Indian English is any of the forms of English characteristic of India. English is the only official language in some states of India and is a lingua franca in the country.
Though English is one of the two official languages of the Union Government of India, only a few hundred thousand Indians, or less than 0.1% of the total population, have English as their first language.
According to the 2001 Census, 12.6% of Indians know English. An analysis of the 2001 Census of India concluded that approximately 86 million Indians reported English as their second language, and another 39 million reported it as their third language. No data was available whether these individuals were English speakers or users.
According to the 2005 India Human Development Survey, of the 41,554 surveyed, households reported that 72 percent of men (29,918) did not speak any English, 28 percent (11,635) spoke at least some English, and 5 percent (2,077, roughly 17.9% of those who spoke at least some English) spoke fluent English. Among women, the corresponding percentages were 83 percent (34,489) speaking no English, 17 percent (7,064) speaking at least some English, and 3 percent (1,246, roughly 17.6% of those who spoke at least some English) speaking English fluently. According to statistics of District Information System for Education (DISE) of National University of Educational Planning and Administration under Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, enrollment in English-medium schools increased by 50% between 2008–09 and 2013–14. The number of English-medium school students in India increased from over 15 million in 2008–09 to 29 million by 2013–14.
India ranks 22 out of 72 countries in the 2016 EF English Proficiency Index published by the EF Education First. The index gives the country a score of 57.30 indicating "moderate proficiency". India ranks 4th out of 19 Asian countries included in the index. Among Asian countries, Singapore (63.52), Malaysia (60.70) and the Philippines (60.33) received higher scores than India.
In December 2015, the Supreme Court of India ruled that English is the only court language.
Indian English generally uses the Indian numbering system. Idiomatic forms derived from Indian literary languages and vernaculars have been absorbed into Indian English. Nevertheless, there remains general homogeneity in phonetics, vocabulary, and phraseology between various dialects of Indian English.
English language public instruction began in India in the 1830s during the rule of the East India Company (India was then, and is today, one of the most linguistically diverse regions of the world). In 1835, English replacedPersian as the official language of the Company. Lord Macaulay played a major role in introducing English and western concepts to education in India. He supported the replacement of Persian by English as the official language, the use of English as the medium of instruction in all schools, and the training of English-speaking Indians as teachers. Throughout the 1840s and 1850s, primary-, middle-, and high-schools were opened in many districts of British India, with most high schools offering English language instruction in some subjects. In 1857, just before the end of Company rule, universities modelled on the University of London and using English as the medium of instruction were established in Bombay, Calcutta and Madras. During subsequent Crown Rule in India, or the British Raj, lasting from 1858 to 1947, English language penetration increased throughout India. This was driven in part by the gradually increasing hiring of Indians in the civil services. At the time of India's independence in 1947, English was the only functional lingua franca in the country.
After Indian Independence in 1947, Hindi was declared the first official language, and attempts were made to declare Hindi the sole national language of India. Due to protests from Tamil Nadu and other non-Hindi-speaking states, it was decided to temporarily retain English for official purposes until at least 1965. By the end of this period, however, opposition from non-Hindi states was still too strong to have Hindi declared the sole language. With this in mind, the English Language Amendment Bill declared English to be an associate language "until such time as all non-Hindi States had agreed to its being dropped." This has not yet occurred, and it is still widely used. For instance, it is the only reliable means of day-to-day communication between the central government and the non-Hindi states.
The view of the English language among many Indians has gone from associating it with colonialism to associating it with economic progress, and English continues to be an official language of India.
While there is an assumption that English is readily available in India, available studies show that its usage is actually restricted to the elite, because of inadequate education to large parts of the Indian population. The use of outdated teaching methods and the poor grasp of English exhibited by the authors of many guidebooks, disadvantage students who rely on these books.
Indian accents vary greatly. Most Indians speak with a more vernacular, native-tinted accent.
In general, the Indian English has fewer peculiarities in its vowel sounds than the consonants, especially as spoken by native speakers of languages like Hindi, the vowel phoneme system having some similarities with that of English. Among the distinctive features of the vowel-sounds employed by some Indian English speakers:
- Modern Indians, especially a minority of English students and teachers along with some people in various professions like telephone customer service agents, often speak with a non-rhotic accent. Examples of this include flower pronounced as /flaʊ.ə/, never as /nevə/, water as /wɔːtə/, etc.
- Many North Indians have a sing-song quality as they speak English, which perhaps, results from a similar tone used while speaking Hindi. Indian English speakers have the cot-caught merger and thus do not make a clear distinction between /ɒ/ and /ɔː/.
- Most Indians have the trap–bath split of Received Pronunciation, affecting words such as class, staff and last (/klɑːs/, /stɑːf/ and /lɑːst/ respectively). Though the trap-bath split is prevalent in Indian English, it varies greatly. Many younger Indians who read and listen to American English do not have this split. The distribution is somewhat similar to Australian English in Regional Indian English varieties, but it has a complete split in Cultivated Indian English and Standard Indian English varieties.
- Most Indians have a hoarse-horse split.
Among the most distinctive features of consonants in Indian English are:
- Pronunciations vary between rhotic and non-rhotic; with pronunciations leaning towards native phonology being generally rhotic, and others being non-rhotic.
- Most Indian languages (except Punjabi, Marathi, Assamese and Bengali), including Standard Hindi, do not differentiate between /v/ (voiced labiodental fricative) and /w/ (voiced labiovelar approximant). Instead, many Indians use a frictionless labiodental approximant[ʋ] for words with either sound, possibly in free variation with [v] and/or [w] depending upon region. Thus, wet and vet are often homophones.
