A parade of façade in verbal codes!
VED from VICTORIA INSTITUTIONS
It is foretold! The torrential flow of inexorable destiny!
7. Indian education: Colonial British versus free Indian
Now, let us look at what is the essential difference between the British conceptualisation of education in India, as against the current day practises in education. What the British officials in India saw was a strange society which was arranged like a lot of pyramids. Inside each pyramid, there were different levels of people. The lowest level was occupied by the lowest in the society. Now, if into this social structure, a teaspoon full of English is added, the whole Pyramid formation would dissolve. There would be the lowering in status of those who occupied the epitome. And the rising in status of those who were in the lower compartments. Communication strings and routes would simply change, and go into a planar level.
From an inside view, it was a tumbling with very painful aspects. For, the higher persons would be brought down to the levels where the lower person can discuss them and talk to them, in a level of draconian equality. From English the pain that this could bear upon the upper person is not possible to be conveyed. Yet, the blatant exploitation and despoiling of human beings could be stopped if English is allowed to seep in.
There was another thing to be discussed. In the Indian languages, whosoever became the teacher, becomes a sort of feudal zamindar in a sense. For, the moment he becomes the teacher, he is a Mash, a Sar, a Munshi, a Ji, a Guru and such other beings of supernatural divinity. He can use the lower indicant words to the others, mainly his students, in the society. Actually, the less he knows English, the more becomes his power over the students and the others.
For, if he is good in English, he will have an understanding that he does not really have so much draconian powers over the others.
However, if he does not know English, his draconian powers become a matter of right, which he would demand, and others have to concede. Well, will any native English speaker understand all these things?
It is like this: When the student grows up and becomes a senior officer, still the teacher can come and communicate with him using the lower indicant, powerfully crippling words of You, He etc. It is literally a command that comes through these words. The person has to get up, and acknowledge the superiority of the teacher. What he requests goes beyond a request and become a command that has to be obeyed. That is the power in the feudal words. Refusal would simply imply impertinence, insult and social insubordination. No person of refinement would be able to live up to that requirement.
I can illustrate the power of this communication system. Once I was taking a holiday-training for some schoolchildren of around 11th class age. All of them were to address me by my name, with a Mr. prefixed. All such words as Sir, Sar, Mash etc. were forbidden. They were not to get up in a pose of reverence when I come inside. This much I had made it a part of my training programme, just to mimic the English communication standards.
Suddenly one schoolteacher from a little far distance came into the office area. He wanted his son to join the training. Suddenly, he espied one of his earlier students inside the training premises. Without any asking of permission, he simply walked in. His earlier student got up in a pose of reverence. Immediately, all the other students also got up.
For, that is how the reverence code works and diffuses. Soon he was talking to them all in Malayalam, using the lower words of You, He, She etc.
Inside my own training premises, the outsider was exhibiting tremendous command, which spreads through the effective use of feudal words. Students, who wouldn’t get up in my presence, were simply standing in deep attendance to the stifling feudal words that came from his mouth.
Now, in this context, a brief mention may be made about the dangers of allowing such feudal language study inside Britain. When such languages, such as Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Cantonese, Japanese etc. are allowed to be studied by the children of immigrants who come from these native language areas, what is being done is the building up of non-tangible, yet quite powerful strings of command. These strings of command can override local professional codes. And also bring in extra-national loyalties.
For example, when a person from any of these language groups gets a job in any government or private organisation, he can be made to disregard the requirements of professional etiquettes. He can be made to practise nepotism, take bribes, crave for gifts and made to act unprofessionally. For the strings he had attached himself to, is of a vile kind, reaching out to him from outside the national frontiers.
Coming back to British India: When the education system is made to be in English, a lot of such spontaneous-creation of despotic-feudal-lords in the form of teachers can be curtailed. Well, this can be done only to a limited extent, for the local language could still bring in it effects. However, my own observations in the early years of my life, was that the teaching class who were good in English maintained the relationship with their students in English.
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4. Why English?