Last week, KIRAN RAO BATNI wrote of how the UPA government’s much-vaunted Right to Education was anti-federal and anti-democratic, and was indeed a sign of India being pushed towards becoming a dictatorship.
“Any move which takes power away from the people is a move away from democracy. By moving the site of power from the States to the Centre, India has demonstrated its preference of dictatorship over democracy, of government over people, of centralism over federalism,” he wrote.
The article attracted a barrage of criticism. Click below to read his response.
KIRAN RAO BATNI writes: As promised, here’s a follow-up post on the details of the Right to Education Bill, which is based on the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.
My focus in this post is on federalism and Centre-State relations. I’ve ended up making statements about linguistics and pedagogy, but they’re limited to the main ones which affect Centre-State relations in this whole issue.
I do not mean that everything in the Act is bad. There are good things in the Act, but the negative impact on Centre-State relations and the proposed slow dismantling of democracy and federalism in India are unpardonable. In the wake of that disaster, the good things in the Act are nothing to be happy about.
I’ve structured this post as a set of questions and answers since that seemed the most logical way of going about it. Please refer to the full text of the Act to get to the actual wordings of the Articles referred to here.
Question 1: Who decides how much money is required for implementing the Act?
Answer: The central government. See Article 7(2).
Question 2: Is it right for the central government to decide it?
Answer: No. It is outright undemocratic, since mostly people from outside each State will decide the money required for education within that State. The people of Karnataka, for example, have lost the right to decide for themselves how much money should be invested in elementary education in Karnataka.
Even disregarding the fact that Karnataka speaks a language unique to it, this is undemocratic.
Bringing in that fact to the equation, it is all the more easy to see that it’s undemocratic: only the States themselves have the ability to decide how much money is required to make their languages “fit carriers of knowledge”, and only the states themselves have the ability to decide how much money is required to implement their own languages in schools.
As a simple example, languages which have more non-phonetic characters in their alphabet will need more money and effort and innovation in order to achieve good education; but New Delhi is unfit by definition to even be aware of these crucial subtleties which characterize the diverse languages of India.
Even if New Delhi were aware, or if Washington DC were aware, there is no reason to ask State governments to give up their power over education to either of them unless we’re in the process of dismantling democracy in India.
Question 3: Who is responsible for coughing up that money?
Answer: The state governments. See Article 7(5).
Although Article 7(1) makes it seem as if both the State and central governments have this responsibility, the final responsibility rests with the States, since the Centre may decide not to provide any grant-in-aid. It is left to it to determine how much that grant is; it could well be zero rupees.
The Centre can simply decide that particular states have the money required (in complete ignorance of state and language-specific requirements as explained in the answer to Question 2 above) and refuse any money from its own funds.
Given the corrupt equations of power at the Centre, there is no guarantee that distribution of funds to the States will be based on actual requirements; it will in most cases be based on the need to appease coalition partners in order for the central government to stay in power.
Even if it were to be miraculously based on actual requirements following a sudden de-corruption of the central government due to a meteor storm, it does not have any source of funds other than taxpayer money from the more affluent states, and can at best retard further progress in education in the affluent states by draining their money towards the less-affluent states.
The decision to set aside any money for less-affluent sister-States must be optional and dharmic for the affluent States, not mandatory and governmental. Also, free funds flowing into less-affluent states is apt to be misused; free money is always misused (I am even against taking any grants from the IMF or other international bodies for improving education in India; we don’t need it, and we must strive to improve without it; what would we have done if we didn’t have that source of money?).
Question 4: Isn’t it all okay if the Act only prescribes what is good for the people of the States?
Answer: First of all, it is none of the central government’s business to make decisions about education in the States. I’m not talking about constitutional provisions; the constitution needs to be amended according to what is right; what is right cannot be derived from the constitution.
What the central government decides as good is not necessarily good. State-governments are more apt to take the right decisions, since they are closer to ground realities (which include the language factor).
Washington DC may be more capable than New Delhi of prescribing what is good for the States simply because it can respect India’s internal diversity more than Hindi-heavy New Delhi. But that doesn’t mean the States should give up decision-making authority to Washington DC.
That power must lie with the States from the first principles of democracy and federalism (which is but an extension of democracy). Of course, the central government is welcome to put in selfless effort to provide financial guidelines which may or may not be adopted by the states.
Such prescriptions are also made by organizations such as UNESCO and NGOs such as Pratham, but they rightly don’t possess any decision-making authority. The central government, similarly, cannot and must not assume any decision-making powers here. That would be undemocratic.
Question 5: Is it fair, moral or ethical for the central government to decide what is right and ask states to cough up money?
Answer: No, it is not fair or moral or ethical. The Act basically betrays the imperial air with which state governments are being treated by the central government.
In the days of the British, the British Government of India decided how much money is to be paid by the States for its projects, and the states had no option but to cough up that money out of fear of military defeat. But today, State governments are democratically elected governments of different linguistic peoples who are free citizens, and have the right to a roadmap for becoming more responsible and more efficient if at all India is considered as a democracy.
Today, the Government of India is a democratically elected government and must behave like one; it cannot make unilateral decisions about education (or anything else, for that matter,) and impose a mandatory payment on the states.
The fundamentals of democracy dictate that power should not be moved away from the people, but this Act does exactly that by moving power from the states to the central government.
Pardon the simile, but state governments are being regarded as dispatch clerks and asked to lick the boots of the central government, British imperial style. The States too, must discontinue behavioural traits developed under the British and get out of the assumption that military action will follow any non-payment of money ordered by the central government. No, we’re a free country today, and no State needs to lick the boots of the central government to remain in power.
Question 6: Who decides the curriculum for schools under this Act?
Answer: Article 7(6) states that the central government shall “develop a framework of national curriculum”.
Although it seeks help from academic authority specified by the appropriate government (which is the state government in the case of schools run by it), the final decision-making authority is the central government.
