The BJP Education Policy (BEP)2020 has been formalised with a Cabinet approval on July 30, 2020. It is drafted by Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan (79) the BJP’s Education Committee Chairman. He was the chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). He is an expert on sophisticated war weapon production centre, including nuclear weapons, but not of economic and social development of India. The war weapon sector is Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s preferred sector but not agricultural development which feeds people, which is more important than war weapon industry. That is proven in this deadly Covid-19 wartimes. Production has to be improved by teaching a heavy dose of the dignity of labour and fieldwork to the children of all castes.
Kasturirangan quite interestingly studied in Government English medium school established by the Kochi Royal family in 1845 because of the education policy introduced by Macaulay during the East India Company rule. Sree Rama Varma Government model High school of Kochi where he studied could have been one of the earliest English medium schools because of the Kerala and Tamil Brahmins were in a great hurry to learn English and become clerks and officers in East India Company. So also the Bengali and Marathi Brahmins as they were in three different provinces–Madras, Bengal and Bombay.
Kasturirangan’s original mother tongue was Sanskrit and later it could be Tamil or Malayalam. But he left his mother tongue and studied in English medium school all through for good anglicized life. May be because of the pressure from the RSS forces his report on the school education says that it should be “ in mother tongue or local language as the medium of instruction “wherever possible” at least until Class 5, but preferably till Class 8 and beyond. This clause is meant to deceive Shudra/Dalit/Adivasis to be arrested in local language education. Earlier the Congress brahminic intellectuals played this mother-tongue sentiment trick on all regional party rulers, including Mulayam Singh Yadav, Lalu Prasad Yadav, Chandrababu Naidu and all CPM, CPI Shudra leaders to be deceived by the so-called mother tongue bogey. Many of them were also deceived by Rammanohar Lohia’s Bania tactics. They never introduced English medium in state Government schools. Hence the Shudra/Dalit/Adivasi youth are forced to live a neo-slave lif in both Congress and BJP rule at Delhi.
The Shudra youth of all castes along with Dalits and Adivasis have no place in civil service, foreign services, in national media and also in all intellectual fields. The best defence writing for them comes from foreign intellectuals like Chritophe Jafferlot. Not a single Shudra intellectual, in such a massive population, cannot do research on their own plight like this foreigner. The RSS/BJP want them to be like that only by telling them that you should not learn Macaulay’s English.
Let us turn to Macaulay and the Macaulayputras.
A raging discussion is on about the role of Macaulay who asked for the introduction of English medium education in Government schools when the East India Company was ruling India. The Brahmin, Bania, Kayastha, Khatri intellectuals who benefited from English education have been abusing him for quite some time. Shudras who have saved India from hunger and starvation deaths during the crisis of Coronavirus pandemic must understand that they must turn to English medium education for their children to become rulers at Delhi and to overthrow the hegemony of Brahminism in India.
The country is alive because of Shudra/Dalit/Adivasi farmers who were denied modern English education.The only way is to introduce English medium education in all Government schools from class one, as Macaulay wanted. The Shudras including Jats, Gujjars, Yadavs, Patels, Marathas, Kammas, Reddys, Lingayats, Vakkalingas, Naikars, Ezhvas and so on must realise that Macaulay’s English will empower them and liberate all oppressed castes from modern slavery.
Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800–1859) lived in India just for four years, from 1834 to 1838. Yet he left unerasable footprints on Indian soil. Many English educated Indians abuse him perhaps, for giving that language to them and what they also call un-Indian English culture. Only very few at that, who are also English educated admire him occasionally. The list of abusers consists of all schools of thought, extreme right, extreme left and middle liberals. But vast Indians who are outside what is known ‘English airport and fly in the sky life’ food producers–Shudra/Dalits/Adivasis in the fields do not bother about him. For them their local Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Bengali, Marathi, Gujarathi, even some of the tribal languages and so on are school and college languages. English language with its global accessibility is too far away from them.
Quite consciously from Pandit Nehru’s days the so-called ‘anti-national Macaulay English’ education is confined to private schools where only very rich Dwijas could educate their children, as it comes for huge amounts of money. Even rich Shudra landed gentry did not send their children good English medium schools. Many Dwijas, in fact, preferred Christian missionary school English.
Both Macaulay’s abusers and admirers are writers, speakers in English language either studied in foreign universities or Indian English medium schools, colleges and universities or institutions like IITs and IIMs within India.
All this debate around him is for introducing English language education by deploying Government resources in school and college education when he was in India. He argued for replacing Sanskrit and Persian medium education that was continuing even in the East India Company rule before the British Crown took over the Indian administration.
The Sanskrit and Persian school education (there was hardly any modern college education in those two languages till 1834) meant for the Hindu Dwijas (Brahmin, Bania, Ksatriya, Kayastha and Khatris) and Muslm feudals, who perhaps were either Pathans or Arabs or Dwija converts during long rule of Mughals and so on. Neither Sanskrit nor Persian school education was available for Shudras/Dalits/Adivasis of India, who were main food producers then and now. Unlike Christians, Muslims also never allowed the non-Muslim Shudra/Dalits in their schools. However, some dwijas–mainly-Brahmins– managed Persian education in collaboration with rich Muslims. Hence even in Persian language state employment hardly any Shudra/Dalits were there, when it was an official language but many Brahmins were in the bureaucracy and legal system.
