Monday, February 25, 2008

Bharat vs India: A culture clash

Bharat and India are not separate pieces of land. However, they are separate states of mind.
While India believes in the West, Bharat reposes its trust in the ancient culture of the land. While India looks towards the west for solutions, Bharat looks within for solutions. The Indian outlook is materialistic, while the Bharathiya ethos views spirit as primary and believes in the spiritual approach. While India believes in self-indulgence, Bharat believes in sacrifices. While India believes in individualism, Bharat believes in family values. The list seems to be endless.
It must be said that India has its birth in Macualay’s minutes. Lord Macualay – the man who designed the Indian education system said: "Our English schools are flourishing wonderfully; we find it difficult to provide instruction to all. The effect of this education on Hindus is prodigious. No Hindu who has received an English education ever remains sincerely attached to his religion. It is my firm belief that if our plans of education are followed up, there will not be a single idolater among the respected classes 30 years hence. And this will be effected without our efforts to proselytize; I heartily rejoice in the prospect'“ Today, the word Macualay’s children refers to the breed of Indians – who are Indians in blood and colour but British in taste, morals and opinions.
During the British rule, there seem to have been two motives working in the minds of the rulers: plundering the wealth of this land and the 'white man's burden ' of civilizing the natives (the term used by them to refer to all Indians). While the plundering was done in the name of the trade, the de-indigenisation of Bharat was achieved through Macualay’s education.
Both the culture shock and the plunder was equally brutal: Perhaps many of us do not know that India was the richest land till the British came on the scene.. Whereas Britain's share in world exports before was only 9% as against India's share of 19% today our share is only 0.5%.
In the Round- table conference in 1931, Mahatma Gandhi in one of his speeches said, "The beautiful tree of education was cut down by you British. Therefore today India is far more illiterate than it was 100 years ago." Immediately, Philip Hartog, who was a parliamentarian stood up and said, "Mr.Gandhi, it is we who have educated the masses of India. And therefore you must take back your statement and apologise or prove it." Gandhiji said he would prove it. But the debate did not continue for lack of time. Later one of his followers, Shri Dharampal, went to the British museum and examined the reports and archives. He published a book "The Beautiful Tree" where this matter has been discussed in great detail. By 1820, the British had already destroyed the financial resources that supported our educational system- a destruction that they had been carrying out for nearly twenty years. But still the Indians persisted in continuing with their system of education. So, the British decided to find out the intricacies of this system. Therefore a survey was ordered in 1822 and was conducted by the British district collectors. In the survey it was found that the Bengal presidency had 1 lakh village schools, in Madras there was not a single village without a school, in Bombay, if the village population was near 100, the village had a school. Teachers as well as students of all castes were in these schools. The Brahmins accounted 7% to 48% of the teachers, and the rest of the teachers in any district, came from other castes. Further all children had their education in their mother tongue.
Losing roots means losing power: How does a nation get weakened? A nation gets weakened when the ignorance of the people about their own roots increases, or when they become ashamed of themselves or of their forefathers. Actually that is where real regression of a nation starts. A nation, which wants to forget about itself and imitate other nations, cannot redeem itself but is on the path of self-destruction. The regression is there in our nation at present. And if we truly do not want to weaken ourselves as a nation, we need to extricate our educational system out of its Macaulayian traits, and obtain a fresh and untainted understanding of our ideals; which have held us together as a nation for nearly ten thousand years.
Only when a nation progresses along its roots, it truly advances. Indigenous growth is better than imitation of the west any day.


Anonymous said...

Rightly said. Good statistics on education of ancient days.

Anonymous said...

Very crisp interpretation of 'India VS Bharat' mind set. Good job.


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