Mumbai, December 03: The question was “Can Indians please start using proper grammar and punctuation in their questions and answers”. But Maria Wirth attends it differently. She refutes the question, asking….“What a strange question on quora”.
Hammering on the largely stock-still worshipping mindset for the ‘English’ language, Maria says- Either you are Indian and still have the colonial mindset thinking that English is superior to the Indian languages, which it clearly is not! Further she slams the question terms it as ‘absurd’ and asks should Indians speak perfect English, “including punctuation”?
Maria Wirth is a proud follower of Indian ethos and Indian-ness. Maria came to India on her way to Australia after finishing her psychology studies at Hamburg University. Her meetings with Sri Anandamayi Ma and Devaraha Baba, two renowned spititual personalities changed her course of life and she continued to live in India and never went to Australa.
Dived into India’s spiritual tradition, Maria is sharing her insights with German as well as global readers through articles and books.
Taking the question of perfect English head on, Maria says that nobody expects this from Germans or other nationals.
“Even 70 years after Independence, so-called ‘good’ schools in India are still teaching in English medium. Naturally Indian children are cut off from their priceless heritage. They are not even fluent in their own mother/ regional tongue”, comments Maria.
The German thinker Sadhak thinks that Indians have amazing brains but many of those who are interested in science have to first scale the hurdle of English language.
She convincingly assures that the Indians would shine even more globally if they could study in their mother tongue right up to the highest level.
Languages in India
The Eighth Schedule to the Indian Constitution contains a list of 22 scheduled languages. At the time the constitution was enacted, inclusion in this list meant that the language was entitled to representation on the Official Languages Commission, and that the language would be one of the bases that would be drawn upon to enrich Hindi, the official language of the Union.
The list has since, however, acquired further significance. The Government of India is now under an obligation to take measures for the development of these languages, such that "they grow rapidly in richness and become effective means of communicating modern knowledge.
In addition, a candidate appearing in an examination conducted for public service at a higher level is entitled to use any of these languages as the medium in which he or she answers the paper.
Via the 92nd Constitutional amendment 2003, four new languages – Dogri, Maithili, Santali and Bodo – were added to the 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution.
The table below lists the 22 languages set out in the Eighth Schedule as of May 2008, together with the regions where they are used.
Even though the English language is not included in the Eighth Schedule (as it is a foreign language), it is one of the official languages of the Union of India. Source: Wikipedia
Worldview of English
Notably the English is an official language only in those countries which are former territories of the British Empire. Exceptions are- Rwanda, which was formerly a Belgian colony, and Eritrea, which was an Italian colony where the British Empire maintained control only in World War II and shortly after (1941–1952) are some notable exceptions where English is not official language.
English is one of the official languages of the United Nations, the European Union and the International Olympic Committee. Although English is not an official language at the national level in the United States, many states and territories within the United States have English as an official language.