THE IMPACT OF GLOBALIZATION ON INDIAN LANGUAGES

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Fri Nov 3 13:37:57 UTC 2006


 linguistmeti <http://linguistmeti.blogspot.com/>

  Thursday, November 02, 2006
THE IMPACT OF GLOBALIZATION ON INDIAN LANGUAGES:

THE LINGUISTIC CONSEQUENCES AND REALITIES




Meti Mallikarjun
Sahyadri college,
Shimoga
metimallikarjun at yahoo.com


Abstract

This paper intends to explore the interactions between globalization and
linguistic consequences i.e. linguistic hegemony, shift, danger, myth and
realities in the domain of higher education and its related networks. The
impact of British period, and the introduction of English in India, on the
linguistic map of this country, is not distinctly visible but have left an
impact on the language politics and intra-national communication network of
India... The dynamics of language of power it is not confined to India alone
as well... Similar language planning situations exists in other
former-colonies. The freedom struggle of India is different from the freedom
struggle of other colonies. In all these cases, language was part of the
agenda of the struggle. In other words, managing linguistic / cultural
diversity is one of the central challenges of our time. The challenges are
part of historic process of social change, of struggle for cultural and
linguistic freedom, of new frontiers in the advance of human freedom and
democracy. The important events that need to be studied are the policy
decision of the colonizer and neo-colonizer. The language polices, on the
one hand to be a compromise among the language of the elite (English), the
national language (i.e. to be Hindi) and the regional language. This paper
highlights some of the important policy decisions taken by an imperialists
and neo-colonizer – in the against of globalization and economic
liberalization...

