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Nursery rhymes: Why should “Pussy Cat” go to London even after 67 years of independence?

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By Prachi Mishra

“We must at present do our best to form a class, who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern; a class of persons, Indians in blood and color, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals and in intellect.”  – Lord Macaulay

In 1853, Lord Macaulay introduced an anglicized education system in India. In various educational institutes, all over the country, students were taught English texts, right from the childhood.

Even after India’s genesis as an independent nation, a British dyed school system was adopted where the children’s poems had the “pussy cat” visiting London to meet the Queen instead of meeting some mighty King in India. This anglicized form of education continues even today, where toddlers are exposed to western rhymes, remaining unaware about the Indian literary works.

At a tender age when children evolve, learn to speak and become aware of the ways of the world, instead of being inculcated with the rich history and culture of India, they are influenced by the Western world. At the initial years of learning in which the children gain an understanding of their culture, they are exposed to a foreign culture. Most importantly, the children can’t really relate to these poems set in the western world.

It’s not erroneous to make children learn the  English nursery rhymes as they become aware of a new culture and it bridges the gap between the East and the West. These rhymes have an underlying historic and cultural significance which makes the children more aware.

However, the problem ensues when the Western influence dominates over the Indian. Today most of the children in India know that “Humpty Dumpty” refers to a canon nicknamed “Humpty Dumpty”, stationed during the English Civil War in 1648 that tumbled to the ground. Dozens of men who tried to lift it back, could not do so, given the size and weight of the cannon.

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But what about Indian history and culture? If you take a glimpse at any nursery rhyme book, only one or two poems by Indian poets will be mentioned in the book.

Isn’t it a setback to the Indian learning system, that right from the beginning the children are inculcated more with the unfamiliar Western culture? In a diverse land like India which has produced legendary writers and poets like Rabindranath Tagore, Sarojini Naidu, Sri Aurobindo, Vikram Seth etc., isn’t it appalling that only a few rhymes have made their way in children’s books?

In 2006, the Madhya Pradesh government had banned the teaching of English nursery rhymes in primary schools. The state education minister at that time, Narrotam Mishra was quoted as saying, “There is no need for English rhymes when there are Indian rhymes to infuse patriotism in children” adding, “We want our children to have value education in local colour”.

It’s about to time to examine how Indian literary works can find their way in the current primary education system. It’s not necessary that the children would be educated more effectively, if catered only with the English pieces of works right from the childhood. Exposure to the Indian literary works is of utmost importance.

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Elon Musk Apologises to UK Diver for Calling Him a ‘Pedo’

He also said that he would like to see "peace, quiet and execution" at the electric car company

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Elon Musk
Investors' backlash forces Musk to say sorry over 'pedo' remark. (Wikimedia Commons)

Bowing to pressure from investors amid falling Tesla stock, Elon Musk on Wednesday apologised to famed British cave explorer Vern Unsworth for calling him a “pedo” after he saved 12 boys and their coach who were trapped in a cave in Thailand.

Unsworth had dismissed the “mini-submarine” idea from Musk to save the boys, called it a “PR stunt” to which, Musk reacted in a bizarre way.

“Nonetheless, his actions against me do not justify my actions against him, and for that I apologise to Mr Unsworth and to the companies I represent as leader. The fault is mine and mine alone,” Musk tweeted.

“My words were spoken in anger after Mr Unsworth said several untruths and suggested I engage in a sexual act with the mini-sub, which had been built as an act of kindness and according to specifications from the dive team leader,” the Tesla CEO further tweeted to a user.

Earlier, Musk’s Twitter posts sparked backlash from shareholders and Silicon Valley analysts, who called his behaviour “immature and an impediment to the car company’s success”, The Guardian reported.

The company saw “the end of carbon as essential” but, was “frustrated that the real steps towards this are being overshadowed and undermined by this saga,” James Anderson, a partner at Baillie Gifford, Tesla’s fourth-largest shareholder, was quoted as saying.

Elon Musk
Elon Musk apologised to famed British cave explorer Vern Unsworth for calling him a “pedo”

Anderson said he agreed with some of Musk’s past remarks calling out critical analysts, “but this is different. We are in contact with the company and we are hopeful that it is being taken with due seriousness.”

He also said that he would like to see “peace, quiet and execution” at the electric car company.

If Musk’s behaviour did not change, “it could have a dramatic negative impact on the company. It has to start with an apology,” Gene Munster, Head of research at Loup Ventures, a venture capital firm, was quoted as saying.

Twelve boys and their football coach were rescued from the Tham Luang cave complex last week by an international team after a week-long intense drama.

Musk has faced increasing scrutiny in the past few months over his bizarre tirades on Twitter and his aggressive attacks on journalists, regulators and other critics.

Also read- Why Elon Musk has Suddenly Gone Ballistic on Twitter

The scandals come amid continuing complaints about workplace safety and a struggle to meet production goals at Tesla. (IANS)