Decolonizing India’s Education

As much as the English speaking left liberals may deny it, Sanskrit, Ramayana, Mahabharata and Vedic philosophy unites India even today.

India is witnessing a disparity in education between the haves and the have-notes, between the 20 percent, who study in English medium private schools and the 80 percent, who study in vernacular government schools. Some educationists propose that this disparity should be bridged by introducing English in the government schools right from nursery to bring the education standards on par for all children.

I am amazed at this proposal. How can some Indians want more colonization instead of getting rid of the remnants? Why would the Indians want to hold on to that colonial language baggage that was burdened on them in 1835 on the suggestion of Thomas Macauley? Don’t they know that the intention was to make the ‘natives’ lose pride in their clearly superior culture and make them mental slaves of the British, without them actually realizing that they were made into slaves?

MacaulayWhy would a free India want to continue with English as the preferred language at the expense of Indian languages and at the expense of Sanskrit, which is the basis of those languages and is praised the world over? In which country do the upper classes not to speak in their mother tongue?

Well, amazing as it is, many of the Indian elite actually want an ‘English India’. It feels natural to them. They feel more at home in English than in their mother tongue because of their education in English medium. And so far, they were even allowed to feel superior to the masses, who don’t speak this ‘world language’. Without being spelt out, the fact is that those fluent in English with the right accent form the topmost class in Indian society. This fact does not prevent many of them from castigating “the Brahmins” as those who unfairly ‘oppress’ others.

However, at present a churning is taking place that is shaking this privileged position. There is a certain resurgence of an Indian identity, and tradition and language are major aspects of it. The Prime Minister taking his oath of office in Hindi and several MPs in Sanskrit, would have put the English speaking elite ill at ease. Maybe the attack on Smirti Irani as HRD minister was not so much because of her missing academic credential, but because of her fluency in Hindi. Those who are fluent only in English may fear that she does not share their conviction that English medium is a must for higher education.

The English speaking class naturally has an interest to continue with the status quo, where jobs at the top level require fluency in English, whether it is in the judiciary, the defense forces, in academia, science or administration. It is in their interest and in the interest of their children.

As they lack good arguments in favor of English medium education, they use different methods. One is ridiculing those who speak bad English. I saw comments which read “Before posting first learn proper English”. If you tell this to a German, he may just ask back “Why should I?” But if you tell this to a Frenchman, beware! Yet Indians keep quiet and may even take it to heart.

Another method is to obfuscate the language issue. India has a huge advantage, because her population speaks English, they claim. But two points are not made clear:

First point: only a small percentage of Indians actually speak English – only about 15 percent know English and only a few lakh (0.05 per cent) speak it fluently as primary language.

Second point: it is not easy to learn a foreign language, which one doesn’t hear spoken in one’s daily life, but only for a few hours in school. It is of course easy, if you hear it spoken from childhood at home.

I could directly observe this: In 2006, in the span of a few months, six babies were born in my surrounding – three of them to acquaintances who speak English at home and three to servants. All six of them are now in English medium schools. Meanwhile, the disparity is huge. The children of the former are at ease in English and ‘good’ in school, the others struggle, in spite of being sent for tuition, which is a burden for their parents. The disparity is not in their level of intelligence. All of them are bright and full of zest. In fact, the children of the servants seem to have grown up faster. They are highly observant, don’t throw tantrums, when they don’t get what they want and are better behaved towards elders.

Nobody says that children should not learn English. But why demand from teenagers’ fluency to write essays, understand thick textbooks, and the question papers in their exams? They need to learn the basics, like students in other countries do. Why burden them so young with tomes in an alien language? This happens in no developed country, only in a few former colonies, including India.

English medium in education has an advantage only for those few who want to study abroad, and is easy only for those who hear English at home. They are at present greatly privileged, but are a miniscule minority.

In the last decade, strangely, the craze for English medium schools has accelerated, and it may have been intentional. Government schools kept being in the news for poor results, and forthwith, even those, who did not know any English started sending their children to the mushrooming small private English medium schools. It became a business opportunity for some entrepreneurs and a prestige issue for parents, who hardly could afford the school fee.

Friends, who had established primary schools in over 20 villages in the Himalayan foothills, closed them down some years ago. In tune with the times, parents had pressured them to change them to English medium. My friends took a principled stand and did not comply. The children landed up in dubious English medium schools.

