The Dominance of Angreziyat (English) in Our Education

The Dominance of Angreziyat in Our Education

Destroying Minds and Skills: The Dominance of Angreziyat in Our Education
By Madhu Kishwar

Societies which have put vast amounts of energy and thinking into providing good quality education and opportunities for acquiring diverse skills for their people are today not only prosperous but also well ordered. We seem to have done the very opposite. On the one hand our policy makers have helped destroy through wilful neglect and contempt the vast reservoir of indigenous skills and knowledge systems acquired and nurtured over centuries by our own people. On the other hand they have failed to create a viable system for the acquisition of modern skills and education for all those who are abandoning their traditional occupations. Consequently, it is not just corruption but also sheer incompetence which is leading to a breakdown in our society.

The New Colonisers

So far the world knows India primarily as a country which has earned the dubious distinction of producing the largest number of illiterate people in the world. In the next 50 years we will also be able to claim that we are among the distinguished few nations of the world which has the largest number of people illiterate in their own mother tongue! By retaining English as the medium of elite education, professions and government functioning, even after being formally freed from colonial rule, we have ensured that the schism that was deliberately created by our colonial rulers between the English-educated elite and the rest of society has grown even further and acquired deadly dimensions. A hundred years ago our intelligentsia, even when it learnt English, still remained rooted in its respective regional languages and mother tongues. Tagore knew English but chose to write in Bengali, thereby nurturing his language as well as the overall intellectual climate of Bengal. Likewise, Mahatma Gandhi could express complex ideas in English more simply, elegantly and effectively than most British. Yet he wrote with even better grace in Gujarati and even Hindustani. However, the great-grandchildren of our Tagores, Ranades, Premchands and Gandhis are today all writing mostly in English. Worse still, even our scriptures and ancient literary texts are read by our educated elite mainly in English. Consequently, the mental, emotional and intellectual colonisation has proceeded with greater rigour and pace in post-Independence India than during colonial rule. The brown sahibs of the British era spoke English only in office. The brown sahibs of today have let English become their language for love making, talking to their infant children and even scolding their pet dogs!

However, this does not mean that they have acquired enough proficiency in the language for it to act as an effective instrument of knowledge aqcuisition and communication. Far from it. Teaching quality is so poor even in our English-medium schools that, barring a few exceptional institutions, too many of our students are ill-equipped to make sense of even newspaper reports, leave alone read serious books in English. The few who have a good command over the English language consequently behave and get treated like an imperial race, and the others who cannot are viewed as a sub-human species. The former are largely cut off from the lives, feelings, problems and aspirations of the non-English knowing population. Their aspirations are directed either towards migrating abroad or attempting to create small pockets of affluence for themselves so that while being situated, for example, in New Delhi, they can pretend they are living in New York.

In well-functioning societies, the educated elite tend to provide intellectual leadership to the rest of the society. In our case, our colonised intelligentsia is so alienated from its own people that it has made our society resemble a body whose head has been severed from its torso. However, the head is arrogant enough to pretend it can manage on its own. In reality, both are rotting, the headless body and the bodiless head.

This communication gap exists not just between the different strata of society but also within families. The elderly, especially grandparents, have traditionally played an important role in the socialisation of children, giving them sanskars and an initiation into their community’s culture, values and knowledge systems. Today’s English-educated children tend to treat their non-English speaking relatives as ignorant and illiterate. Tarzan comics and cartoon films are taken more seriously than grandmother’s stories. Thus the future generations of the educated minority may be more information-rich about computers and business opportunities, but will grow up lacking wisdom which can best be imbibed from a close intergenerational interaction.

This dual system of education has taken away so many opportunities from the vast mass of our people that the new generation which is being denied good quality English education is going to grow up feeling even more demoralised, incompetent and inferior than the present cohort. In the next few decades, as India integrates more with the global economy, the lifestyles of the Indian elite will become even more alienated from the rest of the people. Since the moneyed elite of today flaunt their opulence more and more before the deprived through television, cinema and even the print media, the anger and rage of those excluded are going to get far more explosive than at present. They will avenge themselves in the Laloo Yadav way through politics. A person who knows no English at all is virtually unemployable except as a peon or labourer. However, he/she can, like Phoolan Devi, become an M.P., or like Yadav, hope to become a Chief Minister and get power and money through politics because he/she cannot hope to get it through education and talent.

Deskilling of India

The tragedy we have created for our society through this educational policy is of epic proportions. India was not too long ago known the world over for its industrial skills and crafts. Indian steel was world famous and so much in demand that ancient Roman historians are known to have expressed concern that their coffers were getting emptied buying steel swords (and silks) from India. Our architectural tradition created many more wonders than the famous Taj Mahal, the temples of Khajuraho and Konarak, perhaps more than the rest of the world put together. Our weavers produced fabrics which have been the envy of the world for centuries. Our craftsmen produced jewellery, icons and art objects which are unparalleled in beauty of design and exquisite workmanship. Yet none of our engineering colleges would condescend to admit sons of lohars even as students, leave alone teachers, in their metallurgy departments. This, when their practical knowledge, honed through centuries of practising that craft would be far superior to that of our formal degree holders. Why? Because they do not have the English education necessary for “studying” today’s science and technology books.

Likewise, our traditional sthapathis who inherited the skills required to design and make architectural wonders like the Jantar Mantar, the beautiful ancient temples, havelis and palaces found in every corner of India — that too made with environment-friendly materials — have no place in modern colleges of architecture. They have been degraded to the level of masons, mistris and labourers at the lowest rung of our building industry only because they do not have access to English-medium public schools. Similarly, our traditional weavers capable of designing and making fabrics of a spectacular variety, do not find jobs as textile designers and engineers in the modern factories because they could never hope to get the degrees required for those jobs. Our agricultural universities can be blissfully ignorant about the vast knowledge reservoir of our farmers whose produce — long staple cotton, varieties of spices and fruits, wheat and rice — have eager buyers in the world market. Their knowledge of food storage, soil conservation, use of safe pesticides, biodiversity and medicinal values of plants has hardly any takers in the scientific establishment because they cannot write research papers in English. We learn to value neem and turmeric only when the international scientific community endorses their many wondrous qualities.

Thus, by making English education the hallmark of qualification for careers, we have marginalised and impoverished all those who carried the rich legacies of our traditional skills and technologies. We have destroyed the self-respect of the majority of our people, making them feel worthless and despised. All we are giving by way of “social justice” to a few among these deprived millions is reserving a few thousand government jobs of peons and clerks.

The children of these skilled technologists are deserting their inherited occupation at a rapid speed because they earn pitiful wages in them. The makers of Kanjeevaram sarees would rather have their children get a peon’s job in a government office. Children of our traditional metallurgists have taken to menial unskilled jobs like rickshaw-pulling and street vending. Those who merely buy and sell gold, make crores of rupees, but a skilled goldsmith, after 20 years of being on the job, even in a city like Delhi, would not be earning more than Rs. 3,500 a month. A bank clerk earns at least four times as much. His only advantage: he has acquired a smattering of the English language.

When sons of skilled weavers turn rickshaw-pullers, children of sthapthis become bus drivers, and skilled shipbuilders take to vegetable vending, it amounts to a genocide of skills. Stalin destroyed the economic base of his country by physically exterminating the peasantry in the name of collectivisation. We may not have physically killed our farmers and other skilled groups, but we have, by undermining their skills and knowledge, destroyed their self-respect, marginalised them economically and destroyed their capacity to compete by making English the magic key which opens the doors to opportunity. If we take away the disadvantages that ignorance of English brings with it, our traditional technologists — ironsmiths, weavers, carpenters, sthapathis and other metallurgists — would fare much better in gaining entrance to scientific and engineering institutions as well as in the world of manufacturing.

The Costs of Neglect

The entire society is paying for this crime. Our modern architects functioning with borrowed knowledge make unlivable and ugly buildings and homes. Our modern offices need to use artificial lights even in broad daylight in a country where sunshine is abundant. There is no provision for ventilation, with windows sealed for air conditioning in a country where power breakdown is a daily occurrence. All these stupid buildings result from simply copying designs from western books and magazines. Our Ambanis and Singhanias produce fabrics whose designs are either straight copies of western designs or so garish that their own wives would not be seen dead in those sarees. In fact, they are seen proudly wearing the “ethnic chic” produced by our traditional weavers. It is not a coincidence that only the products of our illiterate or semi-educated, poor artisans have eager buyers in the international market. India’s foreign exchange earnings come primarily from exporting cottage crafts, handloom textiles, traditional jewellery, leather goods, handmade fabrics, spices, raw cotton, mangoes, basmati rice and other farm produce.

It is our traditional artisans’ products which act as reminders that we were once a great civilisation. The famous iron pillar of Qutab Minar in Delhi made centuries ago by our traditional lohars still stands proudly without rusting or corroding. The steel being produced by our modern degree-holders is of such poor standard that even the not too quality-conscious Railway Ministry has alleged that tracks made of SAIL steel crack up and corrode within months of installation, causing numerous rail accidents. Temples and houses made by our traditional sthapathis have withstood the ravages of centuries. Even as ruins, they look aesthetic and grand. The housing colonies designed and constructed by our modern degree-holding architects look like eyesores from the day they are built and start falling apart before they are occupied.

The modern sector of our economy is not an earner but a guzzler of foreign exchange. Our industries have become a dead weight on our economy and dare not face international competition. They are either grovelling for government protection or foreign collaborations — often both, and yet not able to put their act together. This is the reward our western educated elite get for treating their own people like colonial subjects. There was a time when only the West treated us with derision and contempt. Today, even our Asian neighbours laugh at the pretensions of our educated elite. The Japanese, Chinese and Korean elites may not speak as good English as the products of our Doon School and St. Stephen’s, but they communicate much better with the world and are more respected in international fora than our self-styled representatives. After all, what do they represent? Grovelling poverty, mass illiteracy, a sickly malnourished population, a rich land turned into one of the worst environmental disasters, an inefficient and corrupt government! And it’s a callous elite which does not even believe in sharing a language with its own people, leave alone wealth and education. Today, we are merely ridiculed and spurned in international forums, treated as pompous failures and self-righteous beggars. If we continue in the same manner, we will be treated as virtual untouchables by the rest of the world. Our leaders will be put through quarantine before being allowed to attend international meetings for fear that they may be carrying the many deadly disease germs India is so famous for. Today, our educated elite laugh at and express disdain for the likes of Laloo Yadav, his rustic manners, his dehati accent, his strong-arm tactics, his semi-literate wife brought in as a dummy Chief Minister. If we don’t start fixing our education system immediately, we will be saddled only with such tragi-comic figures for our leaders. Our Chidambarams and Jaswant Singhs might as well forget about coming to political power through the electoral route. After all, a man like I. K. Gujral could not win a seat in the parliament on his own strength. He has to be beholden to Laloo Yadav for his present seat and to Akali Dal for winning his previous election.

