(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.
New Delhi: A group of 132 eminent Indian academicians, including many well-known Sanskrit scholars, have expressed strong reservations regarding Columbian University Professor Sheldon Pollock, a scholar of philology presiding over the historical project of Murthy Classical library as the general editor.
The Murty Classical Library of India was established by Rohan Murthy, the son of Infosys co-founder N. R. Narayana Murthy, with an aim to publish modern English translations of classical Indian works present in various Indian languages, including Sanskrit, Bangla, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Pali, Panjabi, Persian, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu.
The Library started publishing translations in 2015 and since its inception, Professor Pollock has been serving as its ‘general editor’. Professor Pollock is known for his controversial views on Sanskrit language and Indian philosophy.
The petition contends that “While Pollock has been a well-known scholar of philology, it is also well-known that he has deep antipathy towards many of the ideals and values cherished and practiced in our civilization. He echoes the views of Macaulay and Max Weber that the shastras generated in India serve no contemporary purpose except for the study of how Indians express themselves.”
The signatories further state in their petition that Professor Pollock is not politically neutral and has been a “prominent signatory of several statements which are of a purely political nature and devoid of any academic merit; those statements have condemned various policies and actions of the Government of India,” including two “recent statements released by US academicians condemning the actions of the JNU authorities and the Government of India against separatist groups who are calling for the independence of Kashmir, and for India’s breakup.”
Calling the Murthy Classical Library as a “historical project”, the petitioners have stated that such a project must be “guided and carried out by a team of scholars who not only have proven mastery in the relevant Indian languages, but are also deeply rooted and steeped in the intellectual traditions of India. They also need to be imbued with a sense of respect and empathy for the greatness of Indian civilization.”
They have further appealed the Murthy duo to “invite critics of Sheldon Pollock and the approaches being followed in his project, for open and frank discussions.”
We the undersigned would like to convey our deep appreciation for your good intentions and financial commitment to establish the Murty Classical Library of India, a landmark project to translate 500 volumes of traditional Indian literature into English. We appreciate the motives of making our civilization’s great literature available to the modern youth who are educated in English, and who are unfortunately not trained in Indian languages.
However, such a historical project would have to be guided and carried out by a team of scholars who not only have proven mastery in the relevant Indian languages, but are also deeply rooted and steeped in the intellectual traditions of India. They also need to be imbued with a sense of respect and empathy for the greatness of Indian civilization.
We would like to bring to your notice the views of the mentor and Chief Editor of this program, Professor Sheldon Pollock. While Pollock has been a well-known scholar of philology, it is also well-known that he has deep antipathy towards many of the ideals and values cherished and practiced in our civilization. He echoes the views of Macaulay and Max Weber that the shastras generated in India serve no contemporary purpose except for the study of how Indians express themselves. He has forcefully articulated this view in his career, starting with his 1985 paper, “The Theory of Practice and the Practice of Theory in Intellectual Tradition” (Journal of the American Oriental Society). He sees all shastras as flawed because he finds them frozen in Vedic metaphysics, which he considers irrational and a source of social oppression. Even as recently as 2012, he echoed this view at a talk at Heidelberg titled, “What is South Asian Knowledge Good For?”). He said:
“Are there any decision makers, as they refer to themselves, at universities and foundations who would not agree that, in the cognitive sweepstakes of human history, Western knowledge has won and South Asian knowledge has lost? …That, accordingly, the South Asian knowledge South Asians themselves have produced can no longer be held to have any significant consequences for the future of the human species?”
Therefore, we are dismayed that Pollock has been appointed the Chief Editor and mentor of the entire program.
In his recent book, “The Battle for Sanskrit”, Shri Rajiv Malhotra has articulated that many of the writings of Pollock are deeply flawed and misrepresent our cultural heritage.
