Iswaran’s Crystal Dream of Education and A Storyteller and Under the Banyan Tree: R. K. Narayan’s Two Short Stories
Cruz L. Bonilla
Universidad de Granada
The heterogeneity of India’s colonial and postcolonial policies of education pervades R. K. Narayan’s prolific career. A perplexed mythic conception of reality is followed by popular lessons of elementary culture, both immersed in India’s paradigmatic model of education. This paper explores the controversial definition of modern education and Hindu tradition in India. The heterotopian analysis of Malgudi extricates its characters from their archetypical stagnation allowing a contemporary reading of two short stories from two collections: “Iswaran”, first delivered by The Hindu on July 1941 (Ram & Ram 313) and compiled later on in Cyclone and Other Stories (1944), ponders on the dichotomy between school success and failure. “Under the Banyan Tree”, originally published in Malgudi Days (1942), was compilled later on in An Astrologer’s Day and Other Stories (1947). They respectively portray the flaws of the emergent secular education and the failings of a timeless Indian oral tradition.
The British colonial encroachment on Indian society is a historical fact that has eventually transformed India into a western-influenced power at the turn of the twentieth century. Before its independence, the Indian National Congress Party with Gandhi and Nehru as their most representative leaders shared the fear of a western capitalist-imperialist system absorbing native traditions. Thus, they advocated for an “independent, non-aligned, democratic nation states” (Devy, Between Tradition and Modernity 230) whose constitution included most social aspects, like education, castes, languages or religious minorities. Their perspectives on education and minoritarian religious communities continue raising a conflictive debate between a secular and a traditional system. Gandhi, who defined India as a global village, strived for “swadeshi” – economic self-reliance – and “swaraj”– self-rule – in order to stir up Indian consciousness and individual assertiveness. His pedagogic proposal envisioned an inclusive education, integrative manual work and religion as an indivisible part of Indian cultural identity (Jasen and Nayar 6). Nehru, on the contrary, imagined an India based on the principles of rationality, systematic industrial development (implemented in the so-called Nehru-Mahalanobis Five-Year Plan), secular education built on western modernity, free competition, and a profound social reform that affected all the minoritarian groups and their pluralistic representation. Following those lines, R. K. Narayan’s pre-Independence fictional work enhances the need for a commitment to secular education compatible with a revived tradition. The short stories’ associations reveal how the natives imitate imported behaviours in order to find their niche in a rigidly stratified society, and personify the timeless language of the oral tradition. Narayan’s large corpus of written works, hundreds of publications and multimedia productions justify a particular analysis on his representations of India’s education system and cultural transmission, which are still demonstrably valid.
This paper aims at probing into Narayan’s deceptively simple syntax and tragicomic vision present-day forms of colonisation and political bias. I argue that these forms of neo-colonial education point to economic priorities as responsible of contemporary ways of exploitation of resources that lead to an interested propagation of extremist, communal hostilities to the detriment of secularism and traditional religious tolerance. It is beyond this paper a specific analysis on the subject of Indian traditions and modern education however, my search is backed up by significant Indian authors from and out of the nativistic school of Indian criticism and contemporaneous Indian writers. This analysis shows: (i) how the coherence of Narayan’s narrative traverses through a competitive, westernised system into a non-rational thought imbued with the language of a primordial Indian community; (ii) how his non-assertive characters exemplify, even today, those petrifying aspects socially accepted through oral tradition, and (iii) how language’s transformation embodies dynamic alternatives that provoke a change. As he argues in A Writer’s Nightmare: “I feel that the entire organization, system, outlook and aims of education are hopelessly wrong from beginning to end, from primary first year to Ph.D., it is just a continuation of an original mistake” (106). The characters remain transitional or basically undetermined because of Narayan’s pervasive intention of transmitting an educational code to his writings and of remaining largely inconclusive. Following Michel Foucault’s idea of heterotopia, the analysis explains how Narayan’s protagonists face reality from a virtual position: the narrator never attempts to define past or present Indian history but the characters’ ordinary activities from a filtered realistic standpoint that avoids definitions of authenticity or purity. The paper is divided into two sections that correspond to each of the short stories’ underlying messages concerning community and education. For brevity’s sake, the textual analysis overlooks other relevant aspects that characterise Narayan’s prose. In “Iswaran”, the protagonist enacts the impossibility of overcoming a traditional stagnation and a God-given life in a competitive modern society. The Indian village’s oral tradition in “Under the Banyan Tree” spreads its branches across the past, present and future of a fast-developing country, enhancing the importance of language communication and the consequences of its absence. The paper concludes that those incapable of being socially assimilated are marginalised as the result of a cultural imaginary based on an idealised primal community confronted with the challenges of a globalised society.
