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Anglophonic education: De-linking students from their roots

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By Dr Kallol Guha

Infosys chief Narayana Murthy, at the convocation speech of Indian Institute of Science on July 15th 2015 stated,

No big invention, earth-shaking idea from India in 60 years”. “Is there one invention from India that has become a household name in the globe? Is there one idea that has led to an earth shaking invention to delight global citizens? Folks, the reality is there is no such contribution from India in the last 60 years.”

In reference to the statement of Narayana Murthy; we must recall what the towering figures of India who at the peak of their fame advised fellow countrymen – that a young mind can understand and absorb concepts and acquires a much better ability to think originally in his/her indigenous language. It was their words of wisdom out of life experience.

Let there be no miscalculation. Higher education in mother tongue is the main catalyst for generating new and original ideas. That is precisely the reason why all great personalities advocated for higher education in vernacular language.  Deprivation of education in indigenous language prevents original thinking.

Personalities like CV Raman who won a Nobel Prize in 1930 and the only Indian Nobel Laureate in Physics, discovered that though incident light was monochromatic, the scattered light due to it, was not monochromatic. This observation is known as the “Raman Effect”. Being confined to colonial India, his interest was in Sanskrit and vibration of strings in Mridanga and Veena. These are the kind of personalities who, thoroughly conditioned by their own culture and heritage, also mastered skills in outlandish language.

Jagadish Chandra Bose in 1895 used an electric wave generator to fire a gun 75 feet away even though the two were not connected by wire. That was the prelude to days of remote control. His essays on scientific theories written in Bangla are proof of his literary talent in his own mother tongue.

Satyendra Nath Bose’s work laid the foundation of quantum statistics and gave rise to Bose-Einstein condensate – a dense collection of particles with a number of angular momentum called BOSON.  Bose’s life dream was to introduce higher technical education in mother tongue. Just recently one of the mainstream media houses wrote an article on “Who was Satyendra Nath Bose”?  Needless to say “Good Schools” of India do not bother to teach Indian children what they are and who they are.

Colonial officials boasted of the ‘civilizing’ effect of American education. Here American flags decorate the classroom of a colonial classroom.

Native Indians of USA often talk about the policy of “Take the Indians from the Indians”. The implication is that the design of American education is to de-link American Indians from their heritage and identity. It is tempting to ask WHY DELINK? The answer is simple–brand of education that de-links its students from their roots also blunts their intellectual capability and creativity.

Students conditioned through thoroughly Indianized education system have much better chance to make new intellectual contribution to various fields. A student well schooled in his/her language, literature, culture, tradition, history, religion among other factors, when exposed to technological subjects in outlandish language has a much better aptitude for innovative and original thinking.

On the other hand, students who are culturally conditioned through foreign language and are dissociated from their indigenous culture and language, as the situation in India today, may become “Your most obedient servant” -(an expression that was – in colonial legacy – commonly used in official correspondence in India until late sixties) but effectively stripped of the capacity of any original thinking.

Medium of current education in all former colonial countries like East and West Africa, Caribbean, South Asia is a language which is not indigenous. Hence, there is no chance that such an education will generate any original thinking, at least it has not done so in India since 1947.

The 10 percent Anglophonic Indians are able to imitate but not express their thoughts in either indigenous or in adopted language. Not only that, these pathetic elements are ignorant about their indigenous culture, heritage, literature, history, tradition and are comparable to the disposition of an illiterate who can barely read and write. They are proud of their pathetic imitation but ignorant of how they are treated as an object of pity by those whom they imitate.

This Anglophonic species is a miserable hybrid who can be branded as uncultured upstarts who are not conscious that they are suffering from identity crisis. These are the kind of products present day education is breeding. Nothing could be more stupid than to expect original contribution from products of such education which is designed to de-link Indians from India.

I wonder if Narayana Murthy would accept this as an explanation to his comment.

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10 Famous Indian Scientists Who Made The Difference

The contribution of Indian scientists ranges from our regular cellphone to innovative technologies of the 21st century, from our smart homes to space technology.

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We can’t imagine a day without the assistance provided by the Indian scientists. Wikimedia Commons
We can’t imagine a day without the assistance provided by the Indian scientists. Wikimedia Commons
  • We are always associated with science and its related reach
  • Indian scientists have made some cutting-edge research work in various fields
  • India’s huge strides in the field of Space program is the result of extensive rersearch work done by many famous Indian scientists

Science is something we are surrounded very briskly. Science has occupied us more aggressively than we can ever assume even. From our regular cellphone to innovative technologies of the 21st century, from our smart homes to space technology, it all fits into science and technology. We can’t imagine a day without the assistance provided by the science.

