The defeated can "lead India" to only one thing: defeat

A-ha. So we now have a Times of India "Lead India" winner (whatever that means), Sanjiv Kaura, get centre-space on yesterday's edition of Times of India to further the nonsense that Indian languages are fit only as vehicles of "our richest cultural expressions".

First, Kaura openly begs for education about what kind of English-medium schools have been banned in Karnataka. The "2,100 educational institutions" that were banned were not banned because they were English-medium schools, but because they indulged in a breach of trust with the Govt. of Karnataka by going back on what they signed on bond-paper: that they would run Kannada-medium schools. Those institutions committed a criminal offense by signing one thing on bond-paper and doing another. Perhaps Kaura should just refrain from talking about things he has no clue about - such as schools in Karnataka, and education in general.

And then, in the rest of the article, Kaura goes about blathering about how Indians cannot eat or learn or live without English, and even suggests that everybody be converted into an English speaking elite (somebody teach him the meaning of the word "elite"):
The idea that English education fosters elitism has been an influential one. But the way to deal with this is not by restricting the number of English-speakers even more. It is by widening its reach and democratising it.
The whole problem is - and Kaura should get this straight - nobody is restricting the number of English-speakers more than Mother Nature. Indians do not speak English naturally. It is a foreign language. Macaulay erected an elite class by investing heavily to go against this nature. Even to this day, it is impossible to "democratize" the learning of English. Mr. Kaura should go get some grass-roots experience and see for himself before blurting out nonsense from the center pages of English newspapers. He needs to see for himself that teachers are unable to teach Kannada well in Karnataka - let alone English.

And yeah, Macaulay wasn't as foolish as Kaura is being in thinking that English can be "democratized". In fact, he urged people like Kaura not to go down the path they're going down, but to get to some real work and...
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.
Perhaps Kaura hasn't ever heard of the above being said by Macaulay. But yes, he did, and Kaura's ilk didn't hear about it because it was busy thinking of him as an alien with 3 eyes and reversed feet. But whether it was Macaulay who said it or someone else, the point remains that it is unscientific, nay, outright stupid for anyone to think of replacing Indian languages with English - which stupidity Kaura just displayed for the whole world to view.

And finally, in the last paragraph of a 1000-word article, Kaura dedicates a dismal-but-not-surprising 100 words to talk about what he calls as "local languages", and that too in the sense that they can also co-exist with English and serve as the item-numbers for English the hero:
None of this is to suggest that local languages should be ignored. Our richest cultural expressions can continue to be in these languages, and our educational institutions should do all they can to facilitate this. But there’s no reason why multiple languages can’t coexist. Indeed, they have done so since time immemorial in this country. English is just a practical skill, a tool of empowerment which will help everyone access the world of commerce and opportunity. 
There's only one question that I'd like to ask Mr. Kaura now: Where is the reason why Indian languages cannot replace English as carriers of secular knowledge and secular sciences, especially when the need for them to do so is screaming itself out?

And yeah, Mr. Kaura, cut the nonsense about multiple languages co-existing from "time immemorial in this country" - this country itself didn't exist from time immemorial, and there was even less co-existence then than now. That's why different languages developed, stupid.

Isn't it time we realized that the defeated cannot lead India to victory?


Shashhh said...

Heh Heh Heh..
Wish Kaura reads this.. :-)
Please email this to him (in English) :-D

Naanu said...

Awesome write up again.
TOI is only for losers like Kaura, choura and many more.

ತಿಳಿಗಣ್ಣ said...

Very Good Article!

Britisher took the first step towards vernacular education.

"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."

Great statement. Language Engineering!

Thanks Kiran, for one more informative and eye opening article.

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