From Clerks to Peons

Actually, the problem is not just that the educated elite are divorced and alienated from their country’s people. Our education system is poor even from the point of view of the elite themselves. The British are accused of having introduced a system of education designed primarily to promote an army of clerks, Indian in colour, but English in habits, tastes and values. They at least functioned to a purpose and produced efficient clerks. However, our post-Independence schools and colleges are not even producing clerks, but people whose skills don’t qualify them for anything more than a peon’s job. The following extract from a letter we received from the secretary of an NGO gives an idea of the communication skills of our college educated:

   Yours consolidary and collaboration may kindly be solution to the [XYZ] Yuvak Sangha.… Which works in the filed of education, Adult Education, pre School Health and Family Planing. Forest and Environment to check the Environment polltion, Sport and cultural activities, Social developments, Women development, Youth activities and tribal development etc.

    For the wide spread functioning of the above said activities. The organisation seeks your concolidation and collboration in the above said activities. If your organisation is going land with hand.

    Intimation maybe requested to Yours sincerely, XYZ

Many of our court judgements similarly sound like total gibberish. The following sample is an extract from a judgement by a session’s judge in a case of child sexual abuse:

    Besides all these, how it seems to be unnatural that the thing for concealing to which the accused was hiding himself here and there and was frightened in coming home, on call only he came to the house, on coming not before anybody else, except before those persons who were bent upon to punish him immediately and further were furious on him and tried to assault him, and who chould have sent him in jail for the statement givenby him against himself, has confessed before them his offence willingly. In the back ground of this, the accused who is not only literate but is doctor and is living in the present atmosphere, and confession of such offence by him in this manner seems to be unnatural in itself… More unnatural to these all is the confession of the offence before his father which he made before his father… in presence of five persons stated above. The family of the accused is also the family of the learned persons. On account of the last night’s incident they would have not become purturbed rather they had so much time they would have come under the influence of the shock as of the family of Madan Gopal Kakkar and would have thought of the saving themselves, and out of them atleast one would have been who would have not admitted the offence again. In this way the story of confession of the offence by the prosecution by the family of Kakkar and Bhasin family is wholly unnatural, fabricated, and product of legal advice. This could not at all be trusted.

One can well imagine what brilliant grasp of law such a linguistic genius would have acquired. This particular judgement, in fact reads as if the honourable judge neither knows nor respects the ABC of law. It is not surprising that he went out of his way to exonerate a medical doctor accused of child rape.

Very few of our policemen know how to register an F.I.R. in legible hand leave alone one that is factually accurate and grammatically correct. Their ignorance of the law is frightening though expected. Their low educational skills make it virtually impossible for them to read and understand even bare acts leave alone legal treatises in antiquated Victorian English. But they take no time to pick up those provisions of law which help them fleece money. A linguistic analysis of the petitions filed by our lawyers even at higher levels, leave alone district courts, reads like products of a deranged brain. Here is an extract from an F.I.R. drafted by a Chennai lawyer in a murder case:

…two members going to received the money…at the Time of medicine of mind effect and drinking methyl Alcohol for compulsory husband over drinking..This person Elumalai over drinking and tired staying my house. Again Drinking of Methyl Slcohol for my husband. After my husband wanted meals please take it by Anunchalam. But overtake of again and again attacked the Neg. Suddenly my husand Rolled to Land and earth. Retenched husband again and again attacked. Over attack for snag for my husband place…Husband sounded stoned some place. Ramaraja…warming Drinking of person attack for Arunchalam unattack of call to go and Sang removed…Five members joined attacked for my husband Head, mouth nose, attacked things of goods for stones. Some place suddenly number of husband…

    My husband’s sister Lands of aggiculture lands buying try to Arunchalam. But my husband overtake same Land buying my husband another sister’s husband for 9 months. The problem dated warning for my husbands dated 27th April 1993 murder to my husband. The 5 members of speeches of my husband murder to doing ease for you. Also warning for me. My husband murders above 5 members promised. Related persons but deployed for me. Department of police something rupees alloted for received anybody. No action and Responses.

    Respected Sir, this problem solved for me. The murder of my husband and brother Annamalai warning. Enquired for the problems solved please, Sir, Thanking you…[XYZ]

Linguistic Cripples

I hear similar gibberish even in elite business chambers and ministerial pronouncements. Most of us Indians sound mentally retarded when we propound our ideas in English. We are today becoming a nation of linguistic cripples which is an important reason why the work calibre of our professionals is so shoddy. A person who cannot handle any language competently is unlikely to be able to handle concepts or ideas required to think things through. Most of even our MBBS doctors are so poorly equipped in English that they cannot possibly follow the latest medical information already available in international journals even if they are inclined to access it. Therefore, too many of them practise quackery after having procured medical degrees of doubtful worth.

While we are churning out millions of unemployable matriculates, B.A.s and M.A.s, the country is facing a real shortage of skilled electricians, plumbers and a host of such technicians because we are simply not investing any money or energy into this area. Under our traditional occupation-based caste system, every child picked some or the other valuable skill from his parents, a skill which had been developed and perfected through generations. Today, everybody wants to be a white-collar pen pusher because that alone brings status and money. Only those who cannot make it, take to blue-collar occupations, but without the required skills for them. The electrical wirings in our public buildings are a virtual death trap; our water treatment plants are a scandal; our power stations are forever breaking down, our municipal sewage pipes frequently leak into water pipes. Most of those actually operating these services could not spell the word “hygiene” leave alone know how to provide a clean water supply. The fault is not theirs. The children of our impoverished farmers and artisans learn what they can by simply watching other ill-trained people. Their own educational skills are not such that they can acquire this knowledge through self-study.

Our colonial rulers could at least run their exclusive enclaves efficiently and provide functional civic amenities for Civil Lines areas. Our post-Independence elite cannot even ensure clean water supply or regular electricity in the opulent and exclusive New Delhi areas. Frequent tragedies like mid-air collisions of planes, collapse of newly-built bridges, breakouts of fire in public buildings, power breakdowns, dysfunctional telephones and general civic chaos are as much the products of sheer incompetence and inefficiency as they are the offshoots of corruption.

Destroying Minds

Thus while our policy makers have destroyed the traditional skills of our people, they have denied them good quality modern education and opportunities for acquiring new skills necessary for running today’s economies. The sarkari school system meant for the poor is a mockery in the name of education. These schools function mainly to provide naukris for the teachers and a host of babus of various grades who man our education departments and ministries. Consequently, there is very little teaching going on in them today. The little that happens is of such poor quality that anyone who has gone through 11-12 years of that exercise has for all practical purposes become a dysfunctional human being, and is unlikely to be able to think coherently on any subject except those areas of life not touched by school education. To top it all, they acquire contempt for any manual work. A son of a farmer or lohar who has studied up to matriculation or B.A. is likely to despise his father’s occupation even while he himself is skilled for no other, and therefore, likely to end up adding to the large army of unemployable youth.

Among the many very saddening exposures to how our schools are destroying brains, I would like to cite one. While I was on a visit to Vitner village of Maharashtra some years ago, the people there proudly introduced me to a teenage boy as the brightest and most diligent student of that village. I asked him to write an essay on himself and the boy sat down dutifully to do the exercise. After about 45 minutes, he brought a two-page neatly written essay on Mahatma Gandhi. I was puzzled and asked him why he didn’t write about himself. Somewhat embarrassed he told me that they had not “taught” him to write on “that topic” in school. If this is what our school system is doing to our brightest and most hard-working, we can well imagine the fate of our not-so-bright and less-than-average students.

I have been experiencing the products of this devastation year after year in the Delhi University college where I teach. As with that village student, my first assignment to even my B.A. students is an essay on themselves. Most of them (except the few from really well-functioning schools) look as bewildered as that village boy and many simply cannot write more than 6-7 lines that do not go beyond giving the student’s name, father’s occupation, the area he/she lives in and a couple of other identification points. Their excuse is the same: this topic was never a part of their curriculum. Over the years only a handful have given me something resembling an essay. This was the case even though many of them came from non-sarkari schools.

Even our private sector in education functions abysmally because of the very low standards set by government schools. Most of the private schools, especially those that have mushroomed in small towns and villages are worse than teaching shops because, for all the money they charge, they give students very little in return.

Brain Drain

Nehruvian socialism has wrecked our economy with its policy of nurturing the supposed commanding heights of our economy by exploiting and depressing the farm sector and other segments of the vast unorganised sector. Its counterpart in education was the belief that a handful of institutions like Mayo College and St. Stephen’s will provide us the talent to run our entire society and economy for one billion people. The result is there for all to see. The few talented people this country produces are desperate to find a foothold in foreign countries largely because they feel threatened and choked by the inefficiency and corruption all around.

If we do not begin to put our act together in the field of education, think beyond a few elite schools and colleges, and aspire to high quality secondary level education for every child in this country and opportunities for acquiring real skills, in a few years we will need to start thinking of importing skilled manpower and well-trained professionals to run even our basic services and civil amenities, as well as our universities and colleges, perhaps even our primary schools.

Our leaders have given us a sickly legacy of substituting ideology for ideas, using radical rhetoric as a substitute for sensible politics. We, the educated elite, not only swallowed phoney rhetoric avidly but were deeply mesmerised by it as long as it was being mouthed in the correct Oxonian English. Today, when Laloo Yadav or Rabri Devi use similar rhetoric of “social justice” we feel outraged because they are speaking in dehati tones that we so despise. No democracy can be made to function meaningfully by a tiny informed elite who shut out all information and knowledge from others by speaking, reading and writing in a language no one outside their charmed circle understands.

Those who feel convinced that the country can’t manage without English should at least have the good sense to ensure that it becomes the language of mass literacy and education, and that there are enough schools and teachers available to provide quality English education to our people. Today’s ruling elite may not know how to manage our economy and society, but at least can appear as respectable suited-booted beggars before IMF and the World Bank and do a bit of crisis management. Tomorrow’s ministers and bureaucrats will not even know how to write a coherent letter to various aid agencies asking to be bailed out. Fifty years from now we might have to hire foreigners to beg on our behalf just as today we hire western professionals to lobby with foreign governments because our diplomats know little diplomacy.

Dependent Yet Estranged: My Growing Discomfort with English

This article will look strange coming from someone who earns her living teaching English literature, does most of her writing in English, edits Manushi in English, and could not keep alive its Hindi edition for more than nine years.

Closing Hindi Manushi was a source of great grief for me. Its publication had to be suspended because we could neither mobilise enough subscriptions for it nor get good writing to fill up its pages. As long as it survived, the Hindi Manushi lived off the English edition. Most of the articles were translated from the English edition; its printing and related costs were also subsidised from the funds mobilised by the English edition. Had we kept it going longer, it would have killed the English edition as well.

