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Basic Education (Buniyadi Shiksha)
Basic Education (Buniyadi Shiksha)
The Voice of Truth
There seems to be a mania for establishing new universities in the provinces. Gujarat wants one for Gujarati, Maharashtra for Marathi, Carnatic for Kannad, Orissa for Oriya, Assam for Assami and what not. I do not believe that there should be such universities if these rich provincial languages and the people who speak them are to attain their full height.
At the same time I fear that we betray ourselves into undue haste in accomplishing the object. The first step should be linguistic political redistribution of provinces. Their separate administration will naturally lead to the establishments of universities where there are none....
There should be proper background for new universities. They should have feeders in the shape of schools and colleges which will impart instruction through the medium of their respective provincial languages. They only can there be a proper milieu.
University is at the top. A majestic top can only be sustained if there is a sound foundation.
Though we are politically free we are hardly free from the subtle domination of the west. I have nothing to say to that school of politicians who believes that knowledge can only come out of the west. I do fear however that we are unable as yet to a correct decision in the matter. It is to be hoped that no one contends that because we seem to be politically free from foreign domination the mere fact gives us freedom from the more subtle influence of the foreign Language and foreign thought. It is not wisdom does not duty to the country dictate that before we embark on new universities we should stop & fill our own lungs first with the ozone of our newly got freedom? A university never needs a pile of majestic buildings and treasurers of gold and silver. What it does need most of all is the intelligent backing of public opinion. It should have a large reservoir of teachers to draw upon. Its founders should be far-seeing.
In my opinion it is not for a democratic state to find money for founding universities. If the people want them they will supply the funds. Universities so founded will adorn the country which they represent. Where administration is in foreign hands what ever comes to the people comes from top & thus they become more & more dependent. Where it is broad based on popular will everything goes from bottom upwards and hence it lasts. It is good looking and strengthens the people. In such a democratic scheme money invested in the promotion of learning gives a tenfold return to the people even as a seed sown in good soil returns a luxuriant crop. Universities founded under foreign domination have run in the reverse direction. Any other result was perhaps impossible. Therefore there is every reason for being cautious about founding new universities till India has digested the newly acquired freedom.
I have never been an advocate of our students going abroad. My experience tells me such on return find themselves to be square pegs in round holes. That experience is the richest and contributes most to growth which springs from the soil.
The dry knowledge of the three R's is not even now, it can never be a permanent part of the villagers life. They must have knowledge given to them which they must use daily. It must not be thrust upon them. They should have the appetite for it. What they have today is something they neither want nor appreciate. Give the villagers village arithmetic, village geography, village history and the literary knowledge that they must use daily, i.e. reading & writing letters etc. They will treasure such knowledge and pass on to the other stages. They have today is something they neither want nor appreciate. Give the villagers village arithmetic, village geography, village history, and the literary knowledge that they must use daily, i.e. reading & writing letters etc. They will treasure such knowledge and pass on to the other stages. They have no use for books which give them nothing to daily use.
Source: "The selected works of Gandhi", Vol.6