Every two weeks a language disappears
I read the other day a column by Mr.H.Y.Sharadaprasad,the longtime press secretary to Indira Gandhi.
The title of the article is: what is the future for Indian languages? He was writing about the Kannada language and literature. Kannada language, among the Indian languages, is considered (by Kannada enthusiast at least)as the most vigorous and powerful language.Reasons? It got, among other things, seven Jnanpeeth awards, its literature, prose, poetry, theatre are as active any other language literatures.
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How to define education?
Recently there was this news from Delhi. Mr.Amar Singh,the Samajwadi leader was denied admission to his twin grand daughters in a prestigious school in Delhi.The private schools in Delhi,as readers unfamiliar with the Delhi education sociology must know,is run like a mafia-type big money operation!
Yes,this is the Delhi society’s school fantasy I am talking about. Readers all over the country must have heard of when the Delhi public school boy who was caught in the pornographic video clipping that was put on the now infamous Internet portal and whose high profile(IIT-educated?) CEO was arrested,along with the boy who indulged in this operation.
The NDTV conducted a high visible debate in which all the prominent Delhi educators took part.The ugly rich and the ugly power brokers who make up the Delhi power elite were all now the core elements in the Delhi education sociology! Now, back to the redoubtabe Amar Singh episode! Mr.Amar Singh was rightly indignant at this outrage for the one reason, the concerned school’s president is the wife of the incumbent Cabinet Secretary.
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India’s big breakthrough in technological skills now!
Yes, this is no exaggeration! Indians now seem to be achieving highest world class skills in a variety of technological skills.
There is now a revolution unprecedented. I mean the IT revolution. A new generation of highly skilled engineering graduates, a few lakhs, who have transformed into a software super power. Of course, the industry leaders like Narayanamurthy had cautioned us, pointing out we are still a miniscule software exporter, considering the world market. China’s IT export is to touch 200 billion dollars! But the point is that this achievement, reached so far, had transformed the minds and imaginations of the new generation.
India is now the “call centre” of the world, the 1,00,000 young men and women are earning in figures what their elders couldn’t have imagined all their government service jobs, just a generation ago.
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Should we teach patriotism? Rich schools, or schools, urban schools, rural schools; Schools exist in isolation and what binds the Indian schools?
What minimum programme for Indian schools? Regional and language chauvinism had destroyed an Indian identity in the youth .We need some loud thinking, identify the regional politicians who divided the Indian mind and injected the new divisions of regions, castes and prejudices. Schools have to teach patriotism and a sense of Indian identity in every young man and young woman. A sense of secularism and a new sense of belonging to the larger world.
U.R.Ananthamurthy, the noted Kannada writer and thinker, in a recent interview says that the concept of Karnataka was never something that would make it an independent nation apart from India but a part of India. More significantly he notes that Kannada writers never imagined themselves as writing in a regional language but an Indian language. So, the great writers did, Kuvempu, Bendre, Sivarama Karanth and others. The great irony is that some of these who won the Jnanpith awards for writing in Kannada had their mother tongue other than Kannada! Bendre, Marathi, Masthi, Tamil!
But can we say the same thing or express the same sentiments in, say Tamil Nadu or Maharashtra? We can’t. C.N.Annadurai, the founder of the DMK, first advocated a separate State! Then, he abandoned but the damage he had done continued to blight the Tamil mind. Today, the very Dravidian politics revolves around an unspoken assumption of a separate Tamil nationhood. Given the sort of politicians who came after Anna, these politicians had taken the Tamil people to the lowest common denominator, be it patriotism or love of mother tongue or even certain minimum in political morals. The same Ananthamurthy says that Kanndigas now define themselves as Bangaloreans or more and more with a caste or a region and this is a great pity. But then this is the current trend in Indian education spread and growing awareness of the world.
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Our leaders must understand the young generations mood
Yes, the CPI (M) Politbureau that met in New Delhi recently saw the West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee clashing with his colleagues over the need for banningany strikes in the IT sector in the State. West Bengal under the this now wise CM is trying to get out of a stagnant phase that was started by no less a veteran Communist than the venerable Jyoti Basu. Basu was also present along with the new boss, Prakash Karat, the more bourgeois type middle class urbane Communist.
What was shocking is that these highly dedicated and also highly off-tract men had the gumption to say that IT is not an essential service!
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