Friday December 15, 2017

Let’s give English a miss and revive our education system

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By Harshmeet Singh

“Our English schools are flourishing wonderfully; we find it difficult to provide instruction to all. The effect of this education on Hindus is prodigious. No Hindu who has received an English education ever remains sincerely attached to his religion. It is my firm belief that if our plans of education are followed up, there will not be a single idolater among the respected classes 30 years hence. And this will be effected without our efforts to proselytize; I heartily rejoice in the prospect”

  • Lord Macaulay, in a letter to his father dated 12th October 1836

 

I clearly remember my first few days in the sixth grade. As we entered the senior wing of the school, speaking in any other language than English was prohibited. All the students were asked to talk in English irrespective of their proficiency in the language. If you had any doubt in the class, you had two options, either to ask the teacher in English or stay quite if you aren’t confident enough about your English speaking skills. Unfortunately, most children chose the latter option. The school’s theory was that if made compulsory, the students would invariably learn to converse in English. Though I won’t support or contradict this theory, I can certainly vouch for the fact that forcing the student to learn an alien language at the cost of killing his inquisitiveness defeats the entire purpose of education. Sadly enough, the same push for English continues in most schools even today.

Lord Macaulay’s push for English medium schools in India was meant to “form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern, a class of persons Indian in blood and color, but English in taste, in opinions, words and intellect.” Macaulay’s plans almost backfired when this class of education started giving birth to English educated patriots who conversed in English but were ready to fight for the ideals of freedom, liberty and equality. Legends such as Bhagat Singh belonged to this school.

Yet, compulsory introduction of English did more harm than good to the Indian education system. For starters, it created an abyss between the 10% English speakers in the country and the rest, with the minority group dictating the terms and writing the fortunes of everyone. To make things worse, these 10% people regard themselves as far superior as compared to the remaining 90% just like the British, who took themselves as far superior to Indians.

For a country that takes extreme pride in being the largest democracy in the world, such a small portion of population dictating terms to the entire system and justifying the use of English without accounting for the nation’s humungous underprivileged populace is a grave injustice. With the English speakers asserting the compulsory English clause over the others, it is reminiscent of the British when they called Indians as the ‘White man’s burden’ and educating them as their duty. Our love for the foreign language has made us exactly what Macaulay wanted us to become – “Indian in blood and color, but English in taste, in opinions, words and intellect.”

We often lament the fact that our younger generations have lost touch with our culture. But it isn’t their fault. Culture is closely related to language. The day we decided to make English as our primary learning language, we should have braced ourselves for the gradual erosion of our culture. Excuses such as learning English to become a world power do not hold ground. World powers like Japan, Russia, China and Korea take extreme pride in their regional language and have never attempted to enforce English on to the school system. A nation that wants to forget its history and imitate alien values and customs can’t bid a claim at becoming a world power. It is time we come out of the Macaulayian system of education and encourage the younger generation to raise their voice, irrespective of its language.

  • Mohan

    The author of this article may have patriotic intentions, but clearly does not have a rational mind. a) Replace English with Chinese. Whatever Macaulay said about what would happen to Indians would just not make sense. Macaulay was obviously wrong about his hypothesis. Learning another language has no effect on anyone’s religion or irreligion. b) You have made big generalizations. Please quote evidence to support your claims like ‘with the minority group dictating the terms and writing the fortunes of everyone’ or ‘these 10% people regard themselves as far superior as compared to the remaining 90% just like the British’. You do realize you have written this article in English, right? c) Countries like Japan, China or Korea etc. did not learn English because their politicians were dedicated and worked for their country. The first thing that they did was to work hard to translate English science, maths, engg books into their respective languages. Besides this, their politicians brought about rapid industrialization because of which they became rich. BUT do note that they are constantly reading western books/literature/research papers and translating them asap. In India, not only did the Congress govt fail to industrialize the country, they brought about suffocating socialist/anti-capitalist policies and divisive laws. They also prevented Indian States from working on their own State language translations by forcing Hindi over all, and they even miserably failed at translating to Hindi too. So basically, not a single thing was done right! The only successful industry was out-sourcing because of the low-wage English-literate youth. d) In today’s world, we need to industrialize rapidly, and also give more freedom to Indian States, each acting as a sub-nation and working on encouraging their State language. India will be strong if all Indian languages are strong, and not just one language. We can go back to our native languages only if we industrialize rapidly and become rich, and to do that, our 10% bi-linguals will be very useful to transfer knowledge, skills and technology from western world to the Indian society in their native languages.

