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HOPE: INDIAN DEMOCRACY

       The medium of instruction should be altered at once, and at any cost, the provincial languages be given their rightful place. I would prefer temporary chaos in higher education to the criminal waste that is daily accumulating.

Mahatma Gandhi

       India is home to major languages of the world that have long history of literary and scientific tradition than most European languages. Total population of India exceeds the population of Europe, United States of America, Russia and Japan combined.      

      The number of people who claim Hindi as their mother tongue is projected to be 480  million making it the second biggest language without including Maithili and spoken Hindustani-Urdu. The Projected population of the states that have Hindi as the official language is 550 million. It is more than the total population of European Union consisting of twenty seven countries with twenty two official languages. Every language of Europe is qualified as medium of knowledge and research, and not a single Indian language spoken by millions and millions of people with rich literary history than European languages are allowed for getting jobs,loans,government benefits and accessing knowledge.

      The Gods own country is the most literate state in India.Ninety seven percent of the people of kerala speak Malayalam at home and it dominates both print and visual media.The number of people speaking Malayalam in Kerala is more than the combined population of Scandinavian countries such as Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland. Every bit of information is available in these languages. Unfortunately neither LKG,UKG is available in Malayalam nor study science and maths in Malayalam beyond tenth standard.

       The most tragic part of the Indian linguistic situation is that despite ninety-nine percent of the people live in states in which top eleven scheduled languages are spoken, no right thinking parents want their children to study in these language medium schools. Top politicians and bureaucrats enrol their wards in English medium schools as they have made Indian languages unfit for any decent job.

    The father of the Nation echoed the plight of crores and crores of children.But hitherto democracy has failed to address it.Every empirical data suggest that countries that do not govern in the language in which they seek votes and provide access to knowledge in mother tongue are worse places to live. 

     The hope for Indian language students is democracy and technology. Democratic pressures from regional parties in the era of coalition politics at the national level may help in at least conducting a discussion on the need to introduce educational reforms targeted at empowering Indian language students.


       Rural development during the golden period of economic reforms is at stand still and there is absolute increase in underemployed leading to distress migration to congested cities. The cities in native language countries have less density of population and are more livable and neat.

   Please Know: Malayalam spoken by 359 lakh people of India who enjoy the highest Human Development in south Asia is not used beyond high school, and Icelandic spoken by 3 lakhs people who enjoy highest human development in the world is fit for becoming doctors and engineers.

Competence in the language of customers and citizens is more important than testing communication skill in colonial language for transparent and accountable administration. The language of customers and workers should be the institutional language of management schools and corporate board rooms.

     Please Know: The “A.B. Vajpayee Centre for Telecommunications and IT” teaches in Mongolian spoken by less than 3 million people of Mongolia in the most challenging terrain and climate on earth and Hindi, the so called national language of India spoken by 550 million is debarred from the class rooms of Indian Institutes of Technology and Indian Institutes of Management.



        Crores of women are denied toilet facilities, basic sanitation and medical care in Anglophone south Asia. Whereas children and women in native language  developing  countries have  better life  and access to basic services.

     Please Know: Department of Medicine in the University  of Kabul  amidst burned down libraries and political instability  produces  Doctors  teaching in Dari language  spoken by  less than  a crore and  not even nursing colleges in the politically stable Kolkata  teach in  Bengali  spoken by  25 crore people of India and Bangladesh.


      Crores of people become poorer and there is absolute increase in number of people suffering from hunger and under nourishment in India and Anglophone Asian countries. On the other hand there is universal decline in the absolute number of poor and hungry in all native language developing countries.  

    Please Know: It is heretic to demand name boards in Kannada spoken by more than forty million people in Karnataka and Bangalore. Whereas French has to be the first language of all official documents and French words has to be double the size of English in all commercial signs in English speaking Canada.

All Multinational Companies maintain their websites in major East Asian and European languages and Indian technological companies also have website versions in foreign languages. But none include Indian language versions.

     Please Know: All schools teaching in Telugu spoken by over eight crores Indians are converted in to English medium schools in Andhra Pradesh. But Scottish Gaelic language medium schools increased by more than ten times in the mother land of English in UK spoken by sixty thousand people.

        Customer handbooks supplied with IT products in India regularly contain Indonesian, Thai, Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese guidelines. Nevertheless not a single computer manufacturer feels the need to have Indian language versions.  

    Please Know: Tamil spoken by 6.57 crore people in India has only 299 websites which is the best cyber presence for any Indian language in terms of percapita and there are 239,950 websites in Italian that is the underdog of major European languages spoken by 6.17 crore Europeans

        All computers in native language countries are shipped with her language scripts and even though it cost nothing, not a single computer in India is manufactured with Indian scripts

    Please Know: Marathi language spoken by more than eight crores cannot be made compulsory in the schools of Maharashtra and Mumbai. But Welsh language spoken by six lakh people in Britain is compulsory from grade one to ten in the Wales state.

        The number of patents filed by India is one of the lowest; the quality of research is abysmal and quality of higher education is falling in all Anglophone developing countries. Whereas the number of research papers published, patents filed and quality of university education is increasing in the native language developing countries.

