Language matters

Mulayam Singh Yadav says that English is the “the language of destruction, which has had a telling impact on the economy of India”.

It actually reminded me of an incident a few years ago. My family and myself were on a trip (somewhere in Karnataka, I don’t remember the actual destination) and on the way, we stopped by a lake. There was a huge commotion there. Somebody drowned. He was a student and had come with his friends from North India.

There was a warning sign in front of the lake not to enter the lake because it is dangerous. But it was written in Kannada. Those students couldn’t read or understand it. When his friends discovered that one of their group is drowning, they started shouting for help. A few people came rushing in but they didn’t understand Hindi, so they didn’t understand what was going on.

When my father and myself went to ask what was going on, the localite spoke to us in Kannada and said that if he knew about the drowning person, he could’ve jumped into the lake and saved that person, but he didn’t understand what the students were shouting about.

Now, consider this. If both of them knew a common language, wouldn’t a person’s life been saved?

That common language happens to be English in India. Now, imagine these kind of scenarios on a scale of 1,080,264,388 … we would have had utter chaos.

I hope people (like the person in question) forget their so-called ideologies and adopt some pragmatism instead.

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Jamie Larson