Dissecting the Yash Pal Committee Report - Part VI

The criminal exclusion of 90% of India from higher education
In the eyes of the Yash Pal committee, Indian languages can never become the languages of higher education in India. Although the committee doesn't explicitly say this, it is clear that this is the undeniable assumption made by the committee. In any case, the committee - which is declared to have brought about a "revolution" in higher education in India - makes no mention of higher education in Indian languages.

The very idea of higher education in Indian languages having thus been neglected, the committee defaults to English as the language of higher education. By making this move, the committee neglects more than 90% of India which continues to study in one or the other Indian language. By making this move, the committee's report ceases to be an "inclusive" report. On the other hand, the committee's proposals are "exclusive" by definition. The committee simply excludes 90% of India from higher education. And, of course, it's a big lie that Indian languages are incapable of being carriers of higher education.

In India, this criminal exclusion happens every second, and in every university (or institute of higher education) of India. Every time Indian languages are neglected and implicitly assumed to be incapable of being the carriers of the sciences, the very same lie is repeated. Prof. Yash Pal and his committee are party to this crime - because neglecting the truth is equivalent to advocating for the lie.

Is the Govt. of India any better than the British Colonial Govt?

By advocating for English as the language of higher education, the Yash Pal committee glorifies the English-educated "creamy layer" - much in the same fashion as Thomas Babington Macaulay glorified the English-educated "creamy layer". However, we are forced to say that Macaulay atleast had the vision of an India educated in its own languages, whereas Prof. Yash Pal and his friends lack that vision. In what is a relatively unknown fact, Macaulay

predicted that as an Indian intelligentsia arose, it would work to "refine the vernacular dialects of the country, to enrich those dialects with terms of science borrowed from the Western nomenclature, and to render them by degrees fit vehicles for conveying knowledge to the great mass of the population".
Clearly, Prof. Yash Pal and his friends are the very "Indian intelligentsia" which has arisen and now held positions of power in India. It's a pity that this "Indian intelligentsia" continues to look at English as the language in which to educate the whole of India - a mistake at which Macaualay must be smiling in his grave, holding on to the racist thesis that Indians are an inferior race - for "hey, look, Indians themselves continue to consider their own languages inferior even 62 years after freedom!"

In any case, Prof. Yash Pal's formula (which is in reality no new formula at all - it's simply the "first half" of Macaulay's formula) continues to glorify an English-educated intelligentsia. This intelligentsia continues to distance itself step by step from the real India right under Prof. Yash Pal's nose, and he just doesn't notice it!

Further, this intelligentsia has mobility all over India because it's welcome in all Indian universities which teach in English anyway. While this tiny "creamy layer" thus moves about all over India, the rest of India - 90% of it - languishes in darkness, ignorance, hunger and pain. While Prof. Yash Pal and Co. continue to build systems and universities for this creamy layer (which is not a group of immigrants but a group of resident non-Indians), most of India remains excluded from Yash Pal's system of education!

While the British government did not have the ability to reach out to all the Indian languages and therefore resorted to build

a class who may be interpreters between [the British] and the millions whom [they] govern; a class of persons, Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect,
is it true that the Govt. of India also lacks this ability? If the Govt. of Free India does lack this ability, why should it have the authority over education of all Indians? If the Govt. of Free India lacks the ability to reach out to the whole of India in her dozens of languages, is it any better the British colonial government?

5 comments:

Naseem said...

Now a days everyone thinks in English. Thats how their vocabulary is so good. This habit/trend will continue as English is overpowering. You cant go against your thoughts can you?

minus English from our lives then we are still an underdeveloped race.

Anonymous said...

as you said india is ruled by the agents of colonial power.they are blocking the poor people in several ways. one is putting languague barrior.still these people manage to enslave the commen people.

Manja said...

@ Naseem,

If everyone thinks in English and their Vocabulary is so good, why are students asked to write TOEFL/IELTS if they wish to pursue higher studies in UK/US/Singapore/Australia? Why is Indian education which is totally in English, atleast Graduation and Postgraduation, in most cases still not considered 'English enough'?

Ramesh Rao said...

Oh yeah Naseem; minus English from our lives then we are still an underdeveloped race.

In Kannada we address people like you as "baavili iro kappe".

Have you ever heard of countries like Japan, Isreal, France, Germany, Spain, Italy? These countries are minus english, but still thriving economies.

Anonymous said...

education of a country is not to produce coolies for developed world.it has to produce men to develope their own land.english education cultivate the educated coolie mentality.even with english india is under developed.tell me one example country useing english and developed like korea which has less population than andra, karnataga or tamilnaadu.

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