India has come up a long way in the field of science and technology. The invention of zero and the discovery of ‘Raman Effect”, are all credited to Indian scientists, as they have immensely contributed to their research works.

To appreciate the bliss of such comfort, we have compiled a list of fifteen famous Indian scientists who have changed the whole scenario of living and even achieved global recognition for their immense support to the humanity.

1. Vikram Sarabhai

Vikram Sarabhai is considered as the Father of India’s space program. He was born on 12 August 1919. Vikram Sarabhai’s contribution to the Indian space program is well-known. He was the sole man behind the establishment of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) and the Nehru Foundation for Development.

Also Read: Rene Laennec: The Man Who Invented Stethoscope

After the launch of the Russian Sputnik satellite, Vikram Sarabhai was able to convince the Indian government about the importance of a space program for a developing nation.

Vikram Sarabhai is considered as the Father of India’s space program. Wikimedia Commons
Vikram Sarabhai is considered as the Father of India’s space program. Wikimedia Commons

He was honoured with many prestigious awards including Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Medal in 1962, Padma Bhushan in 1966 and Padma Vibhushan (posthumously) in 1972

2. APJ Abdul Kalam

The former President of India, Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam was elite spearhead scientist of India. His contribution remains indispensable in the field of defence and missile programs.  He worked for two of the most decorated Indian institutes, one as the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and other one is Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).

Abdul Kalam was born on October 15, 1931. In one of his books, he talked about making India a developed nation by 2020. Abdul Kalam’s love for young generation can be gauged by the fact that he had set a goal of meeting 100,000 students in 2 years after his resignation from the role of scientific adviser in 1999.

Abdul Kalam kick-started his career with designing a small helicopter for the Indian Army. After that, he was moved to the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) as the project director of India’s first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III).  The program resulted in the successful deployment of the Rohini satellite in earth’s orbit in July 1980.

Abdul Kalam kick-started his career with designing a small helicopter for the Indian Army. Wikimedia Commons
Abdul Kalam kick-started his career with designing a small helicopter for the Indian Army. Wikimedia Commons

For his contribution towards science and technology, Abdul Kalam was bestowed with prestigious award including Bharat Ratna.

Also Read: All You Need to Know About Jagadish Chandra Bose

He has inspired millions of people around the globe with his dedication and hard work and he still remains the idol for many of us.

 

3. Homi Bhabha

Homi Bhabha is acknowledged as the father of Indian nuclear power. Homi Jehangir Bhabha is better known as Homi Bhabha. He was born on October 30, 1909, in Bombay. He is known for his crucial role in the Quantum Theory.

He started his scientific career in nuclear physics from Great Britain. After completing his education in London, Homi Bhabha returned to India and convince the Congress Party’s senior leaders, especially Jawaharlal Nehru, to start the indigenous nuclear programme. Although, he was very much against the development of atomic bombs, even if the country had enough resources to do so. He rather advocated the use of nuclear energy to wave off India’s misery and poverty.

Finally, Homi Bhabha was decorated as the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of India.

Homi Bhabha is known for his crucial role in the Quantum Theory. Wikimedia Commons
Homi Bhabha is known for his crucial role in the Quantum Theory. Wikimedia Commons

He lost his life in an air crash near Mont Blanc on 24 January 1966. There are many conspiracy theories and speculation regarding the role of CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) in the plane crash. As some reports suggested, CIA was very much averse to the advancement of India’s nuclear program.

4. Venkatraman Radhakrishnan

Venkatraman Radhakrishnan was an Indian space scientist and is known for his design and fabrication of ultra-light aircraft and sailboats. Radhakrishnan was born on May 18, 1929, and died at the age of 81.

Also Read: Transforming Human Race: Human to TransHuman to PostHuman

Radhakrishnan was an internationally honoured Astrophysicist. His work helped in understanding the space and many mysteries surrounding pulsars, galaxy structures, interstellar clouds and other celestial bodies. For his work in space exploration, he was taken as the member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

5. M Visvesvaraya

Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya was a distinguished Indian scientist, engineer, scholar and statesman. He stressed upon industrialization. He wanted India to be at par with industrialized nations as he believed that India can become developed through industries.

M Visvesvaraya was born on 15 September 1860. He is honoured with the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest award.

M Visvesvaraya stressed upon industrialization in India. Wikimedia Commons
M Visvesvaraya stressed upon industrialization in India. Wikimedia Commons

M Visvesvaraya is acknowledged for his work of inventing ‘automatic sluice gates’ and ‘block irrigation system’ which are still wonders in engineering. He also innovated an efficient way of filtering water through ‘Collector Wells’ in 1895 which was a sensation in itself.

