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Hi Mandy

You have triggered an interesting and relevant discussion on a topic that surfaces time and again.

I would like to share my views on the points raised by you.

In my opinion it is incorrect to say that Corporates stress on the proficiency of English for all their recruitment. The language skill is considered only on need base. For example if a tradesman is to be recruited his language proficiency is not given that much importance as much as his skill in his trade. Not knowing English does not automatically mean that a person is very fluent in his mother tongue. There are many who are not very adept even in their mother tongue,still do a good job and be successful too.

I always maintain that COMMUNICATION is to be seen from two angles. One is the Language part and the other is the Behavioural part. Should you be interested you may like to go through some of the postings in Cite HR. Many members have made useful contributions on this score. Here again one point is to be stressed. Whether it is English or the Local language, adroitness is taken into reckoning based on the job requirement.

It is not an inflexible MUST.

The prominence and importance of English has been already discussed in detail by fellow members


Please read the article at Urdu as medium of instruction and compulsory subject - DAWN.COM
As I have been away from India for over 45 years, and visit India for short periods, I am not conversant with recruitment policies. However, in 1960s when I was there, as Raghunathan has clearly stated the requirement of a good command of English was not required for all jobs.

In a corporate world,
An individual is expected to communicate his ideas/concerns/suggestions to employer & customer in effective manner. In a multilingual work environment a commond denominator language is used for communication. It can be English or Hindi or any other language.
Its more important how you communicate your thoughts effectively rather than your pronounciation & vocabulory.
In a customer facing role, an employee can be expected to have a good command over language & pronounciation.
Languages are beautiful things to learn, with all Indian language & scripts giving you a strong command over grammar & pronounciation, its not difficult for us to learn any new language.
People are giving undue importants to English. Its just one of the language

Dear Mandy and others,
Please excuse me for not answering the second part of Mandy's question to corporates. I searched and found a good piece (104 pages) about Business Communication at <link no longer exists - removed>

Thanks Mr. Unnikrishanan for putting your point and explainging the use language by giving respect to all language. I am sorry if anyone has felt offended although it was not my intension.
Good to see that forum members are getting in to consensus, now.

During the course of the discussion, unfortunately it has been hijacked by language sentiments.

The personal disagreement was on 'what made united India' and not on whether English is great or Hindi or 100s of Languages.

British tried to destroy the culture and heritage of rest of the world with colonialism. However we have not treated English or any other country in the same manner. Eventhough English is a foreign language (the word foreign itself is relative, today), you can find many forms of colloquial English across India. Kolkata, Trivandrum, Kochi, Chennai, Bangalore, Indore, Mumbai, Delhi, Bhopal, Ahmedabad etc. This shows how much we love this language.

At the same time, we should not worry much about medium of communication. We need to be really passionate about what we are doing. Language is not going to be a hurdle for best products or services. Hope these two examples can substantiate this view

1. Alchemist, originally written in Portuguese has sold more than 30 million copies in 56 different languages, becoming one of the best-selling books in history and winning the Guinness World Record for most translated book by a living author

2. China became the global hub of production eventhough Chinese are very poor in English Usage. Even user manuals of products (multi lingual) are getting printed there!

English language has a very big role in corporate India.Since India is multi-lingual country English language is playing an important role. Not only in corporate sector but also in other sectors English Language is becoming more and more important day by day.
Because of British dominancy for two hundred years mindset of Indians have changed. Indians are adapted with western culture and habits. One single Indian language has not become the acceptability among the Indians as common language.
Communication does not means the proficency in any particular language. Communication is the understanding the messages which is transacted among the people.
It is unwise decision to consider english proficiency just similar to commonication.

Thank you for a very enlightening discussion.
Much has already been said and different viewpoints covered.I just want to point out that even though english is 'official' business language,in corporate India,it is Hindi or any other Indian language which is used more often to discuss issues.This is typical when managers are talking verbally and not thru official channel.Most important discssions happen in such conversation and even decisions are made.(Which are officially communicated later in 'English').
So nothing to worry Mandy,all our language heritage is safe and thriving.By the way,you must be aware that India is a country with second largest number of english speaking population(After US as per Wikipedia).So why bother? We could just announce English as one more of our regional language! (If Britain can claim 'Indian Curry' as their dish,then why not?)
Thanks Once again.

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