India Insight

Class divide puts English to the test in India’s civil services

August 13, 2014

Indian students in recent weeks have protested the use of English in the country’s difficult civil service examinations. The students, usually from Hindi-speaking regions of India, say that the exams reflect a class divide: if you speak and write English well, you are seen as part of the educated, urban elite. If you do not, it’s because you are one of the disadvantaged, usually from smaller towns or villages.

Crowd-funded film ‘Lucia’ depended on the kindness of strangers

September 20, 2013

When filmmaker Pawan Kumar wrote an anguished blog post about not having enough money to make a movie, he didn’t expect hundreds of strangers to lend him their savings, no questions asked.

Madhya Pradesh chief minister exorcises English, exercises investors

November 12, 2012

(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Thomson Reuters.)

Hindi, Tamil and English: linguistic lessons in pragmatism

September 28, 2012

Press Council of India Chairman and former Supreme Court Justice Markandey Katju has lived in India all his life, but he made a two-part statement on Sept. 20 that sounds like the kind of innocent remark that would land a visitor like me in trouble.

Has India squandered its English advantage?

April 19, 2011

When the British were finally expelled from India in 1947, driven out of a country scarred by decades of imperialist rule, they left at least one parting gift: a linguistic legacy that has formed a crucial ingredient in the country’s economic miracle.