the course of a recent lecture at Triplicane, Mr. J.c.
Rollo of the Pachaiyappa’s College has supported the
use of English as the only right medium of instruction
to Indian boys and girls. But he economizes, rightly,
that the consensus of Indian opinion is against his
vie. He thus summarizes the arguments on our side. “It
is urged that a student will save much time by being
instructed in the vernacular (sic), that text-books
in the vernacular (sic) will be within easy reach of
all classes of people, that an Indian possessed of literary
genius will be able to commit the fruits of his genius
in his won vernacular(sic).” This summary is far from
main argument is that one’s mother-tongue is the only
natural and human medium for imparting instruction.
If anyone should doubt this, let him go and make enquires
of educationalist in Japan, Scandinavia, England, Italy,
Mexico or any other land where human beings are human
beings. Speaking of the Tamil country, especially,.
The blunder of using a foreign medium becomes shocking
because the Tamil language happens to be far superior
to English for accurate and scientific expression –
a fact which naturally enough, Mrs. Rollo seems to be
quite ignorant of. “It cannot be denied”, he says, naively,
“that there is no vernacular (sic) in Southern India
fitted for the teaching of science or the technicalities
of history”. But the self-complacency betrayed by this
statement of Mr. Rollo is quit pardonable in him, considering
the present stat of things educational in British India.
of scientific terms” is the next charge leveled against
our languages. But the “Nagari Pracharini Sabha”, is
publishing a very useful dictionary of scientific terms
in easy Sanskrit which can be introduced wholesale into
every Indian language, thus securing the unity of scientific
phraseology for India, even as Europe has borrowed wholesale
from Latin and Greek for a similar end.
a few years, the novelty of such terms will disappear
and they will look quite natural in Tamil or Gujarati
books, even as all those big classical terms appear
very natural nowadays in English or French scientific
text-books. Of course, we have no objection to teaching
English as secondary language in our schools and colleges.
I think that any rational Englishman ought to be satisfied
with this concession.