Moving Away from Macaulayite Education

The fact that both English education and the mindless premium placed on the English language…

The fact that both English education and the mindless premium placed on the English language in India is at the root of several important problems faced by India since Independence is a given.

However, I am not suggesting that English be removed from education, but only emphasizing that it is necessary to broaden the opportunities, which in turn will broaden the talent pool.

I fully understand that getting rid of English would be extremely unwise. It can continue as before. All I am suggesting is that Sanskrit be made the universal language at the introductory level. It has a level of acceptance and even an honored position in all parts of India, and at all social levels, which no other language can match.

I have not the least doubt that it will gradually expand through the curriculum and become the language of learning and research throughout India, and possibly some other countries of the world.

The role of English will only change from its present dominant position to one of being the technical medium. It is not the responsibility of Indians to produce literature in English. What English literature Indians do produce (outside the technical fields) is unlikely to last beyond a generation.

Nor can English ever be a substitute for Sanskrit when it comes to the study of India, especially in building independent schools of thought in the humanities. Using Sanskrit as a foundation for Indian humanities will substantially raise the level of scholarship.

It is also worth noting that the achievements for which Indians are respected worldwide, like in science and technology, are not the result of Macaulayite education. They receive their basic education at all kinds of institutions. (I know this from personal experience as a student, teacher and practitioner.)

Convents and other Western-colonial oriented schools offer no advantages when it comes to science and technology. In these fields, substance counts for more than style. Copying the latest fashions does not lead to scientific or any kind of excellence. Because of lack of substance, it creates an illusion.

At the same time, it is interesting, but not surprising, that significant advances even in the humanities, especially history, have come from scholars who are not products of these elite institutions.

From the discovery of the Sarasvati River to the decipherment of the Indus script, it is the work of so-called outsiders like Wakankar, Talageri, Jha and others that has led to the revolution in our understanding of ancient India.

Jawahar Lal Nehru University

Elite institutions like the Jawaharlal Nehru University have nothing to show in this regard.They have nothing to show for science and technology either, but that is a different story. On the other hand, some of its members have joined hands with some Western scholars to discredit all new findings that threaten their colonial-Marxist orientation.

Originality and free thinking

Another major disadvantage of using English in elementary education is that it imposes a severe burden on children at a time when they should be exploring ideas with unfettered minds and learning about the world around them. At an age when children should be experimenting and learning about new things, they are being asked to master a totally alien language in an artificial way— through grammar drills and rote memorization.

Thus their creativity and originality are being stifled at a period in life — say from five to twelve years of age — when the human mind is at its most flexible. This kind of ‘education’ turns them into mindless imitators.This is the greatest weakness of the current educational system. It is a tragic waste of human resources.

This terrible method of education accounts for the fact that the English educated elite of India is generally incapable of any original thinking or the generation of fresh ideas. They can only borrow, imitate and copy. Their creative impulse has been stifled through the imposition of English at a very early age.

 This also destroys all self-confidence with the result they will never feel strong enough to challenge anything coming from the West and hold their own. Having been taught only to imitate, they carry with them the attitude that they can never be as good as those whom they seek to copy.This is programmed inferiority complex.

This sense of inferiority comes to the fore whenever there is a contentious issue between Western and Eastern scholarship. As I know from personal experience, such people, especially intellectuals, instinctively line up behind the Westerner. They find security and status in taking such a stand. They are terrified of having to stand on their own legs and defend a position solely on merits. They lack the intellectual and the moral equipment to take an independent stand.

It is clear therefore that such people can never be leaders, but only followers and courtiers in a congenial setting like the family court set up by Sonia Gandhi. They compensate for this deeply ingrained sense of inferiority by looking down upon their countrymen, and clinging to status symbols—like the Doon School, St. Stephen’s College and other benighted anachronisms of the colonial era.

The foundation of colonial education was weakness, which in turn was created through alienation leading to spiritual emasculation. But happily, there is a powerful alternative if only India’s leaders are prepared to grasp it.

Swami Vivekananda on Education

 Swami Vivekananda had profound insight into the needs of national education. Probably the greatest insight that he brought to the problem was the recognition that education must focus on strength, which alone builds self-confidence.

This is the exact opposite of Macaulay’s vision, which was to make Indians weak and dependent on the West by uprooting them from their ancient traditions. This is what I earlier called ‘spiritual emasculation.’

