Author: Vivekananda Pani, Co-founder & CTO
There is no denial that one who knows nothing, finds oneself unworthy of anything. It is knowledge that empowers an individual, creates value in self and earns respect. In our country, the medium to impart higher education has mostly been through English language. A student studying in a language other than English (be it her mother tongue), will either have to learn English to read and understand modern knowledge “or” stay ignorant. Higher studies is either in English or only the literature of the non-English language itself. Most students drop out of school after primary education and do not complete high school. This is not a phenomena specific to India but in most countries where education is not mandatory. Anyone who has learnt to read and write in primary school in their mother tongue, will be able to read and understand for the rest of their lives because they understand their language very well.
But, if someone learnt to read and write in English but dropped out after primary school, will not read and understand English very well because they still do not understand the language. Only one out of ten students who go to school, go for higher education. The rest are not incapable but often drop out due to circumstantial needs or interest. Many of them are geniuses. They could do wonders if they could get access to knowledge. They could get access to knowledge if they could read what they can understand. But, all they can read in the language they know are story books, film magazines or news. They cannot read about health sciences, agriculture, engineering or any other such subject that can feed their innovative minds to work or create to solve problems for themselves or their immediate surroundings. Such books do not exist. They are not published.
After the end of WWII, China had the same questions as India. In order to teach modern knowledge to the children, should they introduce English in schools or should they translate large amount knowledge continuously into Chinese. They did the later. Not only the school and university curriculum were printed in Chinese but also a lot of domain specific magazines started publishing in Chinese as the readership was naturally very high. The demand forced supply. More the education in Chinese language, more the readers were hungry to keep updated and more were the supply of content. These content didn’t remain limited only to the experts but flowed freely to any enthusiast and interested. People would end up simplifying and reprinting for local demands. Less educated geniuses across the corners of the country could read, learn and innovate. The local innovations grew so much that China stands to export innovative products to the rest of the world. They are not just the manufacturing hub as they are popularly known but are also the producers of the widest variety of products innovated inside China. The rest of the world actually gets to see only a very small glimpse based on what is exported but the local innovation that solves local problems in China are unbelievably large. They are empowered by access to knowledge.
Indians have been deprived of such access and it is criminal. Growth of locals has been bound and strangled by disallowing growth of knowledge in their languages.
ଉଚ୍ଚ ହେବା ପାଈଁ କର ଯଦୀ ଆଶା (If you wish to be elevated)
ଉଚ୍ଚ କର ଆଗ ନିଜ ମାତୃ ଭାଶା (Elevate your mother tongue first)