  • Avinandan D

    This is pure propaganda. English has served as an asset both to India and to Hinduism. In fact it gives us a unique opportunity to take the best of Hinduism and propagate it to the rest of the world and let the worst aspects of Hinduism die in India itself. Just to illustrate my point – possibly the greatest praise for the Indian Epic Poem- The Mahabharata has come from a British intellectual – the late A.R. Orage. This is what he has to say

    Quote “”The Mahabharata is the
    greatest single effort of literary creation of any culture in human
    history. A walk through its table of contents is more than a Sabbath
    day’s journey. The Iliad and the Odyssey are episodes in it; and the
    celebrated Bhagavad Gita is simply the record of a single conversation
    on the eve of one of its many battles…Characters appear by hundred;
    and episodes follow episodes with the infinite resourcefullness of
    Time. Nevertheless, ther is no moment when the plan of the work is
    forgotten. At regular stages…everything is gathered together or is
    reassembled for a fresh phase of the continuous history. In the
    interval, relationships have been established between scores of
    characters, each of whom, moreover, has undergone mutation by
    experience, yet, on re-assembly, the whole innumerable caravan is
    marshalled and set off again without the least confusion in the mind
    of the reader. Never was a writer more currently aware of his readers
    than Vyasa the author.
    (It is) the most colossal work of literary
    art ever created, its example and inspiration are as vital and
    multiform as Time itself. It contains every literary form and device
    known to all the literary schools, every story ever enacted or
    narrated, every human type and circumstance ever created or
    encountered. Unlike the reading of derivative works of art, the reading
    of the Mahabharata is a first hand experience. One ends it
    differently, just as one emerges differently from everytrhing real.
    The
    Mahabharata towers over all subsequent literature as the pyramids look
    over the memphian sands. Realisation of the inexhaustible significance
    of the Mahabharata would be the inititation of a modern
    Renaissance…Where but in the Mahabharata shall our age find a…fresh
    literary source that shall be scripture to our literature–scripture
    being literature in pursuit of an impossible aim. It puts Homer into
    the shade; he is a marvellous boy in comparison with the marvellous
    manhood of Vyasa.
    The three great treasuries of stories–the Greek,
    the Scandinavian and the Teutonic, were all derived from the East by
    diverse ways and the source and container of all is–The Mahabharata.
    More real Mysticism can be gathered from the Mahabharata than from the whole of modern mystical writings.” Unquote.

    We will be denied such Gems if we “GIVE ENGLISH A MISS”

  • Ranjit Kumar

    Very well said.

  • Ramasubramaniam

    Absolutely correct.
    But as we’re brought up in English ways with a slave mindset, we lack the mental clarity to rise above our enslavened thoughts. We will only follow what we have been tutored to by our masters and send our future generations to utter ruin.

    Jana Gana Mana Adhinayaka…
    Your Highness King George,

    Bharatha bhagya vidatha….
    We bow to you and look upon you to shower your benevolence on us.

    Meek we remain, with your language in our tongue. We don’t care a damn about your people giving preference to our dead language Sanskrit over your native language in your elementary schools.
    We prefer to remain as slaves to your tongue, forever.

    Long live the Queen.

  • Mohan

    The author of this article may have patriotic intentions, but clearly does not have a rational mind. a) Replace English with Chinese. Whatever Macaulay said about what would happen to Indians would just not make sense. Macaulay was obviously wrong about his hypothesis. Learning another language has no effect on anyone’s religion or irreligion. b) You have made big generalizations. Please quote evidence to support your claims like ‘with the minority group dictating the terms and writing the fortunes of everyone’ or ‘these 10% people regard themselves as far superior as compared to the remaining 90% just like the British’. You do realize you have written this article in English, right? c) Countries like Japan, China or Korea etc. did not learn English because their politicians were dedicated and worked for their country. The first thing that they did was to work hard to translate English science, maths, engg books into their respective languages. Besides this, their politicians brought about rapid industrialization because of which they became rich. BUT do note that they are constantly reading western books/literature/research papers and translating them asap. In India, not only did the Congress govt fail to industrialize the country, they brought about suffocating socialist/anti-capitalist policies and divisive laws. They also prevented Indian States from working on their own State language translations by forcing Hindi over all, and they even miserably failed at translating to Hindi too. So basically, not a single thing was done right! The only successful industry was out-sourcing because of the low-wage English-literate youth. d) In today’s world, we need to industrialize rapidly, and also give more freedom to Indian States, each acting as a sub-nation and working on encouraging their State language. India will be strong if all Indian languages are strong, and not just one language. We can go back to our native languages only if we industrialize rapidly and become rich, and to do that, our 10% bi-linguals will be very useful to transfer knowledge, skills and technology from western world to the Indian society in their native languages.

