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[Expansion] Education Reforms in the LADS
Despite the relative wealth of the Arabian Gulf, the education outcomes of the region lag significantly behind those of Europe and Asia. Previously, many attributed this disparity to poor instruction techniques in the countries; education had long been viewed by the monarchies as a means for social control, rather than as a means to train skilled labor. This legacy still exists in the educational systems of the new republics of the peninsula, necessitating action by the LADS to bring the region’s education standards to be more into line with the developed world. The Khaleeji Arab Republic The Khaleeji Arab Republic’s education system is perhaps the second best in the LADS, but only because it has had the longest to perfect it. After the collapse of the Kingdom, the new Republic elected to continue with the education reform programs instituted by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. STEM fields and critical thinking skills are the primary focus of K-12 education in the country, with the goal of creating a highly skilled workforce that is able to compete directly with the Global North for high skill, high paying jobs. The education reform has also seen the continued secularization of the education system, as the ruling Arab People’s Party has little to no interest in maintaining the decades-long Shi’a-Sunni split, and relies heavily on the country’s Shi’a minority as part of its coalition to remain in power. As by far the largest education sector in the LADS, the KAR’s education department has de facto final say over what can and cannot be published in textbooks as part of these educational reforms. Fortunately, the KAR has little interest in censoring things like Saudi Arabia once did, but it does have a particular interest in ensuring certain things are included in all textbooks and curricula. These new materials will focus heavily on the importance of secularism, pan-Arabism, and democracy, inculcating these three values as something that approaches a civic religion. Owing to MbS’s education reforms, the KAR also has several of the best universities in the peninsula and has some of the best K-12 STEM education in the country. KAR education policy experts will attempt to teach teachers from other education systems how best to approach teaching STEM subjects during primary schooling. Jordan Jordan’s education system is easily the best in the LADS. Its relatively liberal monarchy (especially in comparison to the conservative, restrictive monarchies of the Gulf States) largely viewed education as a tool for workforce improvement rather than as a tool for social control. The country achieved full literacy in the early 2020s and has since gone on to become one of the best educated countries in the Arab world. Its focus on computer skills and on integrating computer usage into the classroom, especially in math and science, have made the country extremely competitive in the IT and computing fields, and Jordan regularly produces some of the best teachers in the Arab world. With this in mind, Jordan will serve as the incubator through which education in the rest of the LADS will be improved. Once the country’s textbooks and curricula a once over to ensure they are properly secularized and pan-Arabized, Jordan’s education system will operate as the “pilot program” for major educational reforms that are to be done throughout the LADS. Teachers from across the LADS will travel to Jordan to participate in paid training to improve their ability to teach in a more western style, stressing critical thinking rather than rote memorization. We hope that within five years, every teacher in the LADS will have had the opportunity to participate in these Jordanian trainings. The LADS will also invest in expanding the education departments at major universities throughout Jordan and will introduce significant scholarships to encourage students throughout the LADS to attend Jordanian universities to become teachers. Jordanian IT excellence will be leveraged to create online learning platforms for universities and for K-12 schools. Kuwait Kuwait is peculiar in that public education is only compulsory for children aged 6-14. Many children end up leaving school after just nine years of education, and while some end up graduating from technical colleges or otherwise learning some sort of trade, many do not. Boys, especially expatriate boys, are particularly affected by this policy, as the pressure to help provide for the family often forces low income children out of the school system at an early age. As the goal of these education reforms is to improve the ability of LADS economies to compete on the global market, we cannot afford to have children dropping out before acquiring the necessary skills. Therefore, this education reform will make attendance compulsory for children aged 5-18, adding an additional school year to the front end of the compulsory education cycle, and requiring students to stay through high school. UAS The UAS has the lowest literacy rate of the LADS, with only 90% of its adult population possessing basic literacy. This is partly due to its massive expatriate population, most of whom are uneducated immigrants from regions like South Asia or East Africa. As such, the education reform in the UAS will be slightly different. The government will open new adult education centers within the largest expatriate communities. Funded via a combination of tax dollars and foreign grants, these centers will seek to better integrate adult expatriates into UAS society, teaching Arabic language skills, basic literacy, and valuable trade skills (welding, plumbing, etc). However, the UAS’s new education program will not focus entirely on adults. In 2006, the Emirati government determined that lack of English skills was one of the greatest barriers to employment in the country. As the country becomes increasingly outwards facing, with the ports of Jebel Ali and Fujairah set to continue their growth well into the future, the new government has deemed it imperative that English language skills become a larger part of their education curricula. In addition to implementing the