- Related to the previous characteristic, many Indians prefer to pronounce words such as <flower> as [flaː(r)], as opposed to [flaʊə(r)], and <our> as [aː(r)] as opposed to [aʊə(r)].
- The voiceless plosives/p/, /t/, /k/ are always unaspirated in Indian English, (aspirated in cultivated form) whereas in RP, General American and most other English accents they are aspirated in word-initial or stressed syllables. Thus "pin" is pronounced [pɪn] in Indian English but [pʰɪn] in most other dialects. In native Indian languages (except in Dravidian languages such as Tamil), the distinction between aspirated and unaspirated plosives is phonemic, and the English stops are equated with the unaspirated rather than the aspirated phonemes of the local languages. The same is true of the voiceless postalveolar afficate /tʃ/.
- The alveolar stops English /d/, /t/ are often retroflex[ɖ], [ʈ], especially in the South of India. In Indian languages there are two entirely distinct sets of coronal plosives: one dental and the other retroflex. Native speakers of Indian languages prefer to pronounce the English alveolar plosives sound as more retroflex than dental, and the use of retroflex consonants is a common feature of Indian English. In the Devanagari script of Hindi, all alveolar plosives of English are transcribed as their retroflex counterparts. One good reason for this is that unlike most other native Indian languages, Hindi does not have true retroflex plosives (Tiwari,  2001). The so-called retroflexes in Hindi are actually articulated as apical post-alveolar plosives, sometimes even with a tendency to come down to the alveolar region. So a Hindi speaker normally cannot distinguish the difference between their own apical post-alveolar plosives and English's alveolar plosives. However, languages such as Tamil have true retroflex plosives, wherein the articulation is done with the tongue curved upwards and backwards at the roof of the mouth. This also causes (in parts of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar) the /s/ preceding alveolar /t/ to allophonically change to [ʃ] (<stop> /stɒp/ → /ʃʈap/). Mostly in south India, some speakers allophonically further change the voiced retroflex plosives to voiced retroflex flap, and the nasal /n/ to a nasalised retroflex flap.
- Many speakers of Indian English do not use the voiced postalveolar fricative (/ʒ/). Some Indians use /z/ or /dʒ/ instead, e.g. treasure/ˈtrɛzəːr/, and in the south Indian variants, with /ʃ/ as in <"sh'"ore>, e.g. treasure/ˈtrɛʃər/.
- All major native languages of India (except Bengali) lack the dental fricatives (/θ/ and /ð/; spelled with th). Usually, the aspiratedvoiceless dental plosive[t̪ʰ] is substituted for /θ/ in the north (it would be unaspirated in the south) and the unaspirated voiced dental plosive[d̪], or possibly the aspirated version [d̪ʱ], is substituted for /ð/. For example, "thin" would be realised as [t̪ʰɪn] instead of /θɪn/ for North Indian speakers, whereas it would be pronounced unaspirated in the south.
- South Indians tend to curl the tongue (retroflex accentuation) more for /l/ and /n/.
- Most Indian languages (except Urdu varieties and Assamese) lack the voiced alveolar fricative /z/. A significant portion of Indians thus, even though their native languages do have its nearest equivalent: the unvoiced /s/, often use the voiced palatal affricate (or postalveolar) /dʒ/, just as with a Korean accent. This makes words such as <zero> and <rosy> sound as [ˈdʒiːro] and [ˈroːdʒiː] (the latter, especially in the North). This replacement is equally true for Persian and Arabic loanwords into Hindi. The probable reason is the confusion created by the use of the Devanagari grapheme < ज > (for /dʒ/) with a dot beneath it to represent the loaned /z/ (as < ज़ >). This is common among people without formal English education.
- Many Indians with lower exposure to English also may pronounce /f/ as aspirated voiceless bilabial plosive [pʰ]. Again note that in Hindi (Devanagari) the loaned /f/ from Persian and Arabic is written by putting a dot beneath the grapheme for native [pʰ] < फ >: < फ़ >. This substitution is rarer than that for [z], and in fact in many Hindi /f/ is used by native speakers instead of /pʰ/, or the two are used interchangeably.
- Inability to pronounce certain (especially word-initial) consonant clusters by people of rural backgrounds, as with some Spanish-speakers. This is usually dealt with by epenthesis. e.g., school/isˈkuːl/.
- Sometimes, Indian speakers interchange /s/ and /z/, especially when plurals are being formed, unlike speakers of other varieties of English, who use [s] for the pluralisation of words ending in a voiceless consonant, [z] for words ending in a voiced consonant or vowel, and [ɨz] for words ending in a sibilant.
- Again, in Assamese and dialects like Bhojpuri, all instances of /ʃ/ are spoken like [s], a phenomenon which is also apparent in their English. Exactly the opposite is seen for many Bengalis.
- In Assamese, /tʃ/ and /ʃ/ is pronounced as /s/; and /dʒ/ and /ʒ/ is pronounced as /z/. Retroflex and dental consonants are not present and only alveolar consonants are used unlike other Indian languages. Similar to Bengali, /v/ is pronounced as /bʱ/ and /β/ in Assamese. For example; change is pronounced as [sɛɪnz], vote is pronounced as [bʱʊt] and English is pronounced as [iŋlis].
- In case of the postalveolar affricates /tʃ//dʒ/, native languages like Hindi have corresponding affricates articulated from the palatal region, rather than postalveolar, and they have more of a stop component than fricative; this is reflected in their English.