Introduction: the beginnings of English hegemony

The spread and rise of English presupposes and entails the existence and
subsequent dissemination of a language that not only took firm roots in its
own country but also through various man oeuvres could and did establish
itself in other parts of the world as well. English today, it is spoken by
several hundred million people spanning five continents. It functions in
different kinds of societies as a mother tongue, a second language, a
vehicle of officialdom, a medium of education, as a language for science and
technology, business, and commerce. It is also functioning as a lingua
franca- a language used among people who have no other tongue in common and
in same places; it has provided the base for pidgins and Creoles. It is also
spoken by people who use more than two or three languages in the course of
their daily lives, and it has came to symbolize many different and often
sensitive issues and institutions in different areas : education , literacy,
social mobility, economic advancement Christianity and colonial and
neo-colonial dominance. Today English in the Indian subcontinent is
dominating in many crests and colors. Its glaring proliferation, to the
remotest corners of the country is covering virtually every segment of the
plural society. Particularly, after the colonial rule ended nearly six
decades ago, has upset the calculation of those aspiring to install
indigenous languages in the place of the language of the colonial masters
(Khubachandani : 1996). In such an expanded scenario of communication,
English in many developing countries is looked up on as a vehicle of
secondary modernization, leading to sarcastic claims that "the Raj dead is
more powerful than the Raj alive". The place of English in India in any
meaningful way unless we spell out some of the problems associated with
conceptualilizing 'language' and 'multilingualism' and their relationship to
power in society. It is also a marker of identity, and often its role, as an
identity marker may be more powerful than its role as a means of
communication. In very important ways, it also structures our universe and
according to some philosophers such as Wittgenstein, it delimits the
structure of our thought as well. In fact, we also need to ask the reasons
why, in a global context, a particular language is associated with power and
prestige, and how it becomes imperative for trade, commerce, knowledge, and
even for revolt so that even the most enlightened minds have began to
suspect the viability of using their own languages towards these ends. The
establishment of English language as cultural, political, economical,
educational, entities in India by replacing Indian languages is one of the
crucial factors, for analyzing the positions of the modern Indian languages.
The discourse of 'English establishment' in India, of course is one elitist
attitude of common people in order to adopt the kind of social mask, which
pretends to be modernizing life.
Macaulay's recommendation in the 1835 English education act made English
'the language of government, education and advancement' (Krishnaswamy 1983)
one of his recommendations was that 'all the funds appropriated for the
purpose of education would be best employed on English education alone
(Aggarwal 1984:4). It was decided that all funds would henceforth be
utilized for importing to the population a knowledge of English literature
and science through the medium of the English language (big id : 15).
English education continues to offer in the missionary institutions, which
had been operating, from the beginning of the nineteenth century. The
language English in India has been associated, from the beginning with
career advancement, social mobility, western knowledge and status in
society. Even after in dependence many people felt that elite, with an
English education as one of its defining features, simply replace the
British colonizers. It is important to notice that the reaction came not
only from the elite but also from the common people who might have had
access to education. In an 'economy of complicity and guilt ' (suleri :
1992)it is rightly pointed out that the desire to learn English to
intensified; for instance, the British Indian association of the north
western provinces, Aligarh, wrote to the governor – general of India in
council on august 1867.
"We have said that in offering our present petition our object is not to
revive the dead learning and refinement of Asia but to supplant all this by
the introduction of the truer and more recently acquired knowledge of
Europe… At present an acquaintance with the higher branches of knowledge can
obtained only by a study of the English language, and it is this which
present the greatest obstacle to the general and rapid propagation of useful
knowledge in the country (Naik : 1963 : 23). By the beginning of the 20th
century the association of English with power and position had become firmly
establish in India. In the same way Bhatia (1940 : 104) argues that ' the
study of English deserves the place of honor in our curricula not because of
its practical usefulness as an means of livelihood but also because it has
been and still is to a very considerable extent the only lingua – franca for
the educated class of India'.
Most of the Indian languages are rich linguistically as well as in
literature. However, none of them plays any significant role as a medium of
transnational communication. The only language that plays a significant
mediating role in transnational information flow is English. Another
language, Hindi (to be national language), is used at some extent in certain
functional domains. The forces of history have made English the major medium
of transnational communication in Asia. English uses extensively for
communication between English speaking and non-English speaking countries,
among non-English speaking and in some cases within a non-English speaking
country. In a large culturally diverse country like India English is using
as a common language for communication between different linguistic regions
within the country.
The colonial experience is also responsible factor for de-establishing the
modern Indian languages in the modern contexts, because of the colonial
impact, English took place in India, no doubt, but the resistances and
consistencies of Indian linguistic capacity ' has been lowering ....it is
the creation of colonialism. As a result, this has been continuing in the
globalizing process, at the same time, 'the linguistic encroachment' has
taken place in the process of neo-colonialism. Therefore, the semantics of
globalization and neo-colonialism is creating new registers to vanish the
modern Indian languages.
These are analytical factors for understanding the impact of globalization,
Colonialism and neo-colonialism on modern Indian languages. Conceptualizing
English, of course, is very difficult in Indian cultural context, though,
English is replacing the vernaculars of India.
English as power, knowledge and capital; in the domains of political,
economical, social and educational this functions as hegemony on modern
Indian languages. The status, role, and functions of English in the socio
linguistic context of each English using third-world countries is not
properly understood, is conveniently ignored. The consequences of this
attitude are that the third-world countries are slowly realizing that
un-establishment and unprotected native vernaculars of their. The