“Iswaran” is the story of a young man frustrated with his own underdeveloped self. His atman lacks self-confidence and self-control as a consequence of the traditional family education that diffuses male duties amongst its numerous members (Virdi 91). He re-enacts the Gandhian prototype that “goes after European modernity” (Kaviraj 197): his “Shakti”, the feminine side, is stronger than the male, and although he is respectful and obedient, he can exhibit a “brutal and callous behaviour” (Devy, Between Tradition and Modernity 189), more akin to a travesty of manliness. He is a “desperado” that “brag[s] and shout[s], and [goes] to a cinema” (84) where he feels “an utter distaste for himself” (85).
Iswaran clings “to university education with a ferocious devotion” (82), and after failing his examination nine times in a row, he falls on the destructive side of the irrational, “desperately longing and praying for success” (84). His “vision of a heavenly world” displayed on a “white screen beyond the pall of tobacco smoke” (85) is his delusive escape from reality into myth, and Narayan’s “space of emplacement”. The Foucauldian heterotopian mirror is the imagined place where the divine and the real are symbiotically united (Foucault 46), thereby exposing the faultlines that show the education system’s ideological shortcomings associated to Hindu tradition. Iswaran’s utopia reconciles two opposite concepts: the powerful mythological forces of the Mahabharata and the preoccupations of a nondescript B.A. student. The first element entails the adolescent’s forced shift into stagnation and a damaging isolation from a reality that needs purification. From the Vedas onwards, water has been granted an essential meaning of existence that transcends the physical element. According to Heinrich Zimmer, “water has been regarded in India as a tangible manifestation of the divine essence” (34). Thus, Iswaran dreams of “the waters of some distant heaven” (86) that bring him peace and a deceptive integration. As Fawzia Afzal-Khan correctly observes, Narayan needs the strategy of mythopoesis, or myth-making, because myth provides an authenticity that recreates the language of the Indian past. She points out that “the petrifying effects of myth” continue being visible despite “the balancing effects of realism” (28), as this short story’s analysis illustrates.
The second utopian concept is a “virtual space that opens up behind” the examination procedure (Foucault 50). This implies a translation from the utopian myth to a heterotopian perception that is virtually attainable but it must undergo a transformation resulting from a university’s technical specialisation. Both concepts are located under a false perception – the Hindu notion of maya – inspired by a superstructure of broader knowledge that is beyond Iswaran’s reach. This device serves as ideological discursive tool for mass control that re-enacts a “superiority of enlightenment ideal” derived from imported models of capitalism (Kaviraj 196). The origin of this “tragedy” rises from the British colonial system of education. The British empire planned a society made of subjects, “babus”, that remained essentially British despite their Indian appearance and who could act as interpreters for the empire, as Macaulay’s Minute strongly recommended in 1835: “a class of persons Indian in blood and colour, but English in tastes, in opinions, in morals and in intellect” (Macaulay Part. I). As Foucault describes the conquered territories as the perfect heterotopian society in the eyes of European colonisers, Indian natives are submitted to a compulsory examination process that simultaneously integrates and rejects them with the result of the subjects’ isolation from their origins, while the system “makes them [culturally and ideologically] penetrable” (Foucault 92).
