We all know that human transactions took place even when there was no language. Even today, when we travel abroad, despite the ignorance of the language, we do all the necessary transactions skillfully. Moreover, the mind has its own language which we also know as the language of love. That is why we say that love has no language, love has no boundaries. Even when a person looks at us, smiles or shows a loving gesture, even in the absence of words, we touch his feelings, emotions, love, which is the experience of all of us. In short, language is just a medium for easy exchange of ideas. It has no special significance, in that sense connecting any language with a person’s status or intelligence is ignorance in my view, sheer stupidity.
I, as an Indian citizen, have come to realize that we consider English not as a language but as a special status or reputation, meaning that people speak English unnecessarily to impress others, to show that they are excellent and know English well. Sometime inferiority arises in the mind of people who don’t know English as well as ego boost in the mind of people who are good in English. In addition, the importance of the English speaker in every social transaction has been noticed and his work in many offices is made easier by just speaking English. Due to which many people try to speak wrong English even though they do not know English and become ridiculous.
Now a day 80% of parents send their children to English medium schools. The only reason I understand is the prestige of the English language in the society. My children are studying in English medium schools parents by saying this taking pride and responding as if they are increasing their status in the society. Moreover, grandchildren or great-grandchildren studying in English medium, begin to consider very cultured and intelligent grandparents or parents as stupid, ignorant and incomprehensible, who do not only know English, which can be called a great pity of our society. This is because we have made the language that should be used only as a medium of communication more important than necessary and have linked it with status and prestige. Even more painful is the fact that despite being a Gujarati living in Gujarat, most Gujarati begin to perceive other non-Gujarati as special and brilliant because they speak English and begin to understand own self as inferior and start speaking wrong or stupid Hindi or English which makes them ridiculous among non-Gujarati. Even most non-Gujarati start to consider Gujarati as stupid or duffer only because of language and start ignoring them. Which leads to meaningless conflict, hatred, dislike in the society which increases negativity and has a profound effect on a person’s health, immune system and psyche which is in no way desirable.
I am not saying not to speak, learn or study English. But in no way can it be said that a person is intelligent or foolish just because of one language. I have heard many Gujarati family saying that I and my children do not know Gujarati and they say so with complete pride. I don’t understand that not knowing Gujarati as a Gujarati is a matter of pride or shame? How can you take pride for that? How can not knowing Gujarati be considered a matter of pride as a Gujarati? Learning English as an international language in today’s global world may be essential for business. In that sense, English must be accepted as a business language but never at the cost of mother tongue. To me, contempt for the mother tongue is an invincible sin. I believe that even if the mother of another is more beautiful or intelligent than our own mother, love will be more for our own mother obviously! How can a child love another’s mother more than his own mother? The same logic is applicable to language also that is why our own language is known as mother tongue, it contains motherhood and a person who does not appreciate (accept) mother tongue or love his own mother is not eligible to get any kind of progress, success or peace in life. There are many countries in the world today itself where more than 90% of the people do not know English, such as Japan, China, etc., but today no one can beat them in the boom of development. It also shows that language is not important for success, development, progress or prestige. It is just a general means of exchanging ideas. Moreover, if one can impress or influence society, relatives, friends, it can be only through true rites, goodness, moral qualities and values, never language. In that sense, the madness of the English language does not seem right to me in any way. In fact, the madness of anything is unworthy because it has no limits, that is why it is called madness. Whether it is a language or something else, a limit is required.
I have never seen a family with their very personal people with whom they have a close relationship speak in any other foreign language. A Bengali person may speak only Bengali at home, a Punjabi person may prefer to speak Punjabi at home, Gujarati may speak Gujarati with his relatives and members of the Marathi household may exchange ideas in Marathi, which means it is proved that we use English only to impress and influence people other than family. Besides, impressing someone also means raising my profile or status in the society, even in that sense it is not desirable as such a process will only increase our ego which is the first step of the fall.
One thing I must say based on my 25 years career as a professor is that students never understand another (foreign) language as easily as they do in their mother tongue. I have been teaching in English medium for twenty five years but one of the wishes of the students has always been that Madam can summarize what you have taught in English in a little Hindi and cannot understand the subject as clearly as the Hindi summary given in five minutes. If the readers agree with my opinion, then at least they must love their mother tongue and if they participate in the progress of the society by giving preference to other foreign language only as business language, then I feel my writing effort has been succeed. Even so, in Hindu culture, it is not forbidden to love or respect the mother of another, but hatred of one’s own mother is not considered appropriate in any culture. In that sense, I feel compelled to respect and love our mother tongue. I hope you all will be agree with my opinion and definitely be active in this regard. That is only the purpose of writing this article.
Thank you so much.