Some scholars argue that a great change occurred in or around 1950 with the discovery of the computer. However, while digital data processing certainly has brought changes in our society, we are perhaps too close to the date of its birth to evaluate it clearly.
The whole of human history is built upon communication. From the first story told in prehistoric times through the mass media of today, verbal communication has shaped the foundation of an existence. Everyday life is a total of routines, actions and reactions repeated day after day. Communications play an important role in everyday life. For much of human history, speech and body language were the only available forms of communication. This changed when writing was developed, probably around the year 3000 BC in the area of the world that we now call the Middle East. With the discovery of the computer in 1950, a great change occurred in communication and data available on the Internet is English language.
However, the official language of the Central Government of Republic of India is Standard Hindi, while English is the secondary official language.
Let’s us now come back to the point of nationwide resentment on giving weight to English language by Union Public Service Commission in the Civil Services exams. It has been said as a conspiracy against the weaker sections so as to ensure that children from SC, ST and OBC background do not succeed in the civil services examination despite having the required merit. Lalu Prasad Yadav, while seeking a rollback on the decision, has said that UPSC may be a constitutional body but it was not above the government and Parliament.
Some protesters even shouted “Angrezi me kaam na hoga, phir se desh ghulaam na hoga (No work will be done in English, we won’t be slaves again)” and “Angrezi hatao, desh bachao (Banish English and save the country)”.
Such slogans have no importance, if the nation has to compete at the global level and the political class has to realize that whereas the regional language provides cultural sense, in this globalized world it is English that provides bread and butter. So, both languages have equal importance but the training of English cannot be neglected.
Glaring examples are the recruitments in the states made with the condition that the candidate must have passed the exam in regional language and if we go by the working style in the office, 90 per cent work is done in English language. Since candidates knowing English are always at an advantage when applying for jobs, it has to be adopted as the language of instructions at the root level. This is the reason that increasing enrolment in English language schools in India is in line with international trends, where English is establishing itself as the language of global commerce.
Apart from being a link language to the world, English is also an indispensable link language between Indian states. Studies have shown that knowledge of English can break down caste and gender inequalities while allowing the hitherto underprivileged to break into white- collar professions.
In fact, one should have the ability to communicate with the people in simple and clear language. At the same time, the language may be local or regional but giving more weight to English does not make sense.
No doubt, English is a unifying language and helps officials from different parts of the country to interact at the global level. But English language is the only option for a civil servant who opts for posting in states other than his home state when he doesn’t understand the local language. All government meetings at the national and international level are held in English and an officer has to understand the issues, note the key points and then communicate his or her views clearly.
In principle, all languages have the potential to fulfill any communication role and in the present scenario, it is difficult to run away from the English language, if we want to complete at the global level in this tech era.
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