Churchill often boasted about how he ‘created‘ many nations in middle east while drinking wine on a beach. He just drew lines on the world map and nations like Palastine, Israel were created. Similarly British decided to divide India into two parts and we became two nations now three.
While reading V.S. Naipauls ‘An area of Darkness‘ I realized what people think of India. Moreover a nobel prize to that book meant that his opinions about India were accepted a facts. I also see the intellectuals in this country thanking the British as they ‘United’ our nation and gave it an identity. They claimed that India was not a nation before British came and we were just a group of people. They civilized us, they brought us under one flag, and they made us a nation. Same history is taught in our textbooks and our respectable leaders like Nehru has confirmed it time to time.
Educated people of India along with the elite intellectuals in my opinion are far aways from the actual India that exists all over. That is why they fail to understand why India is worlds oldest nation. These intellectuals are just Macauley’s offspring who described them in his Minute as “who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern; a class of persons, Indians in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect.”
Much before English people learnt ABCD India had worlds first university called Nalanda where people all around the world came to learn. Over time these universities fell pray to the barbaric attitude of Mulsim invaders and got destroyed. A conquest for knowledge was thus stopped but the institutions in India which taught in Sanskrit and Arabic continued to teach students Mathematics, Astronomy, Physics and Medicine as developed by Nalanda and Takshashila. It was discovered that what they were taught was out of date and they were not abreast with the latest developments in this field.
India had very strong background in these fields and was capable of developing this fields further in its own way if they were given the opportunity. However as stated above Macauley did not want scientists and scholars coming out of our education system so rather than encouraging the education system to improve and innovate over their existing knowledge he came up with an idea which was very evil. He preached that whatever Indian had learnt in past was too less was totally useless and the real knowledge existed only in the west. Indian mathematics, astronomy, physics and medicine was nothing but a big fraud and joke. India history consisted of Ocean of buttermilk and people half elephant and half man. Let us see what he says in his book Minute
“Who could deny that a single shelf of a good European library was worth the whole native literature of India and Arabia.” he continued “It is, I believe, no exaggeration to say that all the historical information which has been collected from all the books which have been written in Sanskrit language is less valuable than what may be found in the most paltry abridgment used preparatory schools in England.”
I do not say that Indian Science was as good as western but whatever we had was not borrowed from anyone. Our sciences essentially had their own fundamentals and methodologies. May it be mathematics or astronomy or philosophy it were an integral part of Indians and their way of life. As my 86 year old grand mother recollects every evening they recited all the math tables which extended not just upto 30 but also fractional tables. This tradition existed not due to Macauley’s system but long long before that as well. As I have confirmed similar tradition exhibited in remote parts of South India also. They use to call it ‘parvachaa’ they learn names of the planets, months etc etc. For such a society that looked at the process of learning as an integral part of their life, what education could have been provided by Macauley? I fear that to day when students learn math tables in their tuition classes they must be thinking that they were created by some European mathematician and I doubt the textbooks too state the same thing.
A reader might ask me “if Indians were not as described my Macauley. Why do today even our textbooks and intellectuals agree to what he said?” There is a very logical answer to this. During the muslim rule learning was considered to be traitorous and hence there were many limitation over learning also our brahmins kept the knowledge away from so called lower castes. British instead of identifying these problems and nurturing the existing system decided to invent a new system which could have enabled them to stay here for a loger period may be forever. They underestimated the strength of genes that we inherited from giants like Arybhatta, varahmihir and Cautilyaa which gave birth to Gandhi, Vivekananda and Aurobindo who enlightened the people.
Macauley coined the term called “scientific temper’ and “reason” which according to were new to the people who discovered Zero. His education which was first given to higher class people first broke all their relationship or acquaitance with the Indian knowledge. It made them wonder at the progress done by Europeans and stated that Indians lacked the Scientific temper and reason that is why they could not progress. The education made these people ignorant of what India has already discovered and stated that all that was CRAP and deserves a place in dustbin. First offspring of Macauley became editors journalists and politicians like Jawaharlal Neharu. The textbooks talked only about customs like Sati, Devdasi etc. they only showed how poor and bad Indians were on the other hand these textbooks showed how good and progressive were Europeans, how much equal status they gave to women and how decent they were. Indian history was full of slavery and foreign attacks. They did not mention who was Cautilya and his contribution to India. They did not speak what role was played by Nalanda or Takshahila in world. People will doubt today whether Nalanda is worth a mention in world history. These textbooks did not mention about slavery in Europe or America. They did mention about the exploitation of African by British. And what they think of Women is I believe not changed till today.
Macauleys partners were the chrisitian missionaries. It is worth a separate blog. But they worked hard to prove that Indian temples and customs were full of superstitius and Hindus were barbaric. When a Indian villagers bows to a tree or respects a cow it is called superstition. It is due to lack of scientific approach, it is because we are not civilized but when an American President is worried about health of his pet cat it is his love for animals. These customs taught us to be kind to nature and animal world. WWF is spending billions to teach it to Europeans today.
To come back to the point the education system developed an inf. complex among its products. Best example is that of Jawaharlal Nehru who publicly stated that he was ashamed to be a Hindu, which according to him was an uncivilized race. Today we see thousands and lakhs of people all aorund us who feel the same.
On the otherhand we can see Gandhi and Vivekananda who were the people who lived the essence of values we were supposed to inherit from our forefathers. That is why the Many who knew infinity Ramanujan could develop most complicated theorems without any formal education. Gandhi or Vivekanada could then clearly see the heart of our society. They could see the problems and could suggest solutions to it. Being educated they did not think that they were different from the poor villagers nor they thought they were wiser than them. They saw the commonness and oneness in all of them. That is why they could influence the whole nation including everyone.
If you have noticed any fad and fashion that is invented in Europe America come to our country after three years and we begin to appreciate it. May it be Rock Music or Remixes. Worse, accepting those fads is termed as being progressive or in other words being more civilized. Saying Namaste is a symbol of backwardness and saying hi is very modern and civilized. That is our mentality. If we see the IT industry the freshers are taught how to talk in American Accent how to eat at the dining table and how to present your visiting card. These are termed as manners. It donâ€™t think any American learns this by taking a course. So it means they are well mannered from birth and we are manner less so we have to take a course in that. SO shameful is the current situation in India that even our government has seen a need to call it self Progressive hence United Progressive allaiance.
To summarize I feel the Indian education System is useless if India has to become a Knwoledge based society the way it was many years back. Only that nation will retain its identity who knows itself well and is capable of maintaining it unique nature. If that is to be done every Indian product and service including education needs to be Indianized to a large extent.