers in India, for example, have given up their local mother tongues or their regional languages. Similarly, in Puerto Rico and Mexico, English is typically "a sometime tongue," even among those who have leamed it for occupational or educational rewards.</b>

There will of course be conflict, not to mention winners and losers. Language conflict occurs when there is competition between, two languages for exclusive use in the same power-related functionmfor example, government or schooling. Most frequently, this friction occurs when one regional or local language seeks to usurp roles traditionally associated with another local tongue. <b>In the Soviet era, Moscow</b> took an aggressive line on local languages, instituting Russian as the sole language of education and government in the Bakics and Central Asia. In the 1990s, however, many of these states have slowly deemphasized Russian in schools, government, and even theaters and publishing houses, in favor of their national tongues. <b>Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania</b> have passed the strictest laws, placing education, science, and culture within the exclusive purview of their national languages and (until just recently) leaving ethnic Russians out in the cold.

Even though local and regional regimes are most likely to use language for political ends, global languages (including English, the language of globalization) can also foster conflict. France's anxiety over the spread of English is well documented. <b>The govemment in Paris forbids English in advertising and regulates the number of English-language films that may be shown in the country.</b> A cabinet-level official, the minister of culture and communication, is responsible for monitoring the well-being of the national tongue. The Academie francaise, France's national arbiter of language and style, approves official neologisms for Anglo-American slang to guard the French language against "corruption." Yet French schools are introducing students to English earlier and earlier. Those who speak and master the languages of globalization often suggest that "upstart" local tongues pose a risk to world peace and prosperity. Throughout most of recorded history, strong languages have refused to share power with smaller ones and have accused them of making trouble--disturbing the peace and promoting ethnic violence and separatism.<b> Purging Ireland of Gaelic in the nineteenth century, however, did not convince many Irish of their bonds with England.</b> Those who fear their own powerlessness and the demise of their beloved languages of authenticity have reasons to believe that most of the trouble comes from the opposite end of the language-and-power continuum. Small communities accuse these linguistic Big Brothers of imperialism, linguicide, genocide, and mind control.

Globalization, regionalization, and localization are all happening concurrently. They are, however, at different strengths in different parts of the world at any given time. Each can become enmeshed in social, cultural, economic, and even political change. English is frequently the language of choice for Tamils in India who want to communicate with Hindi-speaking northerners. <b>Ironically</b>, for many Tamils---who maintain frosty relations with the central authorities in Delhi--English seems less like a colonial language than does Hindi. <b>In Indonesia, however, English may be associated with the military, the denial of civil rights, and the exploitation of workers, since the United States has long supported Jakarta's oligarchic regime.</b> Although English is spreading among Indonesia's upper classes, the government stresses the use of Indonesia's official language, Bahasa Indonesia, in all contact with the general public. Local languages are denied any symbolic recognition at all. The traditional leadership and the common population in Java, heirs to a classical literary tradition in Javanese, resent the favoritism shown to English and Indonesian. Spreading languages often come to be hated because they can disadvantage many as they provide advantages for some.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->In the case of English now creating classes in Java: Indonesia was a Dutch colony. So this is not because of 'British' legacy then, but due to US meddling.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->English itself is becoming regionalized informally and orally, particularly among young people, because most speakers today use it as a second or third language. <b>As students of English are increasingly taught by instructors who have had little or no contact with native speakers, spoken English acquires strong regional idiosyncrasies.</b> At the same time, however, English is being globalized in the realms of business, government, entertainment, and education. However, Hindi and Urdu, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, and vernacular varieties of Arabic can all expect a boom in these areas in the years to come--the result of both a population explosion in the communities that speak these tongues natively and the inevitable migrations that follow such growth.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
This post is mostly about European situation, but maybe that might give indications on India's case as well.