Remember that all help is optional, and that the central government can do what it thinks is right whether that help is available or not. While the Act is carefully crafted to not explicitly give the central government the authority to force that curriculum framework in any state, it is anybody’s guess as to what will happen to the grant-in-aid to States which don’t follow the framework or dare to innovate themselves.
Thus, the power granted by Article 29(1) to the appropriate government to “lay down the curriculum” is actually all set to be usurped by the central government itself, with the carrot of the grant-in-aid hung in front of state-governments. The “laying down” must be understood as the dry job of dispatching diktat flowing in from New Delhi, like clerks.
Question 7: Isn’t a common national curriculum good for all the States?
Answer: Educationists are divided on this point, and there is no consensus.
Even assuming that only science and mathematics are covered under such a curriculum (adding others would be a disaster), there are pedagogical considerations which can make such a curriculum bad for the country as a whole.
For instance, such a curriculum would subject children with very different abilities to the same system – something which is regarded as a criminal offense by many educators. Besides, such a national curriculum would be a sure way of stifling linguistic and pedagogical innovation in the States.
While the central government is simply incapable of driving the former variety of innovation, there is no proof that it has any better abilities than the states themselves when it comes to the latter.
Who said New Delhi has more intelligent people than in Bangalore, for example?
Some do not understand what lingusitic innovation is required in science and maths education.
First of all, such people need to understand that science and maths have to be taught in Kannada in Karnataka, and in Assamese in Assam, and that these languages still need to develop the right kind of linguistic registers to be able to fitly carry such education (this is true of Hindi also, by the way — it, perhaps, needs it more badly than any other Indian language).
There is a whole lot of innovation and hard work required to get Indian languages in shape, and a national curriculum can do nothing to help. Sure, the technical support and resources that the central government is slated to provide to State governments as per Article 7(6)(c) are good, but technical support and resources for innovation, research and planning are not what, for example Karnataka, lacks.
What state-governments lack today is the feeling of being fully responsible for elementary education, and the Act as a whole only harms the prospects of any such feeling emerging.
Question 8: Who decides and enforces standards for teacher-training?
Answer: The central government. See Article 7(6)(b). This is a major disaster waiting to happen, since there is an infinite disconnect between the central government and teachers in the states.
Besides, the central government neither speaks the language of those teachers, nor has it ever worked in those languages. Thus teacher-training is best handled by the states, but the central government has usurped this power by the provisions of the Act.
The States are expected to only provide the “facility” for the training (See Article 8(e)): real-estate, timely coffee and lunch, and working fans in summer. Everything else—the content and delivery of the training—is retained by the central government which has not the slightest ability to decide what they should be.
This also stinks of British imperialism with the all-knowing white babus arriving by train on one hot summer day to decide local matters in the states which are assumed to be filled with brown fools. Today it’s not white babus and brown fools, but Hindi babus and Kannadiga fools (in Karnataka); that’s all.
Question 9: There seems to be an underlying assumption that the central government is more capable of handling education for the whole of India. Is it correct? What are its implications?
Answer: There is no doubt that this assumption informs the Act in letter and spirit. This too, is nothing but a continuation of British imperialism wherein the British assumed that they were better suited to decide what is good for India (including in education). Now, it’s the central government which is making that assumption.
If this assumption weren’t there, there would be no reason for the Act to give the power over curriculum and teacher-training to the centre; the states would have had it. In politics, assumptions spawn reality. Hence, the assumption that the state-governments are less capable actually creates less capable state-governments.
Why governments, the very existence of a higher body which has implicit decision-making powers with respect to the curriculum will attract mediocre talent in the “academic authority specified by the appropriate government” to “lay down the curriculum”, and that mediocre talent will simply copy-paste the framework, however inapplicable and inappropriate it may be to the respective state.
Slowly, this Act will make the states wash their hands off educating their own populations — which is disastrous, because New Delhi cannot do as effective a job as the states (nor is it capable of doing so, as argued above). Even if New Delhi could do an effective job, it is not good at all that power is moving away and away from the people due to the Act. That is a deadly blow to democracy, and is only ensuring that India is slowly becoming a dictatorship run from New Delhi.
Question 10: There seems to be an underlying assumption that Indian languages should soon be replaced by English as the medium of instruction in schools all over India. Is this right? What are the implications of such an assumption?
Answer: Yes, that assumption informs the Act, and a preview of that assumption is seen in Article 29(2)(f) which declares that medium of instruction shall be in the mother-tongue “as far as practicable”.
As far as practicable to whom? Kapil Sibal? His team of yawning Hindi speakers in New Delhi who don’t have a clue of what it takes to make education in Kannada practicable in Karnataka? How can New Delhi decide how far the mother-tongue is practicable when it has never spoken that tongue?
Of course, Article 29 is written for the appropriate government (which includes state governments), not just the central government, but I’ve argued above how it is only on paper and not reality because of the grant-in-aid carrot, and because of the overpowering statement in Article 7(6)(a).
Besides, the central government does not have what it takes to ensure mother-tongue education all over India, just like the British did not have. This neglect of Indian languages will end up legitimizing the creamy English-speaking layer created by Macaulay and bolster it with governmental force, at the cost of most of India struggling to keep up with that layer forever.
Question 11: Will this Act legitimize Hindi imposition all over India?
Answer: Yes. There is nothing in the Act which prevents it from happening. Kapil Sibal has already made statements to the effect that Hindi should be taught all over India. This, again, is a disaster because it legitimizes the crime and takes away the right of the states to resist it simply because the central government is all set to make all decisions about the curriculum.
Also read: Yella not OK, guru. Nanna makkalu is not learning
Don’t gift them fish. Teach them how to fish
Can Azim Premji do what the government can’t/ won’t?
Yedi is fiddling when namma naadu is burning
Do our netas, parties really care about education?
Nice come back! this article eventhough long, makes lot more sense than the very abstract first article on this topic.
Kapil Sibal needs more schooling in realities of India’s education. Too bad he is a dimwit.
My dream is to print lots of books with many colorful pictures and short stories to small tots in rural areas and poor sections. All over India. Irrespective of caste creed or religion.
