In India, proficiency in English is not just aspirational but also has discriminatory overtones in terms of class. A person’s fluency in English (as opposed to a regional language) translates into their being perceived as smarter and more capable of accomplishing something.
This bias was brought to light once again in a social experiment conducted by news and entertainment portal, Daily Hunt, in which pairs of speakers, each with one speaking in English and the other in a regional Indian language, addressed sets of bilingual audiences. The outcome was telling.
The experiment was a part of Daily Hunt’s #HarBhashaEqual campaign (ironically, it’s spelt out in English) aimed at promoting linguistic equality.