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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

IV Semester General English 'Perspectives' Material by II yrJPEng Students

Business and Society

1. Rocking Horse Winner: DH Lawrence
2. The Rhetoric of Advertising: Stuart Hirschberg
3. Writing a Curriculum Vitae : Wislawa Szymborska
4. You will be Hearing from us Shortly: U A Fanthrope
5. Once Upon a Time: Gabriel Okara
6. Bankers are Just Like Anybody Else, Except Richer: Ogden Nash


1. Politics and the English Language : George Orwell
2. The Politics of Failure : SV Srinivas
3. Toba Tek Singh : Saadat Hasan Manto
4. India's Shame : Annie Zaidi

Note: The idea of making all the posts on different lessons available in one post was given by Roshan from I yr JPEng. Thank you Roshan.


Anonymous said...

hey, where r the notes for Politics of Failure?

Anil Pinto said...

well, can someone remind Nishad?

Anonymous said...

can someone tell me the link for the perspectives text plz

Anil Pinto said...

Nishad Bailey said...

What S V Srinivas is saying, is that English departments of elite institutions (any private schools or colleges) through the way they teach and/or choose texts (or anything else they do) causes the marginalisation of people, texts and theories. A symptom of this, he says, is the high failure rate in English courses, especially among students from more backward social classes.

The root of the problem, according to Srinivas, is that when England colonized India, they decided to create a small class of English speaking Indians who could act as intermediaries who would ‘educate’ the masses. (Google ‘mccaulays minutes on education’) These people, more often than not, were Brahmins or kayasts.

What happened then was the English speaking Indians, by merit of speaking the language of colonizers, formed an academic and bureaucratic elite. Even now, more than 60 years after independence a non-english-speaker is looked down upon. Post-independence governments have done nothing to change this (examples are in the essay).

The outcome of the entire problem is that English is only accessible to people who’s parents can afford to send them to expensive private schools.

Next, he talks about the methods of picking students for these elite institutions, where an emphasis on ‘excellence’ helps the state shift blame from itself onto these disadvantaged students.

Regarding students who get into these institutions through reservations, he says the attitudes of the teachers (who usually are upper-caste) and the admin serve to obstruct any type of learning from taking place. They use alienating texts (about stuff that the students can’t relate to and serves them no purpose) and ‘uncongenial classroom methods’ to close career options for these under-privileged students. Including faculty positions. Most colleges claim that qualified candidates are not available.

He says that other students are also a part of the problem, because the more dropouts there are, the more it helps other students. I’m not too sure about that.

Srinivas doesn’t really give any solutions to the problem. He just says “…to break the cycle…what is required is the sustained and organized intervention of students…” and that we must “resist authoritarian…teachers…who [must] resist their own will to power.”

Nishad Bailey said...

That was an overview of 'politics of failure' by SV Srinivas.

And this is an excerpt from Mccaulays minutes i found online-
"The languages of western Europe civilised Russia. I cannot doubt that they will do for the hindoos what they have done for the tartar...We must at present do our best to form a class who may be our interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern; a class of persons, Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals and in intellect."

pk108 said...

Thanks Bailey! :D

Anil Pinto said...

great job, Nishad. Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot Nishad...

Anonymous said...

thank u so much for simplifying the chapter for all the unprivileged pupils.

Anonymous said...

where is the notes for bankers are just like anybody else except richer??