  • Avinandan D

    This is pure propaganda. English has served as an asset both to India and to Hinduism. In fact it gives us a unique opportunity to take the best of Hinduism and propagate it to the rest of the world and let the worst aspects of Hinduism die in India itself. Just to illustrate my point – possibly the greatest praise for the Indian Epic Poem- The Mahabharata has come from a British intellectual – the late A.R. Orage. This is what he has to say

    Quote “”The Mahabharata is the
    greatest single effort of literary creation of any culture in human
    history. A walk through its table of contents is more than a Sabbath
    day’s journey. The Iliad and the Odyssey are episodes in it; and the
    celebrated Bhagavad Gita is simply the record of a single conversation
    on the eve of one of its many battles…Characters appear by hundred;
    and episodes follow episodes with the infinite resourcefullness of
    Time. Nevertheless, ther is no moment when the plan of the work is
    forgotten. At regular stages…everything is gathered together or is
    reassembled for a fresh phase of the continuous history. In the
    interval, relationships have been established between scores of
    characters, each of whom, moreover, has undergone mutation by
    experience, yet, on re-assembly, the whole innumerable caravan is
    marshalled and set off again without the least confusion in the mind
    of the reader. Never was a writer more currently aware of his readers
    than Vyasa the author.
    (It is) the most colossal work of literary
    art ever created, its example and inspiration are as vital and
    multiform as Time itself. It contains every literary form and device
    known to all the literary schools, every story ever enacted or
    narrated, every human type and circumstance ever created or
    encountered. Unlike the reading of derivative works of art, the reading
    of the Mahabharata is a first hand experience. One ends it
    differently, just as one emerges differently from everytrhing real.
    The
    Mahabharata towers over all subsequent literature as the pyramids look
    over the memphian sands. Realisation of the inexhaustible significance
    of the Mahabharata would be the inititation of a modern
    Renaissance…Where but in the Mahabharata shall our age find a…fresh
    literary source that shall be scripture to our literature–scripture
    being literature in pursuit of an impossible aim. It puts Homer into
    the shade; he is a marvellous boy in comparison with the marvellous
    manhood of Vyasa.
    The three great treasuries of stories–the Greek,
    the Scandinavian and the Teutonic, were all derived from the East by
    diverse ways and the source and container of all is–The Mahabharata.
    More real Mysticism can be gathered from the Mahabharata than from the whole of modern mystical writings.” Unquote.

    We will be denied such Gems if we “GIVE ENGLISH A MISS”

  • Ranjit Kumar

    Very well said.

  • Ramasubramaniam

    Absolutely correct.
    But as we’re brought up in English ways with a slave mindset, we lack the mental clarity to rise above our enslavened thoughts. We will only follow what we have been tutored to by our masters and send our future generations to utter ruin.

    Jana Gana Mana Adhinayaka…
    Your Highness King George,

    Bharatha bhagya vidatha….
    We bow to you and look upon you to shower your benevolence on us.

    Meek we remain, with your language in our tongue. We don’t care a damn about your people giving preference to our dead language Sanskrit over your native language in your elementary schools.
    We prefer to remain as slaves to your tongue, forever.

    Long live the Queen.

Next Story

Indian education: How India made Britain more literate

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education
Image soucre: anglotopia.net

 

by Aravindan Neelakandan

“It wasn’t India which improved its schooling system by imitating Britain’s. Rather, it was the other way round.”

New Delhi: Every Indian learns at some point about how India was educated by the British and how that brought about a cultural renaissance to a degenerated and stagnant India. This had allowed Europe in general and Britain in particular to assume the role of civilizing the heathen world. How true is this grand narrative of the civilizing mission of the British?

