India in Cognitive Dissonance Book

07 “Aren’t You ashamed of Yourself?” From Joseph Stalin to Vijayalakshmi Pandit

We had heard the slogan “Gujarat Shining”, the actual developments being in great part due to the great efforts of our Prime Minister Honorable Narendra Modi. Very few people indeed have had the privilege of serving both their home state and then the Nation in the manner of our Honorable Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi. The population of Gujarat is about 67 million. The population of France is also about 67 million.

It is by now common knowledge that critical signature details of the Scorpene Submarines that we purchased from France were leaked to the whole world before even the first submarine arrived in India. The leak occurred when very irregular companies were used to translate the Submarine’s Documents from French into English.  What?? India wants its critical military security documents translated from French to English!! What a shame on us.

Did any single Educationist from Gujarat observe:  “French Scientists and Engineers can study Science in French and their Submarine design documents and war-plane design documents are in French” and ask “Gujarat has a population equal to that of France. With our Chief Minister now being the Prime Minister why cannot Gujarat — with a population equal to that of France — run a good quality Scientific Establishment and design a submarine and fighter planes, all done in the Gujarati Medium? Certainly Prime Minister Narendra Modi will help us with this effort, after all, Gujarati is his mother tongue and he was our Chief Minister as well.” If no, this is an opportunity they have lost to improve the status and condition of their own langauge. ..Anyway, if all the major Scientific Establishments in Gujarat were operating in English, they would to have been aware of the English short-story whose moral is oft quoted as: “Do not try to Shine in Borrowed Feathers”. And they would have instantly seen the problem with the slogan “Gujarat Shining”; and they themselves would have requested that this slogan is actually better not used. The fact that they did not see the problem is indicative of something missing. This something is precisely stemming from the cognitive dissonance that has overtaken us.

The British Council Report on English as a medium of instruction notes: “There is an English language policy in schools in the National Curriculum Framework and the Position Paper on English in Schools, but no such document or thinking exists for higher education in India.”

WHAT? No thinking exists for higher education in India???

Did any educationist ask “Why does India not have any document or thinking as regards the use of English in its higher Education”. Doesn’t this imply that we Indians are running our higher education without thinking? If no, there is no educationist worth the name in India at all.

India has several Universities that have English departments and there are even complete governmental establishments exclusively for English.  Most of them, when asked about the origins and history of the English Language can do little more than mention the Anglo-Saxon invasion of England.

Did any single English Language Professor in India study the origins and the original English Language (which we may tell our reader hardly bears resemblance to the present day English), and use this to predict the future of the English Language and advise the Indian Scientific Establishment which is today operating in English, as to what may be the global future of English and what steps are appropriate for us in the regard? Do we have any Political Scientists studying the international dimensions of the language question, and if so, did they help in this process?  If no, we do not have any single scholar of English of any use to our society at all, nor do we have any scholars of International Relations worth the name.

Have the Directors of our Research Establishments properly answered the following questions regarding the use of the English language and clearly written position papers on the same- What is the impact of running the Scientific Establishment in English on our social fabric? What is the impact of English on the mind of a student whose mother-tongue is not English? (Is it their unspoken case that there is no impact or is it their unspoken case that the students do not have a mind?) For how long does India plan to continue running its Scientific Establishment in English? What is the future of English in the rest of the World? What is the impact of an English-speaking Scientific Establishment on the Languages of India? What is the International Political impact of Indians speaking English?  Do we have a position-paper on these critical questions on the interface of science and society? Do they realize that a large section of the World looks upon Indian Scientists as Monkeys–this word being having been explicitly used? If no, they are not fit to be the Directors of Research Establishments or of Institutions of Higher Learning.

India is a country that boasts about “respecting elders and Teachers” as part of our cultural heritage. India is a country that boasts about the “Guru-Sishya” relationship.  Has any good quality teacher and/or any good quality student asked the question: “Is it morally right that the very respected teacher-student relationship functions in a language that is neither the teacher’s nor the student’s, nor the State’s, nor determined by Scientific Procedure, nor by democratic procedure, but pushed on us by fraud? And then the British Researchers themselves say – India has no thinking on the matter.”

 Are then the Teacher-Student relations in this country not based on Fraud? So there are no Teachers fit to be respected in this country, and there are no students fit to be taught in this country. We suddenly determine that we cannot respect our teachers anymore? What about all the pledges we took? Have we forgotten them?

Should we quote here the conversation between Joseph Stalin and Vijayalakshmi Pandit, India’s first ambassador to Russia when she presented her credentials to him:

JosephStalin: What is this Language?           IndianAmbassador: “This is English

Stalin: “ I See — Is it your language?”        IndianAmbassador :” Nooo..”

Stalin: “Well, if it is not your Language, is it my Language then?”        IndianAmbassador: “NOOOO”

Stalin: “Are you not ashamed of yourself? You present me your credentials in a language that is neither yours nor mine?” ……“You are here to ask for my help. You come to me like a beggar and you talk to me in the language of the Pirates and Thugs?”…..”Do you have no shame at all?”

NB: This ambassador could not meet Stalin again and had to leave Russia incomplete disgrace. (If you think that her treatment in English Speaking America –her subsequent posting– was any better, because she spoke English, we urge you to see for yourself, the discussions with Sam Rayburn.   Stalin was more polite with the next ambassador, but asked him “What is your country doing about its Language problem?” The Ambassador replied  “a committee is still working on it.”

There is now a joke in Russia:

— The Ambassador from India has come.

–We asked him “What is your language man?”

 –He says that  he does not know what his language is…His Government is still trying to find out. Until then he is going to speak to us in English !!!!

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Comments

comments

  • Chichori Katputli

    I hope you do know that Stalin never met Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit.

    • Nishant Tiwari

      That is the official version from the Indian Govt. Can we expect our Govt having the spine to reveal in the open that Ms Vijayalakshmi Pandit was humiliated by Stalin over language issues which is quite petty for us pseudointellectual Indians ?

      • Chichori Katputli

        Again. She never met him. And I have my sources well in place.

  • Basavaraj Of North Karnataka

    Sharadha nayak you have done a nice job!!

  • Anup Kumar Roy

    If the narration were true what would Josef Stalin have said if countered that he was speaking the language of tyrants though he had his own tongue, Georgian.