Regional Literature – UPSC GS1

“Unlike in Europe where, by the 17th century, French and English had broken with the dominance of Latin to create not just literature, but also philosophy, historiography, sociology, science etc. in their tongues, in India the achievement of regional languages beyond the crucial (and yet also limited) domain of literature is a major impediment.” In the light of ongoing movements to make regional languages medium of instruction in schools and politics associated with them, critically examine why regional languages have failed to excel in fields other than literature. (200 Words)

After independence, the leaders of new Indian nation recognized the opportunity to unite all the regions of India with a common, universal language. Thus, the following requirements were pointed out by Mahatma Gandhi for any language to be accepted as the national language:
  • It must be easy to learn for government officials and for the whole country.
  • Capable of serving as a medium of religious, economic and political intercourse throughout India.
  • It must be spoken by the majority.
As a result, Hindi was chosen as a national language and on Nehru’s assurance it was never imposed on people in non-Hindi areas where English started playing a prominent role as an official language in addition to the regional language.
  • The educational consequence was that many children have to learn 2 languages (English and Hindi) next to their mother tongue in school and other children speaking a non-official minority language are taught 3 languages.
  • In general, schools using regional language as the medium of instruction have come to be associated with poor quality, mainly because most of them are government run and hence not held accountable.
  • While the government encourages the idea of teaching and learning in the regional languages (Three Language Formula), the truth is that most students have to know English to do well in higher education. Students learning in regional languages do not have the kind of resources they need, as English books are not translated into their regional languages. Even though some higher education courses are available in regional languages, the demand for these is less.
  • Given the multitude of problems and the diversity of languages, the medium of instruction remains a topic of impassioned debate. Language is seen as a factor fuelling nationalistic pride.
Despite govt trying to kindle linguistic pride, many parents still see English could help their wards find employment and thus regional languages failed to make an impact in the education and other fields of India.



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top