perceptions of postcolonial discourse are again depending upon English, why,
English is not merely a language; it is an instrument for low, a political
register/discourse it is a power more than that English is the signifier of
modernity. The spread of English language is more comparatively with any
language in India and outside the India. As for as Indian linguistic
management is concerned, is not prepared for any scientific or technological
usages/adoptable/adjustable, whereas, English language is prepared for all
sorts of usages in any given linguistic capacity. The manifestations of
modernity/modernized social groups are crucial in order to understand the
attitudes of English language and its development in modernized domains. In
the process of globalization, the concepts of development are nothing but,
they are the economical and political benefits (development), everything
looked in terms of economical aspects, In fact, economical benefits are the
real agendas of modern time. Now-a-days, lifestyle is depending on only
economical theory.
Whether it is economics, defense, science or diplomacy, language plays a
significant role. Language is the most important tool in understanding one's
collaborates, competitors and adversaries and developing coping ability to
meet the challengers of a world in flux. In the present day world,
linguistic consciousness directly affects global realities. It has been
primary focus of this paper to look into the connections of English between
development, capitalism and dependence, and to make a strong case for the
use of Indian languages in science and technology all levels of higher
education for the realization of potentials of these languages (modern
Indian languages). It is critical because it not only tries to raise
consciousness among its speakers but also aims at showing up connections,
which are seemingly hidden form people such as the connections between
language, power and ideology. These connections have been characterized with
reference to English in order to understand its hegemonic function of
science, technology and information system. It is to be noted that English
in India is a symbol of linguistic centralism. Where as the numerous Indian
languages are seen to represent 'linguistic regionalism' (Kapilkapoor:
1994). The colonial language is constitutionally recognized even in the
decolonized nation. I.e. English which has replaced the native vernaculars
from the functional domains completely. Only two / three languages are
taking 'linguistic encroachment', the kind of thinking is emerging like, if
there is no English, there would not be any knowledge in the state or
nation.
It is obvious that, the agendas or manifestations of globalization are
vanishing of the native languages and cultural values, at the same time,
devaluing them. Subsequently, it tries to establish its languages as
superior than others, to understand colonalized and globalized minds. The
hegemonic languages are the appropriate instrument. This, globalization will
create a kind of environment for perishing the native and pluricultural
entities and core values of neo-colonalized nation / state. This focuses on
the issues related with ideology of science and technology, its repressive
functions and forms of state country and the factors that have contributed
to the ideology and politics of science. In as much as language place a
pervasive, subtle, and complex role in the construction of ideological
formations and structure, the use of language (particularly with reference
to English) on the exercise of ideological function of science policy,
education and language planning in the developing countries. The developing
countries have accepted the dominant position and status of English in
science and technological education. Its purpose was to instill the right
"English value" in colonized subjects and to project a vision of all was
finest and most admirable in English culture. Thomas Babington Macaulay
presented in his famous "minutes on education". That one of the most
efficient ways for colonial authority to legitimize its cultural ideology
was to perpetuate the myth of English high culture through the valorization
of specific kinds of literary texts.
Through this education as theory, the language and there by the culture of
the colonies origin was filtered down to percolate in the minds of the
colonized subjects thus establishing a hierarchy.
The early 19th century politics also promoted the founding of a Standard
English. Language was used as an emblem of a bond that brought together
otherwise disunited cultural factions. This striving for uniformity
culminated in linguistic such as Daniel Jones advocating the education
pronunciation as a standard against which other forms were judged as being
deviant, uncouth and educationally subnormal. His English pronouncing
dictionary (1917) was a case in point; such linguistic dictates functioned
to exclude people from power and influence in terms of class and ethnic
differences of dialect and pronunciation, So much for the politics of
centering a standard. Consequently, education became a less effective means
for enlightenment ideology to be mediated by the Indian languages. In all
sections, English become the dominant languages of education, science and
technology and there fore dominant medium of modernization through education
by the middle of the nineteenth century. i.e. in period of 40 years from the
acceptance of the policy of public education by the colonial government in
India (from, Annamalai 1998). Subsequently, globalization sectors have come
for renewal in this time, spread of the Euro-American's knowledge came to be
associated with material improvement, and not just with moral improvement of
the third world countries, it was inevitable for certain Indian elite caste
/ groups for accepting English to continue their hegemony, and to establish
their elite status. In such a situation, the cultural / linguistic
establishment has to see beyond its borders for further establishments of
neo-colonialism. The idea was to introduce a feeling that there would be an
increase in the average income, and poor nations would prosper more rapidly
than the rich leading to the birth of the 'global village' where market
integration and prosperity would be the main trends. This new dispensation
was termed as a "neo-liberal "or as it is commonly known to the public.
"Globalism" or "globalization "this was classical liberation new relabeled
as 'the new economy which puts the U.S.A and Britain as "the privileged
vanguard of an evolutionary process that applies to all nations. " (Chomsky
: 2004) however this was nothing but absolute deception and its claims of
ushering in technological developments and a win, win perspective were a
cover up for the underline agenda to advance the interest of the
Anglo-American political elites at the expense of others. This white man's
burden is nothing but hypocrisy or racism. It is critically important to
understand that the doctrine of globalism, in other words of Johansson, a
kind of intellectual sedative that lulls and distracts its third world
victims, while rich countries cripple them, ensuring that these will never
be able to challenge the imperial powers" (Jeremy fox : 2004 : Chomsky and
globalization). The dominance of English is unassaible in the field of
science and technological education, and research; it is in the process of
assuring the some function, status, position in literature, translation,
business, industry and international relations.

