English important even to Hindi-speaking poor

April 16th, 2009 - 6:41 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 16 (IANS) If the Samajwadi Party thought that its anti-English and anti-computer stance will strike a chord with the Hindi-speaking poor, it may have to do a re-think. Many from poorer sections of the society maintain that the language was “all too important”.
Saunbir Yadav, 30, a street vendor, said: “Its simple - in today’s world, people who know English have value while people who do not know it have no value. The job sector requires people who can communicate in English and therefore, that is what that guarantees people jobs.”

A father of four, he has ensured that all his kids go to English-medium schools.

“Knowing and speaking English is the only way a person can be successful because only then one is considered to be intelligent and fit enough for a job,” said Bablu, 32, a tailor.

Echoing his views, Ramnawaaz, a cobbler and father of three, said: “English has become very important to find jobs today. I want my children to learn English and computers so that they can have a better life.”

While many associated and linked English speaking with jobs, Ajay Singh, 49, an ice-cream seller had a different take on the issue.

According to this father of three school-going children, “English is not any one country’s language but an international language. Just because we are Indians and our language is Hindi doesn’t mean that we reject English. It is very essential because it gives you the power to communicate with anyone in any part of the world.”

Faryaaz, a mechanic, said, “…while English adds to one’s qualifications, we still prefer to communicate in Hindi.”

Bitto, who owns a roadside flower shop in south Delhi, has never gone to school. She, however, maintained that one can’t disregard English education.

“I completely disagree with the statement by Mulayam Singh because English is a universal language. If we want our children to equal the professionals from other countries, they should know the language,” she said.

Naresh Gupta, 30, a vegetable seller felt that Samajwadi Party’s anti-English stand may have been viable a decade ago but not now.

“Mulayam’s statement did not make sense keeping in mind the present scenario,”he said.

“If this was said 15 years ago, a change could have been brought about. But today, when English has become so important, his statement holds no importance,” he averred.

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