This provocative work deconstructs the popular belief that English was imposed on India by the British. Mukherjee draws on the theories of Gramsci and Bourdieu to demonstrate that the rise of English and the continued valorization of the literatures of Anglo-America in post-independence India have their roots in a conjuncture of the hegemonic agendas of British colonial rulers and ‘high’ caste Hindus. Through English education, British colonial intellectuals hoped to civilize a benighted people and to perpetuate colonial rule. ‘High’ caste Hindus, on the other hand, saw in English education the possibility of Hindu revival. Embracing the theory of a common racial origin, they argued that English education would help revive India’s lost glorious past by giving access to the scientific and rational traditions of the Hindus’ racial kin, the Europeans. After India’s independence, English education, as a field and an institutional practice, continued to be ‘brahmanical’. With Dalits demanding English, it is now the site of a new contest of alternative hegemonies. Mukherjee makes a forceful case that if Dalits are to successfully employ English in a pursuit of emancipation and empowerment, they must ask fundamental questions about the field as it currently exists.