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By Dr. Kallol Guha
Future of a community or a nation, to a large extent, is determined by how their educational institutions are run. It cannot be ascertained by the number or type of buildings and infrastructure but by developing the quality of human resources and conditioning them to become a tool for meaningful national development. Educational institutions ultimately decide the quality and sustainability of growth and development of a given nation. No special inquiry is needed to see that during the middle ages all-round glory of ancient India and its share of 25-30% of world GDP must have been derived from the quality of training in the universities like Somapura and Munshigunj Vihar of Bengal, Odantapuri of Magadh, Pushpagiri of Kalinga, Valabhi of Gujrat, Vikramashila of Bihar, to say nothing about Nalanda and Takshashila and numerous others. By 1947, India’s share of world GDP came down to less than 1% . The figure has not changed much since then, though Macaulay type education which replaced indigenous education in vernacular medium-specially designed to breed (clone) Englishmen through English-based education, is spreading rapidly and its acceptability is being consolidated by fierce and widespread marketing.
What is the worth of education system(s) that does not facilitate in-depth understanding of one’s ancestral contribution to knowledge and civilization and does not make the nation aware of the greatness, if any, of its own heritage? Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore stated that ‘Shiksha ko dohan karna nahin, vahan karna chahiye’. It is tempting to speculate whether widespread Macaulay type education explains why during the last 65 years India has not made any contribution that is remotely comparable to that of the ancient saints?
112 crore Indians who are unable to communicate in English Language are, for all practical purposes, excluded from the scope of higher technical education and consequent decent living. Unnoticed amid these indigenous Indians, undoubtedly, there are traits of great soldiers and athletes, brilliant professionals and administrators, genius scholars, performers etc., but their talent could never find expression through use of their own languages. Native languages are now being reduced and demeaned as the language of backward and underdeveloped masses whereas English is symbolized as the language of superiority and aristocracy. Instead of being concerned about such wastage of human resource, the prevalent system has developed numerous arguments to justify blatant discrimination of regional and national languages alike.
Let it be emphasized that a language may flourish and develop when linked to the means of livelihood. Single most dominant factor for widespread influence of English is that it has been made a key toward earning a decent living. De-linking of regional and national languages from the means of livelihood is being made acceptable through highly sophisticated and subtle marketing to favor use of the English language, at the expense of indigenous languages. Any topic pertaining to linkage of indigenous languages to the means of livelihood is instantly interpreted as plot against English.
State and central administration are neither willing nor honest in their intention of allowing masses to earn a decent living by using local languages. Hence common people, in order to restore the disrupted link between language and means of livelihood may consider taking two useful measures:
First: Mobilize Public Opinion. Initiate a campaign- at first- through social media- propagating the viewpoint that language is not just a means of communication but is linked to the sense of both self- and national respect. Perception of pride and identity-crisis are linked to language. Issue of culture and heritage is linked to language. Since higher technical knowledge is best absorbed through native language, material and spiritual development at individual and national level is linked to language. One of the most effective measures a victor takes against the vanquished to subjugate is to de-link the masses from their native land by not allowing to make a living in their native language. A task accomplished through specially designed education as it is the case with India.
Second: Higher Technical Education in Vernacular. Public opinion has to be mobilized to compel and/or persuade government and private enterprises to employ graduates of vernacular medium schools by allowing tax deductions. Government and private initiatives must be mobilized through public opinion to install higher technical education in vernacular medium.
Basically, mobilization of public opinion in favor of opening up educational and economic opportunities to all those who are from vernacular medium is the first initial step towards a long and arduous task.
The author is a Chicago-based entrepreneur and philanthropist.
Image/s Credit: Sean MacEntee
Super model and actress Hailey Bieber said she is lucky to have a husband like Justin Bieber, refuting rumours of the ace singer not treating her properly. Hailey was speaking at singer Demi Lovato's podcast '4D With Demi Lovato', dailymail.co.uk reported.