Vivekananda would have none of it. For him the purpose of education was to create strong and independent men and women who in turn would create a strong society and a strong nation. He wanted everyone to be physically, mentally, and above all, spiritually strong. His follower Sister Christine put it this way:

He refused to solve our problem for us. Principles he laid down, but we ourselves must find the application. He encouraged no spineless dependence upon him in any form, no bid for sympathy. “Stand upon your own feet. You have the power within you!” he thundered. His whole purpose was not to make things easy for us, but to teach us how to develop our innate strength. “Strength! Strength!” He cried, “I preach nothing but strength…”

For this reason, he called education ‘man-making’, though by ‘man’ he meant a spiritually strong human being rather than a mere male. Again in the words of Sister Christine:

From men he demanded manliness and from women the corresponding quality for which there is no word. Whatever it is, it is the opposite of self-pity, the enemy of weakness and indulgence. This attitude had the effect of a tonic. Something long dormant was aroused and with it came strength of freedom… We were taught to think things through, to reject the false and hold to the true fearlessly. In this process much that had seemed worthwhile and of value was cast aside. Perhaps our purposes and our aims had been small and scattered. In time we learnt to lift them into a higher purer region, and to unite all these little aims into one great aim, the goal of which is the real purpose of life, for which we come to this earth again and again.

What a contrast to the spiritual emasculation produced by the ‘elite’ Macaulayite education!

This is what the goal of education should be— and not to produce emotional and spiritual weaklings that throng the courts of anyone who has a few crumbs to throw from the table.

It is worth recalling what the great historian Edward Gibbon said, speaking of the fall of the Greeks to the Romans: “Greeks valued security more than freedom. In the end they lost both— security and freedom.

This is what is happening to the Macaulayite elites who are clinging desperately to their colonial umbilical cord— from Sonia Gandhi’s court to the few crumbs thrown at them by Western institutions. They have sold their freedom for the sake of security, but they will end up losing both. That is the lesson of history.

It is time that India, her educational system in particular, came out of this spiritual prison and made itself a proud and free nation. To achieve this goal, we have before us the teachings and the example of intellectual warriors like Sri Aurobindo and Swami Vivekananda. As Sister Nivedita wrote of the presence of Vivekananda before the great Chicago Parliament of Religions:

Monk, they called him, not unwarrantably, but warrior monk he was, and the first impression was the warrior rather than the monk, …and his figure was instinct with pride, with pride of country, pride of race—the representative of the oldest of living religions… India was not to be shamed before the hurrying arrogant West by this her envoy and son. He brought her message, he spoke in her name, and the herald remembered the dignity of the royal land whence he came. Purposeful, virile, strong, he stood out, a man among men, able to hold his own.

No wonder Sister Christine who saw him there proclaimed:

“Blessed is the country in which he was born, blessed are they who lived on this earth at the same time, thrice blessed are the few who sat at his feet.”

Should not he and sages like him be our guides, rather than the spiritual eunuchs produced by Macaulayite education?

Dr. N.S. Rajaram is an Indian mathematician, notable for his publications on the Aryan Invasion debate, Indian history, and Christianity. Among his numerous books, the “The Dead Sea scrolls and the crisis of Christianity” is widely acclaimed.
  • The big problem with Sanskrit is that a smart kid from a poor family in some remote village in any part of India can gain country-wide recognition at a young age and thus go on to attend the best Colleges and study all the latest innovations. Shyamji Krishna Varma is a case in point. His excellence in Sanskrit won him the title of Pundit from the savants of Benares and Monier Williams invited him to Oxford to help him with his Dictionary.
    This is wholly unacceptable in a democratic country. Teaching should be in the mother tongue because then it is easy to discriminate against people with the wrong accent or idiom. With Sanskrit, such discrimination becomes impossible.

  • Being subjected to slavery, the invaders and colonizers imposed their language upon us. This uprooted us from from own country.

    Most important is disenfranchisement of English language. And also Hindi because Hindi was formed under dhimmitude.

    English Chauvinism alienates non-english speakers.

    English should only be treated as a secondary language in India since it is an International Language

    This will help Indians get rid of the colonized dhimmi mindset.
    No inventions or innovations from dhimmi colonized Indians.
    A dhimmi and colonized mind only copies just look at bollywood.

    Many colonial slaves taunt and discourage intelligent people because they don’t have a good grasp over english. if anyone is found Making fun of accents and more should be openly castigated then and there.

    1. I’ll not go discussing the importance of mother tongue over adopted language of English(it is second or third language to most Indians) here because you need to look at Germany, France, Sweden, Korea, Japan and China.