See if this helps –
elli namma simple saahebru,, napatte aag bittiddaare.
swalpa uttra kodi bani sir.
Here are the counter replies to your article;
Q2 : When the C.G allocates the amount of money for each state, it does not just conjure at a figure from thin air. There is obviously a process involved wherein a committee decides the appropriate funds each state should receive. On the other hand, if we give the powers to the state, it may demand vast amounts of money that need not be necessarily for implementation of the bill. After all most states have a dubious record in extracting money more than their necessities.
Moreover, as stated in my previous comment, the state’s ruling party have their own agenda in education. A simple example is for the Karnataka government to introduce the Baghavad Gita in the syllabus. Consequently state ministers will oppose the English language as a medium of instruction, when their own children receive quality English education in foreign universities. (This has happened in Karnataka as well. You must know it.)
Therefore, in the interest of a unified syllabus and quality education the centre must fix the syllabus and the allocation of funds for each state.
Q3: The C.G. bears a 55:45 ratio with the state in sharing the financial expenses. (As stated in an editorial in The Hindu. Hope that is not wrong) What your stating is a hypothetical situation, that the C.G MIGHT not give money to the state. You also claim that the C.G. will favor its coalition partners more in allocating the funds. What is the alternative? Can the state decide the amount of money it wants and the C.G. blindly agrees to give the money? Could you please make the answer to question 3 easier for us to understand?
Q5: That is a very sophistry argument. If the C.G. is allocating money to the states it is the duty of the state to comply with the recommendations of a bill that has been passed unanimously. I would go on to say, that it is undemocratic for anyone to argue a motion that has been passed by a majority and has become a law. Isin’t that a very clever argument as well? In thin slicing the bureaucracy the C.G. has been efficient in ensuring that the syllabus remains unchanged in different states and the money is coughed up in a ratio that applies to all states. Agree?
Q6: When the government has a provision that the curriculum is laid with the help of the state then where does the problem arise. Another hypothetical situation that the C.G has no right to usurp the power of the states and decide the education it wants? Now why would a C.G. disseminate bad education when it has conceptualized the bill in the first place? A simple question to you, sir. And as stated above, each S.G may have its own agendas and introduction of, say, the importance of building statues in U.P? Is that what the children have to learn?
Q7: Why is it that only we should benefit the fruits of the English language and devour fat paying jobs? I fail to understand your arid hatred for the language when you use the language to your advantage?
Q8: I would request you to see Article 7(6)(c) and Article 8(e) which clearly gives powers to the state to provide teacher facilities and adequate education for them to teach the children. It is an “obligation” of the appropriate government to provide special teacher training facility. The C.G acts as a mere mediator in ensuring the S.G. carries out its duties. What is the problem with that? I don’t see any issues here. It is a perfectly framed Article. The C.G does not say it will provide teachers by itself. Does it? I fail to understand your argument, sir.
Q8 : It is difficult not to notice your vituperation to the British empire. This is understandable but comparisons with the British imperialism and anything associated with them should be abhorred, is unwarranted. There is no point in flogging the dead man. The British have gone and its time we let them be. If this sort of vexation with the British persists, perhaps we have to abandon English, the Railways and even our constitution to some extent. Let us have a healthy debate without comparing everything to British imperialism and why anything associated with the British is evil.
I still believe that are finer details that can be discussed like reforms in NCTCE and other issues of further employable opportunities for the children. With the utmost respect for you sir, I still don’t buy into your narrow rhetoric of power transfers. However the beauty of a democracy is that we all have our individual views and we have the power to flaunt it. I have learnt a great deal from your article. Also, thank you for a more improvised article as compared to your previous one.
Wan’t to do it myself.
Initially, buy and distribute it myself, see the joy on their faces…
Indian Criminal Code is a law enacted by center, but law and order is a state subject, is it fair for central govt. to legislate? Going by your drift, it isn’t.
Other major issue raked up is Local language education. But, the reality of the matter is that a good portion of people don’t get a choice of their mother tongue anyway.. Think of Kodava, Konkani, Tuluva etc.
Besides, why is english education so bad? Most of internet and all the knowledge there of is in English. There is no better learning tool than Internet in this age.
>Too bad he is a dimwit.
Facts speak otherwise – Kapil Sibal is one of the top lawyers in India and he was academically brilliant too, has a law degree from Harvard Law school.
” Other major issue raked up is Local language education. But, the reality of the matter is that a good portion of people don’t get a choice of their mother tongue anyway.. Think of Kodava, Konkani, Tuluva etc. ”
Hence as we know India relies on foreign countries for jobs, even in the IT industries rely on jobs from overseas which can be lost anytime and the moment the US passes any anti outsourcing bill Indians are worried. Indians rarely do research depend upon others for everything. tomorrow if the jobs that India has because of english knowledge go who will give the jobs ? will all the Indians go elsewhere jobs are present ? it shows how fixed our thinking is ? Developed countries like Japan, Germany, Israel havent abandoned their languages. in fact Israel revived Hebrew studies and is now a developed country that can defend itself. European countries all built by natives are thriving because of that. Indians are still in the colonial mindset
” Besides, why is english education so bad? Most of internet and all the knowledge there of is in English. There is no better learning tool than Internet in this age.”
Internet is going glocal with content being made in other languages also. the internet is going glocal ( global + local ) in the glocalisation era with companies like Microsoft, Yahoo, Google taking the lead. I rather follow that trend than the thought that internet is only for English.
have you ever tried to search in the internet for scientific materials in spanish, french, italian materials; you will find them in plenty. Trust me, try to find some basic things about microbiology, wine making, cheese making and most of them are in french and so many in welsh.
and about Kapil Sibal,
any prestigious degree from the most prestigious of universities will not make a difference until the graduate realises where he is going to apply those learned concepts. He has to apply the concepts in India which is linguistically diverse and in such a nation, enabling every state to convert every science into their language for better understanding.
