To give millions a knowledge of English is to enslave them. The foundation that Macaulay laid of education has enslaved us. I do not suggest that he had any such intention, but that has been the result. Is not a sad commentary that we should have to speak of Home Rule in a foreign tongue?
And it is worthy of note that the systems which the Europeans have discarded are the systems in vogue among us. Their learned men continually make changes. We ignorantly adhere to their cast-off systems. They are trying each division, to improve its own status. Wales is a small portion of England. Great efforts are being made to revive a knowledge of Welsh among Welshmen. The English Chancellor, Mr Llyod ...view middle of the document...
The curse of the nation will rest not upon the English but upon us.
I have told you that my answer to your last question is both yes and no. I have explained to you why it is yes. I shall now explain why it is no.
We are so much beset by the disease of civilization, that we cannot altogether do without English education. Those who have already received it may make good use of it wherever necessary. In our dealing with the English people, in our dealings with our own people, when we can only correspond with them through that language, and for the purpose o knowing how much disgusted they (the English) have themselves become with their civilization, we may use or learn English, as the case may be. Those who have studied English will have to teach morality to their progeny through mother tongue, and to teach them another Indian language ; but when they have grown up, they may learn English, the ultimate aim being that we should not need it. The object to making money thereby should be eschewed. Even in learning English to such a limited extent, we will have to consider what we should learn through it and what we should not.
Hind Swaraj (1908), Ch. XVIII
Education for Manufacturing Clerks
You, the students of Madras as well as the students all over India, are you receiving an education which will make you worthy to realize that ideal and which will draw the best out of you, or is it an education which has become a factory for making Government employees or clerks in commercial offices ? Is the goal of the education that you are receiving that of mere employment whether in the Government departments or other departments ? If that be the goal of your education, if that is the goal that you have set before yourselves, I feel and I fear that the vision which the Poet pictured for himself is far from being realized. As you have heard me say perhaps, or as you have read I am and I have been a determined opponent of modern civilization. I want you to turn your eyes today upon what is going on in Europe and if you have come to the conclusion that Europe is today groaning under the heels of modern civilization, then you and your elders will have to think twice before you can emulate that civilization in our Motherland. But I have been told : "How can we help it, seeing that our rulers bring that culture to our Motherland ?" Do not make any mistake about it at all. I do not for one moment believe that it is for any rulers to bring that culture to you unless you are prepared to accept it, and if it be that the rulers bring that culture before us, I think that we have forces within ourselves to enable us to reject that culture.
Speeches and Writings of Mahatma Gandhi, pp. 312,313 ;...