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MEG-10: English Studies in India

MEG-10: English Studies in India

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2023-24

If you are looking for MEG-10 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject English Studies in India, you have come to the right place. MEG-10 solution on this page applies to 2023-24 session students studying in MEG, PGDWI courses of IGNOU.

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Assignment Code: MEG 10/ TMA 01/ 2023-24

Course Code: MEG-10

Assignment Name: English Studies in India

Year: 2023-2024

Verification Status: Verified by Professor

Q1) Do you think Macaulay defends the introduction of English in India? How does he do so? Discuss.

Ans) Thomas Babington Macaulay, a British historian, and politician, is known for his "Minute on Indian Education," which was a key document during the British colonial rule in India. In this document, Macaulay expressed his views on the introduction of English education in India. While some argue that Macaulay defended the introduction of English, it's important to note that his primary motive was to promote English as the medium of instruction in Indian education, and his arguments were often driven by imperialistic and utilitarian considerations.

Arguments in Favor of English Education in India:

Utility of English: Macaulay believed that English education would be more practical and utilitarian for the Indian population. He argued that English was the language of science, literature, and international communication. By imparting English education, Indians could access a wealth of knowledge and ideas that were not available in vernacular languages.

Access to Western Thought: Macaulay was of the view that English education would provide Indians with access to the vast body of Western thought and philosophy. He believed that this exposure would broaden the intellectual horizons of Indian students and enable them to engage with Western ideas.

Economic Advancement: Macaulay argued that English education would facilitate economic advancement for Indians. He believed that English-educated Indians would be better equipped to participate in the administration, trade, and commerce under British rule. This, in turn, would benefit the British Empire.

Integration into British Administration: Macaulay saw English education to train a class of Indians who could assist in the administration of India on behalf of the British. He believed that English-educated Indians would be more capable of understanding and implementing British policies.

Imperialistic Motivations:

Cultural Superiority: While Macaulay argued for English education on utilitarian grounds, his views were also influenced by a sense of cultural superiority. He believed that English culture and values were superior to Indian ones and saw English education as a means of Westernizing Indian society.

Political Control: Macaulay's support for English education was closely tied to the British colonial project in India. He believed that an English-educated Indian elite would be more compliant and manageable under British rule. In this sense, his arguments were driven by the colonial agenda of maintaining control over India.

Undermining Vernacular Languages: Macaulay's views on vernacular languages were less favourable. He famously stated that "a single shelf of a good European library was worth the whole native literature of India and Arabia." This perspective reflected a dismissive attitude toward Indian languages and literature.

Legacy and Impact:

Promotion of English: Macaulay's Minute played a significant role in the promotion of English education in India. English became the medium of instruction in higher education and the civil services, shaping the trajectory of Indian education.

Bifurcation of Education: Macaulay's views contributed to the divide between English-educated elites and those who received education in vernacular languages. This divide had a lasting impact on Indian society and continues to influence access to opportunities.

Cultural and Linguistic Legacy: Macaulay's dismissal of Indian languages and cultures left a legacy of language and cultural insecurity among Indians. It led to a perception that proficiency in English was a measure of intelligence and success, sometimes at the expense of indigenous cultures and languages.

Q2) Assess Toru Dutt's literary output in English with reference to either her translations or her poetry.

Ans) Toru Dutt, an Indian poetess and novelist of the 19th century, made a remarkable contribution to English literature through her poetry and translations. Her works stand as a testament to her talent, multicultural upbringing, and the unique position she held as a bridge between Indian and Western literary traditions. In this assessment, I will focus on Toru Dutt's literary output in English, particularly with reference to her poetry.

Bilingual and Bicultural Background:

Toru Dutt's bilingual and bicultural upbringing greatly influenced her literary output. Born to a French mother and a Bengali father, she was fluent in multiple languages, including English, French, and Bengali. This multilingualism allowed her to draw from a rich tapestry of linguistic and cultural influences in her poetry.


Toru Dutt's sonnets are among her most celebrated works. They demonstrate her mastery of the form and her ability to convey complex emotions and themes within the constraints of the sonnet structure. For instance, in "Our Casuarina Tree," she beautifully evokes a sense of nostalgia and longing for her childhood in India while living in France.

Themes of Nature and Identity:

Dutt's poetry often explores themes related to nature and identity. Her deep connection to India's natural beauty is evident in poems like "The Lotus" and "In The Forest." These poems reflect her love for the Indian landscape and its flora, showcasing her ability to vividly describe the natural world.

Cultural and Mythological Allusions:

Dutt frequently incorporated cultural and mythological allusions into her poetry. In "Sita," she reimagines the character of Sita from the Indian epic Ramayana, offering a feminist perspective and challenging traditional portrayals of the character.

