Why is English so important in India?

Economics in action

Lower middle-class parents cannot afford better quality private schools and most government schools do not use English as the medium of instruction. Hence they use poorer quality private schools since they want their kids to study English. This is an important indicator of the importance of English in India, though there are many other manifestations of this phenomenon.

Conventional answers to the question posed as the title are the following: British colonialists imposed English education and the colonial mind-set persisted among Indian people even after the independence of the country. In my view, these factors cannot explain the high demand for English as the medium of instruction even among the lower-middle class and urban poor. We need to understand the demand for a language in relation to the nature of the economy or how it has evolved over time.

In order to understand the core argument of this essay, we…

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