Most of us depend on the English language when in a foreign land. However, the same would not have held true in Sri Lanka were it not for Professor Rajiva Wijesinha, whose efforts have given recognition to English language in his country.
“Monolinguals are destructive,” pronounced Professor Rajiva when recently in the City to participate in a discussion on his recent book Mirrored Images – An anthology of Sri Lankan poetry. The learned professor shared details of how the very language in which you read this article now, was looked upon as a deterrent by Sri Lankans for a long time.
“English as a language has the potential to liberate people from their orthodoxies and make them live in harmony. Knowing two languages opens one’s mind, in addition to facilitating communication with others on an equal basis,” opined Rajiva for whom, the task to reduce the widening gap between Tamilians and Sinhalese through the medium of this language, was quite daunting.