Impromptu / Extempore speeches
16. About English!
My dear friends,
I wish to speak to you about English.
English is a wonderful language. And quite easy to study. It has only 26 letters.
In the first impression, one might feel that it is such a small language that it cannot do much. For, most Indian languages have much more letters and many more powerful words. English words do not have the power that words in Indian languages have.
Yet, it is not power in words that makes a society great. Simplicity and ease of use is what makes social communication easy. Not only communicating with others, but debating, discussing and such other things are much more comfortable and easy in English.
I am not saying that these things are not possible in other languages. However, most other languages, including many European languages are feudal and hierarchical.
A society reflects the personal dignity and quality of its people. This in turn is connected to the language and words used with regard to the people. Languages that discriminate and belittle people variously cannot create a great social set-up or nation. This is where English does make a very definite difference.
English is not a feudal language👉. In fact, it is a planar language. There are no higher-ups or lower beings in ordinary English words.
English has words for the king, queen and other statutory functionaries. Yet, ordinary words that discriminate or degrade or ennoble a particular person or groups of persons are not required for ordinary communication in English.
This is what makes English a great language. In fact, it is this sterling quality of English that had made it the language of a wonderful world empire.
It was Lord Macaulay who argued for the teaching of this wonderful language to the ordinary people of British-India. The rich people of British-India could study English on their own. It was the common man’s children who had no opportunity to study English. English East India Company decided to agree with Lord Macaulay. English education was given to many school children. In many cases, the lower financial classes and other lower castes improved tremendously due to this.
In fact, many lower caste individuals got into senior official positions without any reservation, due to this great magnanimity on the part of the East India Company.
At the same time, the higher castes also benefited from the various social reforms which enabled them also to improve.
My dear friends, in my opinion we have to be grateful to our benefactors. Ingratitude is a very vile thing.
16. About English!