However, this set back with the Hindi edition cannot simply be attributed to Manushi’s failure. The last 15 years have seen the progressive collapse and closure of almost all serious magazines in Hindi — Dinman, Dharmyug, Saptahik Hindustan, Sarika, Ravivar and so on. Even a half serious magazine like Vama could not be kept alive by the Hindi world. Many small magazines in Hindi were started, but died prematurely. Today, apart from Hans which is indeed an important and serious literary forum for the Hindi readers, the market is dominated by magazines that cater to the needs of housewives or supply gossip about film stars or semi-pornographic sensation mongering types of glossies.

We too could have kept Hindi Manushi going if we had opened our doors to grants from the government or international aid agencies. However, I am convinced that the long-term consequences of taking that route are more harmful, even though in the short run it seems to pay off. Hindi and other regional languages will become vehicles for serious thinking, learning, analysis, higher education and planning only if English is put in its proper place, as a language of communication and understanding developments in different countries of the world, a language for accessing the latest in science and technology. The Chinese, Japanese, Thais, the Koreans and the Germans all use English in that way without becoming slaves of it as we have become.

I came to understand the full implications of the great harm being done by the dominating position of English in India as I went through the process of acquiring proficiency in it. For all my English-based education, I find myself a linguistic cripple. Even today, despite years of working in it, writing or even speaking in English does not come easily to me. I make all kinds of silly mistakes and find myself groping for words, unable to fully express my ideas and thoughts in English. I rarely make such mistakes when I write or speak in Hindi or Punjabi. English has not become the language of my dreams, my prayers or even humour. I find it really hard to crack a joke in English. At the same time it has seriously impaired my ability to write in Hindi or my mother tongue, Punjabi because most of the information giving material on important issues as well as literary writings from other languages are available only in English. Hindi and regional languages starve for want of such material.

As someone educated in English-medium public schools, I too grew up thinking that the English language opened many new windows to the world, and took for granted a whole range of new opportunities it provided to those of us who acquired some skill in using it. Yet, I was not prepared to downgrade learning Hindi as well as my mother tongue, Punjabi in the way our school system encouraged us to do. For instance, we were given black marks every time any of us was caught speaking in Hindi. I got golden stars for everything else, but persevered in earning occasional black stars for relapsing into Hindi while conversing with friends. This was still the way convent and other elite schools operated, even when the days of Irish nuns were over and we were being taught by South Indian “sisters”. This discouragement was institutionalised in other ways too. As a school affiliated to the Indian School Certificate system modelled after the British Senior Cambridge exam system, we were offered a choice of “lower” or “higher” Hindi on reaching class IX. The lower Hindi course was the obvious choice of all my classmates because it was absurdly easy — as though designed to give a smattering of knowledge of Hindi to a foreign tourist. Therefore, it was easy to score high in it for those who had a working knowledge of Hindi. I insisted on opting for higher Hindi even though my school refused to provide me a teacher for the relatively far more difficult course. From class IX to XII, I studied Hindi on my own, and scored very well despite lack of any guidance.

Even before this option of “lower” Hindi was offered to us, I was among the very few in my class — perhaps the only one — who chose to read serious Hindi literature for pleasure while most of my classmates swooned over Mills and Boon romances or “school girl” comics. That made one feel somewhat isolated, but I did not think much of it nor aggravated myself over the issue. Till then I saw studying or reading Hindi a matter of personal choice and did not interpret its downgrading as a serious political issue. In fact, I enjoyed reading English literature as well, and opted for the English Honours course when I joined Miranda House as a B.A student. It was then that I was first jolted into recognising the many harmful effects of the dominance of the English language in our society. Our school had a somewhat homogenous population. Virtually every child came from middle or upper middle-class families, and somewhat similar cultural backgrounds. Therefore, intermixing was easy and smooth.

In Miranda House, I experienced for the first time the bringing together of a relatively heterogeneous group of people with enormous differences in their family’s income and educational levels, cultural background and social status. We had students from extremely affluent, westernised, high status families brought to study under the same roof with daughters of bus conductors, small shopkeepers, clerks, scooter drivers, low level government employees, and even wealthy merchants. The divide was not merely economic, but also cultural. The symbol of that divide was the English language. It was not enough that you be able to speak and write in English — the accent in which you spoke, the slang you used, the kind of school you learnt your English in mattered much more than being a diligent student, just as the neighbourhood you lived in and the social status of your family mattered much more than how you performed in class. The contempt of the English-speaking elite for the Hindi speaking “behenjis” of Miranda House and their near total refusal to have any interaction with the latter was far more deadly than the inequities of the traditional caste system. These new Brahmins were more arrogant and far less useful for our society. They behaved as though India was a little island off the coast of England. Too many of them were outraged when, as President of the Miranda House Union, I began to address all general body meetings in Hindi and conduct most of the Union business in Hindi.

The manner in which English literature was taught and the attitudes sought to be inculcated through it left me thoroughly disgruntled. But since our university system is not flexible enough to allow switching courses mid-way I had to stay stuck. After my B.A, I tried changing to history, but my application was not entertained because I had not studied History up to then. It was only after getting my Master’s degree in English that I could secure admission in M.A. History. But in well-functioning universities, even Indian History is taught only in English. Our ancient India expert, an internationally famous historian, was proficient in neither Sanskrit nor any other Indian languages — modern or ancient.

My job as a teacher of English literature in a Delhi University college has only deepened my conviction that the domination of English is causing enormous damage to the people of our country. It is systematically undermining their self-confidence. For example, most of my students have very poor skills in the English language; most of them cannot function efficiently in it, leave alone use it as a vehicle of creative thinking. At the same time, they have almost stopped reading anything even vaguely worthwhile in their respective mother tongues because acquiring skills in those languages brings no reward. None of my English honours students this year was even aware of the Tulsi, Balmiki or any other literary versions of the Ramayana though they had seen Ramanand Sagar’s TV Ramayan. Their knowledge of English literature is confined to reading and mugging up guide books. Not one of them has seen or used a standard literary text. They could not follow those texts without help, even if they tried. If six poems of Donne or Shelley are prescribed in their course, they will never read a seventh even from the guide book.

Thus the system has effectively destroyed their intellectual curiosity and undermined their own linguistic and cultural identity. They know only khichri Hinglish. Lack of deep roots in any language has impaired their ability to handle ideas, nuanced thoughts, or even emotional, cultural complexities. Consequently, the thing is put in neat watertight categories of moral vs. immoral, good vs. bad. They have forgotten how to ask serious intellectual questions and, therefore, are not likely to find answers.

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131 responses to “The Dominance of Angreziyat (English) in Our Education

  1. JSA

    Minimal but good. It’s a shame that in our country we are not giving enough importance to our own languages. Consider the scientific and technological professions. Despite being the major language of science being in English, the other major non-English speaking nations in the west teach the subjects in their own languages eg. France, Germany, Israel, Russia etc. And they have produced eminent scientists as well. India needs a total revamp in the educational system with focusing more on these issues taking apt contributions from English, Sanskrit and the native languages.

  2. It’s true. When I look at the comments on the Times of India, I see Indians trying to write their comments in english and (not all, of course) failing miserably to get across what they want to say. Of course, they could write in Hindi, but then non-Indians (such as myself) would have no way understanding, unless they have mastered Hindi to some extent. To a lesser degree, we have the same problem in Canada between the french and the english populations, with the french representing only about 25% of Canada’s population. This creates some anguish for the french-Canadians and encourages conflict. At the present time, english is effectively the international language. However, this is a big disadvantage to those whose first language is not english. And for those who choose to really study and master english, they become susceptible to absorbing the beliefs and values associated with another culture, while losing contact with their own. I think that this is a big part of the problem with India’s intelligencia. They have become anglicized and lost contact with their roots. Being ignorant or their roots, they become arrogant and turn against their own traditions and values. I think Modi is right to speak publicly only in India’s national language. He is setting a good example for Indians. It also generates respect from other nations.

    • Nanu Asari

      Ha, Ha, Ha. Didn’t you know that Modi doesn’t know how to speak in English??- you white moron.

      • Indian Realist

        So speaking in English make people somewhat sophisticated, eh?

        • IndianOcean

          Throughout India people have this mentality that adding more english words in their mother tongue makes them more sophisticated, a push up in their society, imaginary feel of respect, and satisfaction of their own ego. We need to change this mentality among our Indian society.

      • Well, my angry little Nanu, if Modi doesn’t speak any english, I say, ‘All power to him.’ He is certainly not obligated, nor should any Indian be obligated to speak english. There are plenty of good translators in the world to provide transcripts of speeches in almost any language.

  3. A very revealing post. As a wannabe student of English literature myself, I was asked to write an essay explaining why I wanted to study the subject. Although I wasn’t aware of the politics of language in the way I am now, as far as I remember, I mentioned something about the expedience of knowing and by extension using the “global language of power” for a career.

    Having said that, I can sense two distinct causes for concern: The power equation in favour of a specific language de-glamorizes other languages to the extent that the other languages appear to be less sophisticated and less rewarding in terms of financial and social standing.

    This of course has far-reaching implications in that the languages not perceived to be a manifestation of power tend to be used less widely; the elite of the society jettison it; writers, thinkers, and academicians switch to the language of power, adding more nails to its coffin. The growing irrelevance of vernacular languages on the internet is an example of this syndrome. Take wordpress as an example – it’s Bengali script is so erronous and difficult to use that I have given up the idea of writing in Bangla, my native language. And this trend is going to continue, unless we find a way of having this market-driven economy asking for vernacular works/objects/media created for mass consumptions.

    Now that’s a tall ask. And I don’t see it happening quickly; at least not as quickly as the decline seems to be setting in.

    Another aspect typical to India is that the language of power has had violent turns and twists in its more than 3000 years’ history. Just like all our official documents are perforce written and maintained in English and Hindi (and in vernaculars in some cases esp. in police FIRs), not too long ago the language of power in India was Persian. And while the elite spoke Persian (Non-Islamic elites knew both Persian and Sanskrit in addition to their native tongues) the common people found a way of dealing with the foreign hordes by slowly, painstakingly, creating “Urdu” — the language born amongst the soldiers of the Delhi Sultans and Mughals who had to find a common diction for communication. I only see this Anglophilia (as a conniver, this is hardly comfortable for me) as an extension of our history.
    of being a colonised people.

    Sorry about the length of the comment. You’ve touched the right chords.

    • OM

      Anglophilia (An Anglophile is a person who is fond of English culture or, more broadly, British culture, Its antonym is Anglophobe)???
      The term is not usually ( or should not be) associated with citizens of Commonwealth nations (the former British Empire), although these countries share many aspects of culture and history with the UK. Occasionally, it is used to describe the adherence to the culture of the wider Anglo sphere such as the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zea land.
      Sanskrit is more sophisticated than English,it is easy for Indians (or Bengali i.e. you).

