-Supervisor ,VidhyatriBhavan, Gandhi Bazar Bengalooru
Of course he was referring to learning English as a second language and not medium of instruction.
Bhanudas More I think you will also agree that the British used the English language with remarkable success for strengthening their imperial hold on our country. Now, which language in your opinion would their successors, the present rulers of India, choose to strengthen their own domination?
Rashtrabhasha Hindi? By heavens, no. My hunch is that their interests too are served by English and English alone. But since they have to keep up a show of patriotism they make a lot of noise about Rashtrabhasha Hindi so that the mind of the public remains diverted.
Men of property may believe in a thousand different gods, but they worship only one – the God of profit. From the point of view of profit the advantages of retaining English to the capitalist class in this period of rapid industrialisation and technological revolution are obvious. But the social advantages are even greater. From that point of view English is a God-sent gift to our ruling classes.
Why? For the simple reason that the English language is beyond the reach of the toiling millions of our country. In olden times Sanskrit and Persian were beyond the reach of the toiling masses. That is why the rulers of those times had given them the status of state language. Through Sanskrit and Persian the masses were made to feel ignorant, inferior, uncivilised, and unfit to rule themselves. Sanskrit and Persian helped to enslave their minds, and when the mind is enslaved bondage is eternal.
It suits our present ruling classes to preserve and maintain the social order that they have inherited from the British. They have a privileged position; but they cannot admit it openly. That is why a lot of hoo-haw is made about Hindi as the Rashtrabhasha. They know very well that this Sanskrit-laden, artificial language, deprived of all modern scientific and technical terms, is too weak and insipid to challenge the supremacy of English. It will always remain a show piece, and what is more, a convenient tool to keep the masses fighting among themselves. We film people get a regular flow of fan mail from young people studying in schools and colleges. I get my share of it and these letters reveal quite clearly what a storehouse of torture the English language is to the vast majority of Indian students. How abysmally low the levels of teaching and learning have reached! That is why, I am told preferential treatment is being given to boys and girls who come from public schools i.e. schools to which only the children of privileged classes can go.
It is not necessary for me to comment on the efforts being made to strengthen English in every sphere of life, despite assurances to the contrary. They are all too obvious. It is admitted that English is too alien and hence too difficult to learn for the average Indian. And yet, it helps the capitalists and industrialists to consolidate their position on an all-India scale. That one consideration is more important than any other. According to them whatever serves their interest automatically serves national interest too. They are hopeful that in the not too distant future the people themselves will endorse their stand – that English should retain its present status for ever.
Secondly, we advocate local language medium which for the majority will be mother tongue. Reason why local language develops the kids best is because that's the language their environment is in. For linguistic minorities, their language can be taught as 3rd language instead of forcing Hindi or Sanskrit on them.
As for migration, Europe sees a lot of migrants, we don't find anyone talking about English medium being the best there as its a global language. Only in India, people who know Hindi and or English defend them at the cost of local language.
Heck, every single scientist worth his name in India has been educated in mother tongue or local language medium. They also know English.
Many people use the "we are depriving them of English" argument. Fair enough, but what has that English helped them with? We force English medium on them apart for education that stifles the mind and then we declare them as unemployable!