    2. disenfranchisement of english language in communication will allow for easy dissemination of ideas which will greatly boost fluidity of thoughts. Many Engineer graduates in India are not hired because they cant speak english fluently.

    Connection of Language with Brain and its Effects:

    Language recognition/comprehension is associated with temporal lobe of a Brain which also controls.

    1.Memory and new learning
    2.Auditory processing
    3.Spatial processing

    You can witness the nations which study in their mother tongue are very creative and innovative unlike India

    there is rampant corruption due apathy and indifference towards fellow Indians. Many anti-national elements thriving in India which want to break India.

  • Narendra

    I fully subscribe to the above views. Move on to Sanskrit and spirituality where the roots of Hindustan are embeded.

  • Ponderer

    English should be made JUST ONE of the international languages of communication and business alongside other foreign languages like – German, French, Mandarin, Japanese and Russian etc. We should stop given English (essentially a mongrel language) any primacy or importance.

    Also we should note the fact that for well over 500 years (from 9th century to 15th century) the national language of England was actually French and NOT English!

  • As an educator, scientist, doctor, philosopher, undertaker, kabaddi champion and world-class motor mechanic over the past 647 years, not just on Earth but also far-flung places such as Callisto, Titan, Ariel and Kronos, I have often traveled the globe desperately trying to make the dim-witted masses understand my magnificent and unique perspective on the profound role that chocolate-covered cookies have played in the heinous oppression, slavery, robbery and physical, mental and nasal abuse that women have had to endure from sexually-frustrated Hindu men over the eons. Articles such as this one merely serve to divert attention from these terrible crimes. This article says it all:

    I would urge all of my strong, powerful brown sisters to read and absorb this earth-shattering article. You will then understand why you should follow my lead in leaving the woman-hating, oppressive and superstitious backwaters of India, and the millions of genitally-challenged, short and frightened Hindu men, to go abroad where taller and whiter monotheistic men await to treat you like the queens you are. I made that journey centuries ago and have never looked back, so naturally my pedigree and education make me the best choice to lead you to the utopia you deserve. After all, all we feminists want is EQUALITY, where strong beautiful women lead the world and worthless men (especially brown Hindu ones) clean our boots and follow our instructions without question. What could be wrong with that? Equality, I say!

    Having said all this, another interesting article I want to share with you illuminates another faux-pas in the thinking of you lowly, inferior humans (in particular misogynistic brown Hindu men), which I of course have transcended easily, such is my superiority:

    Clearly, What more proof does one need regarding the treatment of women in India? I’ve been shouting myself hoarse repeating this for decades now, but none of you idiots want to listen. It’s no good moaning about so-called Macaulayite education if what you want to replace it with is an ideology that continues to force women to work for 22 hours a day in coalmines without masks, or fight large fires with small beakers of water whilst wearing only bikinis, or wrestle hungry tigers for sport, after which they must scuttle home to make rotis for their ungrateful, short, frightened, dhoti-wearing brown Hindu men who will burn them with lit beedis and beat them for being late. No amount of lithium or citalopram will change the reality of this.

    Here’s another highly relevant article:

    I urge you all to heed and take notice. A little appreciation of my insights, and the incredible grace and generosity I’ve shown in educating you of them, would be well received. But given how much most of you hate women I won’t hold my breath.

    • अहं ब्रह्म अस्मि

      Are you filling in for Dr. MS?

  • senthil

    any language derives its powers from its ability to represent real world objects and ideas.. english being a dialect had been much more flexible in its assimilation of vocabulary that represents ideas, concepts, objects and so many things, which makes it, empowering to learn.. latin and greek are structured languages that can give linguistic fundamentals for vocabulary generation.. but for mass communication dialects are best suited..

    In Bharath (which is NOT india), we had the same kind of system which even the Hindu Intellectuals never realise or understand..

    We had Samskrutham for structured language, and Prakrutham for people oriented language..

    Samskurtham has strict grammatical rules, which is suitable only for experts and knowledged people.. (ie learned men)

    Whereas Prakrutham is flexible to suit people’s ease of pronounciation and ease of use..

    Today we need a national prakrutham for integration.. we need to evolve common national script that suits present requirements (like using in computers, unicode etc)..

    Samskrutham can be used for religious and documentation purposes.. ie, for encoding a concept with shortest number of words as slokas..

    For eg, we can encode newton’s law as samskruta slokas to be used for memorisation, whereas we can use prakrutham for eloborating / narrating in detail..

    If we look at our history most of our rulers followed the same principle..

    To understand all these, we need to come out of the sanskrit obsession promoted by hindu organisations..