- Whilst retaining /ŋ/ in the final position, many Indian speakers add the [ɡ] sound after it when it occurs in the middle of a word. Hence /ˈriŋiŋ/ → /ˈriŋɡiŋ/ (ringing).
- Syllabic/l/, /m/ and /n/ are usually replaced by the VC clusters [əl], [əm] and [ən] (as in button/ˈbuʈʈən/), or if a high vowel precedes, by [il] (as in little/ˈliʈʈil/). Syllable nuclei in words with the spelling er/re (a schwa in RP and an r-coloured schwa in GA) are also replaced VC clusters. e.g., metre, /ˈmiːtər/ → /ˈmiːʈər/.
- Indian English uses clear [l] in all instances like Irish English whereas other varieties use clear [l] in syllable-initial positions and dark [l] (velarised-L) in coda and syllabic positions.
A number of distinctive features of Indian English are due to "the vagaries of English spelling". Most Indian languages, unlike English, have a nearly phonetic spelling, so the spelling of a word is a highly reliable guide to its modern pronunciation. Indians' tendency to pronounce English phonetically as well can cause divergence from Western English.
- In words where the digraph <gh> represents a voiced velar plosive (/ɡ/) in other accents, some Indian English speakers supply a murmured version [ɡʱ], for example <ghost> [ɡʱoːst]. No other accent of English admits this voiced aspiration.
- Similarly, the digraph <wh> may be aspirated as [ʋʱ] or [wʱ], resulting in realisations such as <which> [ʋʱɪtʃ], found in no other English accent. However, this is somewhat similar to the traditional distinction between wh and w present in English, wherein the former is /ʍ/, whilst the latter is /w/.
- In unstressed syllables, which speakers of American English would realise as a schwa, speakers of Indian English would use the spelling vowel, making <sanity> sound as [ˈsæniti] instead of [ˈsænəti]. This trait is also present in other South Asian dialects (i.e. Pakistani and Sri Lankan English), and in RP, etc.
- The word "of" is usually pronounced with a /f/ instead of a /v/ as in most other accents.
- Use of [d] instead of [t] for the "-ed" ending of the past tense after voiceless consonants, for example "developed" may be [ˈdɛʋləpd] instead of RP /dɪˈvɛləpt/.
- Use of [s] instead of [z] for the "-s" ending of the plural after voiced consonants, for example <dogs> may be [daɡs] instead of [dɒɡz].
- Pronunciation of <house> as [hauz] in both the noun and the verb, instead of [haus] as noun and [hauz] as verb.
- In RP, /r/ occurs only before a vowel. But some speakers of Indian English, primarily in the South, use /r/ in almost all positions in words using the letter 'r', similar to most American and some Irish dialects. The allophone used is a mild trill or a tap. Indian speakers do not typically use the retroflex approximant/ɻ/ for <r>, which is common for American English speakers.
- In certain words, especially Latinate words ending in ile, is pronounced [ɪ] in America and [aɪ] in Britain. Indian English, like most other Commonwealth dialects, will invariably use the British pronunciation. Thus, <tensile> would be pronounced as [ˈtɛnsaɪl] like the British, rather than [ˈtɛnsɪl] like the American; <anti>, on the other hand, use i, as [ˈænti] like in Britain, rather than [ˈæntaɪ] like in America. Similar effects of British colonisation are 're', 'ise', and 'our' spellings in words like 'metre', 'realise', and 'endeavour', respectively, which Americans would spell as 'meter', 'realize' and 'endeavor'.
- Deletion is not commonly used. For example, "salmon" is usually pronounced with a distinct "l".
English is a stress-timed language, and both syllable stress and word stress, where only certain words in a sentence or phrase are stressed, are important features of received pronunciation. Indian native languages are actually syllable-timed languages, like French. Indian-English speakers usually speak with a syllabic rhythm. Further, in some Indian languages, stress is associated with a low pitch, whereas in most English dialects, stressed syllables are generally pronounced with a higher pitch. Thus, when some Indian speakers speak, they appear to put the stress accents at the wrong syllables, or accentuate all the syllables of a long English word. Certain Indian accents are of a "sing-song" nature, a feature seen in a few English dialects in Britain, such as Scouse and Welsh English.
Morphology and syntax
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The Indian numbering system is preferred for digit grouping. When written in words, or when spoken, numbers less than 100,000/100 000 are expressed just as they are in Standard English. Numbers including and beyond 100,000 / 100 000 are expressed in a subset of the Indian numbering system. Thus, the following scale is used:
|In digits (International system)||In digits (Indian system)||In words (long and short scales)||In words (Indian system)|
|100,000||1,00,000||one hundred thousand||one lakh (from lākh लाख/لاکھ)|
|1,000,000||10,00,000||one million||ten lakh (from lākh लाख/لاکھ)|
|10,000,000||1,00,00,000||ten million||one crore (from karoṛ करोड़/کروڑ)|
Larger numbers are generally expressed as multiples of the above (for example, one lakh crores for one trillion).
Indian English, naturally, has words of Indian vernaculars that have made their way into the English language, such as jungle, tank (water, irrigation), bungalow, shampoo and verandah. It has political, sociological, and administrative terms of modern India: dharna, hartal, eve-teasing, vote bank, swaraj, swadeshi, scheduled caste, scheduled tribe, NRI; it has words of Anglo-India such as tiffin, hill station, gymkhana; and it has slang.
Some examples unique to, or chiefly used in, standard written Indian English include:
- academic (noun) (also Canadian and U.S. English): In pl.: Academic pursuits in contrast to technical or practical work.
