Udaya Narayana Singh, director of the Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL), on the Karnataka High Court judgment that the State could insist on the medium of instruction in primary schools being in the child’s mother tongue or Kannada only in government or aided schools, not in private or unaided ones, in Outlook:
“First, it opens up the complex question of linguistic rights. Are individual linguistic human rights more sacrosanct or is it the social agglomerate that has the right to decide what is ideal as the school language? It is generally the individual rights that receive protection in a legal system.
“Second, although experiments worldwide prove one’s mother tongue is the best language to be educated in, the market forces tilt the balance in favour of an option that suits its needs.
“Third, none of the players gives a serious thought to a pluralistic option, whereby all schools develop a programme that allwos their children to be proficient in both local and global languages.”