Abstract

India is a nation of tremendous cultural diversity and a potential pluriverse in itself. The layered issue of linguistic integration is a very relevant one in realizing this potential. In this paper, I explore how the propagation of Hindi as the lingua franca of India creates feelings of resentment among other language groups through a field study conducted in the village of Ranekpar in Gujarat in January 2020. While Hindi imposition has been met with stiff resistance from non- Hindi speaking communities, English seems to retain its popular status as a language of power and opportunity, despite being occasionally spurned as an oppressive colonial legacy. The paper seeks to highlight the various reasons behind the selective acceptance of English as a link language in India by examining existing literature on the complex language issue, and by comparing the subjective attitudes towards Hindi and English gathered during the localized study. I locate this work within the larger discourse of linguistic hegemony, which has been one of the major focal points of the existing repertoire of post-colonial studies in India.

Keywords

Hegemonic imposition; plurality; linguistic integration; lingua franca

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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Jun 4th, 12:00 AM

Linguistic Integration in India: A Persistence of Hegemony

India is a nation of tremendous cultural diversity and a potential pluriverse in itself. The layered issue of linguistic integration is a very relevant one in realizing this potential. In this paper, I explore how the propagation of Hindi as the lingua franca of India creates feelings of resentment among other language groups through a field study conducted in the village of Ranekpar in Gujarat in January 2020. While Hindi imposition has been met with stiff resistance from non- Hindi speaking communities, English seems to retain its popular status as a language of power and opportunity, despite being occasionally spurned as an oppressive colonial legacy. The paper seeks to highlight the various reasons behind the selective acceptance of English as a link language in India by examining existing literature on the complex language issue, and by comparing the subjective attitudes towards Hindi and English gathered during the localized study. I locate this work within the larger discourse of linguistic hegemony, which has been one of the major focal points of the existing repertoire of post-colonial studies in India.

 

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