I find daily proof of increasing and
continuing wrong being done to the millions by our false de-Indianizing education...
We seem to have come to think that no one can hope to be like a Bose unless he knows English. I cannot
conceive a grosser superstition than this. No Japanese feels so helpless as we seem to do…
The medium of instruction should be altered at once, and, at any cost, the provincial languages being
given their rightful place. I would prefer temporary chaos in higher
education to the criminal waste that is daily accumulating.
Harijan, 9-7-’38, p.177
Education through a foreign language
entails a certain degree of strain, and our boys have to pay dearly
for it. To a large extent, they lose the capacity of shouldering any
other burden afterwards, for, they become a useless lot who are weak
of body, without any zest for work and mere imitators of the West.
They have little interest in original research or deep thinking, and
the qualities of courage, perseverance, bravery and fearlessness are
lacking. That is why we are unable to make new plans or carry out
projects to meet our problems. In case we make them we fail to
implement them. A few who do show promise usually die young...
We the English-educated people, alone
are unable to assess the great loss that this factor has caused.
Some idea of its immensity would be had if we could estimate how
little we have influenced the general mass of our people.
The school must be an extension of
home; there must be concordance between the impressions which a
child gathers at home and at school, -if the best results are to be
obtained. Education through the medium of a strange tongue breaks
the concordance which should exist. Those who break this
relationship are the enemies of the people even though their motives
may be honest. To be a voluntary victim of this system of education
is as good as the betrayal of our duty to our mothers. The harm done
by this a line type of education does not stop here; it goes much
further. It has produced a gulf between the educated classes and the
masses. The people look on us as beings apart from them.
True education, (1962), pp. 12-13
It is my considered opinion that
English education in the manner it has been given has emasculated
the English-educated Indian, it has put a severer strain upon the
Indian students’ nervous energy, and has made of us imitators. The
process of displacing the vernaculars has been one of the saddest
chapters in the British connection. Rammohan Rai would have been a
greater reformer, and Lokmanya Tilak would have been a greater
scholar, if they had not to start with the handicap of having to
think in English and transmit their thoughts chiefly in English.
Their effect on their own people, marvelous as it was, would have
been greater if they had been brought up under a less unnatural
system. No doubt they both gained from their knowledge of the rich
treasures of English literature. But these should have been
accessible to them through their own vernaculars. No country can
become a nation by producing a race of imitators.
Young India, 27-4-21, p. 130
English is today studied because of
its commercial and so-called political value. Our boys think, and
rightly in the present circumstances, that without English they
cannot get Government service. Girls are taught English as a
passport to marriage. I know several instances of women wanting to
learn English so that they may be able to talk to learn talk to
English men in English. I know husbands who are sorry that their
wives cannot talk to them and their friends in English. I know
families in which English is being made the mother tongue. Hundred
of youth s believe that without a knowledge of English, freedom for
India is practically impossible. The canker has so eaten into the
society that in many cases, the only meaning of education is a
knowledge of English. All these are for me signs of our slavery and
degradation. It is unbearable to me that the vernaculars should be
crushed and straved as they have been. I cannot tolerate the idea of
parents writing to their children, or husbands writing to their
wives, not in their own vernaculars but in English.
Young India, 1-6-21, p. 177
The foreign medium has caused brain
fag, put an undue strain upon the nerves of our children, made them
crammers and imitators, unfitted them for original work and thought,
and disabled them for filtrating their learning to the family or the
masses. The foreign medium has made our children practically
foreigners in their own lands. It is the greatest tragedy of the
existing system. The foreign medium has prevented the growth of our
vernaculars. If I had the powers of a despot, I would today stop the
tuition of our boys and girls through a foreign medium, and require
all the teachers and professors on pain of dismissal to introduce
the change forthwith. I would not wait for the preparation of
text-books. They will follow the change. It is an evil that needs a
Young India, 1-9-21, p. 277
Among the many evils of foreign rule,
this blighting imposition of a foreign medium upon the youth of the
country will be counted by history as one of the greatest. It has
sapped the energy of the nation, it has shortened the lives of the
pupils. It has estranged them from the masses; it has made education
unnecessarily expensive. If this process is still persisted in, it
bids fair to rob the nation of its soul. The sooner, therefore,
educated India shakes itself free from the hypnotic spell of the
foreign medium, the better it would be for them and the people.
Young India, 5-7-28, p. 224