Sunday, December 12, 2010

Are We Conditioned?

During the early 1800’s, Britishers' faced a peculiar problem in sub-continent regarding communication. As a ruling class they found it quite difficult to bond India due to linguistic diversities this country had. The entire education structure in India consisted of many languages and dialects. So their plans to educate Indians became quite a complex issue to resolve. The cultural differences were huge. The entire education set up was vastly different then what they had in their own country. The education survey and research was done about what can be done and what needs to be done to bond each and every Indian by some common spoken language. At that point of time Sanskrit, Persian and Arabic were the classical traditional languages spoken and but not widely understood by Indians. The Council of Education was formulated and was assigned the task to restructure the education system. But the members of the council themselves were divided on which language to be chosen as the medium of instruction. The council was presided by a British gentleman named T.B. Macaulay who was appointed by then Governor General, William Bentinck. On 2nd February 1835, he gave a speech regarding that in British parliament. He said “It is impossible for us, with our limited means, to attempt to educate the body of the people. 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, Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect. To that class we may leave it to refine the vernacular dialects of the country, to enrich those dialects with terms of science borrowed from the Western nomenclature, and to render them by degrees fit vehicles for conveying knowledge to the great mass of the population.” What he meant was to bond and educate Indians by common superior language English as their medium of instruction.
Even a century and half later his "Minute To Education" continues ringing on our education system. The British Empire may have vanished into pages of history but the legacy doesn't seem to end. Knowingly or unknowingly, what Macaulay did to our education system is known as conditioning
From then on-wards, English got inserted into our education system. Teaching of native religious books or literature in the foreign language conditioned the entire pattern of thinking. Elite class got heavily influenced and started preaching as well as practising English. It got heavily imbibed into our education system. People started forgetting the importance of their own mother tongue. Don’t you think that it is a disregard to call a great poet like Kalidasa 'The Shakespeare of India'. Kalidasa was born centuries before even Shakespeare was born. It is not about comparing the work of two literary geniuses of different eras but more about demeaning the work of one because of the other. We consider foreign products far more superior than the indigenous ones. Officially almost all works in central government is done in English medium rather than our vastly spoken language of Hindi. Today, we are the largest speaking nation of English language. Isn't it such a contrast to see things happening in this way. If given a choice , education abroad, working abroad or even settling abroad is preferred more over our own country. The phenomenal growth of English medium schools are a perfect example of our preference of English over Hindi. The entire brain drain phenomenon dwells due to one single thing and that is the conditioning of our minds since we were born in our country. The education system conditions our mind in such a way that we start disrespecting our own culture. India is a nation where sex is a taboo subject to discuss and yet it is also a land where Kamasutra was born. So what a contrast, the things we taught the world regarding sex education is now looked down upon as something we are ashamed of. Foreigners flock Khajuraho more than we Indians do. Why Suit and Tie is a formal dress code for us,why not our own traditional dresses.That is the western way of formal dressing not the Indian way .Why we start picking up poem of Humpty Dumpty more quickly then ‘Yeh Kadambh Ka Ped Agar Maa Hota Yamuna Teere’? Why is Hi or Hello slowly replacing Namastey?
 It has been famously said that creativity and originality can hardly find expression in a language other than the mother tongue . Is English our mother tongue ? Absolutely not ,then how can we expect ourselves to be original or creative. This is what conditioning is all about and it is too deep rooted a problem to be resolved. And the solution lies in questioning ourselves on how, when and why this happened? And why we get succumbed to it quite often rather than making Lord Macaulay our favourite whipping boy.


Anonymous said...

good work done...your view and vision are really appriciable keep up the spirit...dream higher to achive ur desires.....i like it because people think about it bt never try to express it....

Manish Singh Chauhan said...

Thanx a ton Sans..
I really appreciate ur laudable comments..
They cant express because they dont understand why it happens to us..
that lies in our education is designed in that way to condition our minds ..
it is more like u know the symptoms but u dont know about the disease...
and the disease too deep rooted ..
first u have to understand the problem well enough then only u can even reach towards a solution..


good research nd i found balance writing dat is fabulous quality of any writer,I know u personally so i know ur thoughts r novel so keep it up..all d best !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Manish Singh Chauhan said...

thanx a ton Bhavish...
Ur appreciation and critique will always land me in the improvement and right balance of creating articles that makes sense..
Happy n cheerful reading..
thanx a lot..

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