<i><b>(A) Stuff I have no access to:</b></i>
(6) Academic bilingual (multilingual) literacy in a western context:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Written Communication, Vol. 22, No. 4, 421-471 (2005)
DOI: 10.1177/0741088305280350
© 2005 SAGE Publications

<b>Commitments to Academic Biliteracy
Case Studies of Francophone University Writers</b>
Guillaume Gentil
Carleton University

This article examines the appropriation of academic biliteracy by three French-speaking students at an English-medium university in the Canadian province of Québec. Drawing on Hornberger’s continua model of biliteracy, Bourdieu’s critical social theory, and philosophical hermeneutics, the author conceptualizes individual biliterate development as a subjective and intersubjective evaluative response to social contexts of possibilities for biliteracy. Case study data were collected during 2  years and included autobiographical and text-based interviews, inventories and analyses of academic writing in English and French, classroom-based observations, field notes, and documentation of the legal, historical, institutional, and demographic contexts. Analyses of the participants’ negotiations and trajectories of bilingual academic writing development reveal the challenges and resources of bilingual writers to uphold their <b>commitment to academic biliteracy</b> within English-dominant institutional and disciplinary contexts. Implications for the advancement of multilingual academic literacies are drawn.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
(7) http://ywes.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/XLI/1/31.pdf
<b>The Dominance of English As a Language of Science: Effects on Other Languages and Language Communities</b>
contains, amongst others:
- Ulrich Ammon's <i>English as a Future Language of Teaching at German Universities? A Question of Difficult Consequences, Posed by the Decline of German as a Language of Science.</i>
- Kaplan's <i>English - the accidental language of science?</i>

(8) http://www.grin.com/en/preview/53651.html
<b>English, the lingua franca, as a global language and the decline of German as an international language of science</b>

(9) http://www.springerlink.com/content/wx6h3010356711t7/
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Sprachpolitik: Some Socio-Political Effects of English in Germany</b>
Stephen Wood1

(1)  Department of Political Science, University of Western Australia, Australia

<b>Abstract</b> <b>Language is a major component of identification for individuals and nations</b>, and linguistic difference has manifested itself as an enduring political issue. This continues in the age of globalization when the presence of a powerful global force, the English language, now less attached to a particular national entity, is viewed as intrusive among language groups that are, including in the most economically and technologically advanced countries. Some groups and individuals within Germany's postindustrial civil society are conducting an ardent defence of German against the encroachment of English. The German state, meanwhile, is pressured to support the national language while adapting, like the private economy, to new imperatives that tend to magnify the presence of English.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<i><b>(B) Articles that are available:</b></i>
(10) http://www.ehistling.meotod.de/data/pape..._g_pub.pdf
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Is English a ‘Killer Language’?
The Globalisation of a Code</b>

<b>Abstract:</b> Does English act as a Killer-Language or not? The fact that English has gained the status of a world language goes back to British colonialism. English was imposed on the indigenous populace in order to strengthen the power of the colonists. As the example of Papua New Guinea shows, this can have serious consequences for people’s local culture, life and identity. After the Second World War, globalization boosted the further spread of the English language, therefore influencing the language of technology, science and commerce. It even has a huge influence on countries
which have an established political system and a written language of their own, such as Germany.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Thinks that English is a killer language in some situations but not others. Looks specifically at PNG and German situation.

(11) Did not read this (too long):
<b>English as a Lingua Franca: a threat to European multilingualism?</b>
Conclusions are on p.95-96 of the PDF.

(12) http://www.wz-berlin.de/publikation/pdf/...s26-28.pdf
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>It Has to Be in English
The Role of German as the Language of Social Sciences in Europe</b>
By Máté Szabó

Discussion of this issue is entirely legitimate in view of the challenges faced by the New Europe due to globalization of the social sciences. Globalization “speaks English", in every area and field of the sciences. Another contemporary issue behind the discourse is the further evolution of the EU, which will have significant consequences on languages generally, and specifically on scientific language. I was asked some years ago by a committee of the Social Science Research Council to develop a background expert’s report for them on the language of social sciences in post-Communist central and eastern Europe. I concluded that, during the course of the social-science revival in the post-Communist democracies, German, as a common denominator or “lingua franca", vanished in the face of U.S.-based English-speaking social sciences. With the exception of Germany, Austria and the German-speaking cantons of Switzerland, where German is the main language of research and education, German is not used anywhere on a broad basis within social and cultural scientific exchange.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Then follows info on Russia, Germany and US after WWII.

