Friday, November 11, 2005

English as national language

The Indian Express: Friday, November 11, 2005
With a Government school coming into the villages in early Sixties, the nation began to connect with the village. Child education became a symbolic dream of their nationalist modernity. Education landed in our village like a helicopter of election season. In those days, we did not realize that by reading those text books we were going to produce a crippled mind that would push us into a culture of indignity of labour. The religion-centric nationalist education kept all the religious identities on the national table to drive daggers into each other. The caste-centred cultural spheres made us treat each caste an enemy of the other. A real secular self, with an inbuilt sense of dignity of labour, is yet to be born. A scientific temper that can challenge, our very neighbour, China, if not the West, may spring up if we recognise English as necessary national language to be taught on par with every regional language in every state from class one to every child. We must—and must—take out all forms of religious content from text books and teach dignity of labour on compulsory basis. Perhaps India then begins to empower itself.

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