Saturday, July 24, 2004

Why we need to 'Indianise' our education system

Why we need to 'Indianise' our education system

I felt like scratching myself on reading this. I am sorry if I come along as extremely caustic but that is just the feeling I get.

This is not a negative reaction to the article but a positive one. But on reading what it had to say, I, when totally agreeing with the author, felt a sense of helplessness and anger. Just look, Lord Curzon told a gathering of Indian Princes how they had to remain Indian intrinsically. This was told a hundred years ago and that too by a viceroy of an imperial power.

Now what is being Indian ? India is not just the land, trees, rivers and mountains. India is her people. India has always been her people. The religion of the land, regardless of whatever some stupid people say, has been overwhelmingly sanAtana dharma and its derivatives. I do not say Hinduism because sanAtana dharma is a term that encompasses views that are seen to be beyond the current form of Hinduism. Indian Civilization at its height, was undoubtedly, sanatana-dharmic in character, a feeling echoed by the author here. This view is mostly beyond debate, except for a few rotten eggs, who wish to serve a contrary view.

With this knowledge, why do we then, not recognize that most, if not all of the character of Indian Civilization is Hindu ? Why do we feel ashamed ? Islam and other religions have definitely contributed something to the Indian Civilization, but they are more like seasonings and spices added to a cauldron of rice. The cauldron of rice can be labeled a container of seasoned and spiced rice, but it is not just seasonings and spices. It is mainly rice and we should understand that. Similarly, Indian Civilization is definitely Hindu civilization.

When the BJP government was in power, Murli Manohar Joshi advocated a rewrite of NCERT textbooks and this was termed saffronization by the so-called 'secular' parties. It is to be admitted, as the author does here, that the changes he actually caused were few and mostly it was just rhetoric. On the other hand, the new government has an ass of an education minister in Arjun Singh. He simply considers everything Hindu as toxic. This is not just a misunderstanding, it is bordering anti-nationalism. When we know that India is mainly Hindu in character, it makes sense to portray reality in the textbooks. But this man goes overboard when he talks of 'detoxification'. What a vile term !

This is one of those issues that makes me go really ballistic. When madrasas can directly preach sedition by preaching that allegiance to Islam is greater than that to the country, what is the problem when an effort is made to instill a love for the country in school children ? I totally agree that praise to somebody should not mean demeaning other cultures, but there have been examples of Hindu ethnic cleansing by some of the Islamic kings in India. We should not commit the folly of ignoring and not learning from history and risk repeating it.

The composite character of the Indian civilization should be emphasised, but its essential Hindu character cannot be just wished away.

A completely different aspect is children growing up without knowing either English or their native languages. This has not been done by Shri Arjun Singh, but the general tendency in India is to look down upon people who do not know English.

Shri Prabhushankar, a well known Kannada litterateur, mentioned in passing in one of his lectures that second-string writers in contemporary Kannada literature easily eclipse international Nobel Laureates when it comes to the sheer exquisiteness in writing and expressing themselves. When this can be said of just second string writers, what of the greater first rate writers in Kannada ? And what about those who write in other Indian languages, each of which has an illustrious literary history ? Unfortunately, it is not possible to translate these works for the benefit of International readers for it iis well known that translations are limited in exposing the efficacy of the real work.

I am proud to be an Indian and a Kannadiga and proud to say that I can read and write in Kannada and Samskrit. This blog should have been in Kannada, as some of my other blogs have been. But since the article was in English, I started out in English itself. I will write a separate Kannada version and put it online for somebody (hopefully) to read.

sarve janAH sukhino bhavantu !

Monday, July 12, 2004

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Chinese author moves into texts

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Chinese author moves into texts

This item clearly takes the cake! It is a bit funny to me because I don't use my cell phone for text messaging. I am not into text messaging so much. Is it so addictive that you'd want to read a novel on a tiny screen ?

Reading on a computer monitor is itself much hated for many people. (Not for me - I have read full length novels completely online. Without even a printout). But reading on a cell phone screeen will be a no-no for me.