Iswaran fails to learn the logic that helps him mould his brain according to his contemporary society. Economically supported by his family, his eventual success at the “tenth attempt” (88) lacks the stamina to reject his illogicality and to recover his active male drive of perseverance in his project. Thus, he obsessively concludes that another kind of water, “the bottom of Sarayu” (91), is the only kingdom left for him where “young men free from examination [sport] in lotus pools” (87). His fantasy of living in a fool’s paradise is a sterile path that takes him to death. Narayan’s sad story leaves no doubt about the destructive effects of religious obsessions and radical orthodoxies. But it also casts some serious doubts about the effectiveness of a modern education model based on sheer contest for grades and the pathological aspects that can emanate from a neurotic competition. In a wide sense, the concept of the nation is associated with the community, and Iswaran embodies the prototype of the failed student alienated from his society. In the cinema’s warmth and darkness, Iswaran discovers the primeval womb of acceptance that provides him with anonymity. It is the only place in town where he can be an “atomistic individual” of a controlled community (Kaviraj 198). The paternal shadow of the “Senate House wall” (87) where the results of the exams hang under a burning “large bulb” (88) competes with the heavenly cinema screen and his own desires of disappearance. The results show his number in the Second-class list transforming him into “the sole occupant of the world and its overlord” (90). He is now a “free rider” king of a nation-state that has achieved its independence from “collective action” (Kaviraj 198): “I will flay alive anyone who calls me a fool hereafter” (90). Yet the only rationality left lies behind his number and he decides to run alone with his imagined forces: “five hundred and one horses”. The number that has “stuck in his mind” (90) triggers the association with the Vedic religious rite of “Ashvamedha”, horse sacrifice: a stallion, representing glory and a paramount royal power, is left to roam freely for a year followed by the royal army. When he crosses a foreign country, they have either to fight or to submit to the invaders. On the return, the “conqueror” horse is slaughtered on the banks of a river after celebrating a purification ritual that provides wealth and fertility to the king and his people, i.e., the ritual accomplished by the “Pandavas” warriors described in the Mahabharata’s fourteenth book (Dictionary of Hinduism). Thus, Iswaran jumps into the Mahabharata’s realm and transfers his feminine “shakti” to a symbolic male power represented by his imaginary horse. He feels that it is high time to validate his success with the horse sacrifice, so he orders his horse to leap into the river (91). The counterpoint of the story is the suicidal note addressed to his father that ironically, breaks the dream of a better world which can also be imagined as the following story shows.
Under the Banyan Tree
As a sheltering canvas, there stands India’s storytelling tradition of popular education. Graham Greene, in his personal correspondence with the author, defined “Under the Banyan Tree” as “the story of all of us story-tellers” (Ram & Ram XXX). Greene attaches the writer’s role to Oral Tradition in general and to India’s in particular, confirming what Devy describes as the “composition of texts, documents, or what one describes as “manuscripts”” that shared a common space between written and oral forms or, “co-existed in an inter-dependent manner” (“The Being of Basha” 9, 10).
In this short story, Nambi is the village’s “enchanter” (222). He has an undefined age and his personal origins are lost in India’s colonial history. The village, Somal, is located somewhere in the wilderness of Mempi forest, “the nearest bus-stop was ten miles away” (222). Its name derives from soma: God’s drink, which implies amrita, a Sanskrit word meaning: ambrosia, elixir of life, nectar. It is also related to chandrama and chandrama devata, whose meaning is the crescent moon seen as a Goddess (Cf. Arvind Lexicon). The Goddess is Shakti, and on account of her intervention, the whole village permanently lives under a magic spell. Caught in her maya, they fail to notice their entrapment in a web. A “subtle fabric” has been knitted around their existence which seems “utterly real” while they suffer “an endless ordeal of blandishment, desire and death” (Zimmer 26): it is, as the narrator apprises the reader, “a village to make the heart of a rural reformer sink […] it bred malaria, typhoid, and heaven knew what else” (222).
Nambi represents the village’s spiritual nourishment that derives directly from the temple’s Goddess. She is the ambiguity of the Maya-Shakti-Devi’s representation (Zimmer 26): “they lived in an exalted plane of their own, though their life in all other respects was hard and drab” (225). Nambi provides them with “words of wisdom” (225) and knowledge from distant cultures. He is the village’s father and tutor, the primeval educator that the system fails to provide. His resources come from the literature and the history transmitted by generations of storytellers who constructed an orality “on an epic scale” (225), which was later transcribed into a written form. The memory of wars, victories and silences serve the purpose of “transcending the otherness”; hence, language and literature construct the history of the state and its national identity (Devy, “The Being of Basha” 23). That fascination is the orality of the Mahabharata, the Ramayana or the Bhagavata, stories of bloody conflicts that constitute the spiritual being of Indian culture, which, misused and manipulated, can also become a source of illiteracy, superstition and fundamentalism, blind to the stagnant water and the illnesses that it carries within and forgetful of its own history. Thus, the purification act is the gathering around Nambi under the banyan tree and the communion with the tale.