Due to his valuable contribution to engineering, his birthday is celebrated as Engineer’s Day in India.

6. Jagadish Chandra Bose

Jagadish Chandra Bose is known for pioneering in the study of radio and microwave optics which helped in the study of plants and establishing the experimental science in the Indian sub-continent. He was born on 30 November 1858. People used to call him as Acharya J.C. Bose.  Jagadish Chandra Bose was a multi-talented personality, as he was well versed as a polymath, physicist, biologist, botanist and archaeologist.

Jagadish Chandra Bose was the first person to demonstrating wireless communication with the help of semiconductor junctions to detect radio signals. His other works include the invention of the Crescograph. Through this, he was able to study the plant’s response to various stimuli and proved that plants can feel pain, understand affection etc.

Jagadish Chandra Bose was the first person to demonstrating wireless communication. Wikimedia Commons
Jagadish Chandra Bose was the first person to demonstrating wireless communication. Wikimedia Commons

He is also considered to be the father of open technology. He wanted people to work on his developments and thus never patented his work. Jagadish Chandra Bose was also very much into the writing of science fiction and he is also considered as the father of Bengali science fiction.

 

7. Subrahmanyan Chandrashekar

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar was the nephew of the famous Indian scientist, CV Raman. The term, “Chandrasekhar limit” is named after him. He was born on October 19 and died on August 21, 1995, at the age of 82 in Chicago.

Also Read: 11 Must-Know Facts About Asima Chatterjee

His best-known work was in the radiation of energy from stars, particularly white dwarf stars, which are the dying fragments of stars. For his mathematical theory of black holes, Chandrasekhar was conferred Nobel Prize for Physics in 1983.

In 1953, Chandrasekhar was granted United States citizenship.

8. Satyendra Nath Bose

Satyendra Nath Bose was popularly known as SN Bose. He was an Indian physicist and known for his work in the field of ‘bosons‘, which were named after him by Paul Dirac to commemorate his work in the field. He specialized in quantum mechanics.

Satyendra Nath was also awarded India’s second highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan in 1954. Wikimedia Commons
Satyendra Nath was also awarded India’s second highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan in 1954. Wikimedia Commons

Once Satyendra Nath sent a short article on “Planck’s Law and the Hypothesis of Light Quanta” to Albert Einstein. Interestingly, this article was accepted by Einstein and translated into German. Later it got published in Zeitschrift für Physik under Bose’s name, in 1924. Satyendra Nath also gave a lecture at the University of Dhaka on the theory of radiation and the ultraviolet catastrophe.

The Rabindranath Tagore’s book on science, ‘Visva–Parichay’ was dedicated to him in 1937. Satyendra Nath was also awarded India’s second highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan in 1954.

9. CV Raman

Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman is popularly known as CV Raman and was an Indian scientist. He was born in Tiruchirapalli on November 7, 1888. CV Raman won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1930 for his pioneering work on scattering of light. He was the first Asian and first non-White to receive any Nobel Prize in the sciences.

His other works include the working of the acoustics of musical instruments. CV Raman was the one who probed into the sound of the Indian drums such as the Tabla and the Mridangam. “Raman scattering” still remains most accepted and notable work of CV Raman. He explained that, when light passes through a transparent material, some of the deflected light changes into wavelength and this causes “Raman Effect”.

Unfortunately, in October 1970, he fell unconscious while working and was immediately moved to a hospital. Doctors advised him to stay there but he was adamant about moving to his Institute (the Raman Research Institute in Bangalore) and live his last moments in the vicinity of flowers of his institute. He was laid to rest on 21 November 1970.

CV Raman won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1930 for his pioneering work on scattering of light. Wikimedia Commons
CV Raman won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1930 for his pioneering work on scattering of light. Wikimedia Commons

Before taking his last breath, CV Raman uttered, “Do not allow the journals of the Academy to die, for they are the sensitive indicators of the quality of Science being done in the country and whether science is taking root in it or not.”

10. Srinivasa Ramanujan

Ramanujam was an Indian mathematician who, with almost no formal training in pure mathematics, made extraordinary contributions. His work includes mathematical analysis, number theory, infinite series, and continued fractions.

Ramanujam was born on December 22, 1887, and by age 11, he hushed up the mathematical knowledge of two college students who were lodgers at his home.

By the age of 13, he mastered a book on advanced trigonometry written by S. L. Loney and came up with his own theorems.

During his stay in England, Ramanujam faced a lot of health problems due to the scarcity of vegetarian food. After that, he came back India and died at the age of 32.

Tamil Nadu celebrates 22 December (Ramanujan’s birthday) as ‘State IT Day’, memorializing his unprecedented feats in mathematics.