The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S.Jaganmohan Reddy remained firm on the question of introducing English medium in Government schools and issued the orders to start the new education programme from 2020-21 academic year. Since then a new theory has been floated by forces that do not want the children of the poor and lower castes learn English. They do not want the village children to compete with their private sector English educated children. They are not just in one political party or in one political ideology. They are well spread over the right wing party organizations to media industry heads to academics of left wing ideologies. The new theory is shocking. What is that theory? All English educated become Christians. Is this not shocking?
If that is so by now all Amaravathi rich, Banjara Hill bungalow living, Jubili Hill mansion living would have become Christian. If that is so the Greater Kailash Khan Market (New Delhi) Indian intellectuals and business forces, Marine Drive Queen’s Necklace Beach (Mumbai) high rise apartment livers, Chennai Iyer and Iyangar colonies should have been Christian by now. They would be having Bible in one hand Cross on their foreheads.
Our liberal and left comrades who smell colonialism in English, which is also accused to be Christian, but who studied in English medium schools only, conduct their Central Committee and Politburo meetings only in English, would have been Christians with Cross as their election symbol, but not hammer and sickle.
Look at the way when equality of education comes into the villagers who produce our food, who feed our cities, who see that rich in the urban areas live a comfortable life behave. One can understand the right wing hypocrites spreading the venom that English educated become Christians. But the left upper castes and their followers are also behaving like super right. Karl Marx will only pity them and would feel sorry for their sub-Telugu nationalism of the worst order. Now Marx cannot save them. God alone should save them.
Mahatama Gandhi to Jawaharlal Nehru to Indira Gandhi, Jyothi Basu to Nambudripad to Indrajit Guptha to Sitaram Yecuri to Prakash Karat to Brinda Karat studied only in English medium. Not only that in the right wing Lal Krishna Advani to Arun Shourie to Arun Jatley, Nirmala Sitaraman to most intellectuals working in Modi industry of modern market and media are English medium educated and by and large are anti-Christian. The right wing hero Veer Savarkar studied in Ferguson College (Poona)where Gopalakrishna Gokhale and Balgandhar Tilak studied. Remember Ferguson College was the best English medium college in Bombay Province. Shyama Prasad Mukharjee studied in English medium school and later studied in Calcutta Presidency College again the best in that province with English as his major. If English medium education converts people from Hinduism to Christianity most of these above mentioned people would have been pastors, bishops but what they were we all know. What they did and teach the nation we all knows.
Those who already died from among them, their dead bodies were not buried with Cross symbol on their tombs, but their dead bodies were burnt with proper Hindu rituals and recitation of Vedic mantras. Why then all those leaders who follow the above mentioned Hindu leaders who studied in English medium schools, in Andhra Pradesh, think that the children of poor who cannot afford private convent school English education will become Christian? Why they become Christians only when they study in Government English medium schools? Where does this argument come from? It comes from a very deep fear of equality. One can understand the BJP and TDP leaders suffering from that fear but how should we understand the communists suffering from that fear?
The real fear is equality in medium of instruction, syllabus content and serious educational environment. They are afraid that the poor will challenge the rich, the lower castes will challenge the higher castes once educational equality is established.
Human history has shed lot of blood in the fight for equality. It fought for equality before God. It only won half of the battle. It fought for equal rights of land. Only half of the battle is won in that field too. In India the largest number of lives were lost in the struggle for land. The dead only come back on their descendant’s recall to ask “what did we achieve in the tortures we underwent”? What did we achieve in brutal death we faced? How much land our descendants got? .
From Telangana Armed Struggle to Naxalbari to Srikakulam struggles huge number of lives were lost on the land question. But that equality did not come about.
The communist ideology could never predict that liberal capitalism would bring about computer and internet revolution. The Hindutva ideology does not want any technological and linguistic revolution. That is understandable. But how the left who believed in internationalism got into this level of decadence? Why the left has lost all its creativity and got into the realm of hypocrisy that could be easily perceived.
Computer and internet revolutions are not brought about by shedding blood. They were brought from good schools, colleges and universities. This revolution was brought by English language education, not by Telugu, Tamil or Hindi. A language should also have the potential to discover new things. Nobody expects the Hindutva forces to understand the history of new revolutions but every body expects the communists to understand as they believe in the principle of ‘the workers of the world unite’. How do they unite without having a common global language as an instrument of communication among the workers?
Before any other politician thought about educational equality in terms of medium of instruction, syllabus content, school infrastructure the communists should have done that. But what they did was the opposite. Without questioning the two different mediums they sent their children silently to English medium schools. Worst, where they were/ are in power they forced the children of working class, lower castes and the poor into the regional language Government schools. They destroyed West Bengal with the same school education system. Now they are opposing English education in the villages in Andhra Pradesh.
The English medium Government schools in villages and 15000 rupees in mother’s accounts (Amma Vodi) whose children are in school will bring about bloodless revolution. The youth in every village must organize into English education protection squads. The mothers must organize into ‘Amma Rights’ teams to fight against those who oppose English education to their children. Let us not allow this opportunity to slip from our homes in the villages.
Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd is political theorist, social activist and author