3749A Temple to ‘Goddess English’
- May 1, 2010
A Temple to ‘Goddess English’Chandra Bhan Prasad, a Dalit intellectual, activist and a bit of a maverick, has for several years been trying to promote fluency in English as the key to the liberation of the people at the bottom of India’s caste system from what he sees as the caste prejudice inherent in Indian languages like Hindi.
He usually hosts a party on Oct. 25, the birthday of Lord Babington Macaulay, the man who got the Raj authorities to adopt English as the language of higher education in India (he also drafted the 1860 penal code that India still uses today). Many Indians criticize Lord Macaulay for creating, in his words, “a class of persons, Indian in blood and color, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect,” to act as native interpreters between the British and India’s multitudes.
He was fairly successful and even today many of India’s upper classes think and write in English. For decades some Indian intellectuals have wondered (often in English) how to gain the standing for other Indian languages that English – and those educated in English – have.
Mr. Prasad has no time for such concerns. Today he is presiding over the laying of a foundation stone for a temple dedicated to “Goddess English” in a village in Uttar Pradesh state, about 350 kilometers east of New Delhi. He hopes the temple will be completed by Lord Macaulay’s birthday.
Link For Full Report :
A Dalit Temple to ‘Goddess English’*
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