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Showing posts from March, 2010

The English question

LSE Library, London. (c) P.S.

English has had a very weird connection with India. Within India, the connection gets more uncomfortable than weird as you move up North in the country's cowbelt.
As I was working on the English series, of which story one Will English Become India's weakness? appeared in Mint on March 4 and story two The pitfalls of linguistic jingoism on March 5, I looked within, reminisced and asked myself many questions.
The `English realisation' in my life goes back to the time my father got married. My mother was a Bundelkhandi. She spoke the native language and wasn't well-versed in Hindi. In those times, to think of a girl in rural Uttar Pradesh, who could speak English, was unimaginable. Thanks to her studies in the Science stream and later her job as a Botany professor, Ma had picked up good enough English which helped her interact with my father, who would speak either Magahi, a d…