The Modi cabinet has approved the NEP when spoken out aloud sounds funny; actually hilarious, because after all what’s the Modi Government’s cabinet other than an almirah full of the centralized thoughts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi? PM Modi proposes and the Union cabinet disposes! Sounds familiar? Of course. Strong central spouts haven't changed colours in centuries. It’s like the leopard, you know – spots!

But let’s talk of the renaming of the ministry of HRD. It's no longer HRD. Simply spoken in each in his own mother tongue, it's now the ‘Education Ministry.’ The centre dumped ‘HRD’ in the sea off the Jamnagar coast of Gujarat just after the “five birds” flew into Indian airspace and people everywhere started singing praise of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for accomplishing what successive prime ministers before him couldn’t in 30-plus years.

“BJP-bots” on Social Media, of whom there are millions, collectively referred to as ‘BJP IT Cell’, took this message into stratosphere, targeting Congress prime ministers from Nehru to Manmohan Singh but forgetting in their flights of fancy that one of the “before prime ministers” they were hitting out at was the BJP’s inimitable Atal Behari Vajpayee, who faced a similar military challenge as Modi is facing today, actually cleared foreign trespassers out of the territorial limits of the Union of India.

To the impartial observer what’s happening in India these days is a kind of ‘quiet’ transformation, with one engineered cataclysm papering over another – ‘seamless,’ so to speak. And ‘August 5’ is the chosen date for the timely interventions. So, there was the scrapping of Article 370 and the not-so article 35 from the statute book of India on August 5, 2019, which lo behold also put to death the 70+ year-old so-called “illegitimate child” of Kashmir’s accession to the Union of India, the Constitution of the ‘State of Jammu & Kashmir.’

August 5, 2020 will be the first anniversary of the historic August 5, 2019. The Indian establishment will likely celebrate the ‘day’ with fanfare and assurance of "al is well." But erstwhile stakeholders, now ejected, will curse the day Narendra Modi and the BJP took control of India’s reins, and reign. Pakistan, which insists it’s a legitimate stakeholder, will be mourning August 5 with a ‘Black Day’ tag and will also take the cry to the LoC, carting to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir a bunch of UN interlocutors who will be feted and fed to conjure up a favourable report. Naturally, what will come out of the trip to the LoC will not amount to much.

By the way, August 5 is also a date in the Chinese calendar. This year in the Chinese Zodiac happens to be the year of the ‘Rat.’ And 2019 was the year of the ‘Pig’ while 2021 will be the year of the ‘Ox.’ The Chinese are mighty pissed off with pigheaded India and her Home Minister Amit Shah who spoke of ‘Aksai Chin’ and ‘Gilgit-Baltistan’, all three of which are in the illegal occupation of China and Pakistan. ‘How dare?’ was the China retort and a year later Xi Jinping is telling off Narendra Modi with multiple PLA intrusions into India’s territory.

But India has the Rafale, and India has also beefed up its troop-strength all along the LAC. Besides, the Indian Army’s soldiers are the “best in the world in mountain warfare", and this has been acknowledged by none other than Chinese military experts. Indo-China analysts are predicting a “winter faceoff” between the two armies on the Galwan heights. Just you wait for the snow to fall. And the Rafale will fly, and Brahmos will cruise!

It’s at such a time that the Modi Government has announced the refurbished national education policy, a single reading of which will give Thomas Babington Macaulay the jeepers. Lord Macaulay was the one who introduced ‘English education’ to India in the days of the British East India Company, and which in time made Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru and Mohammed Ali Jinnah and BR Ambedkar and tens of thousands of other Indians, who too got educated in English and whose descendants also laced in English continue to rule the roost in the India of today.

Lord Macaulay introduced ‘Macaulayism’, or the ‘Engishisation’ of India in pre-Independence India, but which in the long run failed to Englishize India because of the machinations of post-independent India’s rulers. The children of India’s ruling classes benefited from Macaulayism but not those of the masses, the children of the Great Unwashed. If they went to school at all, they never got an “English education” and therefore proved unfit to take up the higher jobs independent India threw up.

So, today, there’s Modi’s India which wants to erase the last colours of Macaulayism and replace it with what can be called the united colours of “Indian education” couched in “each to his/her mother tongue” language. Praised for being “transformative”, Modi’s NEP has been described as one that’s pregnant with “opportunities” for students. “Cash-rich content will be reduced to its core essentials, and make space for critical thinking, holistic, enquiry-based, discovery-based, discussion-based, and analysis-based learning,” is how education minister Ramesh Pohkriyal Nishank described Modi’s education policy. Not surprisingly Modi’s first education minister Smriti Irani expressed “gratitude” to Narendra Modi.

The Telugu Desam Party’s Chandrababu Naidu gushed at Modi’s decision to teach in “one’s mother tongue”, saying this would help youth in “competing with the best from across the world.” With what, with Telugu? Naidu like the vice chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia Prof. Najma Akhtar could not hold himself back from extolling the virtues of Modi’s “ground-breaking NEP”, with its “shared focus on Science, Arts and Humanities.”

Of course, neither of them mentioned that the emphasis on Indian arts, languages and culture reflect the influence of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. (IPA Service)