No authority counseled the parents that it was a big blunder, as their children will be neither good in English nor in their mother tongue. They are unlikely to break through the glass ceiling that separates them from the haves. In fact, they would be much better off if they went to a Gurukul like Baba Ramdev did, obtain knowledge that truly matters, develop body, mind, and spirit and discover the purpose of their lives.

Baba Ramdev made me realize how odd it is to continue with English in India. He himself had escaped English education and the slave mentality that often comes with it and certainly is not the worse for it. There are few people who are as knowledgeable, energetic and successful in transforming their vision into reality, as he is. He is connected to his roots via Sanskrit, and can see the damage that the British have inflicted on India. Many months ago, during his talks across the country, he kept thundering: “French study in French, Germans in German, Japanese in Japanese. Why do Indians study in English?”

baba ramdevI realized only then how shockingly disadvantaged Indian children are. I wondered what would have happened, if my parents had sent me to a (luckily non-existing) English medium school. It would surely have been a disaster, even though English is not as different from German as it is from Indian languages.

It happens occasionally that children from a non-English background get into prestigious higher education. The super 30 of Bihar who crack the IIT admission test are an example. But they could have honed their outstanding talent for math even better, if they had not first to overcome this huge language hurdle.

An NRI from US tested the intelligence of Indian and American children via sign based IQ tests. Village children in India outperformed their city counterparts in India and in the US. In one village over 30 per cent scored over 90th percentile! An extraordinary result! Yet once these children aim at higher education, they lose confidence, all because they are not good in English.

A government school teacher told me that some of her students were drop outs from English medium schools. They were now flowering in Hindi medium. “Here, they can be natural, have fun. Whereas in English medium they were always timid” she said. “Worst off”, she added, “are poor kids that are admitted to expensive schools under the RTE Act. They clearly wither away as they feel inferior.”

The push for more English medium schools in recent years and the proposal to introduce it even in the government schools is difficult to understand. Those planning the education policies would know that English medium for children from non-English background is too tough. The disparity can’t be removed in this way. It can be removed by giving them, books and question papers in their mother tongue even for higher studies.

The parents from poorer sections think that they do the best for their children, as they learn now the same as the children of ‘big people’. They don’t realize how it stifles their development. They also don’t realize how much useless stuff is written in those fancy textbooks.

Apart from making the children timid, being forced to speak English in school dilutes their Indian identity. Could this have actually been the objective – to make the children lose their identity at a time, when many realize that India stands tall among the nations? This assumption is hopefully out of place. Yet watching discussions on English channels, one gets the impression that many panelists would wish for a fast westernization of India. Those panelists, however clearly do not represent the masses.

Can India, almost seven decades after independence, finally make a gradual transition to teaching all, including higher education in the respective mother tongue and teach Sanskrit and English as obligatory languages and others optional? Europe with over 20 states and over 20 languages is in a similar position like India. There, each child is taught in his mother tongues right till university level. India could adopt this model. (An interesting slide show by Sankrant Sanu can be viewed under: http://www.bhashaneeti.org/ )

India is more cohesive than the European Union. The underlying unity in her diversity is her common heritage. And this heritage is India’s strength. As much as the English speaking left liberals may deny it, Sanskrit, Ramayana, Mahabharata and Vedic philosophy unites India even today. It would be foolish to further dilute this glue by promoting an “English India”, while the west discovers the value of Sanskrit and Indian philosophy and teaches it in their schools and universities.

The article is being reproduced from author’s blog with her permission.

Disclaimer: The facts and opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. IndiaFacts does not assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information in this article.