- Example: 1991 Hindu (Madras) 6 Dec. 27/2 For 14 years he immersed himself in academics and was a fine achiever.
- accomplish (verb, transitive), chiefly Indian English: To equip.
- Example: 1992 H. L. Chopra in V. Grover Political Thinkers of Modern India XVII. lxiii. 488 His insatiable thirst for knowledge accomplished him with all modern standards of scholarship.
- airdash (verb intransitive) Indian English, to make a quick journey by air, especially in response to an emergency.
- Example: 1973 Hindustan Times Weekly 25 Mar. 1 Governor B. K. Nehru, who airdashed to Shillong yesterday, flew back to Imphal.
- Cinema hall (noun) a cinema or movie theater/theatre.
- Example: 2018 Times of India (India) 03 Jan., Cinema halls in Uttar Pradesh will soon display the newly-unveiled logo for Kumbh Mela, right after the national anthem is played, to make youths understand the importance of the religious festival, a senior official said on Wednesday.
- English-knowing (adjective) originally and chiefly Indian English (of a person or group of people) that uses or speaks English.
- Example: 1941 J. Nehru Toward Freedom vii. 40 The official and Service atmosphere... set the tone for almost all Indian middle-class life, especially the English-knowing intelligentsia.
- freeship, Indian English. A studentship or scholarship which offers full payment of a student's fees.
- Example: 1893 Med. Reporter (Calcutta) 1 Feb. 57/1 Two permanent freeships, each tenable for one year and one of which is for the second and the other for the third year class.
- Example: 2006 Economic Times (India) (Nexis) 12 Oct., Private institutions can only develop if they are allowed to charge reasonable fees, while also providing need based freeships and scholarships for a certain percentage of students.
- matrimonial (noun) B. 3b. Chiefly Indian English. Advertisements in a newspaper for the purpose of finding a marriageable partner.
- Example: 1999 Statesman (Calcutta) 10 Feb., (Midweek section) 4/3 When I have a job I'll have to begin a whole new search for my better half... Back to the newspaper matrimonials on Sundays.
- press person n. (chiefly Indian English, frequently as one word) a newspaper journalist, a reporter, a member of the press
- Example: 2001 Hindu (Nexis) 20 June, The Prime Minister greeted the presspersons with a ‘namaskar’ and a broad smile.
- redressal (noun) now chiefly Indian English. = redress (noun)
- Example: 1998 Statesman (India) (Nexis) 2 Apr., There is an urgent need for setting up an independent authority for redressal of telecom consumer complaints.
- Example: 2002 Sunday Times of India 15 Sept. 8/4 Where does he go for the redressal of his genuine grievances?
- upgradation (noun) Indian English, the enhancement or upgrading of status, value or level of something
- Example: 1986 Business India 8 Sept. 153/1 (advt.) Our Company lays great stress on technical training and knowledge upgradation.
Spelling and national differences
Indian English generally uses the same British English spelling as Commonwealth nations such as Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and South Africa, occasionally with minor differences.
Similarly, in common with most of the Commonwealth, the final letter of the alphabet, Z is pronounced zed. In addition, the punctuation mark denoting the end of a sentence is referred to as a full stop rather than period.
- ^"In defence of English: Blame the Indian education system, not the language".
- ^Census of India's Indian CensusArchived 14 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine., Issue 25, 2003, pp 8–10, (Feature: Languages of West Bengal in Census and Surveys, Bilingualism and Trilingualism).
- ^FAMILY-WISE GROUPING OF THE 122 SCHEDULED AND NON-SCHEDULED LANGUAGESArchived 7 February 2013 at the Wayback Machine. – 2001 Census of India
- ^Tropf, Herbert S. 2005. India and its LanguagesArchived 8 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine.. Siemens AG, Munich
- ^For the distinction between "English Speakers," and "English Users," please see: TESOL-India (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages)], India is World's Second Largest English-Speaking CountryArchived 4 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine.. Their article explains the difference between the 350 million number mentioned in a previous version of this Wikipedia article and the current number:
“ Wikipedia's India estimate of 350 million includes two categories – 'English Speakers' and 'English Users'. The distinction between the Speakers and Users is that Users only know how to read English words while Speakers know how to read English, understand spoken English as well as form their own sentences to converse in English. The distinction becomes clear when you consider China's numbers. China has over 200 million that can read English words but, as anyone can see on the streets of China, only a few million are English speakers. ”
- ^"These four charts break down India's complex relationship with Hindi".
- ^published in 2010
- ^"EF English Proficiency Index – A comprehensive ranking of countries by English skills". www.ef.com. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
- ^Desai, Dubey; Joshi, Sen; Sharif, Vanneman (2010). "HUMAN DEVELOPMENT IN INDIA"(PDF). Oxford University Press. Archived from the original(PDF) on 11 December 2015.
- ^"Number of children studying in English doubles in 5 years".
- ^"EF English Proficiency Index – India". www.ef.com. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
- ^"Court language is English, says Supreme Court".
- ^Mukesh Ranjan Verma and Krishna Autar Agrawal: Reflections on Indian English literature (2002), page 163: "Some of the words in American English have spelling pronunciation and also pronunciation spelling. These are also characteristic features of Indian English as well. The novels of Mulk Raj Anand, in particular, are full of examples of ..."
