Samanth Subramanian is the India correspondent for The National. His new book, This Divided Island: Stories from the Sri Lankan War, will be published by Penguin Books India this summer.

India After English?

A man reading a Bengali newspaper with a story about Narendra Modi, Calcutta, India, May 17, 2014

Narendra Modi, the decisive winner of India’s national election, rarely departs from Hindi and Gujarati; his English is serviceable but never elegant. In fact, his election coincides with a surge of confidence in India’s regional languages—a shift that is challenging English as the default medium of Indian public life.