Really funny! It is a telling commentary on the state of tech.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Secularism in India = Minorityism

Secularism is one of those words found in the Indian English press that causes a lot of heartburn to the government and the people alike.

Secularism in is defined as follows.
1. Religious skepticism or indifference.
2. The view that religious considerations should be excluded from civil affairs or public education.

The thing that is being peddled in the name of secularism in India is nothing like the dictionary meaning. Talk of taking a word and twisting its meaning!

I learned from an article on that the constitution of India did not have the word 'secular' in its preamble till 1976. In 1976, however, the senior Mrs Gandhi thought it fit to change the preamble to include secular. The chairman of the Constitutional committee, Dr Ambedkar had vehemently opposed the use of the word secular in the Indian constitution because in India, you have different personal law codes for Hindus and Muslims. And that is definitely not secular.

When Indira Gandhi did introduce the word in 1976, it was opposed and there was a subsequent move in the next few years by the Janata government to take that word out. They were unsuccessful because the Rajya sabha with a congress majority did not pass the bill.

An additional irritant is that Justice Ahmadi has refused to define secularism, stating that it was pretty elastic in meaning. What this has caused is that secularism has become tantamount to minorityism. And it is becoming close to 'anti-nationalism'.

Minorities are people like everybody else. They definitely deserve to live like people; they should have all the facilities that are accorded to everybody else. But that's it! Why do we need to pander to minorities ? Selfish political gain is the reason and if this continues, this may snowball from a controversy into a serious national law and order problem. I don't think anybody wants that.

But on the other hand, I think how this affects the common man. The common man is busy earning a livelihood. Why should he even bother about these 'academic' possibilities ? The problem that is important and needs to be thought of is that of national security. In the absence of a truly secular government where secular means the non-intervention of religion in government and vice-versa, these elements can rear their ugly heads.

In these days of terrorism by adherents of a faith that professes to be a religion of peace, we have to keep an eye out for such trouble mongers. And especially with the pesky neighbour in our north-west, peace efforts notwithstanding.

If the common man (including all Hindus, Christians and Muslims) is made complacent, then these trouble mongers can strike. Human Rights agencies cry hoarse whenever these terrorists are jailed. For example, when Parliament House was attacked by terrorists, these HR outfits actually campaigned for the release of these people.

Real secularism focuses on worldly welfare without bothering about religion. But minorityism which seems to be the norm in India will lead to the conditions in the paragraphs before. This mollycoddling of minorities, while apparently is for their good, leads to irreparable harm in the long run.

If a minority class is identified as such and branded and pampered, that class will never be part of the national mainstream. Real mixing with all kinds of people will not happen. As a result, minorities tend to live in a ghetto mentality which is a hotbed of all things problematic. Pampered classes (there are always exceptions, but this is more like the average behavior) will never bother to lift themselves up. When a class does not improve, its people get disgruntled. Their target will be the successful people in the country. Divisive forces can then fan this ember into a raging flame, which will lead to more pampering and bigger flames. These flames will burn everybody, even those sophisticated people who claim to be without religion and beyond nations and borders.

Open minds and open thinking is the order of the day. That has to be done by educating people. This will improve their economic lot and will make them think for themselves. When people are able to think for themselves, things will fall in their places.

Friday, July 02, 2004

FrontPage :: How the West Grew Rich by Dinesh D'Souza

FrontPage :: How the West Grew Rich by Dinesh D'Souza

ಈ ಲೇಖನವನ್ನು ಓದಿ ನೋಡಿ. ಪಾಶ್ಛಾತ್ಯ ಪ್ರಪಂಚದಿಂದ ಇತರ ಹಿಂದುಳಿದ ಪ್ರಪಂಚದ ಉದ್ಧಾರವಾಯಿತು ಎಂಬಂತೆ ಬರೆದಿದ್ದಾನೆ. ಲೇಖಕ ದಿನೇಶ್ ಡಿಸೂಜಾ ಎನ್ನುವ ಭಾರತೀಯ ಮೂಲದವನು. ಈತ ಅಮೇರಿಕಕ್ಕೆ ಬಂದದ್ದೇ ತಡ, ಇಲ್ಲಿನ ಗುಣಗಾನ ಮಾಡಲು ತೊಡಗಿದ. ಗುಣಗಾನ ಮಾಡುತ್ತಾ ಪುಸ್ತಕವನ್ನೇ ಬರೆದಿದ್ದಾನೆ - What's so great about America ಎಂದು ಇದರ ಹೆಸರು.