This short story addresses the core of rural India, the “village republic” in Gandhian terms. Gandhi saw a “form of exploitation” in the destruction of the environment and the massive displacement of people to the industrial centres (Iyengar 259) that would result in a loss of identity and a moral misery. Thus, he aimed for “village industries” that would act to prevent the disappearance of family bonds, language and culture. They also would provide economic sustenance for their members once inserted in a productive system. Modern intellectuals perceive these “local and fragmentary” rural communities as the alternative to “secular nationalism” and “the intolerant power-drives of the homogenizing modern nation-state” which they see as the enemy of diversity (Morey and Tickell xix). For them, the Indian constitution contemplates the values of secularism as a “myth”, largely “inappropriate” for modern times (xviii). Ashis Nandy explains that these global villagers find in their past and cultural roots, “the pathway to the future”. They perceive this essential being as less corrupted or less affected by a socialisation that has taken away important aspects of Indianness or, as Nandy puts it, their “less-colonised selves” (2). The short story reads: “As the moon crept up behind the hillock, men, women and children, gathered under the banyan tree” (“Under the Banyan Tree” 224).
Storytelling tradition stands up in Narayan’s works as a sign of an Indian identity that conveys an ethical and a moral sense inspired by religious tolerance: “Since didacticism was never shunned, every story has implicit in it a moral value, likened to the fragrance of a well-shaped flower” (A Writer’s Nightmare 9). His Indian revival includes other spaces of historical (post)colonialism that have left an indelible cultural trace in the collective memory, like the Aryans, the Mughal empire or the Marathas’ confederacy, and many unanswered questions. He acts as Nambi who “open[s] the story with a question […], a stone’s throw in that direction, what do you think there was?” (224). In Zimmer’s view, it is the “supra-individual” reality, the symbolic space of Maya, that best reveals the ephemeral and evanescent Indian concept of existence (26). Hence, Nambi’s discourse continues unwrapping an alternative reality focused beyond their imagination: “It was not the weed-covered waste it is now, for donkeys to roll in. It was not the ash-pit it is now. It was the capital of the king…” (“Under the Banyan Tree” 224).
Nambi is a dyadic being. On one hand he is impermanence, anicca, he is fallible, fragile and submitted to changes; he has been gifted with the orality of the storytellers and their mutability: “Nambi’s voice rose and fell in an exquisite rhythm, and the moonlight and the hour completed the magic” (225). On the other hand, he is eternal, he is akshar, the perennial character, the sign that derives from Indian Sanskritic mythology, “the indestructible substance” from which the sound of creation is made (Devy, “The Being of Bhasha” 12). The “characters are nomadic and migratory” (12), and like Nambi’s stories, they convey the Sanskritic essence of linguistic evolution with the “eternal and uncreated” nature of language (Pollock 307). The signs come from timeless waves of languages: in the Bhagavad-Gita, Sri Krishna asserts his greatness exclaiming: “Among words I am the single akṣara (10.25)” (Pollock 307), he stands for the “irreducible and eternal core of language” (308). Thus, the akshars form lexical units that are sedentary and attached to rules, as Nambi’s natural place remains into the sanctum. These units possess “a fixed location and a definition”, submitted to a time-bound interpretation within a contextual frame. That is “why a limited number of akshars can create many words or a language” (Devy, “The Being of Bhasha” 12). By the tenth century in Karnataka, oral tradition and vernacularisation suffered a transformation that gave way to literacy: the term akṣara came to “signify written letters, the knowledge of writing, and literacy-based knowledge in general” (Pollock 308). The men who knew how to interpret oral and written signs were called akkarigavṛtti, grammarians, for whom it was important the study of words’ and texts’ origins. They “made their living by reason of their command of literacy” (308). This was a historical turning point because from vāgmin, “master of speech”, the seme became “man of letters” – vidvāna* – (308). The storyteller – bhaṣadhikari* – and the writer – akṣarajivi*– emerge now: from an orthodox linguistic perspective, and as the propagators of vernaculars, they are considered responsible of language corruption – apabhraṣṭa*. For Sanskrit theorists, the bhashas were not only the product of the speakers’ incompetence but their incapacity to encode real knowledge. Ironically, those Vedic literatures that aimed for the bhasha’s orthodoxy and were treated as if they were of divine origin and not human’s disappeared from “the historical sphere altogether”, (Devy, “Of Many Heroes” 35). The cause of their demise was the editorial precision and their inflexible reproduction that did not allow any linguistic freedom, thus the study of Sanskrit was an exclusive learning process. Storytellers as teachers use language representation to transmit information to their audience and to mould their minds.