      • nitha

        @OM,
        Another term “Anglosphere” is a neologism ( a neologism is a newly coined term, word, or phrase, that may be in the process of entering common use, but has not yet been accepted into mainstream language) which refers to a set of English speaking nations with a similar cultural heritage, based upon their source in colonial settlement by populations originating from Anglo-Saxon England and its Celtic neighboring populations within the British .
        There are three categories of Anglosphere:-

        Category (1) from Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Ulster, from the sixteenth century onwards, and which today maintain a close political and military cooperation.

        Category (2) While the nations included in different sources vary, the term Anglosphere usually does not include all countries where English is an official language, although commonly included nations were all once part of the British Empire. In its most restricted sense the term covers the United States, , Canada, Australia and New Zealand, which have integrated various military functions under the 1946 UKUSA Agreement, and the 1947 ABCA Armies program, and post British Empire maintain a close affinity of cultural, familial and political links with one another.

        Category (3) South Africa and Rhodesia were until the latter part of the twentieth century considered a part of this group, but, having been subsequently governmentally taken over by their indigenous continental populations, are no longer.

        Usually (or should not be) India does not comes in any three categories( means slavery is not much deep rooted or self -esteem can be preserved).

        • nitha

          @ nitha,well said.
          The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the Anglosphere as “the countries of the world in which the English language and cultural values predominate”.
          The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary uses the definition “the group of countries where English is the main native language”.

          Usually (or fortunately) India does not comes under “Anglosphere”.

        • ravi

          @nitha, Well said.
          Self -esteem can be( or should be) preserved
          Spoken Sanskrit is still in use in some villages, a few traditional institutions in India and there are many attempts at further popularization.

  4. dipak

    I believe that it is due to Indian version of secularism.

  5. IndianOcean

    We Indian unconscious about the effect of foreign language in our culture, religion, economy and poor confidence level in communication due to non-mother tongue. While China, Japan, and other European countries can survive without English, why not India?

    Good example is that in Tamil Nadu people write their name in Tamil but put an initial infron’t of their name in English. This shows that they are still consider themslaves slaves for British.

    In our day-to-day speaking we use lot of english words mix with our mother tongue and the worst thing is we totally forgot the many of the words and replace them with English word. The new generation unaware of it and still they continue to replace many mother tongue words with Englsh. People are wrongly thinking that using more English words giving them a good social status. When we try to use proper mother tongue words, people satire at that person who is using it and conseqently he becomes ashamed of using mother tongue among his friends or relatives or in public place and he also atuomatically become english mixer. A socail problem is constantly occuring in using proper mother tongue in India. We have to work hard to change it.

    • Nanu Asari

      The Tamils only write their initials in English, but you have given you full identity in English. Are you not a greater shoe licking slave of the British?

      • IndianOcan

        Hi Nanu Asari
        This is International blog, people from every country read it. So it is necessary to write in English. It doesn’t mean that I am licking shoes of Brits. Either speak in pure English or Tamil, don’t mix it. That’s my point of argument.

        • @Indian Ocean Nanu is full of hatred (I’m assuming Nanu is a female) but she doesn’t explain why.

          • JGN

            @ Duart, so far as I know “Nanu” is not a female name and “Asari” in Malayalam means Carpenter. He is probably a first generation convert. The first generation converts are more arrogant than those born into a family of Christians/Muslims.

            • IndianOcean

              While they were Hindu, they were not given due respect by fellow religious people or group or friends or relatives. Once they convert to Christianity, they are given stage respect to confess their sins infront of the assembly in the church and allow them to talk about bible phrases unto their understanding. Further more they are fed with good meal (bryani), chapel meetings, special treatment for neo-converts, fellow house visits with good food, more discussion on bible & its god and denigration of rest of the religions. They never seen such a respect before in their life. This illusioned respect make them more angry on their previous religion and become more arraogant than born christian.

              • JGN

                @ IndianOcean, Equalty and Christianity and Islam are just myths. Had it been the case, there would not have been a single Dalit/Lower Caste in Kerala where the Missionaries are/were very active and in UP and surrounding areas ruled by Islamic invaders for nearly 600 years.

                Christianity reached the shores of Kerala in CE 52 (now disputed even by the Pope) and Islam also reached the shores of Kerala soon after it was founded in Arabia.

            • @JGN My apologies to Nanu. I’m not familiar enough with Indian names to be able to distinguish female and male in many cases. Somehow, ‘Nanu’ struck me as name that would belong to a female. In english there are quite a few names that are the same for male or female, such as ‘Billy’, ‘Sydney’ etc.

    • Wonderful. I agree with you sir. If other countries can progress without English, why can’t we? I think we should ban English so people are forced to learn their mother language.
      I have another request sir. Please write something on our food and dress habits. You must have noticed, today’s young ones prefer ‘Burger and Cola’ while neglecting our own ‘Bhelpuri and Nimbupani’ just as one example. The young generation is running after Jeans, Jackets, T-Shirts, Skirts, even topless. Gone are the days of Dhoti, Langoti , Ghagra and Choli.
      Just like a person is at his peak confidence when speaking in his mother tongue, so is he when wearing his traditional clothing. Do something sir, please.
      Jai Hanuman.

  6. Vineet

    The fate of this country’s culture was sealed with the first English speach of Nehru at time of independence. Imagine First Prime Minister addressing nation on day of independence in perfect British English.

    And from there on we have likes of Nanu Ansari and likes of him telling us that without English we are nothing.

    Imagine how many countries of our size are stil known by the names given by their rulers. Our country should have been known by our true name – Bhaarat and not by European name India

  7. Anonymous

    Ek achcha lekh aapane diya isliye dhanyawad. Lekin “Vishawatghati gulamo ki bhasha” ko khatma karane ke liye hum humare sabhi lekh hindi main hi likhe. Jai Hind.

  8. pratik

    there is no point in wasting time in arguing elimination of english language from bharat as this will not happen as this was the policy of the colonial british govt. to educate indians in english so they will be capable to do small petty jobs in colonial govt. Same policy is carry forwarded by the western countries to put a pressure on the indian govt to not take any steps regarding upliftment of hindu languages, so that the indians still remain as servants, as they know if the indians start learning in sanskrit and their mother tongue they will again be in forefront in all fields as in past. But instead of blaming the west the indian leaders would have done this much before and strongly promoted bharats regional language but the problem was they themselves were deeply immersed in macaulay education system and western thoughts, that they never gave importance to this issue and hindustan is suffering from their deeds. Now bharat needs such a leadership who is pro-hindutva and truly a bhartiya.”when the language of a civilization dies the culture dies and in end the nation dies”.
    JAYATU AKHANDA BHARATAM!

  9. To everyone here – lovers and haters of English: It’s important for us to understand that by “banning” English, as a possible way of encouraging popular use of vernaculars, we run the risk of throwing the baby with the bathwater.
    After all, English has been a very successful link language in India. Think of a situation where all the commentators were to write in their native languages in this blog – each of us would have to translate and read a comment before replying, assuming that most of us here have a different native language.
    The idea of “Bharat” or “India” as a unified country is propagated and maintained through the active patronage of the two most widely spoken languages – English and Hindi. It would have been difficult for our freedom fighters to come together had there been no link language to facilitate communication.
    It’s easy to express jingoistic love for one’s native language and ask for a ban on the “other” language, but the “other” language, in my case, can be Hindi as well, and not just English, because I’m a Bengali.
    However, it is sad that the adoption of English has had hidden costs like the automatic presupposition that the English speaker is somehow better than the person who doesn’t speak English. That’s a flaw in attitude, and not a flaw with the language or its use per se.
    What our leaders ought to work on is to pump enough money into government run schools where vernaculars are the medium of instruction. English should also be taught as a compulsory subject to ensure that students passing out of these schools are ready to participate in the big world outside where English is the language of communication.
    Proper surveillance and enough funds should also ensure that these schools have enough laboratory equipments for the STEM subjects – which is the primary cause of ordinary middle class Indians spending a fortune on private schooling in English medium schools. Unfortunately, very few vernacular medium schools have the infrastructure and the faculty to attract people. People feel (and not without reason) that vernacular medium schools are unhygienic, teachers are not well-educated themselves, or perhaps there aren’t enough teachers, and the quality of education is not good enough.
    I’m saying this with authority since my mother taught in a vernacular medium school all her life, and there are insurmountable problems for the teaching staff there, caused primarily because of government policies.
    Here’s an example: The previous Left Front government in Bengal had banished English in primary schools and students could “opt” to take it up in secondary and senior secondary levels. Even students at the Masters level (of all subjects) could opt to write their papers in vernacular, i.e. Bangla. After 30 years of this experiment, today West Bengal has an army of graduates and post-graduates who are unable to take advantage of the outsourcing boom or compete with other students at important life-events like the Indian Administrative Services, Indian Foreign Services, academic research, as well as software and other corporate MNCs, simply because they are unable to articulate in English. Perhaps they’re not lacking in knowledge and skill, but they score low in communication, and they pay dearly for that. Perhaps it’s not fair, and as a society we need to respect people for what they are, but not knowing a language in this case does boil down to not having a skill, doesn’t it?
    To add insult to injury, (in Bengal) teachers in primary schools could not ask students to repeat a class if required. Whether a student ought to repeat a class or get promoted were left to the discretion of parents, who were themselves uneducated in many cases. Now this is what I call a classic case of schizophrenia – where a government wedded to the politics of appeasement loses its plot half-way through – resulting in illogical and downright harmful policies.
    The whole point of my long dissertation is that – in an attempt to assert our Indian-ness, we should beware of undoing the good that has been done.

    • Indian Realist

      Nobody is asking for banning English. It should be taught as a world language that helps you connect with rest of the world — Japan, China, Spain etc. are all doing this. They teach English as a foreign language. In India, English is at center stage and pushed all languages into insignificance, so much so that transmission of our culture to the next generation is becoming impossible as nobody can read Sanskrit and have difficulty in reading books in their own mother tongue. Few Indians can speak their native language without inserting an English word in every sentence — try it as an experiment.

      • I agree. However, you will find that some commentators have asked for a ban on English or refusing to use the language. Now that’s a dangerous thing to do.
        For if you transpose that to an entire society over a period of time, you get something like the present-day Bengal — which is masterpiece of decades of misguided policy.
        My only submission is that pride in one’s native tongue and culture is a must — however that need not be so passive-aggressive as to do more harm than good.
        I’m with you on Sanskrit too – I want to learn it, but have no idea where to study. That’s really sad.

        • Whether we like it or not, this small, crowded, interactive, multi-lingual planet requires an international language. A few decades ago, someone invented a language for just that purpose: it is called esperanto. It never worked. So, like it or not, english is fulfilling that need but certainly far from perfectly. Canada is a multicultural nation and when I speak with emigrants they tell me that basic english is by far the easiest language to learn.

          • Linguists say so too… and the ease with which one can pick up English probably comes from the fact that English has perhaps the largest number of loan words from different languages across the world.
            And you echo my point – that it’s a good thing that we have a global language, and a resourceful person and society should try and take advantage of that.
            Certainly knowing an extra language doesn’t and shouldn’t be construed as denigrating one’s native language.

