The feather vendor, the P & G honcho, and URA

Former Procter & Gamble India head Gurcharan Das in The Sunday Times of India:

“At great sacrifice India’s poor send their children to private, English-medium schools of varying degrees of quality. The children face incomprehension initially, but eventually most of them manage to take a leap into a new world. This happens because a child is naturally bilingual. Our education establishment dismisses these schools and thinks the parents stupid. The same establishment thrust shudh Hindi down our throats for 50 years but all they achieved was an unemployable person. Now, at least, these children can get a job – so, who is the stupid one?”

The Jnanpith Award winning author U.R. Anantha Murthy in Many Indias: Search for a Centre:

“All languages in India will survive, one feels, if there are people who speak only that language. I once met Bhalachandra Nemade, the Marathi writer. He told me that some people from Bihar came to Bombay to sell vegetables. They speak only their language, they refuse to learn any other language. So all our women who go to buy vegetables, because they want to buy fresh good vegetables, have learnt to speak their language. And who are these people who know only that language and no other language? They are not literate, they are backward, they are untouchables and also people who have not come up, in the modern sense, anywhere. I sometimes think that our languages have survived because of such people who knew only that language.”

YouTube video link courtesy T.V. Mahalingam