Talking about her popstar husband and rumours around their marriage, Hailey said: "I think one of the biggest things is you have to know what the truth is behind everything. You know, there's so many narratives that float around about me, about him, about us together." She addressed the rumours point blank as she said: "There's one big fat narrative that goes around that's like, 'Justin is not nice to her, and that he mistreats her', and I'm just like, it's so far from the truth, and it's the complete and utter opposite."
Hailey went on to set the record straight about Justin, who she married in 2018. She said: "I really am lucky to say I'm with someone who is extremely respectful of me, who makes me feel special every single day. So when I see the opposite of that, I'm just like, 'Huh?' And everybody around who knows us personally would say the same thing." (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Hailey Bieber, Justin Bieber, husband, respectful, truth, married
Among the Tamil epics written during the Sangam age, only a few survived to this day. Manimegalai is one such. It is written as a sequel to the Sillapadikaram, taking the story forward of Kovalan and Madhavi's daughter, Manimegalai. The Sillapadikaram is about the injustice of the Madurai kingdom in the execution of Kovalan, which turned Kannagi, his wife into a goddess seeking vengeance for her husband's death. Kovalan, before his death, has an affair with a court dancer, Madhavi, and his daughter, Manimegalai, is said to begin a different tradition among the Tamils.
The epic, written by Sattanar, introduces Buddhism to Dravidian culture, something that has been alien to them for years. Manimegalai is the protagonist, who flees constantly from the pursuit of Chola prince Udhayakumara, and tries to lead an ascetic life. Throughout the plot, Buddhist tenets are used to avoid the culmination of a love-story. Manimegalai is believed to be the anti-love story sequel to the Sillapadikaram.
A complete work of Tamil epic written by hand on leaves Image source: wikimedia commons
The Sillapadikaram was written by a Jain monk, Illango Adigal, and Sattanar, uses the sequel to question Jainism. It is almost a political battle between two new religions competing for a place in a predominantly Hindu society. Parts of Manimegalai even go to the extent of opening ridiculing Jain practices and beliefs.
Critics of Tamil literature have stated that while the Tamil epics have great poetic significance, they are inferior to other world epics when it comes to clearly portraying religious affiliations. In fact, they refer to the newer religions with an infant's perspective. Some scholars have found that Sillapadikaram has more ethical substance than its sequel, but in and of itself, despite being written by a Jain monk, reads like Hindu poetry (Subhramanya Aiyar, 1906).
Keywords: Manimegalai, Sillapadikaram, Tamil Epic, Sattanar, Ilango Adigal, Chola kingdom, Sangam Age, Buddhism
The Covid-19 pandemic could act as an inflection point to shift India's growth model from being consumption driven to investments-led. In its Ecoscope report, Motilal Oswal Financial Services, said: "With Covid-19 hurting India's 'Household' (HH) and 'Government' sectors adversely, the continuity of strong consumption growth is in question."
"On the contrary, with listed companies' financial positions improving and an uptick in household investments in the Real Estate sector (called physical savings), the narrative of investment-led recovery is gaining momentum." The report prescribed that various economic participants - households, governments, listed companies, and unlisted corporates -- to increase their fixed asset investments in the immediate future based on their financial position.
The Covid-19 pandemic could act as an inflection point to shift India's growth model from being consumption driven to investments-led. | Photo by Fusion Medical Animation on Unsplash
At present, the listed and unlisted corporate sector accounts for only about half of total investments in India. The 'HH' sector including unincorporated enterprises accounts for 35-40 per cent in India's investments, while the remaining 12-13 per cent is contributed by centre and states governments. Besides, the report cited that demand environment is expected to remain subdued due to weak financial position of 'HH' and government sector.
"Despite household investments picking up strongly in 2HFY21, given that Indian households bore the maximum brunt of Covid-led losses in CY20 (and CY21), we believe household spending would remain subdued over the next few years." It further pointed out that unless 'HH', 'Unlisted Corporate', and government sectors can improve their financial positions -- leading to a demand uptick -- a strong revival in investments seems challenging. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: India, covid, pandemic, growth, household, government, investment