- ^Pingali Sailaja: Indian English (2009), page 116: "So what was Cauvery is now Kaveri. Some residual spellings left by the British do exist such as the use of ee for /i:/ as in Mukherjee. Also, some place names such as Cuddapah and Punjab"
- ^Edward Carney: Survey of English Spelling (2012), page 56: "Not all distributional differences, however, have important consequences for spelling. For instance, the ... Naturally enough, Indian English is heavily influenced by the native language of the area in which it is spoken."
- ^Indian English Literature (2002), page 300: "The use of Indian words with English spellings: e.g. 'Mundus,' 'raksha'; 'Ed Cherukka,' 'Chacko Saar Vannu'"
- ^Lalmalsawma, David (7 September 2013), India speaks 780 languages, 220 lost in last 50 years – survey, Reuters
- ^John MacKenzie, "A family empire," BBC History Magazine (Jan 2013)
- ^Annamalai, E. (2006). "India: Language Situation". In Brown, Keith. Encyclopedia of language & linguistics. Elsevier. pp. 610–613. doi:10.1016/B0-08-044854-2/04611-3. ISBN 978-0-08-044299-0. Retrieved 6 February 2015. Lay summary (6 February 2015). – via ScienceDirect (Subscription may be required or content may be available in libraries.)
- ^"The rise of Hinglish: How the media created a new lingua franca for India's elites".
- ^Chelliah, Shobhana L. (July 2001). "Constructs of Indian English in language 'guidebooks'". World Englishes. 20 (2): 161–178. doi:10.1111/1467-971X.00207.
- ^Wells, p. 627
- ^Wells, pp. 627–628
- ^ abcdWells, p. 628
- ^ abcdeWells, p. 629
- ^Wells, p. 630
- ^Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language (Cambridge University Press, 1995), page 360
- ^Archived 1 September 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
- ^Varshney, R.L., "An Introductory Textbook of Linguistics and Phonetics", 15th Ed. (2005), Student Store, Bareilly.
- ^"Investors lose Rs 4.4 lakh crore in four days | Business Standard". Bsl.co.in. 27 November 2010. Archived from the original on 16 March 2012. Retrieved 7 November 2013.
- ^"Corporate chiefs getting crores in salaries: 100 and counting! – The Smart Investor". Smartinvestor.in. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
- ^academic (noun), 6, Oxford English Dictionary, Third Edition, December 2011
- ^accomplish (verb, transitive, 3a', Oxford English Dictionary, Third Edition, December 2011
- ^airdash (in air, Compounds, C2) (verb, transitive, Oxford English Dictionary, Third Edition, December 2008
- ^English-knowing (adj). Compound, C2, Oxford English Dictionary, Third Edition, December 2008
- ^"freeship". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- ^freeship, 4., Oxford English Dictionary, Third Edition, March 2008
- ^matrimonial (noun) B. 3b., Oxford English Dictionary, Third Edition, March 2001
- ^press (noun), Compound, Oxford English Dictionary, Third Edition, March 2007
- ^redressal (noun), Oxford English Dictionary, Third Edition, September 2009
- ^upgradation (noun), Oxford English Dictionary, 1993
- Balasubramanian, Chandrika (2009), Register Variation in Indian English, John Benjamins Publishing, ISBN 90-272-2311-4
- Ball, Martin J.; Muller, Nicole (2014), Phonetics for Communication Disorders, Routledge, pp. 289–, ISBN 978-1-317-77795-3
- Baumgardner, Robert Jackson (editor) (1996), South Asian English: Structure, Use, and Users, University of Illinois Press, ISBN 978-0-252-06493-7
- Braj B. Kachru (1983). The Indianisation of English: the English language in India. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-561353-8.
- Gargesh, Ravinder (17 February 2009), "South Asian Englishes", in Braj Kachru; et al., The Handbook of World Englishes, John Wiley & Sons, pp. 90–, ISBN 978-1-4051-8831-9
- Hickey, Raymond (2004), "South Asian English", Legacies of Colonial English: Studies in Transported Dialects, Cambridge University Press, pp. 536–, ISBN 978-0-521-83020-1
- Lange, Claudia (2012), The Syntax of Spoken Indian English, John Benjamins Publishing, ISBN 90-272-4905-9
This article is about Indian people from India. For other uses, see Indian (disambiguation).
Flag of India
|c. 1.21 billion|
2011 Census of India
c. 1.34 billion
c. 30.8 million
|Regions with significant populations|
|United Arab Emirates||3,500,000|
|Trinidad and Tobago||556,800|
|France (Réunion, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte)||456,470|
|Languages of India, including:|
|Related ethnic groups|
Indians are the people who are the nationals or citizens of India, the second most populous nation containing 17.50% of the world's population. "Indian" refers to nationality, but not ethnicity or language. The Indian nationality consists of many regional ethno-linguistic groups, reflecting the rich and complex history of India. India hosts all major ethnic groups found in the Indian Subcontinent. The diaspora populations with Indian ancestry, as a result of emigration, are somewhat widespread most notably in Asia and North America.
The name Bhārata has been used as a self-ascribed name by people of the Indian subcontinent and the Republic of India. The designation Bhārata appears in the official Sanskrit name of the country, Bhārata Gaṇarājya. The name is derived from the ancient Vedic and Puranas, which refer to the land that comprises India as Bhārata varṣam and uses this term to distinguish it from other varṣas or continents. The Bhāratas were a vedic tribe mentioned in the Rigveda, notably participating in the Battle of the Ten Kings. India is named after legendary Emperor Bharata who was a descendant of the Bhāratas tribe, scion of Kuru Dynasty who unified the Indian Subcontinent under one realm.