new LADS common education curriculum, the UAS will implement new English language courses. Vast sums will be spent to hire TESOL qualified teachers both from within the UAS and from the Anglosphere, with the goal of increasing the English literacy of the workforce over the course of the next five years. Additionally, English language courses will be made available for adult citizens, with the goal of better equipping them to compete with English-speaking expatriates for jobs. Iraq While Iraq is not a member of the LADS, its close proximity to the LADS means that education reforms enacted in the bloc will still affect education within the country. Of particular note in the KAR’s decision to produce low-cost versions of its textbooks to provide to Yemeni public schools. With some minor edits to make it past the central government’s censors (the anti-monarchism simply had to go), these same books have been made available en masse in the last Kingdom of the Middle East, allowing (Arab) Iraqi students access to comprehensive, high quality textbooks in their native language. The LADS have also agree to launch a new initiative to improve education in its low income neighbors of Yemen and Iraq. Formed with a grant 2b USD, the Foundation for Arab Education (FAE) has the mission of expanding education capacity within the poorer states of the Arabian Peninsula. The FAE will help train educators in the latest and greatest educational techniques; provide technology to schools; construct schools in rural areas; and otherwise help empower Iraqi and Yemeni educators to make a difference in the lives of their students. The FAE also provides a number of services to Iraqi and Yemeni students seeking to attend university. In addition to helping these students navigate the navigation process—something that can be difficult for many of the country’s inhabitants who have never imagined going to a university, whose test scores are usually nonexistent, and whose graduating transcripts are often deemed insufficient—the FAE will provide full rides to top foreign and regional universities. The LADS hope that these individuals will then either stay in LADS countries to work, or return to their home country to help develop them further. Yemen There is already substantial KAR investment in the Yemeni education sector. In 2029, President Najjar pledged some 2.5b USD in foreign aid earmarked for the Yemeni education sector—a promise that remains in place separate from the new Foundation for Arab Education. This aid has largely gone to providing the ancillary benefits that enable students to receive a good education (ensuring the school has access to clean water; ensuring the school has access to the internet and electricity; ensuring students are not malnourished). The funding is also being used to hire new teachers in the country to combat the ongoing teacher shortage, and to construct new schools and renovate old schools to improve student and teacher outcomes, especially in rural areas where the education deficit is greatest. LADS aid to the Yemeni education sector has made it a priority to decrease the gender gap in education. As attendance in Yemen is not compulsory (as the central authority in the country is far too weak to enforce something like mandatory attendance), many girls drop out of school long before they graduate. While 81 percent of the school age population is enrolled in primary school, only 74 percent of school aged girls are enrolled in school. These disparate enrollment rates have negative impacts throughout the lives of women: in 2007, the adult literacy rate for men was 77 percent, whereas for women it was just 40.5 percent. The funding has also gone to public awareness campaigns attempting to break the tradition of child marriages, which are responsible for a great deal of the educational disparity. Bahrain Bahrain has one of the lower literacy rates in the LADS, sitting at 94.6%, mostly due to the country’s large adult expatriate population. Mirroring the approach taken in the United Arab States, Bahrain will invest in a series of adult education centers that will teach Arabic language and literacy skills to the expatriate community. The trade skills taught at these centers will be even more valuable than their UAS counterparts, as the country’s burgeoning industrial sector has great need of trained tradesmen. The rumored construction of a bridge connecting Bahrain and Qatar will also allow students to attend schools and universities within its wealthier neighbor, thus improved education outcomes on the small island. Qatar Qatar is unique among the LADS in that it has public schools that are taught in languages other than Arabic. After the first ever public expatriate school was opened in 1964 for Pakistani expatriates, several others have cropped up throughout the country, including Iranian, Bangladeshi, Indian, and Filipino schools. Instruction in these schools is currently done primarily in either Hindi, Urdu, Bangla, Tagalog, or Farsi, with Arabic becoming the instructional language in later years of schooling. While these have improved education levels within the country’s massive expatriate community, it has also reduced social cohesion, as Arab Qataris and non-Arab Qataris segregate themselves into these separate schools. In line with LADS educational policy, Qatar has agreed to make Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) the sole language of instruction within the Republic. The currently existing expatriate schools will phase out over the next ten years, until all school age children in Qatar are enrolled in Arabic schools. Except, of course, for rich expatriates. As the decision only applies to the country’s public schools, private schools are permitted to provide instruction in whatever language they prefer. Enrollment in English-language private schools has already risen dramatically, while several businesses have begun investing in private schools teaching in those languages that are now excluded from public schools. However, these schools will largely remain accessible only to the wealthiest Qatari households, meaning that while the Qatari upper classes may remain heavily segregated, at least the lower classes will be marginally less so.