The new economic policy; the fate of Indian languages:

As Carl marks rightly pointed out, "All the ruling ideas of a society are
the ideas of ruling class" It is very adequate in the context of
neo-colonialism. Consequently, this is not exceptional to linguistic
situation of a nation /state. The myth, reality and danger of the
globalization / neo-liberalism are to be questioned because of the
economical benefits, most of the south and south Asian countries are loosing
inherited and indigenous heritages, at the same time, their linguistic
positions are in endanger situation. Economic liberalization covers man's
aspects of policy, but the central issue at stake is the relative role of
the state and market in the operation and management of the national
economy. The global arrangements of power and domination have undergone a
basic change and if has exercised a profound impact not only on the Indian
path of capitalist development but also an every of society including social
science and (languages) Linguistic intellectuals. It is to be noted in
relation to linguistic centralism with the drawl of the British from India.
The language question naturally came to the fore, in which the central issue
was the role and status of English vis-à-vis Indian languages, both
vernaculars and classical. The vested interest of the 'English Knowing'
ruling class demanded the perpetuation of English so that the vast majority
of people would continue to remain outside the privileged power structure.
Foucault's post-structuralist account of power focuses on the 'Micro
techniques' of power built into the capillaries of social life which have
the effect of normalizing modern life.
The new Economic policy (NEP) which opened up the Indian economy in a big
way for economic liberalization in July 1991, marks an interesting swing
from "stagflation" to growthflation" (imtiaz:1998). Although Mr. Manamohan
Singh, the then Finance minister, had presaged a better turn and an
optimistic economic scenario, he had also cautioned that the out comes
reform be ensured immediately (ibid). There is, therefore a need to look in
the impact of NEP a languages (Linguistic capacity) is recorded as the
potential investment of national development, language mainly deals with
improvements of human resources, it is through language that a nation
transmits its heritage, recreates it culture, strengthens its economy and
conserve its values. It is the means of individual excellence. For decision
related to globalization and other aspects of NEP have certain linguistic
consequences and thus, have bearing on linguistic communities, the question
of linguistic survival is the major problem in the era of globalization,
because linguistic diversity / linguistic repertoire is one of the beauties
of the nation like India. There fore the preservation maintenance of
linguistic diversity and repertoire of India is necessary. This view emerged
form strong socio political compulsions related to the desire for political
independence closely linked with linguistic independence. In the process of
the globalization, economically enriched countries like America are
colonizing the whole universe / world at the same time, informing
diversified linguistic and cultural system in to one. This imperialist
attitude is trying to bring linguistic and cultural centralism. By making
all the universal language as 'regional languages' because of multinational
corporations, if at all one wants to get a job or employment in the given
sectors, English is necessary and English is the only language, which
provides economical support. Education domain is one that can be dominated
by industrialist to safeguard their marketing agendas / manifestation. The
capitalists' marketing pressure is regulating the education system for its
own use, the way in which it was to exploit the education system. Only 10 %
of the elite class people, those who are advantageous of globalization are
manufacturing the consent 'of majority people, for language policy and
planning as well as its implication for the efficacy of planning and
economic development, social change and modernization. it is proved that
science and technological policy should be holistic in nature integrating
the development at both the economic and social levels as well as
educational, linguistic and cultural levels. The mythology was built up
around the role and functions of English in which the central metaphor is
the metaphor of window: English is the language of knowledge (science and
technology) liberal, modernity / modern thinking; English is our window on
the world. English is the library language and English is the language of
economy advancement in the sense dissemination of enlightenment ideas
through the medium of English in education thus creates a new urban native
elite which as access to wealth and power. Modernization it may be seen is
intricately connected with the acquisition of material power and wealth, the
fact that Indians tended to negotiate with the English education as means of
economic advancement more than, of enlightenment was viewed with alarm by
the mangers of the enlightenment of agenda. Lord Ellenbourough exclaimed in
the British parliament that English means rupees. (From Annamalai's work:
1998) by considering the above insights the role and functions of modern
Indian languages in the societal modernization of India and the extended of
modernization the underwent themselves in this role has to be justified to
understand their position in the era of globalization and neo-colonialism.
