ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Women Who Persisted Nevertheless

Fleeting Agencies: A Social History of Indian Coolie Women in British Malaya by Arunima Datta, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (Global South Asians), pp 240, 1,099.

The Road to English

Students of English from the economically weaker sections in private schools in Delhi now go through an extended phase of muteness and incomprehensibility before they finally pick up the language, almost by osmosis. The US education system, which promotes bilingualism as opposed to diglossia here, has some lessons for India if the attempt is to make English learning more easy, enjoyable, and useful.

Learning in Inclusive Classrooms

Private schools in Delhi that buy land for construction at concessional rates have to make 20% of their seats available for children from the economically weaker sections. Everyone, except the educationists, knows that schooling is mostly about inclusion, about becoming a part of a group that is destined for success. A teacher from one such English-medium school with four EWS students assigned to her for remedial tuitions, traces their evolution over three years from sitting in incomprehension to enthusiastic participation.

Right to Education: Lessons from Trinidad and Tobago

As India begins to grapple with the issues of implementing the Right to Education Act, 2009, it would do well to look at examples like that of Trinidad and Tobago. It is worth learning from that country's experiment with making school education free for all children and the measures it undertook to ensure that children from the economically weak sections got quality education.

Integrating Private and Government Schooling

Integration of non-fee paying students into 'elite' schools as envisaged by the Delhi government would work better if a 'government-assisted' approach, such as the government sharing part of the running costs of the school, were adopted. Experience of Trinidad.

Schooling in Mass Society

Schooling is not only strongly linked to the mass society, but also uniquely placed in that it is aimed at children early enough in their lives to be a force for initiating them into the culture of complexity. The mass society doesn't need many visionaries nor too many small pockets of individual creativity. It needs a belief that answers, and products, are available, and that you just need to reach out and buy them.

'Once Were Languages'

India has a large number of non-English languages and dialects that are still thriving. However, these languages exist in a sector strongly associated with poverty, and with a failure of access to the open-ended world of modernity. But as India's poor enter a more empowered space they will sacrifice any languages that only expressed an era of poverty and helplessness. And, in exchange, people will be able to talk to each other as equals for the first time.

Hindustani, Hindi and English in India

in post-colonial India. We are talking of the patronage given to English as an in- Hindustani, Hindi and creasingly native language by the indigenous ruling class of post-colonial India. Why did this class jump for English?

Booby-traps on the Yellow Brick Road-Education and Adults

Education and Adults Peggy Mohan In the structured world of education as schooling as in the rest of the system, those who teach are 'divorced 'from those- who-learn. The thinkers of new thoughts are outnumbered by, and shut out from, the packagers of these thoughts who must reconcile this new and dangerous knowledge to the demands of the system. And those who implement official agenda become a generation removed from the original reasoning behind the agenda. An underclass of learners has ceased to believe, and is dropping out, reverting to its earliest programming and is finding realistic ways of looking after itself Globalisation has led to a bizarre generalised frame of mind here, there, everywhere: forget the world, tuck yourself in... ft is, in consequence, a dull, dull world. The same package of economic and social policies is getting prescribed for country after country Each and every nation is being cajoled into the whiningly identical doctrine: be self- seeking; think in terms of only your own private gains and losses; it does not behoove you to get involved in silly intricacies as those of social costs and social benefits; you take care of yourselves, while society will fend for itself; in fact, the more self-seeking you are, the more blatant the profit-seeking you render yourselves to, the loftier is the pinnacle Of prosperity.

Market Forces and Language in Global India

Peggy Mohan In the interest of efficiency, globalisation processes produce pressure for the homogenisation of language. In multilingual India, market forces, the mass media and the state are supporting the creation and spread of a few common languages at the expense of the majority of regional languages and dialects.

Once Upon A Language

Peggy Mohan Literary Urdu is not adapted, in India, for modern discourse of a technical nature. So you choose: if it is emotional it will be in Urdu; if it is scientific it will be in Hindi; if it absolutely must be in common 'Hindustani', it will be trivial and depthless. You mustn't jump from branch to branch of this language tree. But intuition and fearlessness have a wav of cutting through these man-made strictures.

Jurassic Sisters-A Play in an Extinct Indian Language

Something is dreadfully wrong with the kind of language that dismisses the present and thwarts honest young actors, rendering them wooden.
AS an Indian born and raised abroad I have always Jived with a sick fear that we, as a people, were actually intimidated by our own past. So much so that, like the children of great parents, we were afraid to deviate and grow in our own right and take the even more intimidating outside world head-on. New World Africans, deprived of their past, had moved on to create an enormous amount of the art of the New World. But we were stuck, either copying and re-copying a defunct world, or running for our lives from an Indian past that meant stagnation. And in so doing we were leaving our languages, so envied by our African siblings, to wither and die, and be safely, stably mummified.


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