Interesting bit on USAID in this article:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>No Alternatives for English</b>
After this turnabout, the pre-Communist hegemonial position of German as a common language of social sciences in central and eastern Europe no longer prevailed, and the position of the pre-Russian hegemonial language had gone with the Drittes Reich. The U.S.-based language hegemony of English took the territory for its own, in the absence of any serious alternatives. The reason for this is of course not only to be found in the fact that the reunified and democratic Germany did not itself enjoy a hegemonial position, but also in the general development of social sciences after the Second World War in western Europe and the world, consisting in the establishment of U.S. dominance which reached the former Communist countries several decades later.

<b>Within a much more humble framework, the United States repeated its overseas science and cultural-policy patterns of the post-war period using USAID and other federal or private democratic-development agencies and think tanks in order to gain dominance over the social sciences and political discourses of post-Soviet areas, where American aid was received enthusiastically and coupled with hopes of American capital, experts and military.</b> On the other hand, the considerable European-based democracy and development-aid programmes, such as Phare, also used English in management and communication if they wanted to reach more countries and cultures of the region, since English was the only medium which could be used among the applicants or project participants. Referring also to my own personal experience: when we established cooperation in political sciences between several countries from the region, English was taken as the language of communication without any further consideration, although Austrians participated as well.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

All in all, I'd say everyone agrees they don't really have any idea about the future. Some find English is a threat (even to established languages with prodigious recent literary output in technical fields), others say it is no threat.
But if technology and especially the internet has made English spread faster and further, then the same can make another language the next lingua franca. Similarly, technology and internet can be used to revive and invigorate other national and regional languages.

My own thoughts -
Assuming all else remains constant (no sudden disappearance of internet or other basic technology for example):
Speed of empire building = speed of empire falling;
Rome not built in a day = Rome didn't fall in a day (took centuries of decay once it set in);
Because of current technology English proliferates fast = something else can quickly replace it.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Gujarati dictionary and Thesaurus:


You have to know how to read the script though.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Assamese and other North East languages dictionary:


Have to be able to read the script<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Kannada dictionary:

Dr. Smita Sinha is Professor in Department of Linguistics, Berhampur University. She has written several books and papers on progress of Oriya vis-a-vis English in Orissa.

In one of her paper she says:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The consensus among intellectuals is that Oriya language is slowly decaying out as the elite mass, specially the younger children, prefers to speak and write in English, ignoring their native tongue. Language is the most powerful means of communication and human beings never have stopped talking. How, then, can a language die out?

Linguists like Aitchison (1981), believe that when a language dies it is not because a community has forgotten how to speak, but because another language has gradually ousted the old one as the dominant language, for political and social reasons. Typically a young generation will learn an old language from their parents as a mother tongue, but will be exposed from a young age to another, more fashionable and socially useful, language at school.

She did a survey amongst the children and their parents in Orissa:


The aim and objectives of the present study is to find out the attitude the younger generation and their parents in urban and rural areas towards Oriya language through samples. For this purpose, 400 samples, out of which 200 are from elite localities of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar, from people whose native language is Oriya, were interviewed. Out of these, 100 are children of the age group of 14-16. 50 Boys and 50 girls and 100 are parents - 50 mothers and 50 fathers. The rest consisted of the samples from rural areas in the Cuttack and Khurda districts. Out of these, 100 children are of the age group of 14-16, 50 boys and 50 girls and 100 parents - 50 mothers and 50 fathers. The samples were selected on the basis of random sampling method.

All the samples are exposed to television, and rural parents have had education upto the matriculation level. All the urban parents have received education up to the under-graduate level. All the rural children go to Oriya medium schools and the urban students go to English medium schools.