Actually the earliest missionary teaching of English language to dwija children was started, as a private affair, by William Carey (1761-1834) in association with Rajarammohan Roy in 1817 in Calcutta. He came to India in 1793 and died here in 1834 the year in which Macaulay arrived here. He established the first degree Serampore college in English language in 1818. Which caste/class youth took the degree? Would it have been Bengali Shudras and Namshudras? No way.
What Macaulay proposed to the British administration was to make English part of the State education policy to replace Sanskrit and Persian medium school education. He also supported English as official language by replacing Persian. The Indian Muslim feudals also refued to send their children to English medium schools by setting aside their Persian and Urdu education, but Brahmins of Bengal and Kerala were the first people to set aside their Sanskrit language and send their children to English medium schools.
Macaulay who was a racial supremacist put a proposal for teaching English in Government schools and the caste supremacists were too happy to get free English education. They wanted to become pleaders, officials and clerks in the Government offices as actually ‘middle men’ (not many women in those days) between the British colonial rulers and the Indian Shudra-Ati-Shudra (to put in Phule language) masses as he was said to have expected.
The first Shudra to get English language education was Mahatma Jotirao Phule. In Bengal region whether any Shudra, Namashudra was allowed to go to school–leave alone English medium school is not known. Unlike in Maharastra where Phule and Ambedkar came from Marathi and English education which spread among some Shudra and Dalit social forces in subsequent years, in Bengal it still remains a Bhadralok preserve. From Rajarammohan Roy to Jyothi Basu to Mamata Benarjee English and power are in their hands only.
L. K.Advani, who was also educated in St.Patrick English medium school of Karachi, apart from other Hindutvawadis, was always fond of calling secular (in a way Congress) intellectuals as Macaulay Putras and Marxist intellectuals as Marx Putras. But neither Marxist English educated nor Congress intellectuals called Hindutva intellectuals as Manuputras, as they had an ambiguous relationship with Manu. This intellectual atmosphere gave an added advantage to the Hindutvawadis.
In the 1990s after his Ratha-yatra and Babri-Masjid demolition Advani set the cultural nationalist discourse without looking at the glasshouse he was living in. The anti-English and anti-Macaulay campaign was part of that cultural nationalism. The left and liberals had no way to counter him. From that to Khan Market Lutyens discourse of Prime Minister Narendra Modi the ball is always in their court. The left-liberals were always in a fix whether to be or not to be Manuvadis. Once nationalism was linked to Sanskrit and Manu that double-edged weapon fought Marx and Macaulay on all grounds. Hypocrisy on the English language–personally good nationally bad in Bhadralok families–kept the game going in the Hindutva way.
If we examine biographies of Indian nationalist leaders almost all of them came from English medium school or college education. From Tilak (a co-founder of the New English School in Poona), Mahatma Gandhi to Pandit Nehru from Congress were Macaulayputras. Allama Iqbal and Mohammed Ali Jinnah were also Macaulay Putras. Savarkar and Hedgewar (studied medicine in Calcutta) to Golwalkar (studied in Hislop College) were also Macaulay Putras. From Dange to Jyothi Basu and many other communists leaders were Macaulayputras. Shudra/Dalits -Phule and Ambedkar– who caused a different change were also in a sense Macaulay Putras. The only woman Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi, was a Macaulayputri.
The top Shudra Congress leader Sardar Vallabai Patel was only half Macaulayputra. Though he too studied in English in England retained his peasant backwardness by refusing to write in English and left his masses backward. today they live in a culture of mother tongue pride as true believers in the anti-English campaign. They never understood their historical relationship with Sanskrit earlier with English now. When Sanskrit was ruling India they remained illiterate food-producing slaves now by remaining outside English they behave like modern slaves.
The Shudra/Dalits believed all along the Indian written history that they were ‘Feet Born’ and incapable of learning Sanskrit in ancient and medieval times and English now. Patel though studied in England left his people to their historical parampara. Periyar Ramasamy Naikar never wrote in English. Hence the Shudra/Dalit/Adivasis still believe in the gossip that Macaulay is dangerous and English is anti-national.
Hypocrisy is India’s intellectual tradition. That very hypocrisy saved Brahminism and the dwija suprematism yuga after yuga. What is good for the educated intellectuals is shown as bad for the nation only to deny that resource to the productive masses–Shudra/OBC/Dalit/Adivasis.
Even in the post-Independence India Shudra/Dalit leaders like Mulayam Singh Yadav, Lalu Prasad Yadav, Nitish Kumar, Mayawati, Chandrababu Naidu, who ruled their own states on their own party power did not dare to introduce English as medium of instruction. Pinarayi Vijayan, a bold OBC communist Chief Minister of Kerala is afraid of introducing English as a medium of instruction in Government schools. Sharat Pawar and Siddaramaiah of Congress too were afraid of taking that step.
For the first time Y.S.Jaganmohan Reddy broke the myth of Macaulay’s English is anti-national or un-Indian. He has decided to introduce English medium teaching in all Government schools. When the same Macaulayputras tried to oppose it the village productive masses shouted ‘you hypocrites send your children to Sanskrit medium schools, but our children need to study in English to teach you a lesson’.
New visions are flashing in the thick of darkness of Hindutva diabolism all around. Now the hope is in understanding Macaulay with a mirror before him.
Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd is a Political Theorist, Social Activist and Author. Sections of this article appeared in The Wire