'De-imperialising' Indian Higher Education
Indeed, English language is not just a skill, but a marker of a class, sustained through the education system, school onwards. This was the original design of Lord Macaulay, but was sustained by the Indian elite after Independence because this suited them. The Indian education system became a legitimising apparatus of imperialism. Imperialism, in this sense, is to be defined not as subjugation by foreign rulers, but a system of social relationships where certain skills and attitude foreign to the native society, but those that create affinity and cultural affiliation with a global governing elite, are used as instruments of social power. Indian education system, to this day, is designed to sustain this system, and particularly to root out any possible challenges to this way of thinking.
This is where a new thinking is needed and a process of 'de-imperialisation' of Indian Education must start. This means designing a new kind of education system, with critical consciousness at its core. This also means a good grounding on various intellectual traditions, not least the Asian ones, because such process of de-imperialisation may start in India with the recognition and discovery of an Asian identity. In fact, India is seen as a subject nation in most of East Asia because of our ability to overcome the apparatus of privilege bestowed on us by our colonial masters (Lord Macaulay's brilliant design), whereas the rest of Asia may be recovering from the cold war slumber decisively.