LONDON TIMES EDITORIAL ON INDIAN ENGLISH (Post 9562)

Compiled BY LONDON SWAMINATHAN

Post No. 9562

Date uploaded in London – –3 May   2021           

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Though I didn’t agree with all the views in the editorial, I enjoyed the last two paragraphs. I kept this paper cutting for 27 years and I now happily throw it in the dustbin.

Here is the editorial:-

Beyond Hobson -Jobnson

There are few things more Indian than English.

As our Delhi correspondent reports today ,prickly Indian nationalists are at war with the English language . The advertisements of Pepsi Cola and other Western companies are accused of causing all that is corrosive of Indian moral and spiritual substance. This problem has existed, in some form or other, for many centuries: Macaulay’s robust Minute of 1835 averred that ‘English is better worth knowing than Sanskrit or Arabic ‘and who could challenge him? But the modern cavalry charge, led by Hindi speaking politicians from the north of the country, is a piece of cultural vandalism that could endanger the economy too.

English, as spoken as a first language by over 40 million Indians at a conservative estimate, has taken root in the soil like a venerable banyan tree. The novelist Raja Rao wrote in ‘Kantharupa’ – a century after Macaulay— that Indian English’ has to be a dialect which will someday prove to be as distinctive and colourful as the Irish and the American. it has proved that distinctness resoundingly and is India’s intellectual vehicle today.

India and English have a symbiotic relationship. If India has a cast iron asset in the rugged world of commercial intercourse, it is its pool of skilled English speaking people. This gives the country its greatest competitive advantage; its technicians enjoy a mobility unhampered by language and foreign investors have not the headache of teaching their own nationals a formidable new tongue.

The juggernaut of English viewed with paranoia by the French and others , works entirely in India’s favour.The English language , too has profited from its adoption by the Indian sub-continent, Indians, with more than one language and culture, have woven a complex cloth with English thread. Grammatical forms and usage are often unique to Indian speakers of the language. But it is  in the  area of vocabulary and idioms that the surest mark has been made. English will be forever grateful for jungle and shampoo; and there are a thousand others. Numerous, too are the words intelligible to Indians alone; there are dacoiits, eve teasers and four twenties galore in mofussil areas , who if nabbed by the jawans, will be thrashed with lathis. And the jawans will only be doing the needful.

Yet nothing is more distinctive about Indian English than the manner of its pronunciation. That it is rhotic and syllable timed, and it’s speakers tend to geminate voiceless inter vocalic obstruents is not important. As proprietors of their own tongue. They are entitled to mould it to Indian cadences English is an Indian language, and English is richer for it. Those who wish to rid their country of it are three hundred years too late.

——The Times Editorial, May 20, 1994

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Language Quotations

Language is an ever evolving entity. There are rules, but the rules bend and break, depending on usage. New words are created through abbreviation, conflation,misunderstanding and poetic invention.

Richard Herring , Metro, 25-1-2013

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English language is a mongrel !

The English language is a mongrel created by thousands of years of invasion and immigration. Most of our words are appropriated from other languages. So to complain about us adopting a few American words, after giving them so many, is plane stupid.

Richard Herring , Metro, 25-1-2013

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Horrible Hand writing of Byron and Charles Dickens

The Royal collection in Britain is held in various Royal buildings such as

Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and palace in Scotland

There are lots of letters and manuscripts, often written in a semi -illegible hand.  A page by the novelist Charles Dickens is almost impossible to read, but the most abominable hand writing is undoubtedly that of the romantic poet Lord Byron, who tended to have a few drinks to spur on creative imagination and who then sat down to write fast and furiously through the night.

The  Royal collection also has an essay written by the Queen when she was 11 year old. The essay by the present queen was written in 1937, when she was eleven , and describes the coronation of her parents in London Westminster abbey.

Source – a museum of the British monarchy BBC topical report 7-3-1990

Xxx subham xxx

Tags- Indian English, Times Editorial, Mongrel, Byron, Dickens’ handwrining.