Letter to The Editor About The Case for Indian English

Letter to The Editor About The Case for Indian English :

38 Gul Mohar Park,
New Delhi.

6th November - 2009

To :

The Editor,
BBC English,


As you are aware there is an American variety of English and Australian English each having its own grammar and phonetic system. What is more, each has a distinctive literature which speaks of their own cultural values.

It is high time we woke up to the fact that ‘Indish’ or Indian English is a viable language and literature on its own. It is no more something for fun like Hurree Chunder Mukherjee’s English hybrid in Kipling’s ‘kim’ or just Hobson Jobson Mulk Raj Anand, Raja Rao and R.K. Narayan and others.

Indian writers of English have brought out all the flavours of the English of the sub-continent. The results of two hundred years of usage and development in India has already passed the gestation and is a fully–developed language spoken by nine million Indians more than the population of Great Britian. Its vocabulary consists of college slang ‘a bindaas woman’ and journalistic acceptance – the guru of pop music, masala film, etc.

Malcolm Muggeridge rightly said, “The last surviving English speaker on earth will be an Indian”. And Khushwant Singh with tongue in cheek has put the lid on the controversy by stating, “English language in India is our foreign bride in Benarsi saree!”

Thanking you.

Yours truly,

Debu Mahurkar

Note : Editors generally apply editing scissors to letters sent by readers and present the gist only.

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