My space

Monday, October 09, 2006

Election Offers!!!

We have all heard about festival offers like 2 sarees at the price of one, new fridge in exchange of old, gold coin on purchases above so and so amount etc. Our politicians in Tamil Nadu seem to have taken a cue from this and started a new trend. Election offers!!This one is much more lucrative and tempting than all festive offers and guess what , it comes free, means you dont have to spend a penny to avail this.The ever generous Indian public which diligently pays taxes will pay for this also.

I dont know who started it all, the magnanimous Amma of AIADMK or the influential Anna( read Kalaingar) of DMK, suddenly there was a gush of offers during TN state elections which would have put 'BIG BAZAR' guys to shame. So when Amma offered free computers Anna was quick to offer Colour TVs and lands for farmers.Not to forget the rice for 2 Rs/kg and free rice offers.Even with the 2 parties closely vying with each other, the public gave a thumbs down to Amma and elected Kalaingar.Looks like many people did not have color TV or they lacked the knowledge to operate computers.

Well, that helps us draw one important conclusion. In India irrespective of the criminal cases, accusations, illegal wealth, corrupt image, our politicians rule the roost.They are the uncrowned kings of Indian socio-economic culture!! In other words, people are absolute and complete fools.Politicians do have a penchant to fool people with false offers and nothing being done by anyone after the elections. Still people got carried away by a color TV and voted. They are least bothered about their long term problems like food, water, sanitation, employement, education etc. Their solution is simple.They got a TV and they can forget all their worries by watching it and enjoying.One lady was even saying if she is given an option between having a TV and a toilet( which she did not have) she will go for the former.That says it all.

And what about the price of these color TVs. Simple, the exchequer pays for it.Anyways the hard earned money citizens pay is tax is wasted on maintaing useless politicians and their fancy life styles.So will it make any difference now. If the politicians are so interested in giving away goodies, they should have funded it from their own pockets and not eat into tax money which is meant for betterment of public life and development activities.But who cares if development activities are done, people have TV and they are more than happy.Who cares for the electricity bill and cable bill they have to pay.May be salaried middle class people will pay for that also.

BTW, I suspect Anna's ulterior motive in giving away TVs as a way to expand his ever growing empire of Sun TV networks.Whatever the reason is, such cheap gimmicks to lure people into voting are not expected from the political class of India.When will this people ever grow up and think for the welfare of nation.

Our politicians have absoultely managed to make a fool out of the massess year after year and I feel the scene is pretty much bleak in the coming years also. Empowerment of people with education and taking them out of their poverty might be a solution. The thinking voting class is just a dream in India, dont know when our people will start making sensible and proper choices rather than the usual ones.But as long as such election offers pour in and people remain illiterate and are attracted by such offers, we hardly have any hope to make things work for the benefit of state or nation.

Next year dont know what is in store, free DVD players or Ipods may be.So be ready to fund it!!Amma can even consider giving off some sarees from her saree collection which is like a mini Chennai silks store.

God, I sincerely hope all other states dont emulate example of TN now.Then all our tax money will just go in buying freebies and not benefitting people in the way it should!!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Language of education

You know what is the speciality of India.For every step we take in forward direction our politicians or so called people's representatives(phew!!) make sure we take 2 steps backward.Whether it is by intoducing reservations even if nobody benefits out of it or increasing prices of essential commodities and burdening middle class or mass sealing moves to close all trades in the capital, whatever the issue is or however it affects the masses, our unscrupulous politicians have an uncanny ability to mess it all up without an iota of consideration for the people directly impacted by it.

One such classic instance is closing of a large number (read around 1440) of schools in Bangalore and leaving 2.5 lac innocent students to lurch in the dark.Apparently the schools had taken permission to teach in Kannada and they were instructing the kids in English.As per language act of 1994, schools opened thereafter should use Kannada / mother tongue as medium of instuction in primary schools i.e 1-4 classes. from 5th class onwards you can decide which medium of instruction you want.So these schools made the mistake of teaching in English and honorable education minister Mr .Horatti could not take any of this.So he decided to teach them a lesson in movie ishtyle and ordered to close all schools which violated language policy, right in the middle of academic year .

Well to begin with, that was the story.Now lot of things come running to my mind reading this news. Why nobody realised so far that schools violated the policy.After 12 years it dawns on the minister that schools are not following rule.Were all the government and education department people sleeping all this while. I sometimes feel these politicians need some issues to disrupt the normalcy of life and of course to sustain the unholy vote banks.How can politicians indulge in such mindless acts otherwise.

Now Horrati has a solution also for the children who have to leave in the middle of the academic year. Join Government schools!! I saw the photos of some Gov schools TOI had published. To say the least they looked like cattle sheds to me rather than places were our future citizens would be nurtured.Now isn't it the responsibility of education department and minister to provide good learning atmosphere and infrastructure for all those unfortunate children who cant afford private education. The zest and vigour shown to close schools would have been shown to improve conditions of Gov schools and provide quality education to children.But which politician is bothered about his/her duties. As long as they are in power they are eager to show it off and force it on people.

Imagine the trauma the children and parents have to go through. There are so many low earning people who spent a lot on childrens education, whose hopes are pinned on their children, who want to better their lives through their children.No amount of justification can be given for the trauma and insecurities these families have to go through.What about the tiny children who have to leave their teachers, friends everyone in the middle of academic year. Will any of these politicians out to protect mothertongue/regional language send their children to these Kannada medium schools. I am sure their children must be going to top class private schools which charge a fortune as fees and donation and of course where English is medium of instruction.That explains their insensitivity in handling such issues.When they are directly not affected why should they bother what happens to ordinary people.

And lastly the million dollar qustion is who is Gov to decide which medium of education schools should teach in.That too why this rule goes only to schools opened after 1994 which makes it a case of discrimination.Schools might be under pressure from parents to teach in English as nobody wants their child to be behind in this age of competition.Denying a group of children right to educate in English is certainly not done.In this age of globalisation, turning back on English is like the most retrograde thing to do.If you see why India occupies top slot in outsourcing industry, it boils down to just one thing - ability to converse in English!! If people still consider it as a remnant of British Raj, they should go and get their brains checked.English has become the one language that unites the whole of India and one language which can definitely take India to dizzying heights in this golden age of globalisation. On one hand we talk of booming economy and on the other making sure only a very miniscule part of population enjoys benefits of it.

Having said all this, I am not against teaching Kannada or any other regional language. They should be very much there, but as a subject and not as a medium of instruction as it is very difficult to switch to another medium after learning first few years in one medium.In order to take India to a greater and rightful place in the global map, we need to bridge the flaws in our education system and provide quality education in a fearless atmosphere to one and all.

PS: It seems Horrati has extended his deadline to close schools to the end of this academic year.I hope some sense prevails and he revokes the whole meaningless exercise of closing schools and punishing helpless children , parents and teachers. May be fining schools for flouting Gov rules and also giving them permission to teach in English hereafter may be the most painless and feasible solution.

Well, hope sanity prevails in this nation!!