MOTHER TONGUE AS MEDIUM OF EDUCATION

By L.H. Mettananda Date: Circa 1954

There are people who refuse to adapt themselves to the new order but demand the compulsory introduction of English from Standard 2 for the reason that it is the products of English Education that won our freedom. This argument is refuted by no less a person than the first President of the Republic of India in his convocation address to Nagpur University on Tuesday last. President Rajendra Prasad referred to an incident that happened in 1921 and which made him a thorough believer in national education, that is to say, the principle of imparting education through the medium of the mother-tongue. He said: “In those days, the boycott movement of educational institutions established or aided by the Government was at its height. I was touring Orissa in company with Gandhiji. An aged gentleman put a question to Mahatmaji at a big mass meeting. He asked why Gandhiji wanted the educational institutions to be boycotted when, as a matter of fact, the whole freedom movement was but an outcome of that system. He asked whether it was not a fact that such talented people as Lokamanya Tilak and Gandhiji himself were the products of that system. Mahatmaji countered the question by asking whether it was not a fact that there had been only one talented person like Lokamanya Tilak even though the system of English education had been in existence for many years.

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