Monday, 13 June 2016

FB discussions - The Lost 'Educated of India'

My generation (born in 60's) was so tolerant of Indian indigenous spiritual traditions , all of them educated in English-Medium schools and proper colleges and US and UK "schools" , that whenever I used the word "Mystic" , they laughed it off and said , you mean "Mistake" !
I have never met a more self-hating elite than the Indian one in any country . The Thais , Sri Lankans and even the Bangladeshi are more coherent and self-appreciatory .
Macaulay should be a happy man in his British Heaven . (via Sunny Narang)


Aparna Krishnan Why "I have never met a more self-hating elite than the Indian one in any country . The Thais , Sri Lankans and even the Bangladeshi are more coherent and self-appreciatory ." ?
Sunny Narang They celebrate and understand the strength of their own cultures and languages deeply .
 Aparna Krishnan  Why did our elite become so defensive and nurse such a complex ?
 Sunny Narang Look at the 1900-1950 , the freedom movement , there was no dearth of an indigenous elite , writing in Gujarati , Tamil , Punjabi , Hindi, Urdu et al . What was literacy at that time ? Neither urbanisation . We lost it . There are many reasons , among them the absolute loss of inner-party democracy in Congress , rise of Communism , and then the Darbari Delhi culture .
 Aparna Krishnan How "loss of inner-party democracy in Congress " ?
Sunny Narang Congress was hold-all party pre 1947 , with a single point Nehruvian monopoly all indigenous leadership was sidelined .
Sunny Narang Look at the Congress Presidents from 1951 onwards , all Nehru or his acolytes , mediocre characters and look at before .
Sethuraman Pasupathy Exception ( post 51 mediocrity ) could be K Kamaraj.
Aparna Krishnan But could Gandhi have given it another direction ? Was there any leader who shared his confidence and faith in villages, and in the essentiality of Gram Swaraj ?
Sunny Narang Gandhi was irrelevant to most .
Sethuraman Pasupathy In my understanding none of his colleagues who mattered shared his vision. Gandhi after 1945 was more like Bahadur Sha zafar writing " Na kisi ke aank ka noor hun, na kisi ke dil ka karar hun ''. His choice of Nehru was because in his judgement he could see Nehru holding the nation together, given the barbaric times, than any other leader.
Afsan Chowdhury Sunny Narang Indians hopefully will one day come to analyse the negative effects of Nehru and his "modernism on South Asia in general. He legitimized Western "modernism" and made every indigenous stream "foreign" in India. Its this tradition that continues in South Asia in general and sadly, affects the academic community the most of which i am a part. The villages have been forced upon by the "modernist " cities with their urban narratives. Its the overwhelming of values, structures and hope. In the name of politics, w perpetuate this "exclusion". Religion for example is demonized without understanding what it means to the impoverished villages in terms of coping with the challenges of life. Thanks .
Aparna Krishnan Personal atheism or theism is a matter of choice. When it becomes an ideology and mocks at the religious as backward, superstitious, weak ... then it becomes an overweening arrogance that borders on the maniacal. Every single Indian village and villager is religious in a deep and simple manner. And it is not just a 'coping mechanisim'. It is dharmam, a way of life, an ethical perspective on being, that is interwoven with faith and humility.
Aparna Krishnan I suppose it would be the same in Bangladesh ?
Afsan Chowdhury  Of course it is the same. I think entire Asia and Africa behaves the same way. The rejection of faith practices of ordinary people as backward in te name of "secularism" is the most violative narrative i have seen. I have done a KAP study on Bengali Muslims and almost everyone is a social Muslim which means they learn about faith from their parents, families and neighbours. Theology has little role in this. And there is no inter-communal hatred. Politics disguise itself through religion and uses it to grab resources of the poor. I could walk into any village in South Asia and identify the common elements. I am what is called a "public Intellectual" (????) which means I fight constantly. Now they joke that i have this mythical villages where everyone is good. They are not but they would rater lead their desperate lives without discussing ideology. Thanks
Aparna Krishnan Compared to cities I have seen vast goodness in villages. And yes, saying this irks city people. In india the 'social activist' (i understand less and less what that term means !) usually prefers to see villages as 'feudal patriarchal casteist' only. And would like to 'redeem' it, rather than restore its own dignity to it.
Sunny Narang Afsan we will have no real option left , between the urban hypocrites who have "used" spiritual texts of Kabir etc without having any experience of spirit and the fundamentalists , the deeply humanist and communitarian folk and cultured spiritualities will have to be excavated . Who will be its bearers God only knows.
Aparna Krishnan The villages still carry the essential indianness. if the villages can be yet be saved - for all our sakes.
Sunny Narang There are what are "Organic Spiritual Elders" , but they need full on support . Each is a living heritage . But I see no urban past 20-30 year educated intellectual coming ahead . It will need a new energy . Young from kasba and villages speaking and proud of their own narratives and languages . And urban people like all of us who know that the cultural answers are not with us .
Aparna Krishnan The english educated have lost it. Totally. The power has to emerge from the people. A few of us can support in our small ways.
Sunny Narang Absolutely , all India will have few thousand English speaking , it has to be a vernacular led movement .
Komakkambedu Himakiran Anugula 1) Education has to be moved back to the States list. 

2) States should promote a hybrid model of primary in Native language with English as a language; Secondary in English with Native language as language and option of linguistic minority language as third language. 

3) History/Geography should focus on local, district, state, region, country, continent, world in that order and with decreasing content. There should be no exams at all for these subjects, instead real time projects should be promoted. For eg.: documenting the food, religious, cultural, music and other traditions of family, clan, community, village/neighborhood etc. 

4) Science and Math should be reoriented toward the local. Instead of a million software engineers, we should be producing hydrology engineers to work on water resources, Marine engineers to utilize such a vast coastline, agro engineers to create small machines catering to 2-3 acre sized farms. 

5) it should be mandatory to spend summers in villages, with tribals, in slums to sensitise kids about the real India. NSS type programs should be mandatory to expose kids to various social, civil issues. By the time I finished school, I'd worked as OP Dept receptionist in a govt hospital, manned traffic signals, volunteered to manage events, spent a winter vacation refurbishing, cleaning and painting a school building for underprivileged kids apart from entertaining them every evening with culturals.. All this thanks to NSS. It should also be mandatory to teach swimming to kids as that's a great habit for a lifetime. People who swim in rivers, lakes connect better with nature. NCC can be changed to something that teaches first aid, disaster response etc. 

6) Discourage all classes outside school and during weekends. If the kid is truly talented, he/she can learn music, sports etc, but right now all kids are forced to learn multiple things. Make it mandatory for kids to play and provide the spaces for the same. Shut down 1-2 streets by rotation in every neighborhood on sundays.
Afsan Chowdhury Sunny Narang A lot of the problem lies with the wholesale depiction of the rural world as backward. This began when the Brits arrived and a new elite emerged who were slaves of "enlightenment" particularly in Bengal under raja mohon roy who established the Brahmo Samaj and was so pro-British he invited them to come and settle in India/ Bengal. After that everything local became backward. Yer the resistance to British rule in Bengal was peasant while the Babu - middle class-culture flourished. So students read about what Kolkata did and feel glorious but not what the villagers. We have deliberately created a history from which he expelled the villages and the poor. Thanks

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