Friday, June 26, 2009

Meghalaya kids in RSS schools in Karnataka

The current issue of the magazine Tehelka has a horror story on the plight of indigenous chidren from Meghalaya studying in Karnataka in schools run by the "Hindu revivalist organization" RSS.

I'll just stick to one aspect of the outrage - the language side of it. Excerpts from "A Strange And Bitter Crop" (Tehelka Magazine, Vol 6, Issue 26, Dated July 04, 2009):

"In all the schools that TEHELKA visited seeking information about children from Meghalaya, the school authorities summoned the children from their classes and instructed them to introduce themselves in Kannada. For the authorities, it was a matter of great pride that children who had no association with Kannada had been taught the language well. That students who did not know a word of Sanskrit earlier now recited Sanskrit prayers with great clarity. In... BG Nagar, Mandya district, the headmaster, Manje Gowda, flung a Kannada newspaper at a student from Meghalaya, ordering him to read it. Obediently, in a low voice, devoid of any expression, the boy proceeded to read a few sentences, before quietly folding and placing the newspaper back on the headmaster’s desk. Till he was sent away, the boy never looked up. In school after school, the same scene unfolded with variations in the demonstrations of skill and familiarity with Kannada and Sanskrit....

"A consequence of completely immersing young children from Meghalaya in a Kannada-speaking environment was visible at the Deenabandhu Children’s Home in Chamarajnagar district. A caretaker at the Home described one child’s growing familiarity with Kannada, “Sibin [one of the children at the Home] has picked up a lot of Kannada in the two months he has been here. During a phone call from a relative back home, he kept answering questions in Kannada which obviously they did not understand at all.” In a shocking display of insensitivity, the caretaker burst into laughter at what she thought was a hilarious incident and added, "For 45 minutes, a woman, I assume his mother, kept trying. Sibin, of course, had no answers since he had forgotten his own language." She giggled. The caretaker then proceeded to teach Sibin the Kannada word for dinner."

Earlier we are told that:

"In a chilling admission, an RSS worker in Shillong... told TEHELKA that care is always taken to ensure that any siblings are separated from each other. "It is easier to discipline them if they are not together. We have to control them if we have to mould them. The lesser the contact they have with home, the better it is, really," he stated."

Not surprisingly, the author says, "The physical and mental impact of studying in school environments diametrically opposed to their culture, language, religion, and food habits has been devastating."

For a detailed account of how the children are taken from their homes and communities, and a completely frank admission by the people doing this of their intentions, do read the entire article.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

you are of Christian minded,when Christian does conversions in North-east India you would utter no word and tries to grill RSS on every possible issue....

Anonymous said...

what christain minded?...first know what has RSS done to the country trying to bomb everywhere they could to kill their own brother, take away innocent blood...but unfortunate for them and a victory for the country, they caught, our country is save now otherwise, now half of the population would be gone and civil war happening in country....

Renuka said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I think the person commenting about Christian conversion was confused about how to respond to the above article which doesn't say anything about the cultural indoctrination by RSS but only talks about use of Kannada.

The correct response to the article would be:

you are English minded, you don't utter a word when children all around India are educated in a foreign language like English, and are indoctrinated into accepting Western values as being more valid than those of their own culture.


But then, the comment would still be not quite right because the author of this blog does raise his voice against English education as can be seen from his other posts. The only complaint against him would be that he doesn't seem to compare education by RSS with education in English language to other children in India.