The neo-colonialism is transferring all most all south Asian countries in
the form of internationalism', where that could and did above to establish
one language i.e. English and one social system i.e. informing the universal
cultures. This is because of the fact that, growing economic and cultural
interdependence, the global world is riven with divergent concerns
conflicting interest of state and in-equalities of wealth and power.
Linguistic consequences leading to loss, death or shift in the use of
language and their subsequent marginalization will be realized within
neo-colonialism model of language economics. Neo-colonialism model spreads
through satellite T.V and other media for occupying the cultural capital
both in terms of linguistic and economic benefits. in other words, the
overall well being of an individual and global interdependence of the people
are unanimously agreed as a solution to the dangerous polarization between
people and countries benefiting from the system and those as more passive
recipients of its effects. Linguistic inequality is one of the major
challenger us of the globalization. In the sense, globalization is not only
continuing to the economical aspects, free marketing and economical
liberalization at the same time, it rise to vanish linguistic and cultural
diversity. Countries like India, co-exits with multilingualism and
multiculturalism; these are the unique features of the national integration.
To protect and preserve the linguistic and cultural diversity is necessary.
It is very unfortunate development that English has become one pan-Indian
language that would promote national integration as no other languages
would! so by this logic while the Indian languages, as regional languages
promote divisiveness and fissiparous tendencies, English, a foreign language
promotes unity and integration ! This argument for linguistic centralism had
on inherent appeal for the intellectual (Kapoor: 1994) at a time when an
impatient unitary centralism was the dominant political idealist.
Conclusion:
This paper has not tried to deal with the theoretical aspects of
globalization, infect, trying to focus an influences, impact, impositions of
globalization on modern Indian languages. Through out the paper, the
discussions of this paper are interacting between English and modern Indian
languages in order to understand the linguistic influences, impacts
impositions and realities of globalization on Indian vernaculars are
linguistic heritage. In which how does an economic factor play an important
role in order to globalize the third world countries. Thus, the realities
and consequences of globalization on modern Indian languages are very
crucial to justify the impact of globalization on linguistic entities of
nation /state because of economical liberalization and supportive economic
systems of America / Euro-American countries. Their fore, this paper could
and did able to identify the hidden agenda of neo-colonialism /
globalization. This has proven how language can be significant criteria to
colonize the minds of the third world victims. In the process of
globalization and neo-colonialism of any given country, language become an
instruments, language is one, which could do many thinks, in the sense,
language is power knowledge, law, education, Market, business and
administration. In that was, English has be came an International language.
Now, in every walk of life of the third world Countries' People, English is
everything, in the sense, English for modernity, science, technology,
rationality and better life. It is very interesting to note here that, what
Kuvempu said about English; He opposed English as a medium of instruction in
schooling, at the same time, he welcomed English as a language of modernity
and rationality; and he defines, the importance, value and scope of English
and its knowledge expansion in India, especially for Dalits and Sudras. If
one thinks for vanishing, the English like British from India is to be
considered as "Desh Drohi" (Kuvempu: 1977:15). These arguments of Kuvempu,
extend their logical extension to saying, because of English and English
education in India, there are Kuvempu, Ambedkar and like such personalities
could emerge from Dalits/Sudras communities in India. In spite of the
consequences of English, the realities of this language are taken into
consideration among Dalits/Sudras and elite class people in India.
English has became an expression for many 'English educated' community, in
order to establish their nationalism and to go beyond the modernity for
their further rediscoveries to manage their 'linguistic and cultural
hegemony' at one hand, and the other hand, in the post- colonialism, the
intellectual community has started writing in English for writing back to
the Empire in his/her language. Now, English has occupied the place of
Indian language. Consequently, this language has became cultural language in
Pan- Indian situation, today, if one writes in English, he/she becomes
"Indian writer", at the same time, gets name and fame at the world wide (E.g.:
Salman Rushdie, Aurandhati Roy, etc). Where as, one who writes in Modern
Indian languages, he/she is to be considered as only 'regional writer'. The
value and power of language of English is very powerful than all Modern
Indian languages. Therefore, English is the cultural capital in all the
functional domains of the Indian Society.






References:


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