ಈ ಲೇಖನವು ಸತ್ಯಕ್ಕೆ ಬಹಳ ದೂರವಾಗಿ ಪಾಶ್ಛಾತ್ಯರನ್ನು ತಿಳಿವಳಿಕೆಯಿಲ್ಲದೆಯೇ ಹೊಗಳಿದೆ. ಈ ಲೇಖನದಲ್ಲಿ ಮೂರು ಪ್ರಮುಖ ವಿಚಾರಗಳಿವೆ. ಪಾಶ್ಛಾತ್ಯ ಪ್ರಪಂಚವು (ಪ. ಪ್ರ)
೧. ವಿಜ್ಞಾನದಿಂದ
೨. ಪ್ರಜಾಪ್ರಭ್ಹುತ್ವದಿಂದ ಮತ್ತು
೩. ಆರ್ಥಿಕ ವ್ಯವಸ್ಥೆಯ ನಿರ್ಮಾಣದಿಂದ

ಇಡೀ ಜಗತ್ತಿಗೆ ಉಪಕಾರಮಾಡಿದೆ ಎಂದು. ಪ ಪ್ರವು ಸಂಪದ್ಭರಿತವಾದದ್ದು ಹೀಗೆಯಂತೆ. ನಾವು ಸಾಮಾನ್ಯವಾಗಿ ತಿಳಿದ ಹಾಗೆ, ಹಾಗೂ ಪಾಶ್ಚಾತ್ಯರೂ ಸಾಮಾನ್ಯವಾಗಿ ತಿಳಿದ ಹಾಗೆ ವಸಾಹತುಶಾಹಿಯಿಂದ ಅಲ್ಲವಂತೆ. ವಸಾಹತುಶಾಹಿಯೇ ಆಧುನಿಕ ಪಾಶ್ಚಾತ್ಯ ವಿಚಾರಗಳು ಹರಿಯುವ ಕಾಲುವೆಗಳಾಗಿ ಹಿಂದುಳಿದ ಪ್ರಪಂಚದ ಏಳ್ಗೆಗೆ ಕಾರಣವಾಯಿತಂತೆ. ಗುಲಾಮಗಿರಿಯು ಎಲ್ಲ ಕಡೆ ಇದ್ದದ್ದರಿಂದ ಪರವಾಗಿಲ್ಲವಂತೆ.

ವಿಜ್ಞಾನವು ಬೇರೆಡೆಗಳಲ್ಲಿಯೂ ಇದ್ದಿತು. ಆದರೆ ಆ ವ್ಯವಸ್ಥೆಯು ಪ.ಪ್ರ ದ ಕೊಡುಗೆಯಂತೆ.

ನನಗೆ ಈ ರೀತಿಯ ಲೇಖನಗಳ ಕಂಡರೆ ಅಸಹ್ಯವಾಗುತ್ತದೆ. ಸ್ಪೈನ್ ದೇಶದವರು ಲ್ಯಾಟಿನ್ ಅಮೇರಿಕಾವನ್ನು ನಿರ್ನಾಮ ಮಾಡುವ ಮೂಲಕ ತಾನೆ 'ನಿರ್ಮಾಣ' ಮಾಡಿದ್ದು ? ಮಾಯ ಮತ್ತು ಇಂಕ ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತಿಗಳ ಸರ್ವನಾಶ ಮಾಡಿದ ಬಗೆಯನ್ನು ಕೇಳಿದರೆ ಎಂಥವರೂ ಕಣ್ಣೀರು ಮಿಡಿಯದೇ ಇರುವುದಿಲ್ಲ. ಆಗ ಅಮೇರಿಕಾ ಖಂಡವು ಇನ್ನೂ ಐರೋಪ್ಯ ರೋಗಗಳಿಂದ ಬಾಧಿತವಾಗಿರಲಿಲ್ಲ. ಆದರೆ ಈ ದರಿದ್ರಜನರಿಂದ ರೋಗಗ್ರಸ್ತರಾಗಿ, ದಬ್ಬಾಳಿಕೆಗೊಳಗಾದವು ಈ ಜನಾಂಗಗಳು. ಈ ಜನಾಂಗಗಳ ಸ್ತ್ರೀಯರನ್ನು ಮಕ್ಕಳನ್ನೂ ದಾಸ್ಯಕ್ಕೆ ದಬ್ಬಿ ಪುರುಷರನ್ನು ಕೊಂದ ಈ ಜನಾಂಗ ಪ್ರಗತಿಪರವೇ ?