The villagers laughed with Nambi, they wept with him, they adored the heroes, cursed the villains, groaned when the conspirator had his initial success, and they sent up to the gods a heartfelt prayer for a happy ending (225).
In Narayan’s case, English language acts as the banyan tree’s shadow that overreaches cultures and languages which are interpreted and translated before they are written down, as it is the case of Tamil, Sanskrit or Hindi. He believes that “in our dislike of Imperialism we made the mistake of identifying the language with the Imperialist”, as education is often muddled with indoctrination. For Narayan, “language itself has an independent colonizing habit: it goes “native”, and becomes so rooted in the soil that it cannot be uprooted” (A Writer’s Nightmare 86). As a gifted storyteller, English education brought news from other parts of the world, other cultures and other frames of mind. The privileged elites were the depositaries of this knowledge that elevated them above their region, language, “religion and caste barriers, and [they] th[ought] in terms of one India, a self-governing India, and a democratic India” (Iyengar 519), as if inspired by a superior restless being, Nambi goes on saying “then brick by brick the palace of the king was raised” (224). It was only a question of time that these first transmuted improvers gave way to the next generations of Indian reformers; Nambi describes how “a hundred of vassal kings, ministers, and subjects” (224) reveal to others their own “indigenous languages” under a new light of revived tradition and Indian cultural lavishness: Nambi “described in detail the pictures and trophies that hung on the walls of the palace” (225). Keeping the village in suspense for ages, one day, the alma mater of the village, falters as he tries to tell the story. Time has passed, he has grown old and circumstances have changed. Memory “is disobedient and treacherous” (227). The myth is broken and gives way to human agency. As ancient traditions, Nambi becomes the remains of the village’s past which has lost the Goddess’ grace: “I can’t understand what has happened?” (226). Time has proved a dangerous weapon with two cutting edges: English acts as a universal language that allows the communication between Indian people who speak different bhashas. It also has conquered its own place within Indian constitution, which is the story’s symbolic tree where “Kings and heroes, villains and fairy-like women, gods in human forms, saints and assassins, jostled each other in that world which was created under the banyan tree” (225). But allied with Hindi, they have become a “twin threat to the healthy linguistic diversity” of Indian vernaculars (The Hindu September 27, 2012). The story declares that this deconstructive process “had gone on for years and years” (226). The less favoured and the middle-class people think that an English-medium education will lead them to better opportunities than a local Indian school that offers “the local language as the medium of instruction” (The Hindu September 27, 2012). The short story’s narrative procedure depicts how “[t]hose who sat in the outer edge of the crowd silently slipped away” (“Under the Banyan Tree” 226).
