The British are gone, long back, but India and Indian institutions continue to take the weight of bondage, just because a fraction of the population feel superior in doing so. There’re intellectual ‘Sepoys’ who continue to serve western ideology while knowingly or unknowingly flourishing on western payroll.
I will start with me. Either I am a victim or a celebrated champion of the system, exemplified to lure many. Let’s see!
So, when I was in class 4, transferred to a big school from a small-town school where ‘English Medium’ meant just books in English. I or my talent had nothing to do with how well I could speak English. I was best until I was in a class of 40, where the teacher would ignore my doubts because it would spill out in Hindi. Where I would struggle to recall all my vocabulary to speak a sentence, by literally translating word by word. ( Like Dog for Kutta, Bread for Roti…). I remember my mother instructing me on how to ask for making the knot of a tie, in English, so that I wouldn’t be ridiculed and taken to the principal for speaking Hindi.
Let’s get to college. So, by now I have made it to the league (though not ‘Convent -guy’ )by conquering ‘natural’ me. My first preference for getting into a college group was ‘English cell’. Most of my college seniors would suggest Watch Out magazine, which is supposedly a group of elite English communicators. Incidentally, with one thing leading to another, I ended up in Hindi Cell of the literary magazine of the college. And with whatever class of English, I had, I made it through four years comfortably.
Both of the above experiences are not just mine. It was essential to put them here to make it relatable for many. While some of us can make it through, others fall back and get possessed by the ghost of not being able to communicate, forever.
Due to the unapologetic affection given to English starting from Nehru, English has assumed a ‘ruling’ role in the society and with it has sipped the undying tyranny of colonial slavery. The mentality of British that the native Bhartiye are impetuous & unwise creatures have taken different and more subtle and more cancerous attitude in the country. What has made it worse is ‘institutionalization’ of this attitude, very well appreciated, accepted and reflected in institutions as good as my college-IIT Roorkee. Like the broader spectrum of society, here resides a fraction who would debate about issues, students, society or country has hardly anything to do with, would use uncalled complexity in issues and language because that’s what makes them elite and exclusive. Also, these are the people invited or considered by the administration to be worthy of discussion or opinion. They naturally tend to think of themselves as a most intellectual and observant class. And thus their vitriolic assumption that the great responsibility of representing the masses falls upon them.
It would have been of no harm, merely reduced to personal character. But, in the general acceptance of this attitude has made them bullies, who dominate the space because others with humble background don’t fight or are simply infested by the presumption of being unparallel-less able.
This ‘less-able’ crowd relives this trauma every time they are to address a gathering, every time they want to participate in a debate, every time they are laughed off by some hollow human around, living in the superiority complex.
I worked four years in Hindi Cell, reading, writing and learning ‘Hindi thoughts’. There’s no hiding how campus labels and perceive ‘Hindi-people’.
Though in my four years of experience ‘Hindi-people’ were the least egoist, least hollow and least dominant people on the campus.
Today, the same English body ‘Watch Out!’ published an article titled The Moral Bankruptcy of Giving Birth. Now whatever be content and intentions of this article, the big question is why in the hell of all issues and topics available, the ‘official media body’ of the college would publish an article which barely has anything to do with the campus, society or our country.
This is nothing but an example of how disconnected, unconcerned and apathetic is this ‘Elite-English’ fraction of society, towards the roots and concerns of this country or the society they are living in.
The problem is not with the people or the language. It is with this idea, with this attitude which has been breeding unquestioned, unchecked. But this has to be put an end.