  • JustSaying

    A worst thing parents can do to their child is educate the child using a medium of instruction alien to the child. English is an alien language for Indian children. English medium of instruction is just too horrible an experience to go through as a child.
    First, the child has to learn a language that s/he doesn’t understand at all and is not spoken much around her/him. Instead of learning an alien language the child should be learning basic concepts of science and topics like geography and history in his/her language. But children are forced to waste precious childhood time in learning English. This is a criminal waste of a child’s learning phase of life. S/he should be amazed and learn how our world works, how we live and how we do things and not worry about not understanding a language.
    By the time they reach 3’rd-4’th grade they come across basic scientific concepts taught to them in English while they are still struggling to understand English language. No wonder many students end up disliking a beautiful subject like science. Many end up with a deep seated inferiority complex inspite of being very intelligent.
    If,as a child, you do not understand basic concepts of a topic, how are you going to build on it as a child when you move into 7’th or 8’th standard. Can you imagine an American or English being instructed in Tamil or Hindi or Mandarin ? There was a reason why Al Beruni translated Sanskrit works in Arabic.
    If you read NCERT teachers guide you will understand what an ordeal it must be for children to learn through English language.
    Almost all the basic scientific concepts have been theorized by scientists who have had their education in their mother tongue and not some alien language. No wonder Indian scientist have not come up with basic conceptual path breaking scientific discoveries for a very long time.
    Author has said, Indian parents speak English. They don’t. They speak some hotch-potch combination of English, Hindi or some other Indian language.
    I have nothing against English language. It is a wonderful language but so is Sankrit or Mandarin or any other language. I am not saying do not learn English language just don’t make it the medium of instruction.

    • Shambhavi

      I want to share my experience in a part europe 🙂

      All primary education is in the local language. And they teach english just as another language. But by the time children leave school, they have a working knowledge of english. Undergraduate study is usually in mother tongue but post graduate onward english is used. I think that way they have structured their system is the best deal. People who want to work outside have a connect with the rest of the world but the local language retains its primacy. Almost everybody I have met can converse in english but are very happy when spoken to in their native tongue. It is a rather simple system and sometimes I wonder why something like this did not strike people in my country.

      Yes in the north people have translated everything into hindi. But the drawbacks of such translation are also many. They even give a new name to everything in hindi. That is going too far. It is so difficult for a vernacular student to switch to english. Not only they have to express everything in english but the terms also change. And the level of the english in an average english medium schools is pathetic. Children just mug up answers understanding little of the meaning. They are the neither here nor there children. Dont know either english or hindi. I was brought up in the north. I studied Julius Ceaser for my ICSE board exams. Fortunately I studied in a very good school and english was the last of our worries. And the same Julius Ceaser was also a part of the syllabus of Uttar Pradesh State exams conducted in hindi medium. I dont understand how a child who had studied in hindi medium for 10 years was supposed to handle it when I and my friends who had 8 years of privileged schooling needed teacher’s help in coping up with it? How unrealistic are the people who design syllabuses?

  • mani maran

    It is true one should study in one mother tongue.
    At present Indian constitution recognize 18 languages. If a person completes
    his masters’ course in Tamil medium and applies for a job in ISRO will he/she
    be considered for the post of a scientist? At present all those who talk of
    educating children in Indian language stealthy want to force Hindi, a language
    mainly of Arabic, Persian and Turkish words reminding Hindus of their slavery
    under the Islamic rulers. It is this language which is enforced in central
    government offices including defense. Observe how the Hindi speaking people
    behave when they go outside their states. They refuse to learn the language of
    other states, try to dominate the locals, behave uncouthly and arrogantly and
    insist all others speak to him in Hindi. By imitating the US Presidents our
    Prime Minister speaks over the radio in a programme called ‘mann ki bath’. Have
    any of his advisers thought about the percentage of population who listen to
    that programme? Isn’t it naïve on the part of our PM to think people all over
    the country speaking languages richer than Hindi and of great antiquity and
    literary heritage understand Hindi? Not according respect to various rich languages
    of India has resulted in social unrest as witnessed in Mumbai. First of all the
    India government must accord equal right to all languages of India. Don’t compare
    India with Europe as there people speaking different languages live
    independently and not dominated by speakers of one language as in India.

