Illiteracy has been the bane of independent India. It is a shame to note that, the country that gave Epics like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata to the world should, in the 21st Century turn out to be one among the most illiterate countries of the world.
How this has come to be is of course not far to seek. Even in the understanding of a layman, it is clear that India has remained so very illiterate because it has, for centuries been slave to someone or the other.
The rulers, whoever they may have been never wanted the Indians to be educated as, an educated mass of men would be difficult to reign, and so they never wanted them to raise their heads, and so, kept them away from the light of education.
So much of course can be understood but, the sad story of the Indian masses is that even their own rulers, the Indians had no different attitude, they also wanted the Indians to remain mostly illiterate for much the same reason as the foreigners had wished.
Just like the foreign rulers the Indian rulers also thought that an educated public may not be so easy to control so they also followed the track laid by their predecessors. Besides this, if the masses remained uneducated, any kind of manipulation could be easily managed in the favour of the rulers.
Thus, since the Indian rulers also wanted to keep the Indian masses away from the light of knowledge, the result is for all of us to see that, even after fifty years of independence, India is still lagging behind the world in its ratio of educated/literate and the illiterate.
This goes without saying that, an educated gentry is far more difficult to handle and to satisfy than an uncouth ^educated lot. For this simple reason the Indian rulers kerned it fit to keep education a far off dream for the majority and the image that the foreigners had established has been maintained by our Indian rulers for simple selfish reasons that are obvious.
For this reason I feel that, the rate of literacy in India is no surprise. This has been the definite policy of the Indian rulers just to suit their vicious designs and their own inefficient policies. Illiterate masses can be led like sheep and goats very easily however and wherever they are taken.
They can be very easily aroused on any emotional issues, they can be easily convinced into understanding and thinking as their rulers want them to. If the masses were to be educated it would not have been so easy for the politician to do what and how he wants to do on any issue.
People would have to be convinced with genuine reasoning to the correctness of all that is being done or being planned. For this simple reason, even the dawn of the 21st, Century finds India listed among the countries with the lowest ratio of education.
Now, after a little over fifty years, the Government has seen and understood the folly of such a lame policy of education. Now the Government is re-scheduling its literacy programmes and making a mark of the fundamental right of each resident of India to the right of education.
If the masses had not been kept illiterate, they would have in so many years, raised a hue and cry about their right to education and the Governments of the past years would not have found it all so very smooth sailing.
However, at least now the Government has awakened to the fact and need of correct education but, let us remember that the decades already lost cannot come back or regained. For, to complete the task in hand and to manage the huge backlog makes the job rather cumbersome and time consuming' besides being difficult to achieve.
It is hoped that, if the direction taken is continued we will in the course of another decade be higher on the grade educated/literate countries.