          • JGN

            @ duart, the problem in many States in India (the States were formed on linguistic basis) is that they give more importance to English than the Mother tongue. Students should preferably be taught up to Class X ( or at least Class VIII) in their Mother Tongue and then switch over to learning in English as it is nearly impossible to create all Technical/Scientific Books in local languages.

            I had studied in vernacular medium school up to Class X and all subjects for subsequent studies were in English language. Though there were some initial hardships, I was able to overcome the same in a year or so. Now I can speak half-a-dozen languages.

            • @JGN I totally agree. Indians should be talk to speak and write perfectly in their language(s). Also, Sanskrit should never be abandoned, since it is the original language of the Veda, the Vedanta, etc. By being able to read these texts in the original Sanskrit, Hindus will not be mislead by translations of the Veda, etc. into english, etc. As we all know, translation always distorts — at least to some degree — the true import of what is being translated.

              • gajanan

                John Dobson , still alive 98 yrs , was a monk in Ramakrishna Mission California. He has written an excellent book ” Advaita Vedanta and Modern Science ” in which he has written the following. Swamiji here is Swami Vivekananda. Dobson invented the amateur telescope the reason for him to leave his monk status from RK Mission. .

                “For thousands of years the Indian mind has lived and thought philosophy. In India Swamiji found a language ready-made for handling philosophical ideas. There is no language on the face of the earth even comparable to Sanskrit in its competence to handle philosophical concepts. Swamiji found himself translating and re-translating from Sanskrit to English. In English there is no word for Vivartavada (the doctrine that the first cause is apparitional). Parinama (transformation) is understood but not Vivarta. There is no word for Brahman, for Atman, for Maya or for the Gunas. It is not just that the words are absent; the ideas are also absent”

                J Dobson.

                Very true, John Dobson has said with great eruditenes. It is futile to translate Sanskrit words and mislead the public if you are doing the wrong interpretation. All the so called men who translated like Max Mueller, Ralph Griffits etc were full of ignorance as John Dobson has written that even the ideas were absent in English, then how can you give the right translation. Max Mueller never came to India. The translations were all done with pundits who knew not even rudimentary English and the westerners ill equipped in Sanskrit. .So what do you expect?

                .So as John Dobson says do not translate as these philosophical concepts do not exist in West. This is the reason for such disastrous interpretations and all this nonsense.

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Dobson_(amateur_astronomer).

                The closest and good translation of Brahman is of Erwin Schrodinger in “what is life” a masterpiece . Erwin S was the founder and discoverer of quantum mechanics. Here it is below.

                whatislife.stanford.edu/LoCo_files/What-is-Life.pdf
                From the above pdf
                “The earliest records to my knowledge date back some 2,500 years or more. From the early great Upanishads the recognition
                ATHMAN = BRAHMAN upheld in (thepersonal self equals the omnipresent, all-comprehending eternal self) was in Indian
                thought considered, far from being blasphemous,to represent the quintessence of deepest insight into the happenings of the world. The striving of all the scholars of Vedanta was, after having
                learnt to pronounce with their lips, really to assimilate in their minds this grandest of all thoughts.”

                Dobsons book is a like a monograph about 67 pages. One can contact RK Mission below and make queries to inquire about availabilty.

                The Secretary
                Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama
                Ph: 91- 044 -2814 3896/3514
                Email: mail@rkmchennai.org

  10. abhi

    the chief minister of andhra pradesh cannot even make a meaningful sentence in telugu without a proper aid. on one occasion he even made a derogatory statement against telugu, saying “who would want/need telugu in these days”(intended meaning).
    in a way he was/is(maybe “will be”) true. telugu and other languages are not being enriched and are of little use for the education elite or for getting food/shelter and better way of living. it is a sorry state in india , all the languages of india whether they are spoken in majority or minority are in the same state.

  11. To all the commentators, my solution is this to save our country from
    civilizational extinction. Let us all Indians put aside our regionalist
    mentalities and adopt Sanskrit as the national language,

    Sanskrit is the only pan-Indian language that can unite Indians
    effectively linguistically and at the same time help preserve our
    Indian civilizational heritage. English should be reduced to the status
    of a foreign language that can be made optional or studied as an
    important second language after class 10.

    There should be no English medium schooling in our country.
    English should be studied only as a second language, after
    class 10 and that too optional.

    English should not be the medium of educational instruction.
    Sanskrit should be the medium of education, business and
    politics.

    What do all of you think?

  12. ravi

    Sanskrit has also seen a significant revival in China. Musicians such as Sa Dingding have written pop songs in Sanskrit

    • nitha

      Recently, Sanskrit also made an appearance in Western pop music in two recordings by Madonna. One, “Shanti/Ashtangi”, from the 1998 album Ray of Light, is the traditional Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga chant referenced above set to music.

      I worship the gurus’ lotus feet
      Awakening the happiness of the self revealed
      Beyond comparison, working like the jungle physician
      To pacify loss of consciousness from the poison of existence
      In the form of a man up to the shoulders
      Holding a conch, discus and sword
      Thousand headed, white
      I bow respectfully
      Peace
      Its a hindu mantra written in sanskrit

  13. nikhil

    “Cyber-raga”, released in 2000 as a B-side to Madonna’s album Music, is a Sanskrit-language ode of devotion to a higher power and a wish for peace on earth.

    QL3uEUFs#t=31s
    Very spiritual. I think this is one of Madona’s best songs.

    • OM

      “Cyber-raga” by Madona
      Ohm sri guru bjor namaha
      Hare Ohm
      Svastika jabyaha
      Pari va layanta
      Meeahyayna margayna

      Ma he ma he saha gobra nebyaha
      Soomastu leetum
      Nocah samasta
      Sukino lavantoo

      Cay yeahna bacha mana sen greeyarva
      Boodyajmah nava brakri tes bavalvat
      Cahrohn viel eyat
      Saka lamparasmai
      Naray anai aytee samarpayavee

      Hare Ohm gotsade
      Hare Ohm gotsade
      Hare Ohm gotsade
      Hare Ohm

      Svastika jabyaha
      Pari va layantah
      Meeahyaynah margayna
      Ma he ma he saha gobra nebyaha
      Soomastu leetum
      Nocah samasta
      Sukino lavantoo

      Cay yeahna bacha mana sen greeyarva
      Boodyajmah nava brakri tes bavalvat
      Cahrohn viel eyat
      Saka lamparasmai
      Naray anai aytee samarpayavee

      Hare Ohm gotsade
      Hare Ohm gotsade
      Hare Ohm gotsade
      Hare Ohm

      ***
      English Translation:

      May all be well with mankind
      May the leaders of the earth in every way
      Protect the earth by keeping to the right path
      May there always be goodness
      For those who know the earth to be sacred
      May all the world be happy
      Whatever I do
      Whether my body, mind, sense, organs, intellect, self
      Or out of natural inclination
      I make it all an offering to
      The all-pervading supreme being

  14. @OM,

    What do all of you think about my above proposal of Sanskrit
    being made our national language, rather than English or Hindi.

    This would help us reconnect with our roots much more effectively.

    • OM

      @Jaipal
      अस्माकम् देशस्य शिक्षणपद्धति दोषपुर्ण:। साहित्यम् गणितम् विज्ञानम् भूगोल: इतिहास: इत्यदिनाम् शिक्षणम् पुर्वम् मातृभाषाभि: प्रचलति स्म। किन्तु इदानिम् सर्वे आंग्ल भाषा माध्यमेन पठनम् कुर्वन्ति। यदि वयम् एतानाम् पद्धतयाम् परिशोधनम् न कुर्म: चेत् संस्कृतस्य व्यवहार दैनन्दिन जीवने न भवति।

      • @OM,

        If Israel could revive spoken Hebrew, which was practically dead
        for 2000 years, in 1948 and make it its national language,
        then why not revive Sanskrit as India’s national language?

        Sanskrit was never totally dead, the way Hebrew was.
        If they can do it, so why not us?

        • OM

          अद्यत्वेसंस्कृतभाषा उन्नतस्थाने विद्यते। अनेके जनाः संस्कृतभाषामधिगन्तुं प्रयतमानाः सन्ति। तत्प्रशंसायां न केवलम् जना: अग्रे भवन्ति अपि तु अनेके कार्यक्रमाः अपि प्रचलन्ति । परन्तु अपेक्षितपरिणामःनास्ति

          • @OM,

            Can you tell me if there are any schools/universities where
            Sanskrit is the medium of instruction in India?

            After I finish my MBBS course, I am planning to study and take
            up the cause of Sanskrit. I am only 29 years old.
            But I have a burning interest to learn the language, afterall
            its our sacred national language. We have to preserve it.

            What would be really good for India is Sanskrit medium schooling
            replacing English medium schooling. .

            • OM

              Sampurnanand Sanskrit University is an Asian institution of higher learning located in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India, specialized in the study of Sanskrit and related fields.
              http://ssvv.up.nic.in

              • OM

                Shri Gahira Guru Sanskrit College (estd.1965) Affiliated to Awadhesh Prasad University ,Samarwar,Jashpur,Distt.Jashpur,Chattisgarh,India

            • OM

              Ramkrisna Mission Vivekananda University
              For study of Sanskrit in its pure classical form–both the language, literature and philosophical texts–as well as in the context of modern developments like Natural Language Processing (NLP), language teaching techniques using Information and Communication Technology (ICT), online Sanskrit Language Teaching (SLT) etc.
              http://www.rkmvu.ac.in

              • @OM,

                Thanks for the information.

                In your above two replies to me about Sanskrit, you wrote your
                answers in Sanskrit medium, in the Devanagari script.

                I’m impressed. What were you saying in those two Sanskrit
                replies? If you don’t mind telling me.

              • ravi

                So,Sanskrit not merely used as a ceremonial language in Hindu religious rituals and Buddhist practice in the forms of hymns and mantras but also
                capable for modern science.

                • @Ravi,

                  Sanskrit is very capable for modern science.
                  There is alot of scientific literature in Sanskrit, particularly
                  in medicine, mathematics, astronomy, ect.

                  Just think for a minute, if our ancestors like Sushruta could
                  discover rhinoplasty in 800 BC, or our mathematicians could
                  come up with a decimal notation system back in 400 BC,
                  and communicate this in Sanskrit, where is the doubt that Sanskrit
                  can be used as a medium for teaching Science?

                  Our great thinkers of the past had no English education
                  yet they could come up with great, out of the box ideas and
                  applications.

                  That shows the excellence of the ancient Indian system based
                  on Sanskrit. We should try to revive that excellence by making
                  Sanskrit again our national and educational language.

                  What do you think?

