Complex Dilemma of MoI
Sometimes one quotes principles and finds dignity in standing up to them. It is commendable when they have a personal application without affecting others. When however they do affect others, especially public in general, the interest that may be affected has to be weighed carefully. Sometimes there may be a need to budge in the face of a factual situation. Such a retracting is not a defeat, but a commendable move made by a rational human being, who must accept that social changes could call for a rethink of ‘principles’.
It is on the above basis that the Hindu Jurisprudence of Ancient India developed great respect to interpretation. The same text in the Vedas would receive different interpretation under different Srimitakars. Interpretation is that has enabled to produce so many schools of Hindu law, rich in thought process of those days, ever evolving to social changes till Hinduism entered dark ages. Recognizing this principle, the Hindu jurist gave prominent importance to custom in one of the most astounding principle – ‘that a well established custom overrides the written text’. The western jurist were at first baffled but later were enlightened, when they understood the depths of the issues involved and the complexities of life that it had to deal in a subcontinent stretching much beyond India.
The Chief Minister has taken a practical and wise decision in permitting grants to English Medium primary schools. In the absence of any systematic empirical research on MoI, specific to Goa, not merely based on general principles, or some foreign or outside studies – the Chief Minister took the wisest possible decision. If he’d done otherwise, he could be accused of a making a deliberate attempt at turning the socially deprived into second class learners (outcasts).
The Chief Minister has done the best thing in leaving the choice to the parents and guardians. Now there is more than sufficient time for empirical research that can go on for a couple of years. Besides, a fast volte -face on MoI before at least two years have elapsed will definitely damage the child. To leave the decision to a few experts can be detrimental, as most of linguistic experts can be put into two or three pigeon holes. Only a few of the stature of Manoharrai Sardessai who could rise over linguistic barriers, fly high above and pick his notes from the literature without borders. So it is best to leave it to a empirical researched solution applicable to Goa with its various linguistic intricacies and complexities. Surely there are many issues that cannot be answered with Plato or Aristotelian philosophy!.
It is unfortunate that in Goa the various battles were drawn in linguistic lines. There is nothing wrong if in the top English Medium Primary class, a teacher constructs a creative mental sea where the God dances on the Ocean waves – or the children in a delightful Monsoon mood play along with frogs in a Manoharian pool - Darao , Darao. The children will enjoy it. Learning will be a pleasure.
The Chief Minister must constitute a panel of educationists to suggest umpteen language programmes which can easily be incorporated into the learning process. The new pattern gives lot of space for innovation and creativity. These programmes should be well researched and planned, flexible, not made compulsory, left for schools to select, to modify or adapt if they desire. By giving the option of selection, modification, adaptation to the respective school, the teacher will develop creativity among schools and themselves. The schools can use it as part of curriculum or co-curricular activities.
Such measures should have been implemented in Goa at least three decades ago. Can Manoharbab meet the vision of Manoharrai Sardessai and make language free of bias as it is the vehicle for leaning.
Just as a research is an exercise for educationists, language is against no one. The last Portuguese Governor of Goa, strategically used Marathi in the process of One Portuguese Nation building plan. Besides the people of India gave themselves a constitution in English along with a Hindi translation.
The gift of the people to themselves was no less irrespective of the language i.e. the vehicle. This is clear from the statement of objects and reasons of the 58th Constitutional Amendment.