Religious and Spiritual Themes:

Her poetry also delves into religious and spiritual themes. In "The Boat-Race," she explores the spiritual journey of the soul, drawing from Hindu philosophy and imagery. Her poem "The Young Captive" reflects on the Christian theme of salvation.


Toru Dutt's translations of French poetry into English were a significant part of her literary output. Her translations of poets like Victor Hugo and Baudelaire introduced Western literary aesthetics to an Indian audience and contributed to the cross-cultural exchange of ideas.

Influence on Indian Literature:

Toru Dutt's pioneering efforts in English poetry and translations had a lasting impact on Indian literature. She inspired subsequent generations of Indian poets who wrote in English, including Rabindranath Tagore and Sarojini Naidu. Her work contributed to the emergence of a distinct Indian English literary tradition.

Challenges and Limitations:

It is essential to acknowledge the challenges Toru Dutt faced as a female poet in the 19th century and the limitations imposed on her by the social norms of her time. Her career was tragically short-lived due to her untimely death at the age of 21, limiting her literary output.

Q3) From a reading of Bankim’s Rajmohun’s Wife, what do you think 'transgression' implies? Does Matangini transgress in that sense? Elucidate.

Ans) "Rajmohan's Wife" by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, one of the earliest novels in Bengali literature, explores several themes, including societal norms, gender roles, and transgression. In the context of the novel, "transgression" implies going beyond established social, cultural, or moral boundaries. Matangini, the protagonist, indeed engages in acts that can be interpreted as transgressions in various ways, and her character challenges traditional norms and expectations.

Transgressions in "Rajmohan's Wife":

Marital Transgression: The novel opens with Matangini, a widow, and her remarriage to Rajmohan, a man much younger than herself. In the societal context of 19th-century Bengal, this act is a clear violation of prevailing norms. Widow remarriage was considered taboo, and Matangini's decision to remarry defies these norms. This transgression is central to the novel's plot and sets the tone for the exploration of societal boundaries.

Age and Gender Transgressions: Matangini's remarriage also involves an age and gender transgression. She is older than her husband, Rajmohan, which defies the conventional expectation of the husband being older than the wife. This inversion of the age hierarchy challenges traditional gender roles.

Cultural and Religious Transgressions: Throughout the novel, Matangini questions and challenges traditional religious practices and customs. She adopts a more liberal and rational approach to religion, which is a transgression against the orthodoxy of her society. Her interactions with her spiritual guru, Haridas, exemplify this transgression, as they engage in discussions that question established beliefs.

Intellectual Transgression: Matangini is portrayed as an intellectually independent and progressive woman. She engages in philosophical discussions, questions societal norms, and seeks knowledge outside the confines of her traditional role. Her pursuit of knowledge and critical thinking can be seen as a transgression against the limited intellectual opportunities available to women of her time.

Matangini's Transgressions:

Widow Remarriage: Matangini's decision to remarry is a clear act of transgression against societal norms. She not only challenges the taboo surrounding widow remarriage but also defies the expectations of her family and community. Her love for Rajmohan is a driving force behind this transgressive act.

Defiance of Patriarchy: Matangini consistently challenges patriarchal authority throughout the novel. Her interactions with her father, her husband, and her father-in-law all involve acts of defiance. She refuses to be submissive and asserts her agency, which can be seen as a transgression against traditional gender roles.

Questioning Religious Orthodoxy: Matangini's spiritual journey involves questioning religious orthodoxy and engaging in philosophical discussions with her guru, Haridas. Her openness to new ideas and her rejection of blind faith transgresses the boundaries set by traditional religious practices.

Seeking Education: Matangini's thirst for knowledge and her desire to seek education are acts of transgression against the prevailing gender norms of her society. She challenges the limitations imposed on women's education and intellectual development.

Q4) Critically examine the role of English Literature in English Language Teaching.

Ans) The role of English literature in English language teaching (ELT) is a topic of ongoing debate and discussion within the field of education. English literature has the potential to enrich language learning and teaching in various ways, but its integration into ELT programs also poses challenges.

Positive Aspects of Integrating English Literature into ELT:

Cultural Understanding: English literature provides a window into the culture, history, and values of English-speaking countries. By studying literature, learners gain insights into the societies where the language is spoken, fostering cultural awareness and empathy.

Language Enrichment: Literary texts often contain rich and diverse vocabulary, idiomatic expressions, and complex grammatical structures. Studying literature can expose learners to a broader range of linguistic features, enhancing their language proficiency.

Critical Thinking Skills: Analyzing literary texts encourages critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Learners are challenged to interpret and evaluate the text, leading to deeper comprehension and cognitive development.