FYI, english have done the same thing. Every microbiological aspect and records were in French and they had it translated for their better understanding not kannadigas comprehension. Hope you understand. Physics was in German and english translated it as well and thatz for their better comprehension, not ours. Do you understand what I mean?
Seems that Kapil Sibal is someone who wears the ideology up his sleeves all the time. Otherwise, such a nationalist, Hindi imperialist bill wouldn’t have been put forward in first place.
Kapil sibal is on the right way. The states had 60 years to develop their education system, but they did nothing.
Who is stopping implementation of RTE in vernacular languages?
It is Right To Education, not Right to English :)
Akshaya – good points.
about harkol here it is
“But, the reality of the matter is that a good portion of people don’t get a choice of their mother tongue anyway.. Think of Kodava, Konkani, Tuluva etc.”
This shows the cunning mentality that harkol being a tuluva repeatedly exhibits. He somehow wants to be political leader of all tuluvas . So
he first of all takes off tulu from kannada and rakes up argument of
“namage sikkaddu avarigyaake” ? divide and rule.
then similarly he will break up south and north karnataka dialects and from their every small variation and then get into total chaos.
He also tries to say the greatness of english – he doesn’t know english itself came from german around 14th century where most Indian languages were having solid structure. He talks as if science maths and other subjects have only one destination and that is english.
what he doesn’t know is english vocab is so powerless that it needs a lot of import every year!
and over that he calls Kiran as Madam!
one more macaulay’s child whose tastes are totally british but will agree slavery also for trade.
My view is the whole of India has 3 distinct lipi / literary systems.
1. Devanagari – North
2. Prakrit – East.
3. Kannada – Karnataka and AP. Should have been Maharashtra too hadn’t they accepted hindi and aryan romanticism and brought south to shame by harkol like thinking giving space to bollywood.
4. Simhalese – TN and Kerala.
5. Arabic – Urdu centred in few parts but spread artificially by congress to all parts.
All the Indian languages either follow one or the other for script.
It’s obvious that when it comes to education and writing we need some script systems. About 90% of students are very much comfortable for science and maths education in these scripts.
If you want to develop a script for tulu or konkani nobody stops you from it.
But what harkol is tries is to say all indian linguistic studies are defeated by English.
There is no option to compete except full anglicization.
He and alikes make tuluvas so much english and konkanis roman that they forget everyone else in their villages which they never would have visited except romanticising Aishwarya and Deepika.
We see everyday how aged parents are left out.
This is a deep rooted offensive which erstwhile empires faced due to backstabbing from their own men which led to their downfall. We need to be careful of such viruses.
Kapil Sibal from harvard — ha ha ha ha.
In a typical Kashinath style
How much dowry did he take and how many affairs he had and still having?
Harvard and Oxford are the prime reasons for India to reach such adogathi. We need to bring in strict laws on these braintrains so that migrants don’t get brainwashed there get braindrained and then come here to brainless brashing.
Great job Kiran,
Karnataka and other southern states should resist this new design.
This is the most dangerous attempt to bring back Raj.
Why would I send money to Delhi if I want education in Bangalore or Biligirirangana betta. What guarantee that this will not get diverted to Mayawati’s poor state ( as has been happening with state funds now)
Or what is the guarantee that this will not line central mantry’s pocket sitting in Prarambhik Shiksha Kosha!!. Half the budget for elementary education earmarked by center last year went into this khosh. I wonder why center keeps creating these shell companies to make funds disappear. If some one audits PSK we may discover that funds were used to prop up some non existent schemes.
What we want is pure devolution of all power to states if not panchayat.
Dismantle all the powers of center and make center responsible only for defence and foriegn affairs.
Sending all the money to Delhi is so British Raj,
If some egg head in Delhi decides to bring back Raj, kick his butt and declare independence to Karnataka.
I begged so much for a rail line from Mumbai to Mangalore and finally I had to finance that myself.
Now education too is going Railway way… Stop this bullshit and call for end to this Kapi(l) cheste.
I am a Konkani.
I did not mind learning Kannada as my first language. I will always consider myself Kannadiga first.
I will certainly mind if Hindi is made my first language.
Very valid points. My main concern with this would be.
1. Fund allocation – We all know how regional parties in our neighbouring states flex their muscles and get funds sanctioned while our ‘national parties’ do not bother.
2. Unified syllabus – Rather than a syllabus it would be better if a central body, made up of various people from different states, provide a outline of what needs to be taught. The exact content and the methodology should be left to the respective states. There would be no problem in Maths & Science but problems may arise when the syllabi for history will be decided. Local history may not get the due importance it derives.
Let me also posit a wonderful cannon ball in Karnataka’s armory.
I request Kapil Sibal to read Malcom Gladwell’s book “Outliers”
As per the book the best mathematics ability comes from working in paddy fields and having a language where numbers are based on decimal system.
(that is why only kids who compete with my daughter in mathematics are either south indians or chinese )
English does not have numbers based on decimal system.. First twenty numbers in english have no particular rule.
Hindi too does not have decimal system . in fact it is even worse. After gyaraha baraha and so on, when a semblance of decimal system stars appearing in twenties.. there is reversal in 29.. when we start referring to number that is coming next rather than previous.. Also there are so many jumps and breaks in rules all the way to 100s. Hindi is lousy.
Now look at Kannada.. Hattu. Hadinondu, Hadineradu…… Ippatondu.. Ippateradu.. Kannada is truly most decimal among English, Hindi and Kannada
And also Kannadigas from coastal districts top CETs and JEEs and end up as talents in Sun, Microsoft and NASA .. you name it..
because as kids we worked in paddy fields in the coastal district..
Kapil so the learning for you is that.. as already explained by Malcom gladwell…and then as supplemented by me..
In your RTE,
Make Rice and Sambar as national food for midday meal for schools.
And make Kannada as the medium of instruction for Math for whole of India when you get your RTE act together. Probably Kannada will be suited for science too because what is good for math should certainly be good for science.
>Do you understand what I mean?