MQM's politics of violence and it's reasons - A deep dive
So I did a sort of deep dive into the MQM issue in Karachi and in the process came across this book by Laurent Gayer called Karachi: Ordered Disorder and the Struggle for the City. Below are some of the parts relevant nowadays. I had to OCR the interesting parts, so please ignore if you find any typos I’ve overlooked. I’ve tried to categorize it into parts that answered my questions, but the text is directly quoted. The sociological background of political violence in the context of Karachi ..However, in such conﬁgurations, no player ever has a complete control over the game and its rules, even when he has invented them. This is what the IJT discovered after the rise of the MQM in the mid-1980s, and what the MQM itself realized after the Pashtun militants of the ANP, the Baloch dacoits of the PAC and ﬁnally the Pakistani Taliban decided to beat it at its own game, by resisting militarily its hegemonic project and replicating, with more or less creativity, its muscular style of governance. Today, even if the MQM proceeded to a complete aggiornamento of its repertoire of action by giving up violence, it is doubtful that armed conﬂicts would recede in the city. Karachi's predominant —but increasingly contested—party currently resembles the apprentice sorcerer of Goethe's poem, who stands ‘before the spirits he has conjured up and which, once at large, are no longer in his power'. MQM’s loss of control over violence in the city and challengers: The unprecedented escalation of violence witnessed in Karachi since 2007 conﬁrms that major changes are currently underway in the social and political regulation of the city, and that the checks and balances that used to contain armed conﬂict within certain bounds are no longer in order. Not only did the number of murders reach an all-time high in 2012, never, in the history of the city, did homicidal violence continue to rise unabated over such a long period of time. To make matters worse, a new record could be set in 2013, with already 2,058 killings between 1 January and 30 September, according to CPLC data. If the city experienced several sequences of violent escalation in the past (1985-1986; 1989-1990; 1994-1995; 1996-1998), violence systematically receded after a couple of years at the most, following a political settlement between the various forces competing for the city and/or the intervention of ‘law and order forces’. Despite the apparent loss of control of the Pakistani state over its most turbulent city, there remained some scope for the containment of violence, including by state agencies… Institutional mechanisms responsible for violence in the city As already suggested in the general introduction, the political trajectory of Karachi over the past three decades raises two complementary questions: how did armed conﬂicts become endemic in the city since the mid-1980s? And what spared Karachi a general conﬂagration, despite repeated sequences of violent escalation accompanied by ethnic, political and, more recently, religious polarization. As the following section argues, these two questions might have the same answers: the institutional mechanisms sustaining violent conﬂicts in the city have also contained them within certain bounds, at least until recently. Particularly decisive in this regard has been the peculiar mode of government of the city's predominant political party, which is premised upon a capacity to order disorder in both senses of the term—that is, a capacity to unleash but also to tame civil strife at will. Second, Karachi has been characterized, since the mid-1980s, by the inability of any actor to exert a complete domination over local politics and monopolize the means of coercion and the ability of one actor—-the MQM—to dominate the game nonetheless. Third, the city's armed conﬂicts have been fueled but also moderated by a genuine yet unconsolidated democratic context, which saw the development, in the shadow of military interventions, of an armed consociationalism regulating the tense relations between ethnic-based and partly militarized political parties. Last but not least, one has to acknowledge the ambivalent role of state agencies-—and in particular of the army-—who’s repeated attempts to restore order through performances of legitimate violence, through the outsourcing of illegitimate violence and through a politics of patronage has had mitigated effects, both nurturing and moderating violent conﬂicts in the city. MQM’s Power over Disorder The peculiar positioning of the MQM in Karachi politics—that of a dominant political party cultivating its marginality and disruptive capacities--goes a long way to explain the formation and the reproduction over time of a conﬁguration of ordered disorder in the city. While systematically denying any involvement of their party in violent or illegal activities, the leaders of the MQM have built their party's reputation over its capacity to disrupt life in the city. As the MQM made a name for itself through its frequent and well-attended strike calls, its charismatic leader earned the surname of ‘Hartan Hussain’ (Hussain the Strike). The street power that this surname alluded to was not merely disruptive, though. It did rely upon a capacity to bring the city and its economy to a halt (the cost of a single day of strike, around 1995, was estimated at $37 million and there were twenty-two days of strikes in the ﬁrst ten months of this year; in recent years, daily trade and industry losses caused by outbreaks of collective violence were estimated at $31.5 million and $73.6 million, respectively)! However, this capacity of disruption always went along with the