The Advent of British Educational System and English Language in the Indian Subcontinent: A Shift from Engraftment to Ultimate Implementation and Its Impact on Regional Vernaculars

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Muhammad Tufail Chandio
Saima Jafri
Komal Ansari

Abstract

The research study critically traces the historical background of the introduction of the western education system with English as the medium of instruction in the Indian subcontinent and its impact on the teaching of various subjects and local languages in the postcolonial phase. It analyzes the transitional shift from the indigenous/regional vernaculars to engraftment (translating western knowledge into indigenous languages for teaching) and eventual shift to English as the medium of instruction, which thwarted the process of engraftment and development of indigenous languages. The study analyzes that how the education in the subcontinent was affected in the wake of diametrical shift in the British political policy from orientalism, engraftment, conciliation and consolidation to hostility, antagonism and oppression. Although, the study repudiates the popular myth of the revolutionary changes claimed by the British education system in the subcontinent, yet it establishes that how in the longer term it contributed to the academic, literary, social, political and economic advancement of the region. Nevertheless its repercussions for the regional languages were immense. The study reveals that how English, which was the language of power, authority and center, became a means of retaliation, communication and resistance at the hands of natives. The study, in its nature, is descriptive and historical one.

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