Miss it entirely. Perhaps I am a dimwit too.. You see beating 99% of your class, earning a right to be in Prestigious schools that majority of students covet – seems to earn people the title of dimwit.
Dimwits among us will learn a language that gives us knowledge, I suppose the more brilliant among us, will want translations of all works to their own language..
Microbiology in Tulu would be great indeed, why force Kannada on Tulu natives?
“Microbiology in Tulu would be great indeed, why force Kannada on Tulu natives”
Why not start a campaign. devise a new script or use existing ones. Fine. nobody stops you.
also let us know how much of non-kannada it will contain. and by kannada i mean old to new.
till then don’t act like churchill.
Swamy, Nanu Kannada Classalli hattaravarege kalitavanu. My first Encyclopedia was Shivarama Karant’s.
But, Even today I can’t relate to some words in science that was taught to me in Kannada. Given the same subject in Kannada and English, i’ll read English thank you.
For me Sharkarapishta makes any better sense than Carbohydrate..
>till then don’t act like churchil
ಉಘೆ ಉಘೆ ವಾಟಾಳ್ ನಾಗರಾಜರ ಬಲಗೈ ಬಂಟರೆ !! ನೀವು ಅಚ್ಚ ಕನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲಿ ಚುರುಮುರಿ ಅಂತರ್ಜಾಲದ ಕಡತಕ್ಕೆ ನಿಮ್ಮ ಟಿಪ್ಪಣಿಗಳನ್ನು ಟಪಾಲು ಮಾಡಿ. ಇದನ್ನು ತರ್ಜುಮೆ ಮಾಡುವ ಕೆಲಸ ಉಳಿಯುತ್ತದೆ.
>I did not mind learning Kannada as my first language. I will always consider myself Kannadiga first.
It isn’t a question of ‘minding’. It is a question of being practical and adapting to reality of the world instead of demanding the world change to my preference.
I learnt in Kannada medium till 10th. My children learn in English and I feel a tinge of sadness about their inability to read Kannada text as fluently as I did at their age.
But, I also feel glad about they being able to access vast amount of knowledge on internet and huge amounts of books available in English as versus Kannada.
But they read kannada enough to survive, just as I could read english to survive at their age.
So, I don’t mind they learning in English either.
>cunning mentality that harkol being a tuluva repeatedly exhibits
Wow! I repeatedly exhibit Cunning mentality being a tuluva.. Surely neither I or Tuluvas needed such a ‘wonderful endorsement’.
>south and north karnataka dialects
Tulu is a dialect of Kannada? Really?
What do you know about tulu?
Check this : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulu_script
Where are you seeing the Kannada Connection?
How much of Tulu can a Kannada speaking person can understand?? Here is a message in everyday tulu. Try and see a ‘dialectic’ kannada in this.
Andhe, yeer yeet maata panparatte, yee onji vakyodu yeereg olu kannada thikkundu pandh pannlege..
Tulu is a language that is getting wiped out due to Tulu nadu being ruled by Kannadiga and other rulers for centuries. That’s how the world goes… Languages get born and they die when it no longer serves a purpose – like Sanskrit did.
You are entirely mistaken. There are more Tulu speaking people around the world than some European languages. But, I am not a proponent of Tulu! I believe higher education in Tulu or any local language is bad for future prospects and survival – which is the fundamental purpose of a language.
I am just using Tulu as a counterpoint – to show how it is impractical to educate in Local languages.
>My view is the whole of India has 3 distinct lipi / literary systems.
The list had 5.
You seem to be viewing something that no other linguists have seen. Perhaps you can cite your sources.
IAC, Lipi is reducing to writing of a Language – it is not the language. Scripts and Languages have seperate evolution trees.
Check this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dravidian_languages
Telugu and Kannada may have similar Lipi/Script, but languagewise, Kannada is closer to Tamil than Telugu. (Also Check where tulu Lies in the Language Tree.. It developed independently and parallel to Kannada/Tamil/Telugu.)
Script tree is some what different. Most Indian languages evolved from Brahmi – http://www.engr.mun.ca/~adluri/telugu/language/script/chart.jpg
Your comment that center may do better job because states have not done their job for 60 years are what Kiran was afraid of.
If we make laws based on such bias we are dismantling democracy.
Remember squeezing the north east by center and intentionally making them poor to protect UP from attack from China. After bringing North East to its knees and effectively converting them into slaves, center wants bigger role in cash rich south. I vote on center with my foot.
Looting of north east by Indian central government is the biggest joke in the federal system. All this was done after India lost China war in 1962. Reasoning by then center was that North East should be made into treacherous land Chinese can not traverse if they come down Himalayas again. Look at the human tragedy it has created now.
Kapil will now be thinking of , emasculation of model south because North is not catching up with south.
I declare war on RTE. Shove RTE is up!!!
“Andhe, yeer yeet maata panparatte, yee onji vakyodu yeereg olu kannada thikkundu pandh pannlege..”
let me try
andre, eneno maath adtha iddeera , ee ondu vaakyada olage kannada thilkondu / huduki odi nodi.
may not be exact but i never used google or called my tulu friends for a translation. hope it’s atleast 70% correct.
“I am just using Tulu as a counterpoint – to show how it is impractical to educate in Local languages.”
That is your biggest problem. You have half baked knowledge. Scientists like CNR Rao have studied from local medium.
If good amount of Tuluvas can get more quality eduaction from their own tongue everyone will support it.
Agree that you are lost to vyamoha of english.
No ruler who is historically praised would have suppressed any culture or language. The fact is tuluvas have migrated to different parts and hence as you said their population is not centred. So if you still think it’s entirely separate/ dislike any other laguage you can start a online community for it. Why oppose the “others” in your terminology?
Same way in higher studies there is nothing like the language which matters it’s only science and intellect. But till then to reach that stage language plays a important role in building strong base.
A decade earlier a software engineer ( from oracle/siemens i suppose ) had written a mail of a detailed Kannada translation of complex mathematics. I have lost that forward. If someone can help with a link please.
Very good article from Mr.Kiran.
