This chapter gives an introduction to the geographical and political territory of India, the several languages and their distribution, and then provides the demographic details of the use and spread of English, often in relation to other languages. It presents the official status of English in India and the domains of use of the language. The statistics presented in the chapter demonstrate the significant role that English plays in the country. The cultural contexts and the manner in which English is used in the arts are discussed. The terminological debate between ‘English in India’ and ‘Indian English’ is outlined and a position taken in favour of ‘Indian English’.
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