Dr. Birbal Jha’s Play puts Spotlight on English

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Patna: A comic play, ‘Englishia Boli’ presenting the current scenario of and need for spoken English skills in today’s India was released at a function in Patna on August 24 (Saturday).

Socially relevant and educative ‘Englishia Boli’ by Dr. Birbal Jha documents through a series of comic situations how English has impacted the lives of the youths of today, dividing in the process the populace into ‘Know-English’ and ‘Don’t-Know-English’ categories.

What adds to the agony of disparity in the opportunity to learn English is the poor delivery of our education system, the play reads. The script aims to call for a mass movement in support of English language awareness and changing the lifestyles of the largest democracy of the world, Dr. Jha said.

The story of ‘Englishia Boli’ follows the journey of a village simpleton, Chandra Prasad, who migrates from a village in Bihar to New Delhi only to be alienated in a metropolitan city where English rules life. Chandra Prasad’s hopes of making it on his own steam are shattered in the realization that his inability to speak English is the greatest impediment in his way. He finally decides to learn the language. He masters the art of communicating in English, gets a decent job and also marries the same overtly modern girl who once slapped him for being a rustic buffoon. The irony contained in Chandra Prasad’s journey from misery to happiness via the route of acquiring spoken English proficiency offers the readers food for thought.

Speaking at the function, Chief Guest Associate professor N. K. Jha from the Department of Applied Economics and Commerce, Patna University, appreciated the drama and said it mirrors the linguistic situation of India and exhorts the youths to wake up to the need for employability skills.

Emphasizing that he intends to take communicative English to the lowest strata of the society, author Dr. Birbal Jha said that in our country where social parity is yet to be attained such a skill set can play a significant role in becoming a channel to equality, respectability and brighter job prospects.

Dr. N. K. Jha added that English as a skill certainly adds value to one’s economic condition and lifestyle. As English paves the way to better job prospects, it implies enhanced economic condition, which automatically translates into a more exalted standard of living.

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