Whenever discussion about medium of istruction comes some people always refers english as “quality education” and provides the example like number of student successful in exams/jobs etc however such fiails to identify (intentionaly!) other factors which may be root cause for higher Success rate (?) of English medium students (in exams & jobs).
Some of the factors I would feel,
– Students who goes to English medium school are in general comes from whelthy family it means that they have access to healthy food, better learning aids (internet,books,pen-pencils) etc. It is very difficult to expect same rate excellance exhibition from financilay poor backgruond students (mostly opt for Kannada medium of instruction) as of students from family who has everything.
-Most of the English medium schools will do interviews and only intellegent (including their parents intellegince) are preffered/opted to offer admission. It is not great job to make already Intellegent student to “Sucessful” student.
In my personal openion, Two students comes from same family if provided eduction for one in Kannada (regional langauge) and another one in English, feels Kannada Students will be more “Successful” in “All” aspects of life.
– I always reads somebody saying Science/maths …so on are not available in Kannada that is why to opt for English, I feel if something important not available in Kannada then each Kannadiga should holds responsibility for the same. Nothing will be automaticaly available. it is we who has to make this is available for next generation.
Many says “if English was not taught in India we would have been jobless (atleast for hi-fy jobs) ”
I say for such comments “I aggree but if Kannada (mother tounge) would not have been taught in India we would not had “Jeeva” in our body”. We have decided what is more important – “Job” or “Jeeva”
those charts and wikipedia links are framed and reframed every hour.
Now if we goto wikipedia every month there will be a new article on the same topic. forget it when it names laguages as dravidian because dravidain itself is a debatable and arguable topic.
the two arrows to tamil shows it’s written by a tamilian :)
My list had 5 but 2 were outside of present India. and i am not a scholar in linguistics but it’s obviously evident if you look at scripts.
language and lipis may be different in sense of their developmental stages but they can’t be entirely separated. here you are again into divide and rule tactics. huttu guna sutru hogalla anthare.
now for the sake of counterargument don’t start with absurdity that since konkani has three scripts; kannada in churumuri has english script , hence every other can have more scripts.
Thanks for trying. Don’t know about %, but here is ‘Literal’ word for word Translation:
“Yenri, neevu ishtella Helthidhira, yee ondu vakyadalli nimage yelli kannada sigutthade antha heli nodona”.
As you can see Andhe is not Andhre, Maata is not Maathu, Olu is not Olage, Thikkundu is not Thilkondu/Huduki.
Yee is the only word that is shared. Vakya is Sanskrit. Kannada is naun.
>Scientists like CNR Rao have studied from local medium.
Mis-representation of facts. I too had education in Kannada till 10th (an alien language to me till I started going to school), but I learnt Kannada fast enough as teachers and students interacted in Kannada.
So, Yes ‘some’ Kannada medium students have grown a lot in life. But, that’s because we took the trouble to be proficient in English. And that happened because we had English forced on us at some level (typically +2). Think of a person who couldn’t make that transition, and you’ll see a person who struggles in modern India. Try this – Decide to talk only in Kannada and see how long/far you go in your career, if it isn’t one that entirely depends on spoken Kannada. The reality is – Most careers today depend on English.
It took me herculean effort to understand PU text books, and it took me a similar effort in Bangalore to become fluent in spoken English. Why should we put our children thru such traumatic experience?
>Agree that you are lost to vyamoha of english.
I can’t disagree more.
Even today I read Kannada books faster than English. I have read pretty much the entire Kannada fiction and non-fiction collections in Mangalore Central Library, by the time I reached 10th. My bookshelf still has about 25% Kannada books. But, I can’t find enough non-fiction to read in Kannada. I don’t have any particular affinity to English.
And, I am not saying we shouldn’t learn our local language. We went to extra pain to make sure our children learnt to read/write Kannada, by teaching them ourselves (it wasn’t part of their curriculum). But, they mix English a lot in their Kannada, and they read slowly in Kannada, so they prefer to read English novels (even Indian stories).
All I want is to make it mandatory to learn Maths and Science in English. I don’t mind History and other subjects being in Kannada.
So, try this: Assuming you studied in Kannada Medium – how many of these words make sense to you and how many have you used in the past 5 years.
ದಿಕ್ಪರಿವರ್ತಕ, ಭೌತರಾಶಿ, ವಿಭವಾಂತರ, ವಿದ್ಯುನ್ಮಾನ, ವನ್ದ್ಯಕಾರಕ, ವಿಕಿರಣಛಾಯ ಬಿಂಬನ,ಅವೇಶವಾಹಕ, ವ್ಯತಿರಿಕ್ತ ಒಲುಮೆ, ಪ್ರೇಷಕ, ಕೇಂದ್ರತ್ಯಾಗಿ, ಕೇಂದ್ರಾಭಿಮುಖ, ತ್ರಿಜ್ಯ, ಅಶ್ರಗ, ರೋಹಿತ ಬಣ್ಣ, ಸ್ಥಾಯಿ, ಜವ, ಉದ್ಧರಣಕ್ರಿಯೆ, ಭಿದುರತೆ, ಲಿಂಗನುಜನಕ, ಬೀಜಾಣುಜನಕ, ಸರೀಸೃಪ, ವರ್ಧನಅಂಗಾಂಶ, ಅನುಲೇಪಕ, ವಿಘಟನೆ, ಮೇದೋಜೀರಕ, ಕಿಣ್ವ, ಕಶೇರುಕ
>huttu guna sutru hogalla anthare
nanna Huttu guna Bidi swami, Vishaya Mathadi. Nananna Thegalidare nimma tharka sarthakavaguvudilla.
Give me your source of info, apparently it isn’t from your own research, so you must’ve based it on something?
And I don’t care who writes in Wikipedia, because my info, is not just Wikipedia based, i just gave you a easy reference.
>they can’t be entirely separated
It is seperate!
Tulu is today written in Kannada Script, but for 100s of years it was written in its own script, and at the turn of 20th century it changed to Kannada.
