354 BRITAIN'S GOOD GOVERNMENT OF INDIA 170 3rd March 1942, midday The road to independence—The British Tories are right— No German schoolmasters for the Eastern territories— Ideas on a curriculum for schools. If ever we allowed a country conquered by us to have its own Army, that would be the end of our rights over that country—for autonomy is the way to independence. It's not possible to retain by democratic methods what one has conquered by force. In that respect, I share the point of view of the English Tories. To subjugate an independent country, with the idea of later giving it back its freedom, that's not logical. The blood that has been shed confers a right of ownership. If the English give India back her liberty, within twenty years India will have lost her liberty again. There are Englishmen who reproach themselves with having governed the country badly. Why? Because the Indians show no enthusiasm for their rule. I claim that the English have governed India very well, but their error is to expect enthusiasm from the people they administer. If it's true that the English have exploited India, it's also true that India has drawn a profit from English domination. Without the English, India would certainly not have a population of three hundred and eighty million inhabitants. Above all, nobody must let loose the German schoolmaster on the Eastern territories ! That would be a sure way to lose at once the pupils he'd be given, and the parents of these pupils. The ideal solution would be to teach this people an elementary kind of mimicry. One asks less of them than one does of the deaf and dumb. No special books for them ! The radio will be enough to give them the essential information. Of music, they can have as much as they want. They can practise listening to the tap running. I'm against entrusting them with any work that calls for the least mental effort. Just tell me how Russia has requited Europe for the European culture she has imported! They used it to invent anarchism. The more they're allowed to loll in peace, the happier these
TEACHING OF HISTORY AND FOREIGN LANGUAGES 355 people are. Any other attitude will have the result of awakening ferocious enemies against us. The logic of our pedagogues would entail the building of a university at Kiev. That will be their first discovery. In any case, I don't believe there's any sense in teaching men anything, in a general way, beyond what they need to know. One overloads them without interesting either them or anybody else. It's better to awaken men's instinct for beauty. That was what the Greeks considered the essential thing. To-day people persist in cramming children with a host of unrelated ideas. School training should form a foundation on which it would subsequently be possible to build, if there is room for it, a specialised instruction. In any case, instruction must be adapted to things as they are. What counts to-day, more than the trivial details, is the history of the Reich. It's a waste of children's time, and a useless cumbering of their minds, to delay while one teaches them item by item all that concerns the village, the region and the country. Let's not forget that the events which we are in the process of witnessing will one day be recited by heart in all the schools of the Reich. The brain of a little peasant-boy can't take in everything. Moreover, where's the sense in teaching a child in an elementary school a foreign language in addition to German? Eighty per cent of the children will never go further. Of what use will the rudiments of a foreign language be to them? Let's rather give them some general knowledge. Thus, instead of teaching them French for four years, at the rate of three hours a week, why not wait until the last year? And even during this last year, let's give them only one hour's French a week. That's quite enough to give a good start to those who intend to continue their studies. Do you see the necessity for teaching geometry, physics and chemistry to a young man who means to devote himself to music? Unless he has a special gift for these branches of study, what will he have left over of them later? I find it absolutely ridiculous, this mania for making young people swallow so many fragmentary notions that they can't assimilate. In my day, pupils were not only compelled to achieve a
Vaishali Shah has visited many places to promote our Indian cultures. On the holy Makar Sankranti day this year the traveler Vaishali Shah was fortunate to be at the haveli of Mahaprabhuji. The journey to Champaranya was so refreshing and beautiful.