- उत्तरं यत्समुद्रस्य हिमाद्रेश्चैव दक्षिणम् ।
- वर्षं तद् भारतं नाम भारती यत्र संततिः ।।
- "The country (varṣam) that lies north of the ocean and south of the snowy mountains is called Bhāratam; there dwell the descendants of Bharata."
In early Vedic literature, the term Āryāvarta (Sanskrit: आर्यावर्त) was in popular use before Bhārata. The Manusmṛti (2.22) gives the name Āryāvarta to "the tract between the Himalaya and the Vindhya ranges, from the Eastern (Bay of Bengal) to the Western Sea (Arabian Sea)".
While the word Indian and India is derived from GreekἸνδία (Indía), via Latin India. Indía in Koine Greek denoted the region beyond the Indus (Ἰνδός) river, since Herodotus (5th century BC) ἡ Ἰνδική χώρη, hē Indikē chōrē; "the Indian land", Ἰνδός, Indos, "an Indian", from Old PersianHinduš and medieval term Hindustani. The name is derived ultimately from Sindhu, the Sanskrit name of the river Indus, but also meaning "river" generically.
Main articles: History of India and Greater India
The history of India includes the prehistoric settlements and societies in the Indian subcontinent; the blending of the Indus Valley Civilization and Indo-Aryan culture into the Vedic Civilization; the development of Hinduism as a synthesis of various Indian cultures and traditions; rise of sixteen oligarchic republics known as Mahajanapadas; rise of Śramaṇa movement; birth of Jainism in 9th-century BCE and Buddhism in 6th-century BCE, and the onset of a succession of powerful dynasties and empires for more than two millennia throughout various geographic areas of the subcontinent, including the growth of Muslim dynasties during the Medieval period intertwined with Hindu powers; the advent of European traders resulting in the establishment of the British rule; and the subsequent independence movement that led to the Partition of India and the creation of the Republic of India.
The Indian people established during ancient, medieval to early eighteenth century some of the greatest empires and dynasties in South Asian history like the Maurya Empire, Satavahana dynasty, Gupta Empire, Rashtrakuta dynasty, Chalukya Empire, Chola Empire, Karkota Empire, Pala Empire, Vijayanagara Empire, Maratha Empire and Sikh Empire.The first great Empire of the Indian people was the Maurya Empire having Patliputra(currently Patna, Bihar) as its capital, conquered the major part of South Asia in the 4th and 3rd century BC during the reign of the Indian Emperors Chandragupta Maurya and Ashoka alongside their senior advisor, Acharya Chanakya, the pioneer of the field of political science and economics in the World. The next great ancient Empire of the Indian people was the Gupta Empire. This period, witnessing a Hindu religious and intellectual resurgence, is known as the classical or "Golden Age of India". During this period, aspects of Indian civilisation, administration, culture, and Hinduism and Buddhism spread to much of Asia, while Chola Empire in the south had flourishing maritime trade links with the Roman Empire during this period. The ancient Indian mathematicians Aryabhata, Bhāskara I and Brahmagupta invented the concept of zero and the Hindu–Arabic numeral systemdecimal system during this period. During this period Indian cultural influence spread over many parts of Southeast Asia which led to the establishment of Indianized kingdoms in Southeast Asia.
During the early medieval period the great Rashtrakuta dynasty dominated the major part of the Indian subcontinent. from the 8th to 10th century and the Indian Emperor Amoghavarsha of the Rashtrakuta Dynasty was described by the Arab traveller Sulaiman as one of the four great kings of the world. The medieval south Indian mathematician Mahāvīra lived in the Rashtrakuta dynasty and was the first Indian mathematician who separated astrology from mathematics and who wrote the earliest Indian text entirely devoted to mathematics. The greatest maritime Empire of the medieval Indians was the Chola dynasty. Under the great Indian Emperors Rajaraja Chola I and his successor Rajendra Chola I the Chola dynasty became a military, economic and cultural power in South Asia and South-East Asia. The power of the Chola empire was proclaimed to the eastern world by the expedition to the Ganges which Rajendra Chola I undertook and by the occupation of cities of the maritime empire of Srivijaya in Southeast Asia, as well as by the repeated embassies to China.
During the late medieval period the great Vijayanagara Empire dominated the major part of southern India from the 14th to 16th century and reached its peak during the reign of the south Indian Emperor Sri Krishnadevaraya The medieval Kerala school of astronomy and mathematics flourished during this period under such well known south Indian mathematicians as Madhava (c. 1340-1425) who made important contributions to Trigonometery and Calculus, and Nilakhanta (c. 1444-1545) who postulated on the orbitals of planets.
The Mughal Empire unified much of Indian sub-continent under one realm. Under the Mughals India developed a strong and stable economy, leading to commercial expansion and greater patronage of culture. This marked a huge influence in the Indian society. The Mughal Empire balanced and pacified local societies through new administrative practices and had diverse and inclusive ruling elites, leading to more systematic, centralised, and uniform rule. Newly coherent social groups in northern and western India, such as the Marathas, the Rajputs, the Pathans, the Jats and the Sikhs, gained military and governing ambitions during Mughal rule, which, through collaboration or adversity, gave them both recognition and military experience.
The Marathas and Sikhs emerged in the 17th century and established the Maratha Empire and Sikh Empire which became the dominant power in India in the 18th century. The Maratha Empire is credited to a large extent for ending the Mughal rule in India. The empire at its peak stretched from Tamil Nadu in the south, to Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the north and Bengal and Andaman Islands in the east.
