Monday December 10, 2018

Dr. Kallol Guha: Anglophonic Education will not uplift Dalits

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By Dr. Kallol Guha

An article was published in the New Indian Express on February 18, 2016, titled ‘Dalits Should Fight for their Kids to Learn English‘, by Blessy Mathew Prasad.

The author’s prescription of a remedy for the plight of Dalits is “Fight for their kids to Learn English”. Why? So that they can speak to judges in court and courts in India operate in English. The New Indian Express apparently finds such articles fit for publication in their media. It is amusing to conjecture whether same media would publish an article arguing in favor of using the mother tongue as medium of instruction (English as a second language) at all levels of education in India, which is a common practice in countries having a keen sense of self-respect and national dignity.

National development is induced not by foreign investment and showy infrastructure, but by participation of the general population in inclusive growth, which is only possible through use of people’s language. Hence Dalits would not remain Dalits if during the last 68 years they had access to all levels of education in their mother tongue or in a closely related language. Since 1947- it is not just the Dalits but common masses remained isolated from the source of all technical knowledge since it can’t be accessed in mother tongue. Hence India remains underdeveloped despite limited economic progress. Whatever economic progress has come about, not because of but in spite of a brand of Governance; both at the center and state level. Progress made can only be ascribed to the incredible talent, tenacity, perseverance, and entrepreneurship of common Indians that has little to do with English. India’s contribution to world GDP – before she came in contact with ENGLISH- was between 23-35% and was reduced to 2% by the grace of ENGLISH. India’s high GDP coincided with the influx of foreign students in pursuit of higher education in one of the fifteen thousand higher institutes of education spread all over present day India, where mother tongue or a closely related language was used as a medium of instruction.

Back in sixties Vinoba Vhabe the Gandhian and the bearer of the Sarvodaya Movement, once asked Prime Minister Nehru- “Will Anglophonic Education improve agriculture? If yes, then why not teach English to the bulls?” Alas, he is not around to see that net result of 68 years of English Education is a degraded schooling that breeds uncultured Anglophonic Indian ruling class having no sense of self-respect, no sense of pride in self-identity, and no sense of identity crisis.  They are in fact looked down upon by the very elements whom they are schooled to imitate and serve and who in turn considers India as “Appendage of the West”.

Just recently someone observed that over 68 years India has not made any new contribution in any field whatsoever. That such Anglophonic higher technical education in so called “prestigious” institutes like IIT and AIIMS are nothing but scavengers of Anglo-American leftovers is not an accident. That “Make in India” has failed to induce transfer and indigenization of technology through foreign collaboration is a natural outcome of exclusively Anglophonic “Education”.

Of course the author – as a product of the Anglophonic school – is not likely to be aware of what India was and what Anglophonic education has done to the nation. Hence he recommends Anglophonic education to Dalits so that they understand the language of judges, which is other than people’s language. Schooling of Anglophonic Indians has conditioned them to think that courts should not use peoples language. It is the people who should learn the court’s language. A condition enforced by the victor over the vanquished.
It is not by chance that middle class Indians have been culturally conditioned to send their kids to English medium schools for “Good Education” where students learn to look down upon anything indigenous and adore everything that belongs to those whose mother tongue is English, including their feature and skin color.

But that such ideas are given a platform by the Anglophonic media is by no means an accident. Because media needs their “freedom of press” to breed naïve of this kind. Why? Because they are here to protect the interest of their Anglo-American patrons whose focus is not on the welfare of Dalits but what is under the ground, in the forest and hills, and in the rivers of India. So the media is all out to use all kinds of technology to manipulate and control public opinion and make them  act against their own interest. Because media knows- people fight for something they love, they love something they respect, and they respect something that they at least know. So English schooling will make sure that Dalits like all other masses of India do not know who they actually are and English can be effectively used to make sure that Dalits and masses of Indians who are in fact tigers of the nature can be converted to the tigers of the circus.

Kallol Guha, Ph D is the President and CEO of St James School of Medicine, headquartered in Chicago area, IL, USA.

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World’s Anti-Corruption Day

The U.S. Statement Department said in its Friday statement that it pledges "to continue working with our partners to prevent and combat corruption worldwide."

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Anti-Corruption
Bulgarian anti-corruption protesters march during a demonstration in downtown Sofia, VOA

Corruption costs the world economy $2.6 trillion each year, according to the United Nations, which is marking International Anti-Corruption Day on Sunday.

“Corruption is a serious crime that can undermine social and economic development in all societies. No country, region or community is immune,” the United Nations said.

The cost of $2.6 trillion represents more than 5 percent of global GDP.

The world body said that $1 trillion of the money stolen annually through corruption is in the form of bribes.

Patricia Moreira, the managing director of Transparency International, told VOA that about a quarter of the world’s population has paid a bribe when trying to access a public service over the past year, according to data from the Global Corruption Barometer.

Moreira said it is important to have such a day as International Anti-Corruption Day because it provides “a really tremendous opportunity to focus attention precisely on the challenge that is posed by corruption around the world.”

Journalist, Anti-Corruption
An activist places candles and flowers on the Great Siege monument, after rebuilding a makeshift memorial to assassinated anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, in Valletta, Malta. VOA

Anti-corruption commitments

To mark the day, the United States called on all countries to implement their international anti-corruption commitments including through the U.N. Convention against Corruption.

In a statement Friday, the U.S. State Department said that corruption facilitates crime and terrorism, as well as undermines economic growth, the rule of law and democracy.

“Ultimately, it endangers our national security. That is why, as we look ahead to International Anticorruption Day on Dec. 9, we pledge to continue working with our partners to prevent and combat corruption worldwide,” the statement said.

Moreira said that data about worldwide corruption can make the phenomena understandable but still not necessarily “close to our lives.” For that, we need to hear everyday stories about people impacted by corruption and understand that it “is about our daily lives,” she added.

She said those most impacted by corruption are “the most vulnerable people — so it’s usually women, it’s usually poor people, the most marginalized people in the world.”

Anti-Corruption
Anna Hazare raised his voice against corruption and went ahead with his hunger strike at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. Wikimedia Commons

The United Nations Development Program notes that in developing countries, funds lost to corruption are estimated at 10 times the amount of official development assistance.

What can be done to fight corruption?

The United Nations designated Dec. 9 as International Anti-Corruption Day in 2003, coinciding with the adoption of the United Nations Convention against Corruption by the U.N. General Assembly.

The purpose of the day is to raise awareness about corruption and put pressure on governments to take action against it.

Tackling the issue

Moreira said to fight corruption effectively it must be tackled from different angles. For example, she said that while it is important to have the right legislation in place to curb corruption, governments must also have mechanisms to enforce that legislation. She said those who engage in corruption must be held accountable.

“Fighting corruption is about providing people with a more sustainable world, with a world where social justice is something more of our reality than what it has been until today,” she said.

Anti-Corruption
It is important to have the right legislation in place to curb corruption

Moreira said change must come from a joint effort from governments, public institutions, the private sector and civil society.

The U.S. Statement Department said in its Friday statement that it pledges “to continue working with our partners to prevent and combat corruption worldwide.”

It noted that the United States, through the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development, helps partner nations “build transparent, accountable institutions and strengthen criminal justice systems that hold the corrupt accountable.”

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Moreira said that it is important for the world to see that there are results to the fight against corruption.

“Then we are showing the world with specific examples that we can fight against corruption, [that] yes there are results. And if we work together, then it is something not just that we would wish for, but actually something that can be translated into specific results and changes to the world,” she said. (VOA)