Linked to this, Indian students also learn how two centuries prior to the colonization of India, Europe had undergone a renaissance and Lutheran reformation.

The missing links

England also fared no better in the treatment of its labour population which was mostly hereditary. Illiteracy of labourers was intentional, justified with religious reasons. In 1807, in the House of Commons, a British scientist Davies Gilbert vehemently opposed attempts to school the masses claiming that the education for the labouring classes.

Education – as a tool for social control
Even those who supported education for the peasant labourer community considered it as a means of social control than any means of social emancipation of the toiling masses.

Often, education was taken up by churches and bundled with Sunday Bible classes. As such, the educational standards were abysmally low.

The teachers were chosen not for their expertise in the subjects they taught but how well they had “a thorough knowledge of the saving powers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ”.

The trends continued well into the nineteenth century and the malaise also affected the colonies. However, by the first quarter of the 19th century, there was another wave building up from London and its suburbs. And their origins were from the coasts of India.

Re-discovery of the ‘Beautiful Tree’

The remark by Gandhi at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, London, on 20 October 193, about the more literate India is today well-known thanks to the pioneering work done by Dharampal. The metaphor of ‘beautiful tree’ for the Indic educational system has become famous at least among the Indophiles. Sir Philip Hartog, the vice-chancellor of Dhaka University joined issue with Gandhi.

He commenced a correspondence with him, spanning almost a decade. Hartog was invited to give a series of lectures at the University of London in order to allay the rising feeling among Indians that the British systematically destroyed the indigenous education. His lectures were promptly published as a book.

Reports after reports that the East India Company had made in the early nineteenth century in an exhaustive survey of indigenous education system commissioned by Col T Munroe revealed a far decentralized, more egalitarian system of education than the one existing in contemporary England.

When Dharampal wished to publish his work the only person who was ready to do it was a Hindu nationalist historian and a publisher, Sitaram Goel. Dharampal’s book ‘The Beautiful Tree’ contains an 1823 report by Ballari district collector. The collector mentions a curious fact:

“The economy with which children are taught to write in the native schools, and the system by which the more advanced scholars are caused to teach the less advanced and at the same time to confirm their own knowledge is certainly admirable, and well deserved the imitation it has received in England.”

This is the British acknowledgement of Indian system being imitated in Britain. With respect to how the saplings of ‘the beautiful tree’ were transported and transplanted in India, Dharampal provides a mention of one Andrew Bell.

Carrying forward the work of Dharampal

Some decades after Dharampal’s work was published, James Tooley a British educationist was given a copy of “The Beautiful Tree” by an old book vendor in the old city of Hyderabad. That opened up new doors for Tooley who was already working on cost-effective quality education with specific focus on the developing countries. The result is a book titled “The beautiful tree: a personal journey into how the world’s poorest people are educating themselves” (Penguin Books India 2009)

Tooley started with Andrew Bell who was a “reverend”. In the words of Tooley, as he researched on the life of this Rev Andrew Bell, what he discovered ‘seemed like dynamite’ to him.

“For they vividly showed how the ‘economical’ method of teaching in the private schools for the poor in India became translated into a method that transformed education in Victorian England and beyond.”

Rev Bell was in India to work in the asylum for the progeny of British soldiers through native Indian women, whom of course the soldiers abandoned. The imported teachers for these children were not exactly enthusiastic.

Tooley further elaborates:

“the cost-effective teaching methods used in the indigenous private schools of 19th century India were, in fact, a manifest strength; so much so…they were imitated in Britain , then across Europe and then the world and did so much to raise educational standards.”

Funding of schools in England, Tooley observes, was done through school fees and private schools for the poor were increasing in Victorian England. By 1851 of the 2,144,278 children put in day schools 85 percent were in private schools funded the same way the private schools of early 19th century India were funded. The horses of literacy were galloping in England.

But in India…

In India in 1854, Thomas Babington Macaulay had established his first school in India.

The rate of growth of literacy in India under the British controlled Macaulay education system began to fall way back compared to the rate of growth of literacy in Britain under the Indic method of private school enrolment. The Macaulay system itself needed 60 years to improve upon the enrolment figures of Indian educational system. Tooley observes wryly:

“If the dynamics of the India private education system had been anything like those of the parallel system in England we would have seen a much larger growth in enrollment than had the British not intervened at all.”