Creativity and Imagination: Literature stimulates creativity and imagination. Engaging with fictional worlds and characters can inspire learners to express themselves more creatively in their own writing and communication.

Motivation and Engagement: Many learners find literature engaging and enjoyable. Incorporating literature into ELT can boost learner motivation, making the language learning process more enjoyable and effective.

Challenges and Considerations:

Complexity and Difficulty: Literary texts are often complex and may contain archaic language, symbolism, and cultural references that can be challenging for language learners, especially beginners and intermediate students.

Diverse Learner Backgrounds: English language learners come from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Selecting literature that resonates with a wide range of learners can be a complex task.

Balancing Language and Literature: The primary goal of ELT is language acquisition, and incorporating literature should not overshadow this objective. Striking a balance between language development and literary analysis can be a delicate task.

Teacher Training: ELT instructors may require additional training and resources to effectively integrate literature into their teaching. Teaching literature demands specialized skills in literary analysis and interpretation.

Access to Resources: Access to a diverse range of literary texts, including books, plays, and poems, can be limited in some educational settings. Ensuring equitable access to literature is essential.

Effective Strategies for Integrating Literature into ELT:

Graded Readers: Graded readers are adapted versions of literary classics designed for language learners at different proficiency levels. They provide accessible entry points to literature while catering to learners' language abilities.

Literary Analysis: Incorporating literary analysis activities, such as discussions of themes, characters, and plot, can deepen learners' understanding of both the language and the text.

Project-Based Learning: Encouraging learners to create projects, presentations, or creative responses based on literary texts promotes active engagement and language production.

Cultural Exploration: Using literature as a springboard for exploring the cultural context in which it was written enhances learners' cultural competency and language skills.

Reader's Theatre: Reader's theatre involves learners in reading scripts aloud and performing parts, enhancing pronunciation and fluency while fostering enjoyment of literature.

Q5) How does Ngugi Wa Thiong'o advocate 'decolonisation' of the mind with reference to African literature?

Ans) Ngugi Wa Thiong'o, a prominent Kenyan writer and scholar, is a leading advocate for the "decolonization of the mind" in the context of African literature. His influential work and writings have played a pivotal role in shaping the discourse surrounding the decolonization of African literature and culture. To understand Ngugi's advocacy for decolonization of the mind, we must explore his ideas and contributions.

Colonial Legacy and Cultural Subjugation:

Ngugi argues that colonialism not only imposed political and economic domination on African nations but also had a profound impact on the psyche and identity of colonized peoples. He contends that colonialism led to the alienation of African culture, languages, and traditions, eroding the self-esteem and confidence of Africans.

Language as a Tool of Colonization:

Ngugi emphasizes the role of language as a tool of colonization. During colonial rule, European languages, such as English, French, and Portuguese, were imposed as the mediums of instruction, administration, and communication. This linguistic dominance reinforced colonial control and suppressed indigenous languages and cultures.

Decolonizing Language:

Ngugi advocates for the decolonization of language by promoting the use of African languages in literature and education. He argues that reclaiming African languages is essential for reconnecting with cultural roots and challenging the linguistic hierarchy imposed by colonial powers.

African Literature in African Languages:

Ngugi's most significant contribution to the decolonization of the mind is his commitment to writing African literature in African languages. He believes that literature should reflect the people's experiences, and this can only be achieved by using African languages as mediums of expression. He himself transitioned from writing in English to Kikuyu, his native language.

Preservation of Oral Traditions:

Ngugi stresses the importance of preserving oral traditions and storytelling as essential components of African culture. These oral traditions, often passed down through generations, contain valuable insights, wisdom, and historical knowledge that must not be lost to the forces of colonization.

Representation of African Realities:

Ngugi believes that literature should represent the lived experiences, struggles, and aspirations of African people. By writing in African languages and drawing from African oral traditions, writers can authentically depict African realities and perspectives, challenging Eurocentric narratives.

Empowering African Writers and Readers:

Ngugi advocates for empowering African writers and readers to take control of their narratives and intellectual heritage. By using African languages, literature becomes accessible to a broader segment of the African population, including those who may not be proficient in European languages.

Educational Decolonization:

Ngugi extends the concept of decolonization to the education system. He argues for a curriculum that values African languages, histories, and cultures, providing students with a holistic education that reflects their heritage.

Rejection of Eurocentrism:

Ngugi critiques the Eurocentric literary canon that often marginalizes African literature and promotes a narrow worldview. He asserts that African literature, grounded in African languages and cultures, challenges this Eurocentrism, and enriches the global literary landscape.

African Renaissance:

Ngugi's vision of decolonization of the mind is closely tied to the idea of an African renaissance. He envisions a cultural and intellectual revival where Africans reclaim their heritage, languages, and narratives, leading to a more confident and self-reliant Africa.

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