“Angrez chale gaye, yeh angrezi chhod gaye.”
English isn’t just a language in India. Proficiency in the language is a skill that often determines your employability and is something people even look for in a partner. In fact, when we hit the streets of Delhi, we found that when it comes to searching for a spouse, most consider a woman who can speak English to be a far better prospect than one who doesn’t because that ensures she can impart the same skill to her kids too.
Most of us have grown up being been told how English is the language of business and key for communication on an international platform. In India, it’s a big business. People invest large sums in courses that teach English. Schools too sell education with the tag of being an ‘English Medium’.
India is the world’s second-largest English-speaking country with an estimated 10% of Indians speaking the language.
English remains the language of choice especially for higher education. Parents see it as a gateway to coveted white collar jobs. During interview rounds, companies usually seek to gauge the English language skills of prospective employees.
Bollywood has also touched upon this topic. Movies like English Vinglish and English Medium have looked at how important English has become. One showed how a girl was embarrassed to take her mother for a parent-teacher meeting because she couldn’t converse in English. Another looked at the struggle of two parents who wanted their girl to go to a good ‘English medium’ school.
So what do Indians really think about English and its implications in terms of the opportunities you have access to or the way you’re perceived by your family, peers and the world at large?
Watch this video to find out and let us know your take in the comments section.