Language and Education in Colonial and Post-Colonial India

  • Riho Isaka
Conference paper


The aim of this chapter is to examine how British rule changed the linguistic situation of India and what long-term influence this had on its social and cultural life. It is well known that colonial rule and the new educational system it had introduced established the dominance of English in this region and led to the growth of an English-speaking elite. It should be emphasized, however, that the same colonial education also encouraged this Indian elite to develop an increasingly strong interest in their own vernaculars. Indeed, such English-educated intellectuals began to advocate the reformation and standardization of vernacular languages and to develop vernacular literature, largely based on the British notion of language and literature. This development left a significant influence on the debates over language policy among the Indian elite during the nationalist movement and even after independence.


Language Policy Mother Tongue Late 19th Century National Language Indian Language 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Riho Isaka
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of Arts and SciencesThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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