    • Shambhavi

      Mr. Maran i lived in Chennai for a few months and didnt see any tamil people speaking in any language except in tamil (even though they understand english perfectly well) or being intimidated by “hindi speaking people”. Rather it was the other way around. Tamilians want all people to be tamil but dont leave their own identity in any part of the world. I know of tamil people born and brought up in mumbai who dont know marathi and for that matter not wven hindi. Like people from kashmir can settle in any part of india but non kashmiris cant go and settle in kashmir. And by the way, would the tamil nadu government employ a person, however capable if he/she spoke only hindi? Yes you should keep your own culture and language alive, but then why do tamilians by the droves emigrate and conduct their entire lives in foreign languages? It is like my mother in law puts it – i cant eat chapati coz its not in my culture. I feel like asking her – you seem to manage pizzas, burgers, noodles, pastas, french fries, ketchup, cold drinks, ice creams, chocolates, biscuits, chips etc… (which have been zealously introduced by her to the family as variety) rather well. So which of it is your culture? And by the way all the above mentioned food is consumed with such regularity that my husband and i had a tough time convincing my daughter that these foods which are eaten with such relish in our household are not “indian food food” leave alone “telugu food”. If we eat north indian food once in a while, we are diluting our culture, but westernization is just sooo good. We are just progressing that way. We all talk of how much we love our culture, but are dying to live in america – the holy land. Wonder where the live for “my village” and language and culture disappear when faced with a visa from the developed world. If we love our land, our culture, our language, our people why do we pester our sons to settle in “foreign” and want to live there for the rest of our lives. Only bodies live in india, spirit is in america. Desire is to go to america and europe and not kashi. We indians are so well versed in putting down our own people that we dont need outsiders to denigrate us. United we stand and divided we fall is taught only in text books in india. Another thing, i dont really think you have any idea of what europe is like. To believe that your own culture is good is right, but in your quest to prove your supremacy putting down your neighbour is not right. As a non tamil i faced more discrimination and harassment in chennai than i have as a brown in europe. To put things into perspective i have lived in europe for more years than the number of months i lived in chennai. You just need to be civillized to live in peace, not language.

      • Kraken

        Truer words were never spoken!!

      • krishnakumar

        Smt.Shambhavi, me a tamilian living in North of Hindustan for the past 3 decades have some contrary points.

        Tamilians do not want all people to be tamil. They just want all people to retain their identities like we tamilians like very much to retain our Tamil identity.

        Times are changing. lacs of tamilians living in North are very comfortable with Hindi and are learning the language. Speaking in HIndi is not a problem at all but for a few exceptions. Writing skills needs lot of improvement.

        But yes, if the mentality of some of the arrogant people of ( I would never stereotype the entire HIndi belt people) North is changed, the learning process could be more smooth.

        I very much feel that people of every region should retain their unique identities. And people are. The loosers in this regard are primarily Kashmiris and Punjabis to a lesser extent. Especially punjabis living in Haryana and NCR.

        Adopting to some extent the local culture with regard to food, clothing etc is nothing wrong. You correctly pointed out that when people do not have any hesitation to wear western dresses and eat western food with ease, they still complain when it comes to adoption of other regional food or clothing. Thats the colonial mindset.

        • Shambhavi

          Mr. Krishnakumar, all i want to point out is that other indians are as proud of their culture as tamilians. Tamilians want to preserve their identity – as do other indians. Hindi has been foisted on tamilians by politicians not the north indian people. Was there a plebicite in the north regarding the language to be taught in tamil nadu schools? Why are north indian people responsible for it?

          Europens came to india to colonize it, has any north indian king ever ruled tamil nadu? But the enemies are north indians. It is this widely spread belief that i am questioning. Somebody comes from a different continent to convert people into their religion, customs and language and they are our friends. But people from our own religion who speak a different language and have some diferent customs and have just come to work here are our enemies. How many north indians do you know who came to tamil nadu to propogate their language and customs? Do you know of any?

          Europens came to colonize tamil nadu and they did. Is there any hatred against them? Do the tamil people hold the english population today responsible for their ancestors did 150 years ago? Please think.

          I agree that your experience as a new comer in the north was bitter. Did you ask what was a north indian’s experience in the south? 🙂

          I have lived in delhi, mumbai, hyderabad, chennai and europe. None of them was my home town and out of them i guess mumbai was the easiest and chennai the hardest. And i can assure you that people in ALL THE PLACES were the same – a mixed bag. Most people were good but yes some outliers of the population are EVERYWHERE. The reason chennai was difficult was that people who even understood english would not respond if you ask them anything in english. As a non native i couldnt come to chennai armed with a knowledge of tamil. And some time is required to adjust in any place. If you stay long enough in any place you are bound to learn the language unless you are admant about your language. The longest i have lived in any city was mumbai and yes i know marathi. You can spend your entire lifetime in mumbai without knowing marathi and not know the pinch. I had gujarati, kannadiga, north indian and tamil friends who were second generation there. And all knew fluent marathi except the tamilians. May be my sample size was too small. But how do people spend an entire lifetime in a city not learning the native language which is compulsory in schools?

          A north indian friend of mine was told by her coworkers to wear a bottu and mangalsuthram to work. She did not own a mangalsuthram as north indians dont wear one. Would any south indian not wear her bottu and mangasuthram coz north indians dont? Please dont take it personally. It is not about you. It is about people understanding other people. You and i are mere parts of the same society. You and i dont by ourselves make society.