ಉತ್ತರ ಅಮೇರಿಕಾದಲ್ಲೂ ಅಲ್ಲಿದ್ದ ರೆಡ್ ಇಂಡಿಯನ್ (ಇಲ್ಲಿ ಎಂಥ ವಿಪರ್ಯಾಸ ನೋಡಿ - ಕೊಲಂಬಸನು ಭಾರತವನ್ನು ಹುಡುಕುತ್ತಾ ಹೊರಟು ಹೊಸನಾಡನ್ನು ಕಂಡು ಅಲ್ಲಿದ್ದವರನ್ನೇ 'ಇಂಡಿಯನ್ಸ್' ಎಂದು ಕರೆದ. ಅದೇ ಹೆಸರಿನಿಂದ ಈಗಲೂ ಕರೆಯಲ್ಪಡುತ್ತಾರೆ. native americans ಎಂದು politically correct ಆಗಿ ಕರೆಯಬೇಕು. ಆದರೆ ಅಮೇರಿಕಾ ಎನ್ನುವ ಹೆಸರೂ ಅಮೇರಿಗೊ ವೆಸ್ಪುಚಿ ಎಂಬ ದಾಳಿಕೋರನಿಂದ ಬಂದದ್ದು.) ಜನಾಂಗವನ್ನು ನಿರ್ನಾಮ ಮಾಡಿ ಇವರು ತಮ್ಮ ಆಳ್ವಿಕೆಯನ್ನು ಮೊದಲಿಟ್ಟರು.

ಭಾರತದ ಮೇಲಿನ ಆಕ್ರಮಣವನ್ನು ಇಲ್ಲಿ ಹೇಳುವುದೇ ಬೇಡ. ಎಲ್ಲರಿಗೂ ತಿಳಿದ ವಿಷಯವೇ ! ಭಾರತದಿಂದ ಉತ್ಪತ್ತಿಯಾದ ತೆರಿಗೆ ಹೋಗುತಿದ್ದುದು ಬ್ರಿಟನ್ನಿಗೆ. ಆಹಾರ ಸಾಮಗ್ರಿಯಿಲ್ಲದೇ ಕೃತಕ ಬರವನ್ನು ಮಾಡಿ ಬಂಗಾಳದಲ್ಲಿ ಸಾವಿರಗಟ್ಟಲೆ ಜನರನ್ನು ಕೊಂದವರು ಪ ಪ್ರ ದವರು. ಕೊನೆಗೆ ಭಾರತ - ಪಾಕಿಸ್ತಾನ ಎಂಬ ಭಾಗವನ್ನು ಮಾಡಿ ದೊಡ್ಡ ತೊಂದರೆಗಳ ಪರಂಪರೆಗೆ ಕಾರಣರಾದವರು ಇವರೇ.

ಮಧ್ಯ-ಪ್ರಾಚ್ಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಈ ಇಡೀ ರಾದ್ದಾಂತಕ್ಕೆ ಕಾರಣ ಪ. ಪ್ರವೇ. ಮಾಡಿದ್ದುಣ್ಣೋ ಮಹರಾಯ ಅನುವ ಗಾದೆ ಇವರಿಗೆ ಚನ್ನಾಗಿ ತಿಳಿಯುತ್ತಿರಬೇಕು. ಮುಸ್ಲಿಂ ಮತಾಂಧರು ಮಾಡುವ ಕೆಲಸವೇನೂ ಒಳ್ಳೆಯದಲ್ಲ. ಆದರೆ ಅವರನ್ನು ಹೀಗೆ ಮಾಡಲು ಪ್ರೇರೇಪಿಸಿದ್ದು ಇವರ ಅತಿ ಆಸೆಯೇ !