            • ravi

              @Jaipal
              The pre-Classical form of Sanskrit is known as Vedic Sanskrit, with the language of the Rigveda being the oldest and most archaic stage preserved, its oldest core dating back to as early as 1500 BCE.[This qualifies Rigvedic Sanskrit as one of the oldest attestations of any Indo-Iranian language, and one of the earliest attested members of the Indo-European languages, the family which includes English and most European languages].
              http://www.vedanet.com.
              Classical Sanskrit is the standard register as laid out in the grammar of Pāṇini, around the 4th century BCE. Its position in the cultures of Greater India is akin to that of Latin and Greek in Europe and it has significantly influenced most modern languages of the Indian subcontinent, particularly in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal.

              • @Ravi,

                I want to ask you one thing.

                Is much of Sanskrit literature in the Vedic Sanskrit or
                classical panini Sanskrit language?

                Our Sanskrit manuscripts are written in which form of Sanskrit,
                predominantly in Vedic form or the classical form?

                My last question is if you study panini sanskrit grammar,
                will that enable you to understand the technical and scientific
                information in our Manuscripts?
                Does our written Sanskrit literature reflect Panini’ system of grammar
                all the time or are there any deviations from standard grammatical
                practise?

  15. ravi

    Sudharma : The only sanskrit daily news paper
    :sudharma.epapertoday.com

  16. nitha

    I READ THIS NEWS PAPER DAILY.IT IS USEFUL.
    sudharma.epapertoday.com/

  17. nitha

    Sanskrit Village- Jhiri, Madhya Pradesh

  18. nitha

    One may ask, why so much obsession with these ancient texts? What purpose does it serve?
    It actually serves two purposes:-
    One, it gives most Indians a reason to feel proud of themselves.
    If West could arrive at the same conclusions using the path of modern science through Age of Enlightenment, toiling in labs and conducting elaborate research, our ancestors have in fact discovered all of them, thousands of years ago, only by meditation under banyan trees and by experiencing it through deep consciousness.
    Second, it gives some Indians a taste of ‘pure Indian’ achievement, in which there is no participation or involvement of Muslims, Christians, and other invading people.
    It gives them a taste of what they were originally- great and supreme beings that had answers to all the problems of the world before they got corrupted by alien forces.
    They relish in ‘pure Indian’ discoveries and inventions that preceded all advances made in the West. Now, they can find reasons for Akhand Bharat and Hindutva, and give legitimacy to Aryan supremacy.

  19. ravi

    The only globule media is the BBC, along with Reuters and other major western news agencies and media networks is well known in professional circles to be a department of the Special Branch of the British Government, working with the other members of the “League of English Speaking Nations” to protect the global supremacy of the Empire as planned by Cecil Rhodes, Balfour, Churchill and many others.

  20. ravi

    Sanskrit village of Mathur in Shivamogga district, Karnataka

    • nitha

      Maatur is a small village near Shimogga in karnataka. Known as the sanskrit village this village has more than hundred sanskrit scholars. Even if you pick a person randomly in this village, there is a very high probability that he converse fluently in sanskrit. This is a description of the same village in sanskrit by Mr.Girish a lecturer in the school at Maatur.

  21. karan

    Saṃskṛta Bhāratī is a non-profit organisation working to revive Sanskrit. Sanskrit was a pan-Indian language in Vedic time but lost its place to spoken dialects in modern India. Samskrita Bharati has its headquarters in New Delhi, and US chapter headquarters in San Jose, California. The International centre, “Aksharam”, is located in Bangalore, India, and houses a research wing, a library, Publication division and an audio-visual Language lab for teaching spoken Sanskrit. According to their own figures, repeated often in their promotional literature, by 1998, 2.9 million people had attended the conversation camps.

  22. ravi

    Sanskrit sloka by UK students

    Sanskrit thriving in British schools

    • noor

      @ravi
      You are simply getting emotional and not thinking with any Logic. Many words that can be said in English can’t be said in Sanskrit, Hindi, Tamil or any other Indian Languages. Whats the point in holding on to something that is extinct when it servers no purpose ?
      This is an age of Science and Technology, Words like Space shuttle, Astronaut, Space Trajectory can never be expressed in Ancient Languages, For this we need English. Also English serves as unifying language to us.

      • karan

        @noor
        Let us not forget that among the great accomplishments of the Indian thinkers were the invention of zero, and of the binary number system a thousand years before the West re-invented them.Now only it is found
        that only Sanskrit could serve the purpose as Artificial language (Artificial languages are languages of a typically very limited size which emerge either in computer simulations between artificial agents, robot interactions or controlled psychological experiments with humans. They are different from both constructed languages and formal languages in that they have not been consciously devised by an individual or group but are the result of (distributed) conventionalisation processes, much like natural languages. Opposed to the idea of a central designer, the field of artificial language evolution in which artificial languages are studied can be regarded as a sub-part of the more general cultural evolution studies.)as well as natural language ,no any other language deserves that quality
        (Sanskrit as a Artificial Intelligence) according to NASA.

        Knowledge Representation in Sanskrit and Artificial Intelligence
        https://www.google.co.in/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CDAQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.vedicsciences.net%2Farticles%2Fsanskrit-nasa.html&ei=t8ktUbSSMIrlrAeTpoCgAw&usg=AFQjCNH3dWYU55-9bx4KAujL8NdHLbkBcg&sig2=aqmjcQx36V7u2h-S93qX2A

      • @Noor,

        English is not what unifies us as a nation. It is the Sanskritic heritage
        rooted in Sanskrit language that keeps us together.

        English is a foreign language that doesn’t define us Indians, culturally,
        spiritually ect. So why should English be given such excessive
        importance??

        What was the whole purpose of regaining our national independence
        if we are going to use a foreign language?? Shouldn’t we learn and
        speak our language and become truly independent also?

        Sanskrit may be an ancient language but it can be updated too for use
        in modern times!!

        Also, the fact is we Indians need to adopt a common pan-Indian
        language if we are to preserve our cultural heritage. As you can
        see, none of the regional languages can be chosen as national
        language due to their limitations. But if we use English,we risk
        the possibility of linguistic and cultural extinction because people
        will then lose the interest in speaking and learning their languages,
        after some time. As Indians, we need to choose something Indian.

        Only Sanskrit has the capacity for being India’s effective national
        language for historical,cultural, spiritual, civilizational reasons.
        Also, Sanskrit is a neutral language due to the fact that it is not
        regional or localized but is pan-Indian. It can be accepted by all
        Indians across the country.

        Having a common pan-Indian national language like Sanskrit
        will go a long way in preserving our cultural heritage in a more
        efficient manner and at the same time, we can handle the challenges
        of English and Globalization much more effectively.

        • IndianOcean

          Yes, I agree. Sanskrit can be our unified language for Indians. It is very closely tied with our religion, cultrue, and people as well. English just can be a business language when deal with International.

          • @Indian Ocean,

            Exactly. I am glad you see the importance of Sanskrit.

            English, being an international language, should be used only when
            communicating with outsiders for business, or to keep updated
            on newer scientific processes outside India. That is all.

            There is simply no need for English-medium schooling in our
            country. We can study in Sanskrit medium all the subjects we
            need to learn. Afterall, what can be said in English can just as well
            be said in Sanskrit too!! So why this preference for English-
            medium schooling??

            India will progress much more effectively with Sanskrit and not
            English.

            What do you think?

            • @Jaipal I like your thinking. You are on the right path. Sanskrit contains within it the very essence of of India — culturally, philosophically and spiritually. A lot of this knowledge is lost in translation. It’s vital that Sanskrit be preserved and, yes, resurrected as the national language of India.

            • IndianOcean

              @Jaipal

              We can push the Sanskrit slowly into our Indian’s mind to replace English. As Durat suggested, first we need to change the mentality of Indians want to be like a Westener. As a first step, we need to reduce mixing of English word into our mother tongue. We need to create positivity of using pure mother language. Adult learn yourself first to avoid mixing English and try to separate yours & English. And then your kids will automatically learn how to use more purer mother tonuge, and will see English as a totally separate language.

              Give more job opportunities for subject stuidied in local languages. Pupil will join automatically to local medium schools. Strengthen first your mother tongue and then slowly push Sanskrit, everyone in India will accept it well than Hindi.

              • Yes, this is one significant way to reclaim India. Stop copying the West. Bring the Original Language back to the forefront in both verbal and written communication.

              • @Indian Ocean,

                You make a good point. But I think the process of making Sanskrit
                the national language should be done at the earliest rather than later.

                The sooner we reconnect with our Sanskritic roots, the better.

                My suggestion would be let the educational medium and official
                language be Sanskrit, but at the same time give the freedom to use
                the regional languages informally.

                English medium schooling should be abolished but English can be
                studied after class 10 as a foreign language of some importance.
                But learning English should be optional and not mandatory and it
                certainly shouldn’t be allowed in our official and educational space.

                • IndianOcean

                  Yes, it can be done either way. Sanskrit can be accepted well in south than Hindi. Since it has connections to our holy scriptures, temples, and Gods, Sanskrit will be an unanimously accepted language in India. In later stage, people around the world will also show interest in learning Sanskrit. It has got its revival power, just give an initial push, and it will start grow automatically.

      • IndianOcean

        @noor

        While you people are interested in studying Arabic and christians in Greek, there is no fault in studying Sanskrit by Indians.

  23. karan

    Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan is an educational organization in New Delhi, India. It was founded in 1970 to propagate, develop and encourage Sanskrit learning and research. It is a deemed university[1][2] and is fully funded by the government of India. It offers B.A., B.Ed, M.A., M.Ed and Ph.D programs and has been running a distance learning program in Sanskrit since 1973.
    http://www.sanskrit.nic.in/about.htm

    • @karan,

      Yes, that is a good institution. I checked out their website, a few days
      ago.

      Karan, whats your opinion of Sheldon Pollock? I personally think
      he is a fraud and he is anti-Hindu.

      He has been writing suspicious articles like “Death of Sanskrit”.
      Apparently he isn’t aware that there are Sanskrit medium schools
      in India and there are nearly 2 million Indian students learning Sanskrit
      and allied branches of knowledge ect.

      I suspect he has some motive in making such claims.
      He is also anti-Hindutva as well.

      • OM

        @Jaipal
        Yes ,he is anti-Hindutva ,but about fraud we have to find out motive behind thought ( i.e. introducing “Sanskrit Politics” to establish fake ideology like Dravidian Christianity or Dravidian Nationality)
        He is most dangerous for unity and integrity of India.
        He is proving “Sanskrit is dangerous”.
        Sheldon Pollock on Hindutva and the Life and Death of Sanskrit – Part 1

        Sheldon Pollock on Hindutva and the Life and Death of Sanskrit – Part 2

      • ravi

        @Jaipal
        Most liberal Americans are simply unaware of the international political machinations of evangelicals. Funded and supported by the American Christian right, they promote a literal and extreme version of Christianity abroad and attempt to further a fundamentalist Christian political agenda using unscrupulous methods. In India, picking up where the colonialists left off, they have gone so far as to revive discredited racial theories and fabricate scholarship in a dangerous game of divide and rule.

