Sunday, January 05, 2014


Indian billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla,  in an essay in a volume "Reimagining India" makes the following confession:
...Ironically, before we became more international, I used to be much more impressed by someone who could speak the Queen's English than, say, a chartered accountant from Jodhpur whose spoken English required some effort to understand.  Now when I look across all our operations in places like Brazil or Egypt or Thailand, I see a whole host of people who aren't comfortable in English, who need interpreters, but who are very, very good at what they do.  Sadly, it took that experience for me to respect an accountant from Rajasthan—my home state—as much as a graduate of St. Stephen's in Delhi.  At one time we even wanted to run English classes for some of our employees!  Now it's not an issue in my mind.  If you can get your point across, if you are adding value, if you are competent, then bloody hell to your English.
Birla out-grew what is a common malady of Anglicized Indians.