ಅರವತ್ತು ವರ್ಷಗಳ ಹಿಂದೆ ಅಮೇರಿಕದ ಹೆಣ್ಣುಮಕ್ಕಳಿಗೆ ತಮ್ಮ ನಾಯಕರನ್ನು ಚುನಾಯಿಸುವ ಹಕ್ಕಿರಲಿಲ್ಲ. ಆದರೆ ಈಗ ಬೇರೆಯ ದೇಶಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ನಡೆಯುವ ಹಿಂಸೆಯೆಡೆ ಬೆಟ್ಟು ತೋರಿಸಿ ಎಚ್ಚರಿಸುವವರು ಇವರೇ!

ಪ .ಪ್ರ ದಲ್ಲಿ ಒಳ್ಳೆಯದ್ದಿಲ್ಲವೇ ಇಲ್ಲ ಎಂದು ನಾನು ಹೇಳುತ್ತಿಲ್ಲ. ಅವರ ವೈಜ್ಞಾನಿಕ ಪರಂಪರೆ ಬಹಳ ಮಹತ್ವಪೂರ್ಣವಾದದ್ದು. ಅವರ ಆರ್ಥಿಕಕೊಡುಗೆಯೂ ಅಪಾರ. ನಾನು ಈಗ ಟೈಪಿಸುವ ವ್ಯವಸ್ಥೆ - ಈ ಗಣಕ ಇವೆಲ್ಲದರ ನಿರ್ಮಾಣದ ಕೀರ್ತಿ ಇವರಿಗೇ ಸಲ್ಲಬೇಕು. ಆದರೆ ಇವರಿಂದಲೇ ಜಗತ್ತೆಲ್ಲ, ಇವರಿಗೆ ಎಲ್ಲರೂ ಕೃತಜ್ಞರಾಗಿರಬೇಕು ಎಂದು ಹೇಳಿದರೆ ಒಪ್ಪಲು ಸಾಧ್ಯವಿಲ್ಲ. ಅದೂ ನಾನು ತೋರಿಸಿದ ಲೇಖನದಂತೆ ಮಾನ ಬಿಟ್ಟು ಅವರನ್ನು ಹೊಗಳಿದರೆ ಈ ದಿನೇಶನಿಗೆ ಬುದ್ಧಿಯಿಲ್ಲವೇ ಎನ್ನುವ ಅನುಮಾನ ಕೂಡ ಹೊರಟುಹೋಗಿ ಇವನಿಗೆ ಬುದ್ದಿಯೇ ಇಲ್ಲ ಎಂಬುದು ನಿಶ್ಚಯವಾಗುತ್ತದೆ. ಈಗಿನ ಅಮೇರಿಕಾ ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ವಾಸಿ ಎಂದು ಹೇಳಬಹುದಾದರೂ ಇದರ ಇತಿಹಾಸದ ಮೇಲೆ ಕಣ್ಣಾಡಿಸಿದಾಗ ಇವರು ಮಾಡಿದ ಅಕೃತ್ಯಗಳು ಕಂಡು ಬೇಸರವಾಗುತ್ತದೆ. ಆದರೆ ಸಂತೋಷವೇನೆಂದರೆ -ಇವರು ತಪ್ಪೊಪ್ಪಿಕೊಂಡು ಮುಂದೆ ಹೀಗೆ ತಪ್ಪಾಗದೆ ಇರುವ ಹಾಗೆ ಮಕ್ಕಳಿಗೆ ಪಠ್ಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಈ ವಿಷಯ ಸೇರಿಸಿದ್ದಾರೆ.

ಅಮೇರಿಕದ ಸರ್ಕಾರ ಒಪ್ಪಿದರೂ ನಮ್ಮ ದಿನೇಶ ಒಪ್ಪುವುದಿಲ್ಲ ನೋಡಿ!