While watching a TV Programme, my son asked me a question- “Why was our Independence speech in English?”
I was stuck speechless as I had no answers- also I had never thought about this as well. When we got our independence, the literacy rate was very low and there were only a handful of people who could understand English well.
To find the answer I started browsing through the internet and discussed it with my friends and fellow colleagues. Here is what I got
In a society there exist three sections of people: the ruling class, the elite ruling section among the subjects or those being governed and the common man.
Our independence was the biggest watershed moment in the history of India. It was representative of the burden of the 200 years of slavery being lifted from the shoulders of the common man. Yet all was not in this spirit.
So why did we use a language basically alien and a representative of the foreign colonizers ?
This was because a class of Indian elite, particularly most leaders in the Congress at the time, including Nehru wanted to establish themselves as those who will replace the British and run India. They used English a feature of the colonisers to partially resemble their superiority and show the common man that they now had authority to rule over them.
This allowed the petty bourgeois (as called by marxist theorists) to inherit from the British along with independence, authority.
I would appreciate if you have a better answer.