ability to restore normalcy at short notice. More than its violence or its sheer power of disruption, it is this capacity to command (over) disorder that has made the party an indispensable ally for successive civilian and military governments. More often than not, these disruptive capacities remain at the discursive level of mere threats. However, to be credible, these threats have to be actualised occasionally in violent ﬂare-ups. This constantly reactualised street credibility explains that more mainstream political forces (the PPP, the PML-[N]) prefer to bring the party on board whenever they form a government at the centre or in the province, however difficult it might prove to accommodate in the long run. Such ‘power over disorder’, to use the term of Andrew Abbott, is common in many professions (strangely enough, Abbott omitted politics from his list of professions where the taming of disorder is of particular importance, such as medicine, psychiatry, law and the clergy). Following Abbott, I would suggest that the aura of Altaf Hussain and his party out- side the MQM amounts to a ‘charisma of disorder’: a particular form of power drawing its efﬁcacy from a prolonged exposition to the realm of the disorderly, which is only heightened by the risk of failure—of being irremediably deﬁled by these social impurities.’ In the realm of politics, the risk inherent to these close encounters with the disorderly is also a loss of control with disastrous consequences for public order. This risk looms large over all attempts to rule on the edge of disorder and gives them their efficacy, allowing strategies of negotiation or legitimisation that oscillate between the demiurgic and the most mundane forms of racketeering. Thus, when Karachi faced one of its worst episodes ever of political violence, following the resignation of the MQM from the PPP-led government, during the summer of 2011, its leaders in Karachi claimed that the party, far from instigating violence, was in fact restraining the Urdu-speaking population of Karachi. In the process, they claimed to have spared the city ‘such mayhem and bloodshed that the people would not be able to count the bodies’? This valorisation of the regulating capacities of the MQM could obviously be read backward as a veiled threat, by suggesting that the party had the power to unleash an urban apocalypse at will. MQM’s institutionalization of bhatta (extortion) and its consequences The political and military predominance of the MQM introduced an element of stability and predictability in a political conﬁguration otherwise characterised by chronic uncertainty and informality. This is exempliﬁed by the institutionalisation of a market of protection in the late 1980s. If critics of the MQM complain that the collection of bhatta causes great distress to the shopkeepers, entrepreneurs and citizens of Karachi,’ this system was not without merits for its participants, however coerced into it they might have been. First of all, it was institutionalised. Most ‘donations' were collected through the KKF on a monthly basis as well as on some speciﬁc occasions—religious festivals, in particular—and these donations were duly acknowledged through ‘receipts’. Moreover, the sums collected remained minimal (and inferior to those previously collected by the police)."' At the time of Bid, for instance, shopkeepers would be asked to contribute around 1,000 rupees as zakat or In a country where only 0.6 per cent of the population paid income tax in 2012, and where VAT efficiency, at 25 per cent, is the Iowest in the world," the MQM proved that it was possible to enforce a rational system of taxation—a process which, let us recall, always implies a certain amount of coercion, although it also sets the basis for a relationship of reciprocal obligations." However coercive the bhatta system enforced by the MQM might be, it is not arbitrary, which distinguishes it from a rudimentary form of booty. Moreover, along with its contributors’ votes, it buys them certain ‘rights’ (physical protection against rival groups and the MQM itself, non-interference from the police or the bureaucracy, etc.). As we will see further, it is less this unofficial form of taxation per se that causes distress to Karachi’s mercantile and industrial classes than the recent deregulation of the market of protection, following the gradual loss of control of the MQM over revenue collection (but also, it seems, following the increasingly disorganised collection of Marta by MQM activists)—a process which paved the way for increasingly violent and arbitrary forms of extortion. Army’s support for MQM and the resulting rise in its power under Musharraf The MQM’s predominance is the result of a disequilibrium in interdependencies between the various forces competing for the control of Karachi's populations and economic rents. The MQM is more powerful than other forces because it is less dependent on them than they are on its policies, tactical coups and political alliances. On certain occasions, this disequilibrium was such that the party's adversaries withdrew from the competition, with violence reaching an all-time low as a result. This was the case, for instance, between 2002 and 2007, when the MQM was patronised by the President—cum— COAS Pervez Musharraf This patronage by the army chief himself, combined with the party's full control over the local administration, following its electoral victory in the 2005 municipal election (which gave it control of 14 towns of Karachi, the remaining four going to the PPP), operated as a strong deterrent against potential rivals. If we accept some brief and relatively low-key incidents of pre- electoral violence