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2017 — Britons then and next

  By Fatema Miah

Here comes another new year 2017. I wish everybody a happy and prosperous New Year! May this Year 2017 be a positive, peaceful and productive year for everyone like Theresa Mays “a country for everyone”.

Here we approached to the year 2017 dealing with 2016s consequences of decision on Brexit, we are standing on the threshold of departure terminal to Brexit from EU. Our Prime Minister Theresa may is stubborn on her decision of Brexit, the Britain to exit out of EU, and she urged to all Britons to be prepared, to be willing and work together for the Brexit.

However, the condition on Brexit is remained unknown to the citizen neither the article 50 condition discussed nor the plan has been put in place. Europe on the other hand raised hiccups and showing their unwillingness of co-operation towards Britain in this regard, they rather implied Britain to hurry the exit process.

Politics enforced turning points throughout past centuries and that waved changes in certain regions and worldwide. The political changes ensured the advantages and the disadvantages to lives of many.  In the whole process of political changes the disadvantage always thwarted onto a certain unrepresented groups.

The same enforcement was applied in the past centuries resulted in disadvantaging some unprecedented or neglected groups. When the political figures are self-centred stubborn, the public under or within their regions are surely to be the disadvantage ones. Brexit surely will cause some detriment, thus which group will be effected?

In the 18th century British, our modernised Empire, in India, Middle East and Africa, caused turmoil to many groups. History is written from certain perspective and other perspectives have not been reflected upon.  Talking about Africa, far too many muddle ups left there. Even in the formation of USA the todays Global Power, it was the African lives grinded into and the due credit still not given to the Afro Americans.

There in India, what was known as civilised, well established and well diverse colonial territory that Britain found on their arrival there. In India many different form, as well as languages, of educational systems were established and integrated in as preferences. British imperial representatives on their arrival adopted to orientalism.

An Indian Bangali raised this topic as such “It is time to revisit the fault lines of caste attributed to Indian society and see how much of it has been exacerbated and exaggerated by the British rulers”? Yes, my answer, insights from many references, a section of vast history, stories and journals were written, published and distributed by British writers, Authors and poets of British perspective. Yes, vastly bias.

For an example of Kipling’s poems in favour of British Empire, one sided stereo-typing, accusing the colonial ethnic origin people been worthless and burden on British Empire. Kipling claimed that British sacrificing their sons for the colonial origin people and spending their British wealth to maintain their needs. Which was incorrect what he confessed before his death through his last poems.

Under British Empire, when it was a modernised forces of just they claim, for not been oppressive malice. There were no other perspective of colonial journals. “Indians and Dogs not allowed”, and it was worse in Africa and in such condition of maintained atmosphere, where others perspectives were taken into consideration?

In India literate Languages were banned and only certain languages alongside English was enforced upon Indians during British India era. British claim to be modern force that brought education.  May be worth a reading that Dharampal an Indian Historian uncovered some little-known aspects of Indian history.

The “surveys of India’s education system conducted by the British from 1775 onwards in Madras Presidency and Bihar-Bengal revealed that there were schools in every village. The survey revealed that the percentage of “Soodra” students enrolled were even more than the Brahmin students,” added by Dharampal.

 Also, via the survey they found that “literacy levels were higher in India than in England. There were 100,000 village schools in Bihar and Bengal. In Malabar, there were a large number of Muslim kids in schools.”

On that bases Gandhi raised such addressing to the Royal Institute of International Affairs in 1931 that “India is more illiterate than it was 50 or 100 years ago”.

 I am aware of through my family line relatives that there were schools and madrasas education facility within a certain distances to villages as my family line of many generations of women as well as men were educated of Arabic, Farshi, Nagric and Bangla as well as were taught Al-Quran in Arabic.

Divide and rule disadvantaged many. Through divide and rule some regional languages were outlawed for example Nagrik and Gurmukhi. People were educated in those languages to certain level. British policy on banning or discontinuing languages made a whole generation of many ethnic groups illiterate.

While at the same time of British divide and rule the power abuse played a big role in East Bangal. Some people, the Muslims were bilingual / multi lingual there in some regions like Sylhet in the Assam. Banning on languages effected them to be totally illiterate because Nagrik was regional language in Assam region and Farshi was Muslims orientation language.

Both Languages being banned that made two generations of Bangali Muslims illiterate straight away. Literates were made illiterate, that’s under my British modern forces of empire’s ruling. Point to be reflected upon is that Farshi, language of gulf region, once might have been a modern language in India.

Back to Brexit, at least one or more of Modern Languages is part of British Secondary curriculum of education that is compulsory to GCSE. The term Modern Language means the European Languages, are taught in UK’s schools as academic policy. Now, play of phrase here again ‘Modern Language’, leaving the play of phrase aside, the concern is after Brexit what policy is expected on current term  ‘Modern Language’?

    Fatema Miah, Solihull, UK


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