          We so easily agree and accept americans and europeans. Why not our own people?

          • krishnakumar

            Shambavi ji,

            I understand your view points.

            This hindi foisting politics has spoiled some two to three generations of tamilians very badly.

            I personally feel that tamilians should learn Hindi. And learning HIndi would be easier compared to English.

            Speaking only the local language and not even answering in English is not just peculiar to Tamil Nadu. Had you ever visited Kolkatta, there too you would find the same problem. You ask someone question in Hindi or English. That gentleman would eventually reply you in Bangla. In these circumstances we presume the other guy who is well dressed as someone who knows English which may or may not be correct.

            The matter of fact is…… if that person knows English or Hindi but still reply in local language, thats arrogance and thats because of politics. But it would be better, we do not stereotype.

            The evil dravidian politics made tamilians sort of feel at home with English but made them to feel their own brother language as something alien. See the comments here. People who do not know about Hindi spreading lies and misinformation. Thats because of a sustained propoganda of the racist white church under the garb of love for tamil. Their Abrahamic god very well know that Abrahamic people do not love anything other than their jealous Abrahamic god.

            Its only some of my experience with people from north of Hindustan was bitter. For the most part of it, its very lively and enjoyable. I live in such an environment where people with knowledge of just three languages……… i.e their mother tongue, English and Hindi as some sort of least developed species.

            Most of my friends are comfortable with 4 languages or more. Especially my telugu speaking freinds born in Orissa. They speak Oriya, Telugu, Tamil (sometimes Bangla too) Hindi and English quite comfortably. And I have high regards for those brethern.

            On some instances during my initial stay in north of Hindustan, I observed that I wrongly misunderstood that the other person who is well dressed addressing me in Hindi because of arrogance. But I came to know that many such people either do not know English or were not comfortable to speak the language fluently and hence did not reply back in English.

            That needs interaction with a free mindset and judging people for what they are.

            Not knowing local language like marathi. Yes, thats bad. Even in my case, I lived among punjabi speaking people. But my knowledge of Punjabi is very minimum. It could be becuase I was comfortable pulling on with Hindi. I hope those tamils in Mumbai may know HIndi and with that they simply pull on. Its always better to be proficient with the local language. Thats a valid point and eyeopener. May be, I would try to improve my Punjabi.

    • JustSaying

      You should check facts before posting especially if you are ranting about PM of India. Though PM in office uses Hindi for Man ki Baat their are official government versions of MKB in other Indian languages too. Here is a Tamil version of 2’nd episode: http://edaa.in/Mannkibaat/Mann-Ki-Baat-Tamil-Ep-02.
      Hindi is not influenced by Arabic/Persian, Hindusthani is. Sanskrit influences Hindi.
      Hindi and Hindusthani are two different languages. If you want to hear Hindi listen to somebody who has been educated in Hindi medium. You will understand what Hindi is. Probably you won’t understand what s/he is speaking because your are used to Bollywood Hindi which is no Hindi at all. Bollywood language is more of an Arabic/Persian language and less of Hindi. No wonder many people from middle east comment on Bollywood YouTube videos. They think it is related to their language because they hear a lot of Arabic/Persian words in Bollywood songs .

      I agree that when anybody moves out of his birth state to settle in another state for a long period of time s/he should make an effort to understand and learn language of that state.

    • krishnakumar

      \ If a person completes his masters’ course in Tamil medium and applies for a job in ISRO will he/she be considered for the post of a scientist? \

      Dear Mani Maran, I am a tamilian and I hundred percent echo your sentiments as far as the issue is to teach the students in their mother tongue. But tell me, whats the contribution of local politicians for promoting this idea. Instead of spending public money on conferences by which they loot money, if equal amount is spent on publishing of books for lower and higher education in easily understandable Tamil, the goal of teaching students in Tamil would have been well achieved.

      And behold, in the Hindi belt that has been done already. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India has published the best study materials in Hindi and lacs of students avail this initiative and write their CA exams in Hindi. I hope similar facilities are available for ICWA/ICMA and CS too.