between the MQM and the JI in 2005, as well as some clashes between the MQM and the ST throughout the period, the years 1999-2007 (excluded) were the most peaceful in Karachi since the mid-1980s. Weakening of MQM’s militant wing and then its re-strengthening However, it should be kept in mind that the number of murders decreased signiﬁcantly before the return of the MQM to power following the 2002 general elections and that it escalated signiﬁcantly from 2007 onwards, while the party was still in full control of local bodies and to a large extent of the provincial administration. These two signiﬁcant variations in homicidal violence had less to do with the political fortunes of the MQM per se than with incidents of regime change in Islamabad. Thus, the sudden decrease in the level of violence witnessed in the city in 1999 was a direct outcome of the return of the army to the helm, following Pervez Musharraf’s coup. By the same logic, violence escalated once again during the past few years of Musharraf’ s rule, which saw the army chief gradually lose control of the political process in the country, retire from the army (November 2007) and ﬁnally resign from the presidency (August 2008). The predominance of the MQM and its contribution to the moderation of the level of violence in the city should thus be qualiﬁed: more than on the electoral strength or the military capacities of the party, it is premised on its alliances of convenience with the rulers of the day, which are always shaky in the volatile context of Pakistani politics/the political conﬁguration of the 2000s, from which the MQM derived unprecedented power, was a rare occurrence and did not survive the return to ‘unguided’ democracy, following which the MQM was relegated to the status of an aspiring but contested hegemon. As we saw in the two previous chapters, this cutting down to size of the MQM emboldened its new rivals. It was also a source of tension with its political ‘allies’ of the time, with which it maintained uneasy relationships oscillating between conﬂict and co-operation.
A shorter version (reduced by 97.0%) can be found on IndiaSpeaks. This is an extended summary, original article can be found here
Anglophonic Hegemony and Indian Languages. In the wake of a statement by Sri. Nehru marginalized Sanskrit willfully as part of his anti-heritage agenda and imposed a Eurocentric approach to language on the Indian political map. The place of a language in a country depends upon how her people think about the modern nation state. As long as the language was a spoken phenomenon, the territory of a French or German language was hazy. This new-fangled notion of the nation state was imposed upon a vast number of territories in Asia, Americas and Africa by the Euro-colonizers on their departure, when they created new nations out of the occupied territories. Or when Pakistan as an Urdu speaking Islamic State was carved out of the Hindu majority India that always has had many languages and diverse faiths. Chechnya, Kashmir, Nagaland, Tamil Eelam, and many other nations yet unconceived, loom on the agenda of those who espouse this line of thinking. They feel that India is an imagined idea espoused by Indian or rather Hindu nationalists who are equating this imagined idea of a single national expanse called India with the territory that the British had occupied and called India. Yet others say that India is a European Union like conglomeration, but for the moment they do not advise dismemberment of the present day Indian State mainly because they do not wish the same to be prescribed for the EU. There is evidence that appellations such as the jambudviipa, bhaarata, bharatakhanda, or karmabhuumi (portion of which was often called aaryavarta) were used to describe the geographic subcontinent of India, well before the Christian era. They were distinctly defined as the outsiders because they did not follow the codes of Manu and others dharma-sutrakaaras. There was also the practice of utilitarian and fine arts that were patronized sub-continentally. The holy sites like Rameswaram, Dwaraka, Kashi, Gaya, or Pavapuri, thousands of miles away, have commanded since very early times and still command the same sense of belonging in an Indian as his or her place of settlement (graama), or origin (muula). This sacred belonging of the Indian to the land as a whole cannot be underestimated even though it is beyond the grasp of modern secular notions of citizenship and state. In a land with a huge number of languages and dialects, political objectification of a single language for representing the identity of a state is impossible.. Even small empires on the Indian soil had subjects speaking many languages and the mobility of populations; trade and travel have been much higher in India than in Europe or other continents. One language for all purposes is a demand of the modern nation state. The best guide to who spoke which language for which purpose is found in the ancient plays. It establishes beyond doubt that even a moderately educated Indian was a polyglot and his attitude to language was utilitarian. Edicts by the governments were issued not only in Sanskrit, but in many languages. In fact, all speech or vaak was considered sacred if it had a valuable meaning. It was purely a practical approach to language that encouraged the bhakti poets to begin composing their songs in Tamil, Telugu and later in Hindi and all other medieval Indian languages. It may be pointed out that the antagonism between Sanskrit and Prakrit does not seem to leave much evidence in the first millennium. A general emphasis on otherworldliness had subdued every other activity and the nirgunis were not