Not entirely true

Sir, — Hasan Suroor's article, "Oh, to be British!" ( Sept. 16 ) is well written. But his statement that "Brits themselves got by rather well without learning either the local language or the culture of the places they occupied" is not correct. In the British Indian Army and the ICS, learning `Regimental language' and local language was compulsory. The District Gazetteers are a treasure trove of local culture and practices. The Soldier's Pay Book had both English and `Roman Hindi' instructions. C.P. Brown was the first compiler of a Telugu-English Dictionary.

A.V. Gopalakrishna,

New Delhi

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