    Please Know: Punjabi spoken by more than 106.5 million people of India and Pakistan in the most fertile lands of the subcontinent publishes fewer than five hundred new books a year and number of books published in Korean spoken by 48 million people of South Korea was 53,225 books in 2008 that is more than the total number of books published during the entire history of Punjabi language.

        The minority languages in India have sizeable population to be called major languages in European parlance. Santali, Gondi and Bhili are spoken by more people than Danish or Norwegian. Manipuri, Garo, Khasi, Mizo, Ao, Angami,Kuki etc have more speakers than Icelandic, and Estonian that are used as medium of instruction in medical universities and management institutes.

    Please Know: FIFA World Cup is broadcast in more than fifty languages including Maltese spoken by 3.7 lakh people. Nonetheless Indian languages are excluded from IPL or Cricket World cup wherein more than ninety percent of the audience are from Indian subcontinent

      The Emperor of Japan and King of Thailand admit their prince and princes in native language schools. But democratically elected rulers in south Asia do not risk enrolling their grand children in government schools teaching in Indian languages.

   Please Know: The long run economic growth in India and other Anglophone Asian developing countries has been lower and have failed to transform agrarian economies. But native language developing countries experience higher long term growth and rural development.

      Rural development during the golden period of economic reforms is at stand still and there is absolute increase in underemployed leading to distress migration to congested cities. The cities in native language countries have less density of population and are more livable and neat.

   Please Know: Left wing extremists in tribal pockets of Chhattisgarh print pamphlets and address local people in Gondi language. Whereas government machinery addresses the people in English and Hindi which they don’t understand.

         All management schools in the developed countries teach the students to attain communication skill in the language of customers and workers. Whereas in India communication skill in English is compulsory for even government jobs that intend to serve the poorest people on globe who speak in Indian languages.

    Please Know: All private companies are required to check the competency of applicants in Estonian language spoken by about a million people and it is compulsory to produce copies of research papers in Ukrainian language that is used in higher education for the last two decades.  

        China can write in Chinese to Japanese government that in turn gets Japanese reply. But India and Pakistan cannot conduct peace talks or conduct diplomacy in Urdu which is a common language of both countries. So is in Nepali with Nepal, in Bengali with Bangladesh or in Tamil with Srilanka.

    Please Know: There are Catalan language centres in every university and hundreds of language volunteers teach it to foreign students in Catalonia that is nearer to Britain. Whereas spoken English centres are ubiquitous in every town in India to teach native students to speak in English to fellow language people.

        The United States Congress (equivalent to Indian parliament) observes under “India Diversity, use and policy” that “English continuous to serve as the language of prestige Efforts to switch to Hindi and other regional tongues encounter stiff opposition both from those who know English well and whose privileged position require proficiency on that tongue and from those who see it as a means of upward mobility” (country-data.com).

-   In USA, the largest native English speaking country in the world, all university education is provided in Spanish in its incorporated territory, Puerto Rico.

-    The Government of UK, the mother country of English promotes Welsh language and Scottish medium schools in its states Wales and Scotland respectively that have witnessed tremendous growth in recent years.

-   In Canada the third largest native English language country, French is the first language in its province Quebec and all documents have to be in French first.

The elite that dominate the academia and union bureaucracy in India juxtapose Indian languages with each other to thwart any effort in empowering Indian languages. Any transition, they claim that would lead to disaster in higher education without informing poor Indians that all countries that have made the transition are benefitting from increased access to knowledge.

-   The medium of instruction was changed from colonial languages to native languages in most of Asia from Israel, to Indonesia in 1950s.

-   In Iran and Afghanistan, the language of instruction was shifted from English to Farsi and Dari respectively after 1978 Islamic revolution in Iran and Soviet Occupation of Afghanistan.

-   All the soviet republics of Common Wealth of Independent states have migrated from Russian to native language countries despite high proportion of people knowing English and Russian presence.     

Students prefer Tamil medium ...... Engineering Part-time in Tamil medium
 

Bihar can do it. It has the potential. Single most important way to regain the last glory is not just banish Anglicism. But “Banish English”. It cannot be done without making the language of people medium of instruction in IITs, medical colleges and management institutes. The land of Ashoka and Buddha has to wake up to lead Indian renaissance. If it does, nothing can stop India becoming scientific super power.

Bright Boys

  Energetic Villages
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          Witness the kind of waste accumulating by learning in a foreign language. Does the government of Britain require the citizens to show proficiency in Chinese to become clerks in banks? Why should candidates in UPSC show proficiency in English to serve its own people. Please somebody should stop this madness of discrimination.

Pity Indian Youth

...... Pathetic Villages
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           The anglophile academics and policy makers in Anglophone countries perceive that lack of quality education is synonymous with lack of training in English, without even understanding the difference between using English and speaking English. While technologically advanced small countries such as Korea and Taiwan give importance to the use of English primarily to read and understand, India harps on speaking the language without contextualising the Indian linguistic environment. It is not more English but more Indian languages that will revolutionize education in India. The root cause for the backwardness of India is linguistic imperialism of english.South Asia has to empower Indian languages for development.


Read Malayalathinde Bhaavi-Bhasha Asoothranavum, Maanava Vikasanavum” (The Future of malayalam - Language Planning and Human Devolopment) in Malayalam written by K. Sethu Raman published by Maathrubhoomi Books for further details and analysis.