When it comes to discussing the history of our beloved educational system, Britishers almost come complimentary with it, since independence the Indian Education hasn’t gone through any major change at all, and has continued with its primal, archaic, and a rather berserk system of schooling, what was primarily meant to be a colonial ploy played by the British, was rather accepted as the normative form of education, this system was initially started by the British rulers and was brought into effect by our beloved Mr. Thomas Babington Macaulay, who said and I quote
“ Indians are filthy creatures and need to be reminded of their backwardness and also of our supremacy, all of their Sanskrit texts combined wouldn't account for the books we use to teach our kindergarteners, therefore we must shred them of their identity and educate them in English and social skills for them to become our workforce ”,
in a letter addressed to his officials working in India, he even denied visiting India, as he was assured that India was the ‘land of diseases’, he was the first person who intended to manufacture this “English Education System”, the primary goal of which was to abolish regional education systems and downplay regional languages and cultures, the ripples of which we can see even today, as speaking English is still considered a virtue, I mean, look at this blog, most of the readers of it are going to be from India, but I am forced to write in English because if I start writing in Hindi, no one is going to read it.
Weird creatures we are, Indians, so goddamn proud of Aryabhata for discovering zero, and Chanakya writing the Arthashastra but cannot devise an educational system of our own. We forget our own ancestors and become slaves of the outsiders who when even cared to educate us, did it so that they could employ us as cheap labor and not because they cared about us, providing education was never an act of philanthropy, it was out of the desire to make more profit, this is why they primarily only focused on subjects like Maths and Law, and never cared about fields like humanities because all they needed were cheap accountants and clerks, what would they have done with a painter or a singer. This carried heritage of bigotry, subservience and snobbery has made us believe that we will never be as good as they are, the fascination of having a fair skin tone has also originated from this very ideology, a country that once contributed to more than a fourth of the global economy has been so badly devastated that the only aspiration we have left is “ bas Sarkar naukri lag jaye” this fantasy of having a sarkari naukri also came along with the entry of British bureaucracy in India and the “Imperial Administrative Services”, people who were fascinated by this are the same ones who are fascinated by the current “Indian Administrative Services”, notice the lack of creativity, they couldn’t even change the name properly, all they could do was change the ‘imperial’ to ‘Indian’, becoming an IAS officer entails possessing unregulated and unchecked power, with no real responsibility, lots of subsidies and huge pensions from the government for no real reason, who wouldn't accept this?, this entire fascination and fear for the administrators was a foreign concept, the ‘bootlicking of the bureaucracy culture’ started since the British invasion, for Indian culture never had such a system of bureaucracy, only after close influence with them, we started modelling each and every institution of ours after theirs. Even our constitution is almost a Xerox copy of their constitution, from the judiciary to the legislature, everything seems unoriginal, it seems like we made almost zero effort to create our own stuff.
This English education policy combined with the Christian Jesuit priests, who came here to convert people to Christianity, together started building English-medium schools, attached with churches, in 1835 William Bentinck, the then governor-general of India, came up with a one-line approval of this minute in the parliament and got the English Education Act 1835 passed. It came into effect in 1859. Everything has gone haywire since then, and especially after our independence, since more than half of the Indian population was uneducated, with situations like these, receiving primary education became such a privilege, that the ‘quality' of this aforementioned education and the purpose of providing education receded in the background. For example, when you are thirsty for water, the quality of the water becomes irrelevant, this is what happened to us Indians, we were so goddamn devastated after the British left that we never even cared to look towards letting alone improve our hideous institutions, The purpose of such elitist, high-brow and decorative bureaucratic institutions were to distinguish itself from the common folk and just remain aloof from the common man’s problem, they never cared for the poor anyway, the mistake we made was to continue with their bullshit system and didn’t do anything in our capacity to revive ourselves, we just started flowing in the same direction just to avoid further damage.
This argument was affective only for a period time, since we are now much more developed than we were in 1947, but we continue perpetuating these nonsensical institutions, they should either be abolished, replaced or changed altogether, but sadly, our government has different plans, this continuous feeling of Indians somehow being subservient has almost become our subconscious frame of mind, we’ve been so deeply entangled in this web of self-pity and self-hatred, we have stopped viewing ourselves as individuals, the entire narrative of ‘Hindi’ speakers somehow being uncouth stems from the self-pity argument, we have accepted the stereotypical image of Indians as fashioned by the British elites as our ultimate reality, the only way we will ever be able to change this is to change our educational process, cause education sits at the base of everything, it’s the very base upon which a child’s thinking develops, if he is never made to feel proud of his culture and his language, how can one expect that kid to not become a washed-out wannabe American elitist who thinks that only uncivilized people speak Hindi. When the people of your country start hating their own culture and heritage, it is only a matter of time before your culture collapses, today everything that is American automatically by extension becomes supposedly ‘cool’, this ‘cool’ epidemic must be stopped and the only way to do is to make the new generation relate to its own culture.
“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots”
- Marcus Garvey