See how absurd the following statement sounds:
Kannada Ondu Latin moolavagiruva janya Bhashe. Yakendare, Kannadavannu Latin lipiyalli bareyabahudu.
Scripts are phonetic reduction of spoken language. It doesn’t matter what script you use for a language. Script is about notations and symbols. Language and linguistics is about Vocabulary, syntax and Grammer and to some extent phonetics. Scripts are studied as a seperate branch of linguistics, and have different science as well..
Saying that isn’t Divide and Rule!!
Another example – Sanskrit is a language, Devanagari is the script now used for it, but all old texts used a different script.
My Limited Veda/ sanskrit education, happened thru Sanskrit text book written in Kannada script. Can’t find it now.
ree non-confirmist maharaayre, translation almost depicted same meaning. siguvude antha heLodu and hudukuvudu are same. thiliyuvudu can also be used to know the unknown.
and if i had good hold of old kannada i would have done it much better.
vakya is sanskrit and sanskrit came from Gods. Isn’t it? :)
“All I want is to make it mandatory to learn Maths and Science in English.”
Why. Machines won’t run because formulae was in kannada is it? and circuit also needed chinese seal on it!
“It is seperate!”
Start writing Malayalam in English or Devanagari. It’s not so simple. Just think this . why would anyone develop an unknown script without any regards to vowel, consonant retroflexes of a particular language etc ; without any utility and wait till some language speakers accept it and use it.
It obviously must be developed by the same group of people. And we have this habit of attributing everything on book to God.
Brahmi – brahma ,
devanagari – from gods’ city ,
prakrit – from nature goddess etc and that is just a way to non-corrupt those things and a kind of racism cannot be ruled out too – If hindi is written in devanagari they can float with superiority complex of having Ganga – holy river , script of God and sanskrit words- again God’s words and a Aryan stamp – still they will have hundreds of upper and lower castes beating each other :)
It sometimes may happen with some migrant population and their lingos to adopt a different script since they never learn much than money and finance for which math / communication is needed than sophistication of language; but that cannot be taken as a central aspect for all. else we would have had whole money monger marwadi country.
“how many of these words make sense to you and how many have you used in the past 5 years.”
simple. I haven’t used it as frequently as I would have loved to because there is no space. That space is what I am asking for.
“Why should we put our children thru such traumatic experience? ”
Phobia. Fear . As a parent you are correct. But think if we keep on doing this.
India is poor , let’s move to america. america is bombed , let’s goto moon and then to some unknown planet….
>translation almost depicted same meaning
I didn’t say you didn’t get the broad meaning. But, I was asking you to find Kannada in the sentence. I can understand Tamil and Telugu to a certain extent with some words even being common, but that doesn’t make them Kannada dialects.
>India is poor , let’s move to america. america is bombed , let’s goto moon and then to some unknown planet….
Inspite of many opportunities, I never did – though I briefly worked out of our US office.
But, that’s just my choice. I respect people who are more flexible and adopt better than me.
Mara Ninthalli, Manushya Hodalli.
Those Kannada science words are some I wrote down from Memory, which got refreshed by seeing a SSLC question paper recently in Mangalore, at my cousins place.
I could recall these words, because – I know their meanings. There were some other words in that paper, which I didn”t know at all!!
So, What do we loose by learning Kannada as a language, use it for conversing, but learn english and do other learning in English?
Agree with you that certain words taught in Kannada medium are hard to digest for any Kannadiga. Thats the problem of coining words without applying linguistic science.
You must be happy to know that “Dr Shankara Bhat” has done a lot of linguistic work to coin words which are easily understandable by Kannadigas. For more on Dr Shankara Bhat’s works please visit, http://ellarakannada.org/ .
If education is provided in spoken tongue (aaDu nuDi to be precise), it is easy for all the kids to learn. More importantly masses do not get alienated from education. Scientific and mathematical concepts would make lot sense if taught in “aaDu nuDi”. A question might arise, “what if there are not much words?”. Answer is, words have to be built or brought by applying linguistic science.
I found this excellent blog on similar lines, http://vasantabanda.blogspot.com/2009/10/idara-artha-helidre-nimagondu-bahumaana.html .
Please visit the blog.
Once you go through the blog, I will be glad to answer the queries you might have.
Thanks for the blog URL. It makes fascinating reading.
> it is easy for all the kids to learn.
Here are proven scientific facts.
1. It is best to learn in a language we think in. So, In early childhood, it is indeed good for Kids to learn in their mother tongue.
2. Children learn very fast. They are capable of learning multiple languages in childhood. Adults are poor at picking up new languages.
3. It is possible to train our brains to think in different languages for different purposes. For example, we train our brains to think in terms of a programming language for communicating with a computer, a good programmer starts relating to computer in the programming language/construct of his choice after a while.
So Inference: Early learning of a foreign language is easier for kids than later. They can learn our literature, but english based Maths/science, and conversation skills in English for that’s what they’ll need in career.
I insist on early education for children of their mother tongue. I am even ok, with early education being in local language (may be upto 2nd standard) where English is only taught as a subject.
But, then more serious non language oriented subjects get introduced, which are foundations for their future learning. They need to start thinking maths/science in pure english, because that’s how they’ll need to think all thru their 16 years of learning life and rest of career.
The only way we can learn in a local language is if we can employ people who can only deal in local language. It is ironic that when most asian countries grudge our felicity in English language, we somehow think that’s a disadvantage.
We have a development team in Shanghai, and no one has ever been able to understand a single sentence they speak or write. They code fantastically well, but they are insulated from the clients. Someone in Singapore translates the requirements to them in Chinese. The only folks who raise up the ladders in our chinese office are the ones who can speak reasonable English.
China is mandating English education now. Not because of “English Vyamoha”, but because they are practical.
“They code fantastically well, but they are insulated from the clients.”
So what everyone need not be a speaker. speakers never make a good coders.
“The only folks who raise up the ladders in our chinese office are the ones…”
I think you are in some outsourcing software firm of bangalore and talking in terms of it’s quarterly profits printed in big big letters of corporate media.
