Supreme Court raps pro-Kannada policy

The Supreme Court rapped the Karnataka Government’s policy on teaching in Kannada (article from today’s Deccan Herald). (Emphasis mine)

A three-judge bench of Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, Justices P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan felt that if the states try to impose their mother tongue on unwilling students, it could turn counter-productive and make them ineligible even for clerical jobs. “They are unable to get even clerical posts. It is easy to say things. How do we survive in the world,” the bench asked the Karnataka government on its decision to make Kannada as the medium of instruction for Classes 1 to 1V.

The apex court said if mother tongue was imposed on students, it would only further aggravate the problems of those studying in villages. “Otherwise, students from villages can’t compete with their peers in urban areas,” the court said.

…“Parents are ready to pay Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000 for getting their children admitted to English medium schools. This is the real state of affairs. They do not want to send them to schools of their mother tongue. It should be left to the parents,” the bench observed.

I’ve written about this before and I think that the Supreme Court’s nailed the issue. It’s all very nice to make policies to promote one language — it doesn’t matter which by the way — but it should not be at the expense of placing people at a disadvantage when they look for jobs.

Whether we like it or not, English is a language that is used globally and it is to our advantage to learn English. This isn’t some frog-in-the-well economy we’re asking people to compete in–we’re in a global economy, where it makes sense to keep up with what’s going on globally.


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