The most alarming result is that within the elitist group, only 5% boys, 2% girls, and 10% parents wanted to prefer Oriya as a spoken langauge. Likewise "Oriya Literature Want to Read" was 0% for boys, girls, and parents. within the rural and non-elitist group the percentage of 'prefer Oriya and language to speak in is 100% as well 'literature want to read' is 100%.

Measurement is not ability, but 'want'.

Her conclusions:


The above results are very significant as these show the attitude towards Oriya language among the elitist classes is not very positive toward Oriya learning, which creates a threat to the effective survival of Oriya language "Languages grow and develop by being made to function in newer contexts and newer interactional network" (Verma, 1984, pp. 12-13). Most of these samples feel that English is the language of Science and Technology, power and politics and of global communication. It is a very developed language with its rich vocabulary. It is also the most easily available language in the world and is the international link language. It is also considered as a language of sophistication. More than anything else, sound knowledge of English will fetch good job prospects. In short, English language offers greater mobility, self-confidence, enhancing self-esteem and better future prospects. It is interesting to note that, although rural people feel Oriya is easier, they do not prefer Oriya medium instruction because only English medium education will fetch good jobs in this competitive world of today.

These are a few of the reasons why the parents feel that their children should be more competent in the English language. On the contrary, they feel that the Oriya language does not offer a wide range of functions and is less attached with the prestige factor. As today's scenario demands globalization, it is highly essential to be more proficient in English. Social changes usually start from the elite and spread towards the general public. The trend in Orissa is that parents, who can afford, prefer to send their children to English medium schools for better career opportunities.

These children read Oriya as a second language only. Many prefer to speak in English among themselves to have a good command of the spoken English. If this process continues over a period of time, we shall be left with Oriya speakers only in the rural Orissa although it will still be continued to be taught in Orissa as 1st or 2nd language. <span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>When that stage comes, shall we call it a death or decay of the Oriya language? <b>German writer Max Muller asserted that the history of all the Aryan languages is nothing but a gradual process of decay.</b></span>

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE RIGHT NOW?

What is at this stage needed to preserve the language is that the language planners and policy makers must take note of this impending terror that will attack the Oriya language, and try to develop the language to fulfill the social needs of the future generation. For doing this, the following things should be taken into consideration.

To develop richness in vocabulary.
To develop wider functions for the use of Oriya.
To give more prestige to the native elements of the language and even to revive the obsolete forms with new modern connotation.
To develop the terminology from science and technology and make the language as the language of power and development.
To stop infiltration of external foreign elements into Oriya.
To develop the written literature.
To develop positive attitude towards Oriya among younger people and to stimulate motivation in them to learn and speak this language.
To make the literature of science and technology of other developed languages available in Oriya through machine translation.
To popularize the Oriya language through mass media like film and television by creating good work of art in Oriya.
Just as an example, this is what passes for Telugu these days (found it on some movie forum):
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->mana bangaram others section lo edo telugu meedha taadu pettadu konchem help cheyandi. ... Akkade my uncle (mom brother ) and pinni valla family vallu kooda ...<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
The following is an exact word to word translation into Telugu by me:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->mana bangaram anya vibaagham lo edo telugu meedha taadu pettadu konchem sahayam cheyyandi. ... Akkade na mamayya (amma sodharudu) mariyu pinni valla kutumbham vallu kooda ...<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
brother is sodharudu, only if you specifically say younger bro then it becomes thammudu or elder bro then its anna.
Lots of interesting posts - I have been trying to post a reply for a couple of days - but because I failed to do periodic saves - I lost what I had typed on both days due to power outages from thunderstorms here in Bangalore. Let me try and remedy that this time..
I still cannot get past the feeling that here is an pre-existing "English boundary" or "English barrier" in India that loads the dice against children who enter into regional language schools. Bodhi's post about Orissa reinforces that feeling.

I note the point that Bodhi made about successful regional language school pupils and I have made that point too earlier. But the successful ones only indicate that success is possible and does not detail any obstacle or hurdles that regional language students may face.

