Portraits and Facets of Rootlessness that is the Indian Education System

Portraits and Facets of Rootlessness that is the Indian Education System

If the performance of key ministries in the Narendra Modi government is evaluated beginning with the worst, the Human Resources Development ministry tops the charts. If it is some consolation, one must laud HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar for coming out in the open and admitting that “not a single history chapter has been rewritten in four years.” Actually rewriting, rather, cleansing our history books of industrial-scale Leftist distortions is a minor reform compared to the overall breakdown of education in India at all levels. In this respect, it appears that the mammoth mandate of 2014 has been squandered with elan by the HRD Ministry. The urgent need for comprehensive decolonisation of India which was paid lip service after independence remains as urgent as ever. The consequence meanwhile, has been that larger and larger sections of the Indian population are becoming colonised to the extent that they wear it as a badge of honour.

Here is a random selection of warnings issued for at least a century on the long-term cultural damage inflicted by such mental colonisation. Emphases added.

More English than Hindu

Educated in the same way, interested in the same objects, engaged in the same pursuits with ourselves, they become more English than Hindu… The young men brought up in our seminaries, turn with contempt from the barbarous despotisms under which their ancestors groaned… Instead of regarding us with dislike, they court our society, … the summit of their ambition is, to resemble us.   

Charles Trevelyan wrote this in 1838, nearly 200 years ago. And as this piece shows, globalised Hindus know more about American politics and laws than they do the lives of their own grandparents. Their idea of India’s economic development is a hazy and unattainable dream of having perfectly manicured lawns and tree-lined avenues of suburban America. Back then, middle and the wealthy class Hindus fiercely competed to become a Brown Sahib. Today, the competition is to become, if not a US citizen, at least a clone who got unlucky enough to stay back in India.

Avoiding Intellectual Leadership

What directly flows from this deep mental and psychological colonisation is a shattered and demoralised Hindu spirit which simply avoids intellectual leadership because it is scared of the responsibility and the real possibility of facing harsh criticism that accompanies it. Needless, this is the direct result of an education system that actually trains them to develop such a servile attitude.

This is not education, it is spiritual emasculation. The conduct of [our intellectual elite] avoiding leadership, but desperately eager to serve in the family court of Smt Sonia Gandhi, is testimony to this…The people who want to serve as servile courtiers of this foreign woman are products of India’s elite institutions! Just go to 10 Janpath where Smt Sonai Gandhi holds court, and you will see a glut of convent school and Doon School products. Many of them boast degrees from St Stephen’s College and other holdovers from the colonial era, but not one of them seems to have the courage or the character to assume leadership. Their highest aspiration is to serve this foreign woman with barely a high school education! … When we look at… the civil service, the English language media and higher education are the monopoly of this urban, upper class educated at convents and similar elite institutions. They are in fact a colonial elite. They form the core of support for Smt Sonia Gandhi…they want to not lead but serve.  

That is Dr. N S Rajaram writing about distortions in our history textbooks. What is surprising is the fact that the subject of criticising Sonia Gandhi still remains taboo in our public discourse–this after her party was shredded to just 44 Lok Sabha seats in the 2014 elections.

The Downfall of India as Indian History

The histories of our country written by English [and other Western] writers cannot but be weakening to our minds, for they talk only of our downfall. How can foreigners, who understand very little of our manners and customs, or religion and philosophy, write faithful and unbiased histories of India? Naturally, many false notions and wrong inferences have found their way into them.

Nevertheless they have shown us how to proceed making researches into our ancient history. Now it is for us to strike out an independent path of historical research for ourselves, to study the Vedas and the Puranas, and the ancient annals of India, and from them make it your life’s sadhana to write accurate and soul-inspiring history of the land. It is for Indians to write Indian history.

That was none other than Swami Vivekananda in a rousing speech given to a group of students in the mid-late 1890s. His inspiration was indeed taken up by legions of extraordinary minds like R C Majumdar, Jadunath Sarkar, K M Munshi and others who wrote such accurate histories. But it appears that India has been permanently struck by an interminable curse of sorts. The same Bengal that produced Swami Vivekananda also became the vanguard of wholesale lies and vandalism of our history as documented by Arun Shourie in his classic, Eminent Historians. 

Bashing Hinduism Establishes Academic Credentials

It [the Rigveda] is the root of their religion [Hinduism] and to show them what the root is, I feel sure, is the only way of uprooting all that has sprung from it during the last three thousand years. [Max Mueller in an 1866 letter to his wife]

The ancient religion of India is doomed. And if Christianity does not take its place, whose fault will it be?” [Duke of Argyle, then acting Secretary of State for India]

The Anglo-Saxon race is the first race in the world…the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race…the native is to be treated as a child and denied the franchise. We must adopt a system of despotism, such as works in India [Cecil Rhodes]

These quotes date back to more than a century. And today, they have unfortunately, prophetically turned true to say the least.

On the subject of the arch-Hindu hater Max Mueller, we see how the 31 August 2018 headline of  an India Today report gloats that “4500-year-old DNA from Rakhigarhi reveals evidence that will unsettle Hindutva nationalists.” The latest continuation of the said Max Mueller Project. In the same period under consideration, hundreds of academic careers have flourished premised upon Veda and Hinduism-bashing. It is indeed a travesty of sorts that even well-meaning Hindus even today think that Max Mueller did great service to Hinduism by translating the Vedas. It is also quite ironical that the Max Mueller Bhavans that dot the Indian landscape have acquired almost a halo of reverence. The Duke of Argyle’s statement is simply the political and imperial echo of Max Mueller’s academic bigotry.

Perhaps few people in the history of mankind exemplify naked racism as the single personality named Cecil Rhodes. In many ways, Rhodes is also the father of the infamous De Beers diamond brand, the indirect cause of numerous genocides. In this bloody but highly profitable criminal endeavour, Cecil Rhodes was funded by the far more notorious N M Rothschild & Sons Limited.

It was the same Cecil Rhodes who in 1902, established the Rhodes Scholarship. Here is a partial list of Indians who secured the Rhodes Scholarship:

  • Montek Singh Ahluwalia: Former Deputy Chairman of the now-defunct Planning Commission
  • Mahesh Rangarajan: Academic at Ashoka University
  • Prabhat Patnaik: Marxist Professor, JNU
  • Sagarika Ghose: Former TV News Anchor and alleged journalist
  • Girish Karnad: Actor and Communist Playwright
  • Sanjeev Sanyal: Principal Economic Advisor, Ministry of Finance

The irony is cruel. Indians obtaining scholarship set up by an unapologetic and brazen racist who made his fortunes literally by spilling rivers of blood and openly advocating the despotism of colonised people. Of India, among other countries. This is not to find fault with these scholars but the horribly twisted attitude that our education system inculcates within ourselves.

The question remains: would Indians accept an Ala-ud-din Khalji or Babar or Aurangzeb Scholarship established in say, Pakistan? If not, why not? And why do Indians continue to avidly seek the Rhodes Scholarship?

Decolonise India. There’s still time.

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