Is it correct to dispense with Telugu and have English as the primary medium of instruction in government schools or not?
The YSRCP says yes, the Oposition says no. Whether one admits it or not, it is a fact that in order to be relevant in the job market today, English is absolutely indispensable.
Let's take an example: What are the chances of two students, one armed with a Masters degrees in English and the other with a Masters in Telugu Literature, getting gainful employment in today's society?
In all likelihood, the student graduating in Telugu will find the going extremely tough. He may be familiar with Nannayya, Tikkanna, Pothana and their great works but society places no premium on his wisdom and learning.
Governemt schools are only patronized by the Dalits and other lower castes who cannot afford a private education for their children.
Naturally, government school standards are extremely poor characterized by very high drop-out rates etc. Therefore, the chances of students graduating from such institutions and finding themselves on an even keel with the rest of society, are dismal unless the student shifts to English medium from his Intermediate and somehow makes it on his own.
Therefore, Y S Jagan's decision to make English, the primary medium of instruction is indeed a practical and right one.
Of course, even the teachers need to be trained and the whole system needs to be refurbished at the grassroots level for this to happen. But as of now, we are only concerned with the decision in itself and not the implementation and its efficacy.
Which brings us to the part: If the government itself does not promote Telugu, who will? We are Andhras and our identity is our language and culture.
The day we stop communicating inTelugu, we also lose our identity of being an Andhra for that is what Andhra Pradesh is-Land of the Telugus.
The government as the representative of the people is duty bound to protect the language and culture of the State.
When the Chief Minister himself relegates the language of the people to a secondary place citing practical reasons, he is abdicating his right as the custodian of the people's heritage.
Do we abandon our parents in their old age? No, because they mean the world to us and every single day of their presence adds strength and joy to our own existence. It's the same with language!
It might be facing neglect but every single day of its existence adds strength to the culture.
You may wear a Levi Jeans, Arrow shirt and decorate your face with Ray-Ban goggles while speaking in fluent English but what is your identity? You are a Telugu!
Wherever on the planet, you may be! And you have a State where your people live, it's called Andhra Pradesh! We are enslaved to Western culture. But, the day, we let go of our language and start using theirs in every walk of life, our enslavement is complete.
Therefore, does Jagan Mohan Reddy have any other plans to strengthen the native language?
Going ahead with his English medium plan, if the Chief MIinister can find ways to sustain if not strengthen Telugu, he will not be seen as reneging on his fundamental duty of protecting the culture of the people.