        In south India, a new identity called Dravidian Christianity is being constructed. It is an opportunistic combination of two myths: the “Dravidian race” myth and another that purports that early Christianity shaped the major Hindu classics!
        How Evangelists Invented ‘Dravidian Christianity’
        Rajiv Malhotra How Evangelists Invented ‘Dravidian Christianity’.htm

        • nitha

          Rajiv Malhotra :the role of U.S. and European churches, academics, think-tanks, foundations, government and human rights groups in fostering separation of the identities of Dravidian and Dalit communities from the rest of India.
          http://www.breakingindia.com/

      • narendra

        @Jaipal
        * Sheldon Pollock doesn’t understand basic physics well, leave alone subtle ones closer to dharma.( he is a fool by indian standards)
        * Sheldon Pollock never felt the happiness, sweetness and courage induced by Raama nama. (he is a failure considering bhakthi)
        * Sheldon Pollock never felt the infinite energy and oneness induced by meditation. ( failure in raja yoga)
        * Sheldon Pollock never held your mind still enough to know the eternal nature of himself. ( failure in njaana / real knowledge)
        * All thought & actions of Sheldon Pollock are aimed at conspiracy, “dangerous to divide India into mutual hostile camps” ( utter failure going by Karma)

        Sheldon Pollock is in such a pathetic state, even the thought that he can put himself in the shoes of ocean minds like Valmiki and Dwaipayana Vyasa, is just another proof of how ignorant he is .

        We hope, Sheldon Pollock will soon catch up by the grace of Raama and correct his own mistakes by working 10 times harder to establish Dharma that he is so adamant to break now although he is a scholar of Sanskrit, Indian intellectual and literary history, and comparative intellectual history. ,currently Professor of South Asian Studies at the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies at Columbia University ,general editor of the Clay Sanskrit Library and is founding editor of the Murty Classical Library of India. received the Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Achievement Award and the Government of India’s Padma Sri..

  24. So Sheldon Pollock, like Michael Witzel, is a fraud and much of his
    motive is to attack and undermine Hinduism by underminig Sanskrit,
    claiming its ”dangerous”.

    Why are we putting up with such losers like him??

    • Is he in any way connected with American Church?
      Does anybody know for sure?

      • About Sheldon Pollock, is he a real scholar of Sanskrit or a fraud?
        Because Michael Witzel, another proclaimed scholar, was exposed
        as a third rate fraud by Shrikant Talageri

    • narendra

      @Jaipal
      Nearly all so called western scholar have taken U turn after affiliation with
      recent fascist Up spring of evangelical movement powered by Bush Doctrine ( just war theory and Hindutwa is on their target) after 9/11.
      Another example of U turn policy:

      The prestigious Wharton school cancelled the keynote address of Gujarat … cancelled,” the Wharton India Economic Forum said in a statement

      The strident opposition to Narendra Modi stems from two reasons. The first is the obvious desire to push a Leftist agenda that thrives on India-baiting. The second is the string of successes that Narendra Modi has recently achieved beginning with his third consecutive, thumping electoral victory and his massive show-stealer at the BJP National Council in Delhi yesterday. These have decisively set the stage for a larger role in national politics. Except a few motivated folks, nobody has really been able to dispute his stupendous Gujarat Development Story that has consistently delivered quality governance and economic development.
      The Wharton India Economic Forum (WIEF), established in 1996 at The Wharton School, is a student-run business forum in theUnited States focused on India. WIEF is one of the largest India-based economic and business conferences in the United States. It is attended by over 800 people annually and receives extensive media coverage in India and the wider business by leading publications, such as The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The New York Times, The Economic Times and The Times of India.
      WIEF’s describes its mission as to “engage the world’s attention on India’s enormous potential and the limitless possibilities the country offers”.

      This is one of the best example of U turn policy.

      • ravi

        @narendra
        You are right, because Maoist movement in 165 district of India (the private army of Church) also governed by junk philosophy of Maoism blended with evangelical movement controlled by CIA ,organised by different Church base NGO powered by Bush Doctrine.
        We have crush them ruthlessly ,they are being supported by Americans.

  25. JGN

    Many of the bloggers may not be aware that English itself survived only because the peasants in England were speaking the same. French was the language of the elites of Europe and English was called “Shepherd’s Language”. A language will survive only when common people use the same.

    Though learning Sanskrit is good, it is not possible to replace English at present due to non-availability of technical/scientific books in the native languages. We do have certain advantage over other Asian Countries due to our knowledge of English language. Abandoning the same would amount to throwing the Baby out with bath water.

    • @JGN,

      Technical and scientific books can always be translated into
      Sanskrit. In fact Sanskrit itself has a vast scientific literature
      produced in the past by our writers and thinkers.

      What can be taught in English can just as well be conveyed in
      Sanskrit. Using English is dangerous because it can potentially
      destroy our cultural and linguistic heritage in the long run.

      There are many countries in the world that have succeeded
      economically without English usage. Examples are France,
      Germany.

      A country grows and develops best when it is in line with its roots.
      For India that means reconnecting with Sanskrit and Hindu culture.

      • IndianOcean

        @Jaipal
        You are certainly correct. When a person communicates in his mother tongue, he is more confident. While thinking in mother tongue, he gets great ideas. When he writes in mother tongue, he can do it wonderfully. Foreign language is foreign language, it can’t match mother tongue in anyway.

        Many world countries excel with out English (e.g. Japan, China, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Swiss, Russia, many other European countries), why not we that as well? We slowly phase out English, and insert Sanskrit in our daily usage.

        • @Indian Ocean,

          The regionalists in our country need to understand the dangers
          of continued English use in education.

          English is a danger even to the local languages.
          What I don’t understand is why the regionalists who support
          the local languages, are unable to see the danger in promoting
          English medium schooling in the respective states in our country.

          Somehow, they need to be convinced that Sanskrit is the bearer
          of our pan-Indian culture and has a symbiotic relationship
          with also the regional languages.

          Promotion of Sanskrit as medium of schooling as well as the
          national language can also help in the protection and continuation
          of local languages too. But English, on the other hand,
          can potentially destroy this linguistic and cultural balance.
          . Therefore, dethroning English and promotion of Sanskrit at the
          earliest is the need of the hour.

          • @Indian Ocean and Ravi,

            Here is an idea that I have. Tell me what you think about it.

            Besides making Sanskrit the national language, it can be written
            in the Devanagari Script for the whole country.

            The local languages can also be written in a common script
            such as Devanagari too. We can perhaps phase out the multiple
            scripts in favor of one and only one script, namely Devanagari,
            for both Sanskrit and the local languages.

            What do you think?

          • @ Jaipal & Indian Ocean: I rely appreciate the dialogue the two of you are having regarding Sanskrit as the national language rather than English, which is a language that was imposed on India due to the colonial ambitions of the British (Also, Portuguese in Kerala and French in the Chennai region of Tamil Nadu). I think it would be a mistake to drop English as a second or third language because it has become the major language for international communication. India has an advantage over many other countries as a result, by allowing many Indians to converse fluently with Europeans, North Americans, Australians, etc. etc. By contrast, the Chinese population is still largely unable to communicate in English, to their disadvantage, economically speaking.

            I firmly believe that India is going to come out of her long period of ‘anglicization’ soon and rediscover herself. Sanskrit as the national spoken and written language of India would lift the nation to new heights in the world and unify the people both horizontally and vertically and by ‘vertical’ I mean, would re-connect India with her roots, which go back more than 5000 years. As it stands, India is living a kind of schizophrenic culture and mind-set, and this serves only to weaken the nation and keep it from its Dharma.

            • IndianOcean

              @Durat
              I agree your point. English can’t be eliminated so easily at the current economical world situation. We are in advantage of English at this moment, but world will change over the next 50 years. We will loose the advantage of speaking fluent English, and other nations are also attain the same fluency as India. In this case, English will get stronger in the world view as a common Business language.

              Our motto is not making the Sanskrit to compete with English, but bring it up to unify the Indian Nation. Whoever want to do International business, let them learn English, we won’t stop them. But let Sanskrit work for us to attain spiritual strength among Indians to regain our culture and devotion. If we start now, I have no doubt that within another 100-150 years Sanskrit will take over India and English become third important language in education.

              It also will help India to inhibit growth of foreign religion as well. At one stage Sanskrit will start spread to other countries by virtue of its superial linguistic nature, tradition, and as a language of Gods.

              It is a good time to start Sanskrit to spread. We have to market it in different way to make people to show interest in learning. Slowly we can make the Devangari script for all local languages, so that when they start learning Sanskrit will feel easier to read and understand it.

              There is a common misunderstanding in India that Sanskrit is very difficult to learn, we have overcome that hurdle too. Sanskrit was derived from Ancient Tamil (Ancient Tamil is not the present spoken language in Tamil Nadu) which was too difficult to learn, having very high standard in grammar, phoenetics, scripting, and terminologies. The easier version of Tamil evolved over the time and it was called Sanskrit (Samaskritham). There were other Asian languages were evolved from Ancient Tamil like Chinese Mandarin, other Middle Eastern languages. Since there were no link between people of those branches, the language evolved further to become totally distinct from each other. Our Indian languages were branched out from Sanskrit, so we have congeniality.

              • @Indian Ocean,

                Sanskrit can replace English in India even far more quickly than
                in 100-150 years. Even today, English is used only by a small
                section of Indian population, mostly by the elite.

                The number of English speakers in India is still only a miniscule
                fraction of Indias total population. Only 2% knows this language.

                In fact there are more English speakers in Phillipines than in India.

                English has never been a mass language, therefore its replacement
                by Sanskrit can be made much more easier than you think.

                What it would require would be a government order and strict policy
                implementation on promotion of Sanskrit in politics, media and
                education as the medium of instruction. This would to a large extent
                reduce the appeal of learning English.

            • IndianOcean

              Another point to take note is that Internet world will evolve further and it will give the benefit of its fruit on linguistics as well. We no need to learn many languages to do business Internationally. Translators will evolve and will do the job on understanding the various languages in our own mother tongue. So it is the time to develop one common language for India is essential to make good position in world stage. Sanskrit is the only world renowned language India has in its hands. Please don’t let it rotten by doing nothing, bring it alive to the Internet World.

              • @Indian Ocean,

                As far as translation goes, the technology will improve such that
                through some mechanical gadget or specialized software,
                human translators may become defunct.

  26. Rohit

    The world is developing in the field of science and technology. Scientific inventions in Germany, France and Russia can reach India only through the help of language “English” and India must keep up with the progress of the world in field of science. Therefore, English is inevitable for our country. In India, the official language in corporate world is English. A person can make rapid strides in the management ladder only if he can speak English fluently.

