African, American, Asian, Black English, Blues, Britain, Canada, color, color blind, Culture, Decolonization, English, English Language, Homi Baba, House For English, Humor, imperialism, Irony, Jazz, Mimicry, Native English, NZ, Postcolonial, Rap, Salman Rushdie, Satanic Verses, South Africa, Stereotype, USA, V S Naipaul
I approach this article in humoresque irony. Stereotype has been reproduced and re-signified by Homi Baba a postcolonial theorist. In its re-signified version he meant an Asian who was colonized by the colonized as dull, pathetic, moronic, all being privileged notions of the colonizer to psychologically whip and traumatize the Asian into the imperialist fangs of rule.
In one sense the Colonizer did more good than ha®m, and that was the impartation of the English language. No doubt the language has been imbibed by the colonized in fits and starts. But the Colonized also became addicted to meanings of vernacular languages and many vernacular isms and meanings became re-appropriated into the vocabulary of English. For example the word juggernaut meaning something formidable and imposing was derived from Hindu religion as Lord Jaganath. This cultural exchange between English and the colonized language was so mild yet so forceful, unlike being politically brutal and savage. One laudatory aspect of the colonized is that they went to the extent of being Oriental scholars. But the colonized in spite of being confident about his subjects, was anxious. Anxiety is also term introduced into postcolonial theory by Baba meaning the anxiety of the colonized white in dealing with Asians and Africans.
After decolonization and granting of independence from colonial rule, many colonies adopted English along with their own language as a means of communication. Thus for e.g. we have Indian English which in no way is inferior to Native English. There are well known Indian English writers who have won world acclaim. An example is Salman Rushdie whose notorious satire on Islam: ‘The Satanic verses’ is sad to tragically banned in his own mother country: India. There are also writers of Indian origin from other decolonized nations. A notable example is V. S. Naipaul who wrote the Nobel winning novel: ‘House for Biswas’.
However all attempts to mimic the English language well, considering the glottal differences between Native and Colonizers have been in vain when it comes to the Colonized who articulate in English. Here it is amazing that Black English has outdone colonial English and has become privileged as mainstream culture.
Black English as American English has become authentic in lingual, political and cultural world of discourse. Black English just like RAP, Blues and Jazz had become esteemed even among the non African Americans and all over the world. However Indian English is looked-down-upon even by Indians and also by most Asian countries who regard it with disdain and treat it contemptuously as the language-of-the-racial-other. Here amusingly the Asians are conveniently color blind [color here means colored]. Here color blind is racial idiom for being blind to postcolonial English of Asians. The Asian Stereotype of colonial English has failed in the art of mimicry. Mimicry is a term used by Pro. Baba who claims that the colonized mimics the language and also cultures of the Occident.
What has failed in this mimicry is failure of acceptance of Asian English, especially Indian English by Asians themselves. The Asian countries export Native speakers of the English language to teach in their institutions especially in international schools. Thus it is common to come across advertisements like: “Wanted only Native Speakers of USA, Britain, NZ, Canada and South Africa to teach English.”
The Asians treat their neighbors as scum, go to this great humbuggery. It’s tragic that many Asian countries are steeped in the colonial discourse and are still behaving as stereotypes which the native in his or her contempt wanted the Asian to be.
I give praise and adoration to all the post colonial writers of English whose subversive signification has dethroned the mask of colonized English into newer experiences which in a long way are proselytizing the English to newer modes of signification. When will the Asian steeped in colonized discourse of the stereotype wake up and change he/r rrrracial (another neologism meaning racial vehemence to one’s own race) attitude to Asians who articulate in English.