Promotion of English Language Under British Rule in Punjab (1849-1947)
Keywords:Language, British Rule, Punjab, Muslims, East India Company, Communities, Institutions
During the British invasion of India in the sixteenth century the Dutch East India Company developed markets in many cities and towns under their control. In 1765, the company's influence had grown to such an extent that the United Kingdom had actually controlled the largest part of the country. In the beginning, English was the only subject for local community through the work of Christian missionaries, and that there was no formal order for the introduction of the language of the masses of the people. However, in the mid-seventeenth, the English language became the language of government, and many of the elite classes of the Indian people asked for instruction in the English language as a tool for social progress. In 1857, universities were opened in Mumbai (Bombay), Kolkata (Calcutta) and Chennai. English was still considered as the language of government, the social elite and the national after independence, it was assumed that the English language would have to be gradually being replaced by the sphere of the state.[i] However, it was not clear that as to which language it should be replaced. In the beginning the Hindi language was the most spoken language, this seemed like the obvious choice, but the opinions were divided for different languages. In a country with a population of over 900 million people and more than a thousand languages, it was difficult to choose a national language but the native speakers of that languages will automatically gain access to a high social status, and it was easier to get power and influence. It had been expressed that English was not the native language , there was Hindi as official language in India and the English was just like Bengali, Gujrati and urdu language. Gandhi was also in favour of Hindi language and wanted to have a special status of English language for individuals. [ii]
[i] Aziz k.k, M.A., The Development and reconstruction of university Education in Pakistan, London, 1951, P.26.
[ii] Qureshi I.H.,Inaugural Address at the Educational Convention, 1959, Lahore, P.37.
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