    If your English is poor, you will find yourself languishing at the bottom of the management ladder, even though you may have a brilliant brain and can come up with brilliant business ideas. Your productivity will drop over a period of time since you will find difficulty in expressing your brilliant ideas. People who can speak good English will probably seize your ideas and get the credit for all the hard work you did to get the idea working.

    • nitha

      @Rohit
      Management ladder is not just only ladder and business world is not entire world.
      Business English means different things to different people. For some, it focuses on vocabulary and topics used in the worlds of business, trade, finance, and international relations. For others it refers to the communication skills used in the workplace, and focuses on the language and skills needed for typical business communication such as presentations, negotiations, meetings, small talk, socializing, correspondence, report writing, and so on. In both of these cases it can be taught to native speakers of English, for example, high school students preparing to enter the job market.
      It can also be a form of international English.
      Who says Sanskrit is a dead language?Sanskrit to bounce back as 22nd century language only because it’s contemporary, it’s computer-friendly . It’s the most live script on your ‘fingertips’ and Computer has become very important nowadays because it is very much accurate, fast and can accomplish many tasks easily. Otherwise to complete those tasks manually much more time is required. It can do very big calculations in just a fraction of a second. Moreover it can store huge amount of data in it. We also get information on different aspects using internet on our computer.

      • ravi

        Sanskrit is the best language for computer programming. Being familiar with computer programming,Sanskrit as an example as its grammar can be easily translated to a form understandable by a computer .

      • My sense of Rohit’s comment is that he holds the view — held by so many — that the way to a better, fairer, healthier, happier and more prosperous world is through science and technology. This is a widely held view. It is also the biggest delusion of our times.

  27. @Rohit,
    Apparently you didn’t quite understand the argument for Sanskrit
    here. A country thrives best when it is in line with its linguistic
    and cultural roots.

    Indians have been learning English for some time now, but has that
    really helped us economically? Why other Asian countries like
    Japan, Korea, China, South east Asia, Arab countries who don’t
    speak English have done far better economically than us even
    though they don’t really know English, let alone use it?

    You need to answer this question before you make the case for
    English.

    • ravi

      @Jaipal
      .It’s true that a growing number of Chinese people are learning English for different purpose.Among those,” want to know more about the world should be the basic reason”.It’s helpful to communicate with each other.
      In addition,it’s true that more and more foreigners are learning Chinese around the world.

      • som

        Chinese &Japanese learners of English are notorious in the world in their
        non intelligibility of their pronunciation and there have been studies on their mispronunciations.

        It is necessary to conduct more experiments with the whole inventory of English and Chinese as well as Japanese sounds. .

      • @Ravi,

        Chinese may be studying English, but it is not at the cost of their
        own languages. The medium of schooling in China is still Chinese
        language, not English.

    • nitha

      In Japan, Korea & China“Speaking in Tongues: , “Japlish, “Konglish” & “Chinglish”are popular.

      • @Nitha,

        Is this speaking in tongues a growing phenomenon or still
        just an aberration, among a small number of people?

        Also, such emerging hybrid tongues have no historical
        value, let alone cultural value.

        Its a bad trend, not a good one.

    • nikhil

      In Saudi Arabia, many upper-middle-class families speak English at home — not just at work — because, as one knowledgeable source , parents fear Arabic isn’t sophisticated.
      Emiratis worries about their own children do not speak Arabic fluently. They said they put them in English schools to help ensure they’d have great career prospects. But regret also that their childrens don’t feel comfortable speaking the language of their forefathers.

    • Rohit

      @Jaipal
      Southeast Asia consists of two geographic regions: Mainland Southeast Asia, also known as Indochina, comprises Cambodia, Laos, Burma (Myanmar), Thailand, Vietnam and Peninsular Malaysia, and Maritime Southeast Asia comprises Brunei, East Malaysia, East Timor, Indonesia, Philippines, Christmas Island, and Singapore
      Burmese English is an English language dialect used in Burma (also known as Myanmar), spoken by an estimated 2.4 million people, about 5% of the population
      Thailand is the only country in Southeast Asia that was not ruled by Western countries as it served as a buffer zone between English and French colonies.But English is popular there.

      The use of English in Indonesia has developed in the context of post-colonial educational competency building, and more recently the need to support development – in particular its role in state education. However, attitudes of some policy makers and commentators towards the language have often been ambivalent, expressing fears of its power to exert negative cultural influences. The special status of English as a global language with many potential varieties that might pose as models for Indonesia also poses the question of which one would be right for the country.

      Both Malaysia and Singapore share a common history regarding English.
      Inherited from the British, the English language took root and flourished
      in these two countries. English became a widespread language in the
      local community, being the language of business, technology, and
      diplomacy and the language of everyday life for many people. Given its
      many functions in the community, it is not surprising to find that the
      English transplanted in both Singapore and Malaysia
      has, over time, formed (as it were) its own distinctive roots and branches.
      What this means is that English is nowadays used for both international
      communication and international communication in both Malaysia and
      Singapore. For international communication, the most acceptable variety
      of English is the print standard, otherwise known (approximately) as
      Standard English, or ‘core’ English. While the notion of Standard English
      might be a nebulous one for some people, for our purposes, it is usually
      taken to mean Standard British English, Standard American English, or
      both.

      • @Rohit,

        My basic point is that English can be studied as a second language
        or even as a third language. But why English medium schooling
        in India? English isn’t the language of our culture or civilization.
        It doesn’t tell us anything about who we are.
        There is more to human society than simply economics or science.
        You need culture and heritage as well, in order to acquire wisdom
        in order to have a balanced and healthy society.

        Sanskrit is the language of our culture and civilization.
        Even though it is an ancient language, it can be updated
        for modern times.

        My suggestion is make Sanskrit the medium of schooling but
        teach English as either second or third language.

        Whats your opinion?

        • @Jaipal You are absolutely right. It is a collective mental illness to have Indians use english as the national language. Does anyone expect Great Britain to take up Hindi as its national lingo anytime soon? Are the English somehow superior to Indians that Indians should make english India’s language of choice? Obviously, it is a sick situation. The good news is that Modi doesn’t speak english. When he becomes the next Prime Minister (I predict) there will probably be some attention to this matter of language.

          • @Duart Maclean,

            The basic reason why English has continued is not because
            majority of Indians were for it, as you know, even today,
            most Indians don’t speak English actually.

            The reason is that after independence, the political power
            became largely monopolized by an English-educated Indian
            elite that wanted to maintain its priviledged position.
            So English was kept along, as a symbol of priviledge and
            exclusion so that political power and influence, thereby could
            be enjoyed by a small section of the population.

            Therefore, the language issue wasn’t carefully thought out
            and so the status quo continued.

            • Jaipal Your comment that “…after independence, the political power became largely monopolized by an English-educated Indian
              elite that wanted to maintain its priviledged position”, is infuriating but true. It is sickening that the poisonous tentacles of colonialism still wrap themselves around the neck of India….and especially that it is primarily anglicized, psychologically colonialised Indians who are basically prostitutes who are more than willing to sell out India for their own personal benefit. They are the dysfunctional children of colonialism.

        • karan

          @ Jaipal, well said
          Sanskrit is rich language than English.
          I would ever want to refer to the Sun, I would say सूर्यः and not सूर्य. This is because, सूर्य would represent a property and the Sun is not a property, rather it is an object. So to refer to the Sun, I would use सूर्यः (which is the first vibhakti of सूर्य). Similarly, to refer to someone whose effulgence is equivalent to that of a crore suns, I would use सूर्यकोटिसमप्रभः (which represents an object) and not सूर्यकोटिसमप्रभ (which represents a collection of properties), because that someone is an object and not a property. Hence, there is a difference in the pronunciations of the सूर्य (in सूर्यकोटिसमप्रभ) and सूर्यः (which is the object Sun). The difference arises because of the 2 dots at the end of सूर्यः | But in English, there is no such difference in the pronunciations of Sun in SunCroreEquivalentEffulgence and the (object) Sun. Hence, it would be confusing in English. It is not possible in English to form such compound words, in turn, strongly limiting the vocabulary in English.
          Vibhakti Divergence between Sanskrit and Hindi

          A easy to use guide for making sentences in Sanskrit using 7 vibhakti
          https://www.google.co.in/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CDAQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.scribd.com%2Fdoc%2F30377592%2FVibhakti-%25E0%25A4%25B5%25E0%25A4%25BF%25E0%25A4%25AD%25E0%25A4%2595%25E0%25A5%258D%25E0%25A4%25A4%25E0%25A4%25BF&ei=XXI9UduRKY3JrAeB9oC4Cw&usg=AFQjCNH62VK1iMSBZuXSI2Kx7eYu5fpp5g&sig2=9lg2ogV4r4stRWj04URdVg

          • @karan,

            I’m just curious but how long does it take, on average, to master
            Sanskrit language in order to read literary works like Bhagavad Gita,
            Mahabharatha, Ramayana, ect?

            Which literature falls under classical sanskrit and which under
            Vedic Sanskrit?

            Is most existing Sanskrit literature, apart from Vedas, based purely
            on Panini;s sanskrit grammar or are there any variations?

            In other words, if you master Panini’s grammar rules, does that mean
            that you can comprehend any branch of Sanskrit literature or
            just a few?

            Could you clarify this doubt of mine?

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  31. Truth Will Prevail

    Angrezi has enough Sanskrit words in it, and Sanskrit came before Angrezi. So why are some Indians afraid of Sanskrit? They are quick to hate Sanskrit but they want to make English the National language. We should make Sanskrit part of our school and college education. Hindi is fine but Sanskrit is the father of the Hindi language which is India’s national language. Tamil is another ancient Indian language that must be preserved and protected. We even have other Tribal languages that deserve protection.

  32. Truth Will Prevail

    I read Mr Asaris post above and I realized he’s an idiot spouting nonsense. The reason why people type English here is because fools like you who hate Sanskrit and Hindi wouldn’t understand much if everyone were to type in Hindi or their respective languages. We have more than 25 languages and we should respect each and every language of India. English is only a language for communication between people who speak different languages. It isn’t there to lick boots. Boot licking is done by people who hate Sanskrit when they clearly know there are some Sanskrit words in English and other European languages. Indo European languages didn’t come from Europe. It went from India towards Europe during prehistoric times. At that time skin tone, facial features and colors were evolving. This isn’t the Muller’s bed time era of 1500 B.C. This is prehistory. Some Mlecchas were kicked out of India because of their arrogance and Nazi type inferiority complexes. They went against Hindu Vedic rituals and became Asuric in thoughts and behavior.

    English wasn’t even a main language until Angles and Saxons of Germanyended up on the British Isles and introduced Anglish. The Germanic languages are much younger than Sanskrit which is its Baap or Father. Latin and Greek are the classical languages of Southern Europe and Sanskrit is the classical language of India. It is in no way inferior to English, Latin or Greek. Only Mlecchas and Nazis think otherwise.

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