World is huge and there are hundreds of things which are high up in hierarchy than to earn by speaking in english for chinese.
It’s just a language for communication with colonized defeated people like Indians. Neither maths nor science will be taught in that.
why they are including ( and not mandating) english is for the lower intellegentsia to get some decent jobs. you should look the broad competition they cover – from olympics toppers to moon mission to movies to banning pornography to hacking google itself (amazing hackers and attackers. my salutes to them on their capability. ) to upholding communism to highest growth rate and what not’s. have you ever seen their army?
Just sitting at a corner write some pages of comments. This is why “The software companies” of bangalore are good at. even when they have succumbed to open centres in china devoid by H1 in america they still think that china is learning english and boast of quarterly result while most of it is usury of already piled up capital minus taxes paid to US.
How ill Indian software people earn. 3-4 years of software learning and then bullshitting to clients all through their life- some in dell some at infosys- and they self declare as being phenomenal assets of nation.
This phenomenon is called as being a Koopa Manduka.
I disagree with you on one thing. Need to learn English to learn math.
Math does not need any language.
Further, research (refer Malcom Gladwell’s Outliers) has shown that races/cultures that have a language that follows decimal system are better at Math. We are lucky to be in that culture.
>This phenomenon is called as being a Koopa Manduka.
Koopa Manduka never wanted to leave its well to go to a larger river stream, even when it was warned of the drying of the well.
Now, Consider the top most spoken langauges in the world:
English – 1.8billion
Mandarin – 850million
Hindi – 650million
Spanish – 450million
arabic – 325mil
Kannada – 5million
Koopa Mandukatana is Trying to survive in a world of 6.5billion with 1.8Billion English speakers, with a language spoken by perhaps 5million, while protesting the loss of the comfort zone with that language (koopa?)
Or… Is such behavior your definition of Sagara Maduka?
IAC, Why are you ranting on Software folks? Try any modern profession of sufficient advancement, needing cross state interaction – without knowing English.
>Once you go through the blog, I will be glad to answer the queries you might have.
Curious. Do you think there is a genuine need for Kannada based Science education, or are you happy to learn in a language which already has most scientific texts?
5 million = 50 lakhs – they are in bengloor alone.
See, Even Your maths has gone weak for other language speakers count due to your English bhakthi – This is the primary reason why people should learn maths in their local lingo.
You go all round the world and report as 1.8 billion, out of which 0.8 billion will be the Times Of India figures of Indians, 0.2 pakistanis and 0.2 bangladeshis and probably rest being americans and Britons – that too many would have received maths and science in latin / spanish and speak some accent which our Murthy Angadi people learn as higher science and become kruthaartha and still name as English!
Their slogan –
East or West English is the Best.
> 5 million = 50 lakhs – they are in bengloor alone.
Indeed, it is 5 crore (50mil), a conversion error, as all other numbers were in Million system.
But the fact remains that English is spoken by 180crore people around the world as either first or second language.
So, You can communicate with 36times as many people by learning English. You’ll have access to scientific publications in the order of magnitude of far more than 1000times.
Neverthless, No one can stop you from campaigning for exclusive Kannada education and qualify to be a “Koopa Manduka”. After all there can’t be any other language that can be better for me/anyone than my own language. You can claim all others to be ignorant dimwits.
>As 83% of school going kids in Karnataka are learning in Kannada medium schools, it makes a lot of sense to build a Kannada based higher education system.
That’d be one way to take care of the the disadvantage faced by the current Vernacular students in College.
But, it poses the problem of translating lot of texts to vernacular languages to build up big enough reference library. Even after that – for continued learning technical magazines, gazzets, publications etc. will need to be translated and made available, which may not be feasible.
Besides, job opportunities will need to be created for people thus educated, which will have to be in the state of their learning.
Isn’t it much simpler to get students to start young enough on English, so they can understand English almost as well as their mother tongue? They learn fast at that age. My children are just 9, but are as fluent with English now as I was with Kannada at their age. Yet, They read and speak Kannada much better than I was able to speak English when I finished college!!
Still, 83% is a large number – I hate to think of the trauma they face when they get to PU, especially science. :(
>Even UNESCO promotes mother-tongue based education system for the proven advantages to everybody.
On second thoughts on this subject, I do think there may be a case for some Graduate/Post-graduate level courses in Kannada for Rural, vernacular trained children, if for nothing else, to make them competent for some jobs, that may not need English – especially manufacturing sector.
But, this is only to take care of the current 83%. The new generation of children, joining schools now, should be made to learn the global language, to be able to compete well in global workforce in a globalized world.
I believe there is a genuine need for Kannada based education system for Kannadigas. For more on what I am trying to highlight, please visit: http://www.iteachilearn.com/cummins/mother.htm
Even UNESCO promotes mother-tongue based education system for the proven advantages to everybody. For more information, please visit: http://www.unesco.org/en/languages-in-education/
As highlighted in one of the links (vasantabanda blog) I posted earlier, concept education (science and maths inclusive) is better taught in spoken tongue. The kid (learner in broader sense) would straightaway grasp the involved concept. For instance, to drive-in the concept of reciprocal, which word would make more sense to a Kannadiga kid? Is it ವ್ಯುತ್ಕ್ರಮ (as being taught in schools) or ತಲೆಕೆಳಗೆ (closer to aaDu nuDi)?
The scientiffic approach advocates the usage of “aaDu nuDi” in education, which educates each and every kid and not just the ones who are good at grasping new words.
For your question, “Do you think there is a genuine need for Kannada based Science education, or are you happy to learn in a language which already has most scientific texts?”
My answer: As 83% of school going kids in Karnataka are learning in Kannada medium schools, it makes a lot of sense to build a Kannada based higher education system. A good percentage of these people would be benefitted and in turn the society as a whole advances well.
A disclaimer to address the possible mis-understanding after reading my comment: I am not saying English is a strict no-no. English well fits the role of a inter-communication language and mother tongue well fits the role of knowledge carrier.