Furthermore, Pollock does not claim to be politically neutral. In recent years, Pollock has been a prominent signatory of several statements which are of a purely political nature and devoid of any academic merit; those statements have condemned various policies and actions of the Government of India. He has shown utter indifference and disrespect for democratic values and even the international norms of non-interference in the internal functioning of constitutional representative institutions in other countries.
In addition, we now find that Pollock is a prominent signatory of two recent statements released by US academicians condemning the actions of the JNU authorities and the Government of India against separatist groups who are calling for the independence of Kashmir, and for India’s breakup.
“काश्मीर की आजादी तक जंग रहेगी, भारत की बरबादी तक जंग रहेगी, भारत तेरे टुकडे होङ्गे,
इनशा अल्लाह इनशा अल्लाह”.
“The fight will continue till Kashmir is freed; The fight will continue till India is destroyed; O India, you are going to get shattered by the will of Allah.”
Beside these slogans, the disgruntled youth also went on to condemn the highest court of India by way of hoarding posters and banners describing the action of court as “judicial killing” of a terrorist.
To add fuel to the fire, Pollock by way of signing petitions has demanded that the Government of India should end its “authoritative menace”. However, we do not find him petitioning against his own USA government’s authoritative policies within its borders and around the world.
Thus, it is crystal clear that Pollock has shown disrespect for the unity and integrity of India. We submit that such an individual cannot be considered objective and neutral enough to be in charge of your historic translation project.
We petition you to reconstitute the editorial group of your project with the following ideals in mind:
There must be a fair representation of the lineages and traditional groups that teach and practice the traditions described in the texts being translated. This would ensure that the sentiments and understanding of the millions of Indians who practice these traditions are not violated.
The project must be part of the “Make in India” ethos and not outsourced wholesale to American Ivy Leagues. Just as your visionary role in Infosys showed the world that Indians can be the top producers of IT, so also we urge you to champion the development of Swadeshi Indology. This would entail developing an entire ecosystem of India-based research, translations, journals and conferences. These would be run by leading Indian academicians as well as traditional practitioners.
There must be a written set of standards and policies for the entire project, pertaining to the translation methodologies, historical assumptions and philosophical interpretations that would be used consistently in all volumes.
How will certain Sanskrit words that are non-translatable be treated?
What will be the posture adopted towards the “Foreign Aryan Theory” and other such controversial theories including chronologies?
What will be assumed concerning the links between ancient texts and present-day social and political problems?
Will the theoretical methods developed in Europe in the context of the history of ancient Europe, be used to interpret Indian texts, or will there first be open discussions with Indians on the use of Indian systems of interpretations?
We urge you to invite critics of Sheldon Pollock and the approaches being followed in his project, for open and frank discussions. We are convinced that this would lead to a dramatic improvement in your project and also avoid any adverse outcome.
Scholars and Intellectuals
Prof. K. Ramasubramanian, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Bombay.
Prof. Ramesh C. Bhardwaj , Professor and Head, Department of Sanskrit, Delhi University
Dr. Kapil Kapoor , Former Pro Vice Chancellor, JNU, New Delhi.
Dr. Girish Nath Jha, Professor of Computational Linguistics and Chairperson, Special Center for Sanskrit Studies, JNU, New Delhi. Professor & Concurrent Faculty, Center for Linguistics, School of Language Literature & Culture Studies, JNU, New Delhi.
Prof. V. Kutumba Sastry, President, International Association of Sanskrit Studies, Former Vice Chancellor, Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, New Delhi
Dr. C. Upender Rao, Professor and Chairperson, Special centre for Sanskrit Studies, JNU, New Delhi.
Prof. Madhu Kishwar, Senior Fellow, CSDS, New Delhi
Prof. R. Vaidyanathan, IIM Bangalore, Finance & Control UTI Chair Professor
Shri N. Gopalaswami, Former Chief Election Commisioner of India, Head of the HRD ministry’s committee on Sanskrit Promotion, Chairman, Kalakshetra, Chennai
Prof. Ramesh Kumar Pandey, Vice Chancellor, Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth, New Delhi.