A leading daily in India did decide to use the lowercase 'i' instead for 'I' for a brief period of time. Though I don't find that to be the case now.
Facts are as under:
The Times of India
The Times of India (TOI) is an Indian English-language daily newspaper. It is the third-largest newspaper in India by circulation and largest selling English-language daily in the world according to Audit Bureau of Circulations (India). It is the oldest English-language newspaper in India still in circulation, with its first edition published in 1838. In 1991, the BBC ranked The Times of India among the world's six best newspapers.
Handbook of Journalism and Media: India, Bharat, Hindustan
By Kovuuri G. Reddy Vikas Publishing House, 2015
Proper nouns are always capitalised, but this also depends on ones style or trends of the time. For example, 'I' is always capitalised, but 'I' is used in its lower case (i) in Times of India.
Posted 03/04/12 - 8:04 PM:
Subject: i versus I : Times Of India
I have subscribed to Times of India last week, after a gap of about 4 years. Something I noticed in the editorial columns is a prevalence or clear dominance of 'i' for first person singular pronoun, over 'I'. This was not the case with TOI editorial columns four years ago, when I used to peruse it regularly.
Now what has happened?
There seem to be two possibilities:
Either all of the TOI writers have switched to 'i' because it has gained some popularity in journalism.
Or editor(s) of TOI prefer 'i' for some unknown reasons.
I don't know exactly what the reason is...
From TOI editorial
Jug Suraiya | TNN | Mar 10, 2007, 11.45 PM IST
you've noticed that i've been cut down to size, and good thing too. being the perspicacious reader that you are, not once did you think that the stoi was losing it when it began to write the first person singular, the capital, upper case i (which we can't show here anymore, but you know what it looks like, a sort of high-rise or i-rise i) as a small, lower case i.
no, far from thinking that stoi was now chucking out typographical protocol, having long chucked out various norms of grammar, syntax, rhetoric, prosody, orthography and other pettifogging rules of verbal engagement, you at once surmised the philosophical underpinnings of the metamorphosis of the great big self-promoting capital i for i-dolatory into a self-effacing small i, an i that knows its place and doesn't try to get above itself. which of course was exactly what it was doing. in our i-centric (rather than you-centric, or even he-centric) language, it was i which assumed capital, upper case proportions. you and he enjoyed no such exalted status. this type-casting amplification of i in print had a correspondingly inflationary effect on the inner i of the ego (should it really be spelt i-go?).
nowhere was this enlargement of the ego like a pneumatic tyre swelling under air pressure more evident than in the effusions of sunday columnists, such as myself. particularly myself. does this fellow have an i-dentity problem, or what?, readers would ask.
ok, so he sometimes makes passing reference to bunny and brindle, but mainly he writes about himself, first person singular. it's all i i i i i, like a stuck ipod. the only excuse i have is that columnists are supposed to write on subjects they know something about. and as the only subject i can claim the remotest acquaintance with is that admittedly very limited, and limiting, branch of knowledge that is myself, i had little option but to resort to i-teration. and you can see the consequences. the stoi has whittled me, and the other columnists (poor things, though no fault of theirs), down to lower case size.
but why not decapitalise the works? not just i, but everything: proper nouns, acronyms, initial letters after full stops, and other punctuation marks which end sentences. the whole jing-bang lot. i mean, fair's fair. if i'm going to be i, why shouldn't george w bush be george w bush, or the usa be the usa, or god be god, or indeed, the big b be the small b? or for that matter, why shouldn't that last o after that question mark be a lower case, uncapitalised o. what's this o got that i haven't, puffing itself up like that just because it starts a sentence? big deal. or rather, small deal.
and as you know, there's a literary tradition of decapitalisation going all the way back to american poet don marquis who in 1927 had a cockroach called archy who would sneak into the typewriter at night and type out the ongoing saga of mehitabel the alley cat who claimed to be an avatar of queen cleopatra who in reincarnated life had fallen on hard times. not to mention lower case times, because her chronicler, archy, being a cockroach, couldn't press the typewriter key for capitals so everything came out in small letters: i have had my ups and downs/ but wotthehell wotthehell/ yesterday sceptres and crowns/ fried oysters and velvet gowns/ and today i herd with bums.
mehitabel wasn't the only one to be downsized. another american poet, e e cummings (1894-1962), also eschewed not only capitals but also punctuation marks: it's/ spring/when the world is puddle-wonderful/ the queer/ old balloonman whistles/ far and wee. true yogis, mehitabel and old e e, who mastered their upper case egos. and what more appropriate way to better their yogic instruction than for me to upend myself, sirshasan-wise, and turn myself into an ulta-pulta?
Boria Majumdar | Apr 18, 2012, 12.00 AM IST
With 100 days to go before the 2010 Commonwealth Games, everything was falling apart in the Indian capital. The Games Village was half done, and one corruption scandal after the other was rocking the games preparations. Even the world leaders had expressed concern over India's ability and preparedness to host the Games. Forced to intervene in the chao-tic situation, the prime minister constituted a core committee to do damage control.
Now with 100 days to go before the Olympic Games begin in London on July 27, the city is already geared up to becoming the cynosure of the world's gaze. Having seen the games preparations over the last few days, it's evident that London is almost ready to host the spectacular sporting event.
On the eve of the Commonwealth Games, when i spoke to Delhiites, the common refrain was that an unnecessary white elephant had been thrust on them. There was little community integration and an even lesser sense of pride at Delhi hosting the games. London, on the other hand, presents a different picture. While there are concerns over excessive spending on the games and its impact on the British economy, the local Londoner is excited at being a resident of an Olympics host city....
Now The Question:
'and it's indisputable that many Indian speakers who are learning English have a tendency to write the subject pronoun “I” in lowercase.'
Would the OP like to share the data upon which this observation of hers, is based?
What I am trying to gather is whether a simple rule of 'writing' is picked up differently by native and non native 'speakers'.
In any case, which portion of Indian demography is being referred to here? Kids in school, freshmen or adults? A quantified parameter for the comparison; something like percent lower case 'i' per capita, would be interesting to know.