Thursday, 19 February 2015

Remberging Gopal Krishna Gokhale

On His Centenary Year 2015

He spent last decade of his life to pursue for ‘Compulsory and Free Primary Education for All’ in India. He had to face opposition even at home. Finally, he succeeded to bring a law at Privy Council.

At early Twentieth Century, in his time, there were 2% educated people in India. In 1947, we were 400 millions. Today there are about 400 millions illiterate people. (I do not believe any statistics based on Sample Surveys.) I wonder those who are literate use their literacy in modern India?

I am sure my primary education at my native village in vernacular – Marathi – was possible by his efforts. I gratefully remember him now, and, whenever the issue of Education comes up.

He was mentor of Gandhiji; his mentor was Justice Mahadev Govind Ranade. What a great continuity! Gnadhiji introduced Basic Education... However, bureaucracy failed to implement it with relevance.

I learnt spinning and weaving during primary education, in Konkan where cotton is not produced. There Basic Education in Farming — Agriculture, Aquaculture and Horticulture or Forestry — should have been more appropriate. 


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