Main articles: Culture of India and Greater India
India is one of the world's oldest civilisations. The Indian culture, often labelled as an amalgamation of several various cultures, spans across the Indian subcontinent and has been influenced and shaped by a history that is several thousand years old. Throughout the history of India, Indian culture has been heavily influenced by Dharmic religions. They have been credited with shaping much of Indian philosophy, literature, architecture, art and music.Greater India was the historical extent of Indian culture beyond the Indian subcontinent. This particularly concerns the spread of Hinduism, Buddhism, architecture, administration and writing system from India to other parts of Asia through the Silk Road by the travellers and maritime traders during the early centuries of the Common Era. To the west, Greater India overlaps with Greater Persia in the Hindu Kush and Pamir Mountains. During medieval period, Islam played a significant role in shaping Indian cultural heritage Over the centuries, there has been significant integration of Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs with Muslims across India
Main articles: Religion in India, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Islam, Christianity, and Irreligion in India
India is the birthplace of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, collectively known as Indian religions. Indian religions, also known as Dharmic religions are a major form of world religions along with Abrahamic ones. Today, Hinduism and Buddhism are the world's third- and fourth-largest religions respectively, with over 1 billion followers altogether, and possibly as many as 1.5 or 1.6 billion followers. Throughout India's history, religion has been an important part of the country's culture. Religious diversity and religious tolerance are both established in the country by the law and by custom; the Constitution of India has declared the right to freedom of religion to be a fundamental right.
Atheism and agnosticism have a long history in India and flourished within Śramaṇa movement. The Cārvāka school originated in India around the 6th century BCE and is one of the earliest form of materialistic and atheistic movement in ancient India.Sramana, Buddhism, Jainism, Ājīvika and some schools of Hinduism like Samkhya consider atheism to be valid and reject the concept of creator deity, ritualism and supernaturalism. India has produced some notable atheist politicians and social reformers.
According to the 2011 census, 79.8% of the population of India practices Hinduism and 14.2% adheres to Islam, while the remaining 7.37% adheres to other religions, mostly Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Christianity.Zoroastrianism and Judaism each has several thousands of Indian adherents, and also have an ancient history in India. India has the largest population of people adhering to Zoroastrianism and Bahá'í Faith in the world, even though these two religions are not native to India. Many other world religions also have a relationship with Indian spirituality, such as the Bahá'í Faith which recognises Buddha and Krishna as manifestations of the God Almighty. Despite the strong role of religion in Indian life, atheism and agnostics also have visible influence along with a self-ascribed tolerance to other people. According to the 2012 WIN-Gallup Global Index of Religion and Atheism report, 81% of Indians were religious, 13% were not religious, 3% were convinced atheists, and 3% were unsure or did not respond.
Traditionally, Indian society is grouped according to their caste. It's a system in which social stratification within various social sections defined by thousands of endogamous hereditary groups are often termed jāti or castes. Within a jāti, there exists exogamous groups known as gotras, the lineage or clan of an individuals. Caste barriers have mostly broken down in cities but still exists in some form in rural areas.
Hinduism is the majority in most states; Kashmir and Lakshadweep are Muslim majority; Nagaland, Mizoram and Meghalaya are Christian majority; Punjab is a Sikh majority with Hindus 37%. It is to be noted that while participants in the Indian census may choose to not declare their religion, there is no mechanism for a person to indicate that he/she does not adhere to any religion. Due to this limitation in the Indian census process, the data for persons not affiliated with any religion may not be accurate. India contains the majority of the world's Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Zoroastrians and Bahá'í. Christianity is widespread in the Northeast India, parts of southern India, particularly in Kerala and among various populations of Central India. Muslims are the largest religious minority. India is also home to the third-largest Muslim population in the world after Indonesia and Pakistan.
Historically, India had a prevailing tradition of the joint family system or undivided family. Joint family system is an extended family arrangement prevalent throughout the Indian subcontinent, particularly in India. The family is headed by a patriarch, the oldest male, who makes decisions on economic and social matters on behalf of the entire family. The patriarch's wife generally exerts control over the household, minor religious practices and often wields considerable influence in domestic matters. A patrilineal joint family consists of an older man and his wife, his sons and unmarried daughters, his sons’ wives and children. Family income flows into a common pool, from which resources are drawn to meet the needs of all members, which are regulated by the heads of the family. However, with modernisation and economic development, India has witnessed a break up of traditional joint family into more nuclear families and the traditional joint family in India accounted for a small percent of Indian households.
Arranged marriages have been the tradition in Indian society. Marriage is considered a union of the two families rather than just the individuals, the process involved in an arranged marriage can be different depending on the communities and families. Recent survey study found that fewer marriages are purely arranged without consent and that the majority of surveyed Indian marriages are arranged with consent. The study also suggested that Indian culture is trending away from traditional arranged marriages, they find that the marriage trends in India are similar to trends observed over last 40 years where arranged marriages was previously common, particularly in China and Japan.
India's clothing styles have continuously evolved over the course of history. Cotton was first cultivated in Indian subcontinent around the 5th millennium BC. Dyes used during this period are still in use, particularly indigo, red madder, lac and turmeric.Silk was woven around 2450 BC and 2000 BC. In 11th-century BC Rig-veda mentions dyed and embroidered garments known as paridhan and pesas respectively and thus highlights the development of sophisticated garment manufacturing techniques during this period. In the 5th century BCE, Greek historian Herodotus describes the richness of the quality of Indian textiles. By the 2nd century AD, cotton, muslins and silk textiles manufactured in India were imported by the Roman Empire and was one of the major exports of ancient India to other parts of the world along with Indian spices and Wootz steel. Traditional Indian clothing greatly varies across different parts of the country and is influenced by local culture, geography and climate. Women traditionally wear Sari, Gagra Choli, Angarkha, Phiran, Shalwar Kameez, Gharara and Bandi with Dupatta or Ghoonghat worn over head or shoulder to complete the outfit. Men traditionally wear Angarkha, Achkan, Kurta, Kameez, Phiran, Sherwani and Koti for upper garment, lower garment includes Dhoti, Churidar, Shalwar, and Lungi. Pagri is usually worn around head to complete the outfit. In urban centres, people often wear western clothing and variety of other contemporary fashion.