Macaulay system also perpetuated and amplified the social distances among the different occupational groups in India. Tooley states:

“Though Government spoke of the resentment of upper-class Indians the fact is that the British educational system in its very nature was elitist and often prevented people form lower strata of the society into echelons of higher education. It was almost a universal phenomenon of colonialism.”

It should also be noted that while British policy of education to masses was as a means of social control, the indigenous education in India was for empowering and liberating the individuals and the society.

But here the most successful social revolutionaries were all (Ayya Vaikundar, Sri Narayana Guru and Ayyan Kali – to name a few) those who studied in the native educational system.

The cost-effective universal education, which gave England its advantages over other European nations, also owes its positive features to that beautiful tree that stood in India, which as Gandhi stated was destroyed by the very British who benefited by it.

(The article was originally published in swarajyamag.com)

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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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‘Building indigenous education, not sending students to US will solve Indian education crisis’

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(Recently, Infosys co-founder N R Narayana Murthy made a statement that India should send ten thousand Ph.D Students in important areas of science, technology, engineering and math education, every year to the US over the next 50 years. Here is a counter view being presented by Dr. Kallol Guha from Chicago)

How a given nation will advance in the future, say in the next half century or so depends on the nature and contents of the schooling their younger generation is subjected to. It is the quality and nature of cultural conditioning of the human resources through indigenous education system that is the decisive factor for national development.

Since all forms of higher education in India are in English which 95% Indians do not know, the remaining 5% Anglophonic Indians, who belong to the ruling class, are privy to such education. No special inquiry is needed to realize that the Anglophonic education of India are specifically designed- as per Macaulay’s recommendation –  to breed products that looks like dark and brown skin Indian but are thoroughly conditioned to imitate Anglo-American existence in every possible way, including language and features by liberal use of “fair and lovely”  cream ! Eternal truth is- Indigenous education – rather than blatant imitation – is the single most meaningful tool for inclusive growth and development of any nation.

The same Mr. Murthy very recently made a statement that during the last 65 years India did not make any new contribution in any field whatsoever.  If he does not know the answer why it is so-  then the answer lies in the current education system which is designed to imitate and scavenge on the leftovers of the west. Those Indians are taught to shamelessly imitate – the benefactors of Anglo-American Axis powers, whose mother tongue is English – who have succeeded in converting Indian ruling class into their docile, and domesticated poodle and are in control of the major part of the world. How have they done it?

Will they ever accept a prescription of the kind being proposed by Mr. Murthy? Will they ever change their medium of instruction into Chinese because now that language is the largest and linked to ever expanding economy?  Will their press give such a wide coverage to a statement of similar kind pertinent to their country? Will a public figure be able to save their career after a statement of this kind? Most important – can any country reach a similar status by adopting an education system that is designed to discard indigenous life and imitate others? It is an education system designed to convert a tiger of the nature to a tiger of the circus.  This naïve statement has got such a broad coverage because the mainstream press of Anglo-American patronage is there to manipulate public opinion in favor of everything that breeds western poodle.  Why? So that the whole country will become a market of their products as it already is. Another important reason- such education will breed Anglophonic Indian clowns who can’t express their thoughts, neither in their own language nor in the adopted one – let alone contribute something new. This effectively eliminates all possibilities of potential competition.

So Mr. Murthy should know why there has been no new contribution from India in the last 65 years and why there will be none.  He should also know why his statement is covered so widely in such a newspaper. Finally Mr. Murthy these 10 thousand proposed Ph. D students who are to be sent USA will be a very reliable poodle of the West ever regretting their Indian feature and skin color and of no benefit to India. Mr. Murthy should also know that when India contributed 35% of world GDP it was then that civilized world rushed to fifteen thousand university like fully indigenized higher institutes of learning all over India where they reverentially acquired higher technical education in indigenous language (s) .

A few days ago a news item in The Hindu newspaper pointed out that under “Make in India” scheme a joint venture with Israel to build fighter jets that was intended to indigenize technology has failed in its mission and it turns out to be a deal of importing products at a higher cost than buying from Russia. This news item – in case Mr. Murthy does not realize -shows failure of India’s Anglophonic Education system.  That he proposes to send Indian youth to other countries for Ph. D – instead of building indigenous capacity through thoroughly Indianized education  is due to blatant failure of Anglophonic education that is a pathetic imitation of Anglo-American axis powers.

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