|English Vinglish Haye Rabba - The Neha Agrawal Blog|
I have seen people making a sorry face and giving an agonizing look as soon as they hear that the person standing next to them doesn’t know English. “Arrey tumhe English nahi aati?” is the most innocent question people ask, as not knowing English is some crime.
I agree that English is no longer the third world language, and we all (including me) use it daily; but why impart it such a coveted status? And more importantly, why disgrace others who are not that familiar with it?
Most of us don’t know Mandarin, Greek, French or Spanish. We don’t consider ourselves stupid or ignorant about this fact but show attitude to non-English speakers. My problem is not with the English language, or its special status (It is earning me bread and butter), my problem is with the way we look at others who can’t speak, read or write this language.
The purpose of any language is to let people express their feelings, and communicate with each other. We need to respect the fact that a person is capable of expressing himself/herself, else everything should be secondary. One should not be shy to accept if he/she doesn’t know any particular language; and this will happen only when we start giving respect to people irrespective of their region, culture or language.
Many foreign languages including English have been derived from Sanskrit and Devnagiri, and we all should be proud of it. We should also take a lesson or two from China and Japan who prefer their national language over English, and are making others learn Mandarin and Japanese.
I get amazed by the fact that most of the people I have met in South India know 3-4 languages, excluding English. Trust me; it’s not less an achievement, as I can manage to speak and read only two. There is no age and limit to learning, and I strongly advocate that we should learn as many foreign languages as possible. However, we should also make it a point not to disown our mother tongue in the quest for any other language.
I have seen many instances of children speaking fluent English, but not knowing how to communicate in their native language. Language is a part of our identity and culture; showing it our back will not only harm community at large but also deprive our younger generations of their rich cultural heritage.
Let’s pledge that we won’t let our languages die a miserable death and pay the same respect to every individual irrespective of their color, religion, region, culture, and language.
Read my post originally published in http://snghlneha.blogspot.in/?view=magazine
Live and love,