      \ At present all those who talk of educating children in Indian language stealthy want to force Hindi, a language
      mainly of Arabic, Persian and Turkish words reminding Hindus of their slavery under the Islamic rulers. \

      These are half baked lies peddled by Hindi haters in Tamil Nadu. The matter of fact is those who peddle these lies do not know either hindi or any of these languages. But still peddle the lies. Basically Hindi has three versions.

      The first and foremost, the Manak Hindi or what you call in English, the Standard Hindi. This Standard Hindi as per the definition in the Constitution of our country is near to Sanskrit and far far far away from from Arabic, Persian and Turkish.

      Refer article 351 of Constitution :-

      It shall be the duty of the Union to promote the spread of the Hindi language, to develop it so that it may serve as a medium of expression for all the elements of the composite culture of India and to secure its enrichment by assimilating without interfering with its genius, the forms, style and expressions used in Hindustani and in the other languages of India specified in the Eighth Schedule, and by drawing, wherever necessary or desirable, FOR ITS VOCABULARY, PRIMARILY ON SANSKRIT AND SECONDARILY ON OTHER LANGUAGES.

      The point to be emphasised is given in all caps.

      The second one, that is Raj Bhasha…….. or official Hindi……….is mixture of English and Hindi where the thrust is to encourage people to write in Devanagari script (writing technical terms in English in between is also permitted).

      The third one is the spoken Hindi which could be compared to the present day English. The spoken Hindi or the bolchal ki hindi comprise of words from English and almost all the other Hindustani languages.

      • krishnakumar

        \ It is this language which is enforced in central government offices including defense. \

        Whats the problem if Hindi is language in the offices and defense. People from entire HIndustan are quite comfortable with Hindi in armed forces and para military forces.

        \ Observe how the Hindi speaking people behave when they go outside their states. They refuse to learn the language of other states, try to dominate the locals, behave uncouthly and arrogantly and insist all others speak to him in Hindi. \

        Its a wrong fact to say that people from North Hindustan do not learn the languages of the South. The entire Marwadi, Sindi and Gujarati community are very well versed in Tamil when it comes to speaking in Tamil. The problem for many of them is to write in Tamil. For that the local government shall be taken to task.

        When people from North in Karanataka and Andhra are comfortable in kannada and telugu why is it not so in Tamil Nadu?

        AS FAR AS YOUR COMPLAINT THAT MANY PEOPLE FROM NORTH ARE ARROGANT AND EXPECT AND EVEN INSIST PEOPLE FROM SOUTH TO SPEAK IN HINDI, I ACCEPT THERE IS FACT IN IT AND THAT MENTALITY NEEDS CHANGE.

        • krishnakumar

          \ By imitating the US Presidents our Prime Minister speaks over the radio in a programme called ‘mann ki bath’. Have any of his advisers thought about the percentage of population who listen to
          that programme? \ Isn’t it naïve on the part of our PM to think people all over the country speaking languages richer than Hindi and of great antiquity and literary heritage understand Hindi? \

          That maan ki baat is not being broadcast in regional languages is untrue. Earlier it was available in English and HIndi and now it is available in regional languages also. Refer pmindia website, the url of which is given below and the relevant extracts from the speech of PM.

          http://www.pmindia.gov.in/en/news_updates/text-of-pms-mann-ki-baatprogramme-on-all-india-radio-on-22-05-2016/

          I am grateful to All India Radio that they have also been successfully broadcasting ‘Mann Ki Baat’ in regional languages at 8 pm. I am also very happy that the people who listen to me, later communicate their feelings to me through letters, telephone calls, the website MyGov.in and also through the NarendraModiApp.

          That the current government gives equal importance to all languages is demonstrated by the MPs of the Government belonging to BJP like Tarun Vijay is taking keen interest in propogation of Tamil. Thirukkural has been translated into Gujarati by the august efforts of this government, for instance.

    • Shambhavi

      Regarding there being more options in hindi, i guess it has to do with the fact that it is the language which is understood by the maximum number of people. i am pretty sure that if half of india understood tamil, there would be maximum options in tamil and north indians would have to study tamil and not the other way around. It is demand that fuels supply. The problem with us indians is that we are caught in a war of cultural supremacy with other indians. And anyways tamilians dont study, speak, read or write hindi. Still there is a problem with hindi. I wonder why? Mr. Maran there are no options in Telugu, kannada, malyalam, oriya, bangla, assamese also. Do you ever hear of these people complain? And believe me there arent too many options available in hindi else north indian parents would not rush to get their wards admitted to english medium schools. ALL technical education in north indian states happens in english. All engineers and doctors study english books. And students studying in hindi medium have the same constraints as any other vernacular student. I might want to ask you – have you ever been to the north or really know anything north indian?