For that, one would have to look at the failures - those who did not "make it" and see if their regional language education impeded their progress in any way. If such impediments exist - they will have to be removed before regional language education can be made as attractive as the English language route.

Some statistics may be useful here - and I do not have access to these statistics

1) What percentage of pupils who pass seventh standard in regional language schools go on to complete their 10th standard in regional language schools. How does that percentage compare with a similar statistic regarding pupils entering English medium schools.

2)What percentage of pupils passing their 10th standard in regional language schools go on to acquire college graduate degrees compared with pupils passing from English medium schools.

3) If we can get entrance exam statistics from IIT/Regional engg colleges, what percentage of regional language students who attepmt the exam gain entry into these institutions compared with the percentage of successful English medium students versus those who attempt the exam.

These statistics might show a bias one way or the other. If there is no difference, there is no problem, but if it can be shown that regional language students are suffering in some way - it means that there are institutionalized biases against regional language students.

Empirically, it appears to me that regional language students do face barriers that English medium students do not have to face - but I am talking of ways of documenting that if possible because documentation is essential before remedies can be found.

The school closure mess in Karnataka resulted from the bias that parents are showing in wanting their children educated in English. There seems to be an empirical assumption among those parents that their children would have a better future if they studied in English. The Karnataka government gave a whole lot of licenses to schools asking that education should be in Kannada medium in those schools. However - it turned out that many of those schools illegally switched to English based on demand for that. The Government sat on this for a while and suddenly came down on those schools ordering their closure. The question arises whether the parents of those children are mistaken in assuming that there is a better future for their children in English. Obviously they will not take a risk with their childrens' future and will not accept reassurance without tangible proof.

There are, in my view, other barriers placed in front of regional language pupils. For example Karnataka has 10% of the engineering seats in the country (but not 10% of the population. Karnataka is therefore an attractive destination for aspiring engineering students from all over the country. But for students from other states a better working knowledge of English will be an advantage in an entrance exam that is written in English. A pure regional language education, with anything less than reasonable English proficiency will reduce a student's chances in a cut-throat competition. Little wonder that parents are scrambling to ensure that English does not become a barrier.

I think the promotion of regional language will require some deep structural changes. Cosmetic moves or half hearted partial implementation of regional language education such as that followed by the Karnataka government will not work.
I believe the following is relevant to this thread:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->But while such local knowledge and identity could be valuable to the head of a small principality, a subconti-nental imperial system could benefit from a high lan-guage that favored no specific ethnicity – the role played by Persian in the Mughal Empire. In later years, Sivaji and his son and successor Sambhaji seem to have con-sidered the possibility of Sanskrit playing such a role. Thus the Rajavyavaharakosa – a thesaurus of official us-age – was prepared shortly after Sivaji's coronation as Chatrapati. This has sometimes been presented as an effort at the triumphant return of Sanskrit with the end of Muslim rule. S. B. Varnekar, for example, claims that the author was commissioned to write this text in order to save the language of the gods (devabhasa).34 The text itself is much more modest: “Having completely up-rooted the barbarians (mleccha), by the best of kings a learned man was appointed ... to replace the overvalued Yavana words (atyartham yavanavacanair) with educated speech (vibudhabhasam).”35 There is, for a period, a sig-nificant change in register in official documents, with a new prominence given to Sanskritic terminology, even though Marathi remained the official language. I shall return to this theme later in this essay.

<a href='http://cssaame.com/issues/24_2/guha.pdf' target='_blank'>http://cssaame.com/issues/24_2/guha.pdf
So the opposition to mindless mixing of languages is not any modern phenomenon.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->During the coronation ceremony Maharaj changed the Persian names of the ministers to Sanskrut as follows –

Persian - Sanskrut 
Peshva - Panta Pradhan 
Majmuadar - Panta Amatya 
Vakiya - navis Mantri 
Shuru - navis Panta Sachiv 
Dabir - Sumant 
Sar-e- naubat - Senapati 
Sadra, Muhatsib - Panditrav, Danadhyaksha 
Kazi-ul- kujat - Nyayadish 


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