Main article: Indian cuisine
Indian food varies from region to region. Staple foods of Indian cuisine include a variety of lentils (dal), whole-wheat flour (aṭṭa), rice and pearl millet (bājra), which has been cultivated in Indian subcontinent since 6200 BCE. Over time, segments of the population embraced vegetarianism during Śramaṇa movement while an equitable climate permitted a variety of fruits, vegetables, and grains to be grown throughout the year. A food classification system that categorised any item as saatvic, raajsic or taamsic developed in Yoga tradition. The Bhagavad Gita prescribed certain dietary practices. During this period, consumption of various types of meat became taboo, due to being considered sacred or impure.Indian cuisines use numerous ingredients, deploy a wide range of food preparation styles, cooking techniques and culinary presentation depending on geographical location.
Main articles: Music of India and Dance in India
The oldest preserved examples of Indian music are the melodies of the Samaveda (1000 BC) that are still sung in certain Śrauta sacrifices; this is the earliest account of Indian musical hymns. The Samaveda, and other Hindu texts, heavily influenced India's classical music tradition, which is known today in two distinct styles: Hindustani music and Carnatic music. Both the Hindustani and Carnatic music systems are based on the melodic base known as Rāga, sung to a rhythmic cycle known as Tāla. These principles were refined in the nātyaśāstra (200 BC) and the dattilam (300 AD).
The nātyaśāstrais an ancient Indian treatise on the performing arts, encompassing theatre, dance and music. It was written during the period between 200 BCE and 200 CE in classical India and is traditionally attributed to the Sage Bharata.Natya Shastra is incredibly wide in its scope. While it primarily deals with stagecraft, it has come to influence music, classical dance, and literature as well. It covers stage design, music, dance, makeup, and virtually every other aspect of stagecraft.
Indian drama and theatre has a long history alongside its music and dance. One of the earliest known theatre play is Mṛcchakatika composed by Śudraka. Followed by Aśvaghoṣa's Śāriputraprakaraṇa and Bhāsa's Swapnavāsavadatta and Pancharātra. Most notable works are Kālidāsa's Abhijñānaśākuntala, Vikramorvaśīya and Mālavikāgnimitra. Harsha's Ratnavali, Priyadarsika, and Naganandam, other notable ancient dramatists include Bhatta Narayana, Bhavabhuti, Vishakhadatta, Thirayattam and Viswanatha Kaviraja.
Notable fable story-plays Panchatantra, Baital Pachisi, Kathasaritsagara, Brihatkatha and Jataka tales were performed in folk theatres since ancient period.Jataka tales has become part of Southeast and East Asian folklore with the spread of Buddhism. These literature's were also influential in development of One Thousand and One Nights during medieval period.
Contribution and discoveries
Main articles: List of Indian inventions and discoveries and history of science and technology in the Indian subcontinent
Indian people have played a major role in the development of the philosophy, sciences, mathematics, arts, architecture and astronomy throughout history. During the ancient period, notable mathematics accomplishment of India included Hindu–Arabic numeral system with decimal place-value and a symbol for zero, interpolation formula, Fibonacci's identity, theorem, the first completearithmetic solution (including zero and negative solutions) to quadratic equations.Chakravala method, sign convention, madhava series, and the sine and cosine in trigonometric functions can be traced to the jyā and koti-jyā. Notable military inventions include war elephants, crucible steel weapons popularly known as Damascus steel and Mysorean rockets. Other notable inventions during ancient period include chess, cotton, sugar, fired bricks, carbon pigment ink, ruler, lac, lacquer, stepwell, indigo dye, snake and ladder, muslin, ludo, calico, Wootz steel, incense clock, shampoo, palampore, chintz, and prefabricated home.
Indian cultural aspects, religions, philosophy, arts and architecture have developed over several millennia and have spread through much of Asia in peaceful manner. Many architectural structures of India such as Sanchi Stupa, Taj Mahal and Mahabodhi Temple are UNESCOWorld Heritage sites today.
In modern times, Indian people have continued to contribute to mathematics, sciences and astrophysics. Among them are Satyendra Nath Bose, Srinivasa Ramanujan, Jagadish Chandra Bose, Meghnad Saha, Homi J. Bhabha, Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis and notable Nobel Prize recipients C. V. Raman, Har Gobind Khorana, Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar who is notable for currently accepted theory on the later evolutionary stages of massive stars, including black holes.
Bharat Mata (Hindi, from Sanskritभारत माता, Bhārata Mātā), Mother India, or Bhāratāmbā (from अंबा ambā 'mother') is the national personification of India as a mother goddess.
The image of Bharat Mata formed with the Indian independence movement of the late 19th century. A play by Kiran Chandra Bandyopadhyay, Bhārat Mātā, was first performed in 1873. She is usually depicted as a woman clad in an orange or saffron sari holding a flag, and sometimes accompanied by a lion.
Main article: Non-resident Indian and person of Indian origin