      You are not against tamilians learning english. So when exactly did english become a part of tamil heritage? i have never heard of any “anti-english” drive in tamil nadu. Why dont you start a drive against english and convince your fellow tamilians to shun english and embrace only tamil?

      You defend the social unrest in 2008 against North Indians as the north indians did not respect the social culture of Mumbai. Did you know that certain very influential politician won his political laurels by launching a similar attack on south indians in the 1960s? Please google and find out why were tamils, telugus, kannadigas and malyalis were targeted. All of them as a collectivity failed to respect the cultural ethos of mumbai? And then please google again and read of the political compulsions of attacking north indians.

      Who is persecuting tamilians in tamil nadu? In europe citizens of all countries talk in their respective languages. And when you move countries you are either supposed to know the local language or work for a multi national company. And yes the states in india are probably as large as the countries here. Moving countries here is just as painful as moving states in india. I know an indian lady whose husband has moved 3 different countries in europe in the past 10 years. Her kids go to an exobitrant international school as only there will you find the medium of instruction to be english. Now she says she is fed up of learning new languages every few years. Dear Sir we live in europe not vaikuntam.

      • singh.Varun Vikram

        Some closing line — We live in Europe not Vaikuntham 🙂 !! nicely done :).

  • Arun

    Hi Ma’am,
    One does not have to give elaborate reasons and explanations for why I should learn in my own language. That it is my language is sufficient reason for me to learn in that language.

    • prashants5 .

      She is actually countering the Leftist-Colonial one-eyed Indian intellectuals, who unfortunately have dominated the Education Policy Making groups of India since the days of Macaulay. Hence their agenda for Indians to remain as Labor Class in World Market and Colonized to the core forever.

  • Audit Uscirf

    Great article about need to decolonize India’s education.

    ‘Indian Values’ = ‘Indian-Lang Medium’ is a wrong assumption.
    Values can be taught in several ways:
    1) English values taught in English Medium.
    2) English values taught in Indian-Lang Medium.
    3) Indian values taught in English Medium.

    Current Education system teaches English values in both, Indian-Lang & English, mediums.

    It is true that convent educated elite, who grew up singing “rain rain go away”, simply don’t understand the plight of monsoon country. In a monsoon country, rain once gone does not come another day but another year. On the other hand, Indian-Lang nursary rhyme welcoming rain as god’s prasad provides instinctive understanding of plight of monsoon country.

    Unfortunately, India’s education system never tried to Indianize english medium. Far worse, It englishized indian-lang medium.

    • prashants5 .

      I don’t agree with you completely.

      A language is not just a tool for communication. A language also carries a civilization’s rich life expereince (such as India), tradition, culture and many more to a greater extent. Many words simply can’t be translated. For example, “Atman” is not same and hence it is wrong to translate to English word “Soul”. One can try teaching Indian values in English but then you have to customize many extent the English Langauge to make it Indianized English. Which is another worthless attempt given the ready-made organic solution already available.

      Indian values are deep rooted through Spirituality, Nature and Dharma and Dharmik Traditions. You just can’t translate to them to a Language which carries a different Philosophy such as Abrahmic Tradtiions. And even if you do it, you still loose the meaning and accuracy.

      Bottom line is the Ambiguity in determining the, Medium of Education is the only reason why India is still a country of Mediocore Intellectuals. Inspite of so many English Medium Schools, India’s EPI ( English Proficiency Index) has fallen down to a great extent in last few years.

      Interestingly, world’s top 20 Poorest Countries have their Education system in a Colonial Language ( French, English etc). Similalry World’s top 20 Richest and Developed Countries have their Education System is in their Native Languages. Does the data says something?

      When you try to impart Indian Values using a foreign language, actually you are also trying to Distort and Mis-translating the Roots of Indian Values. Hence your assumption is wrong, unless and until you have data to back it up.

      That’s why your #2 is also correct.

      Reference: You may read “English Medium Myth” by Sankrant Sanu.

      • JustSaying

        Spot on.

      • Audit Uscirf

        At present,We are at #2 “English values taught in Indian-Lang Medium”.

        #2 is the least desirable outcome and easiest one to explain and fix.

    • JustSaying

      Really ?