alone in ridiculing intellectualism. This reflected the distance between the people and foreign rulers. This aristocracy believed in their racial and religious superiority and considered the locals as well as the class of mixed blood as inferior.. The advent of Turkish with the establishment of the Sultanate of Delhi threw up a new challenge that was met by the Indian mind through the creation of Urdu, which drew upon from Arabic, Persian and other Central Asian tongues as well. It was essentially the lower administrators language and of the Sufi saints. But there can be no mistake that foreign languages at the Court created the hiatus between the administration and people and this is unfortunately prevalent to this day in India. They established parallel systems for themselves and the Indian converts to Islam. With the new technology of the printing press and the policy of eliminating the traditional village paathshaalaa system, the traditional system of education along with the old curriculum was completely replaced by the European system. The change ushered in by the British rulers was both extensive and subtle. The British on the other hand, established anglophonic hegemony not only by creating an official language, but also a class of Indians, as planned by Macaulay, which had a deeper interest in maintaining this hegemony for its own survival and wellbeing. Although from the middle of the 19th century with the new Europeanized system, English began to attain enviable supremacy, nevertheless with the help of the printing press the Indian languages also underwent a process of standardization and modernization. Regional literatures were indeed the main vehicles of creating and consolidating the Nationalist movement. In other words, the effect of print on the European soil was seen in India too, except that each pradesh was not thought of as a nation as the concept of Bharat (the land) and Bharat Mata (the Mother of Indians) had been shaped drawing upon the earlier notions of a cultural unity of the subcontinent. This did raise many fears and some opposition but on the whole the idea was a fait accompli. Ambedkar was emphatic that all states should have Hindi as their official language and which should be so for the whole country: Linguistic State with its regional language as its official language may easily develop into an independent nationality. This danger is of course inherent in the creation of linguistic States. But the dangers of a mixed State are greater and beyond the control of a statesman however eminent. The official language of the State shall be Hindi and until India becomes fit for this purpose, English. (1) The idea of having a mixed State must be completely abandoned. (3) The formula one State, one language must not be confused with the formula of one language, one State. This is an absurd formula and has no precedent for it. What followed was not a thought out policy but the formation of states along linguistic lines according to the pressure that a region could mount on the Center through violent agitation. Throwing to the winds Ambedkars warning that regional language should not be the official language, a three language formula for education and governance was evolved, namely regional language (also called mother tongue) as first language at school and the regional states official language, Hindi as link language (so called to reduce it from the status of the national language) to be used by the Center and English as the status quo language till the three language formula was implemented. In the schools and universities, Hindi was taught compulsorily except in Tamil Nadu, which has observed an anti-Hindi ritual to fuel its Dravidianism. The net result of the contest between Hindi and other languages was a serious decline in the growth and status of each and every language of India. The main reason for the rising hegemony of English has been an elitism that is nurtured by the Indian notion of tradition (paramparaa) that urges the new rulers to emulate their predecessors. The anglophones have been adept at giving all sorts of reasons to show the superiority of English as a universal language that can keep India pulsating along with international change. The English language was a major medium of keeping this distance between the rulers and the ruled and Nehru deliberately maintained it. As it demanded a working knowledge of English, anglophonic hegemony was easily ensured. If India had chosen a competitive capitalist road, the diversity of business and employment would have used the Indian languages in all their diversity. For the majority of the people who do not need a window to the outer world such as English, but who work in their languages only, hegemony of English is an obstruction or a beating stick wielded by bureaucracy and the elite. But the huge market that regional Indian language speakers provide to consumer products from all over the world is yet to be tapped. Such translation skills are needed for books, cartoons, videos and a number of products as the middle class grows in India. The corporate world is still dominated by products of anglophonic and Ivy League alumni that have not yet realized the indigenous shift on the horizon. Not the compulsory Hindi at schools but the Hindi cinema and Hindi television has promoted the language across the land. A polyglot with as many languages as possible is likely to be a better and more popular functionary both in the government and in business. Delhi state has given an official status to Punjabi and Urdu. Greater flexibility and freer choice to the students should be the new policy in schools.
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