In an address to Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidayalya in Haridwar, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu advocated for saffronisation of education and rejection of Macaulay’s education system.
Macaulay’s Minute on Education
The argument of Macaulay’s minute on Indian education became the foundation of The English Education Act, 1835. Which ultimately was the foundation of English becoming one of the languages of India.
His attempt at showing Europeans as superior to Indians can be observed from his writing where he argues, “a single shelf of a good European library was worth the whole native literature of India and Arabia.” The argument put up by his minute shows his ignorance and racism towards Indian culture and education.
To summarise his goal to achieve in India through English in his own words where he said, “a class of persons Indian in blood and colour, but English in tastes, in opinions, in morals and in intellect.”
Production of Clerks
The main objective of the English Education Act, of 1835 was to produce mass Indian clerks who can help Britishers in administrative work. More or less, they were successful which ultimately led them to rule for further 100 years. Moreover, after independence, there was very less effort taken to correct this system of education.
Studies show, children learn more frequently in their mother tongue but the superimposition of English in the curriculum is devoid of masses from learning core subjects. A large portion of the population was devoid of learning core subjects like science and mathematics due to the language barrier.
National Education Policy 2020
The correction of the past mistake has been brought in National Education Policy 2020. where the guiding light for the policy is the rich heritage of ancient and eternal Indian knowledge and thought. The policy envisages the teachings of “Charaka, Susruta, Aryabhata, Varahamihira, Bhaskaracharya, Brahmagupta, Chanakya, Chakrapani Datta, Madhava, Panini, Patanjali, Nagarjuna, Gautama, Pingala, Sankardev, Maitreyi, Gargi and Thiruvalluvar, among numerous others, who made seminal contributions to world knowledge in diverse fields such as mathematics, astronomy, metallurgy, medical science and surgery, civil engineering, architecture, shipbuilding and navigation, yoga, fine arts, chess, and more.”
The Vice President’s advocacy for the Indianization of the Education system reflects the government’s effort in the direction to change Macaulay’s influence in the Indian system of education.
Education is the foundation of a nation’s socio-economic development. The imposition of invaders’ mindset needs to be course-corrected to realise the goal of physical and mental decolonization of India.