How often have you discriminated against someone who couldn’t speak fluent English? Or how often have you been at the receiving end of the discrimination? As classist as it sounds, majority of educated Indians are guilty of this prejudice. We complain of racism abroad, but here in India we have practised it without batting an eyelid.
From how someone is dressed to their fluency in the English language, we judge people at the drop of a hat. This prejudice has been institutionalized to the extent that it affects how easily you get a job and even how well you get paid. It’s there in corporate boardrooms, in branded showrooms, in parties and malls.
There are thousands of students from small towns and humble family backgrounds who strive with limited means to get into engineering colleges. And they do. In fact, they excel. Hundreds of IITians and aspiring doctors are from humble families living on bare minimum incomes.
AIB’s latest sketch on the discrimination faced by young engineering candidates hailing from humble backgrounds nails the cultural hypocrisy we practice. As honest as it gets, the guy loses his cool when the interviewer focuses on his English rather than his engineering skills.
Let’s face it – the person who lacks fluency in English is at a disadvantage, especially professionally. Of course, English is a link language and we have to be proficient in it to expose ourselves to global learning. One can’t afford to stay ignorant of what’s happening in the world. But the problem arises when discrimination happens because of diction and spoken English. One might be a scholar who could write impeccable English but still face a problem with today’s stylized slang-heavy English.
While it’s understandable if social circles are different on the basis of mutual tastes and preferences, it is not acceptable when people are put down because of that, especially in workspace.