Furthermore, the term Adivasi is defined as “the speech communities of [those] “other” languages” which mostly do not have their own narrative and therefore, they are not included in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution. They, notwithstanding, have a rich “body of documents, which were not written by hand but conveyed by tongue” (Devy, “The Being of Bhasha” 11). These languages are doubly neglected: since they are entirely oral, they are not officially protected by a written medium. Additionally, insomuch as they do not have an acknowledge linguistic identity, these bhashas suffer an “imposed aphasia”, which in a symbolic sense, means that the idea, the discourse is short-circuited and it renders itself speechless. Desperately, Nambi exclaims: “Mother, why have you struck me dumb?” (227). He is one of those indigenous people who have lost their linguistic richness, the so-called “unscheduled” tribal languages”, which are not officially allowed to express themselves in modern India (Devy, “The Being of Bhasha” 12). Then, Nambi appealing to his memory argues: “I know the story. I had the whole of it a moment ago. What was it about? I can’t understand what has happened?” (226). The banyan tree gathers under its shade the symbolism of myth and India’s history. Both co-exist with the significant disintegration of Sanskrit itself; the external pressures of hundreds of bhashas acting together brought about its collapse: the Superior Being, Mother India, provides the inspiration, the protection and the time to develop a social expression that results in a polyphony of languages and a multicultural identity. Nevertheless, this Superior Being decides which of the branches are to be favoured and nourished and which ones are to be neglected or cut off. The medium for doing it is silence, a symbolic gesture for Indian tradition that lies its roots as far back as the Upanishads and “passes all understanding” (Devy, “The Being of Bhasha” 18).
It is the mother who gives the gifts; and it is She who takes away the gifts. Nambi is a dotard. He speaks when the Mother has anything to say. He is struck dumb when She has nothing to say” (“Under the Banyan Tree” 228).
Sumanyu Satpathy gives a rational explanation to this process: “policy framers often forget that official promotion of any language succeeds only when competence in the language concerned leads to job or other opportunities” (The Hindu September 27, 2012). In the story, Nambi philosophically considers: “What is the lamp for when all the oil is gone?” (228). The Supreme Being is the atman. She is akshar, she is the sign, the single character that forms the word. Dispossessed of his voice, Nambi is no longer an ideological instrument of popular education but a testimonial holder of history. His presence indicates an empty space that once occupied the centre of the village’s life, the heterotopian space of history. Although Nambi stays silent like the symbolic “stone image of the Goddess” (223), his is an active silence; the remaining presence walks “into any cottage and silently [sits] down for food, and [walks] away the moment he [has] eaten” (229). In Narayan’s work, there is an idealised place where everything can be possible. India’s banyan tree enlightens everybody’s imagination and wipes out all differences. Nambi represents the symbolic place of a history of cultural tolerance. There is a social awakening through his dumbness, and the crystal dream shatters in countless expressions of Indianness.
The two short stories describe transitional characters that go through changes propelled by inward and outward pressures. I have tried to locate and identify the texts’ heterotopian spaces that serve to mirror, on the same plane, realities that seem incompatible. In addition to education and language, the short stories are connected by a symbolic water force that purifies evil and nourishes all beings but it also breeds infections and death. The short stories create a two-dimensional perspective on India’s modern education and traditional culture: in the first place, the petrifying effects of religious orthodoxy and the colonial residue transcend the education system. Temporariness becomes thoroughly destructive for Indian development as a whole then, signalling the breaking point of a social change in which tolerance must be included. In the second place, the everlasting Indian village and its mythic richness inspire the concept of a cultural national unity. This amalgamation is a utopian place for critical and dialogical purposes, where the analysis of the present and its real contingents are articulated through the heteroglossic language of myth. The discursive spaces construct their reality from external and internal views that outline the heterotopian sites of the narrations, so they are interpreted allowing different ideological targets to avoid analytical inertia. Therefore, I have chosen the colonial inheritance and oral transmission to show how Iswaran’s dwells on a juxtaposed reality that is incompatible with any of his formal alternatives. He transposes the unreal into his present experience, thereby cancelling out any other rational choice. The problem complicates further with a temporal space that is also in conflict with a shifting reality: Iswaran loses nine precious years comparing himself to other people’s progress and to film stars, instead of taking the lead of his life. “Iswaran” portrays some of the Indian social ills: a fatal passivity and an excessive protection provided by the joint family system that drains youth’s entrepreneurial mindset. Therefore, the restrictive and highly competitive education system fails to deliver appropriate tools that can accommodate objective and subjective needs according to modern challenges. However, Narayan depicts these problems following an aesthetic canon that preserves a conceptual purity of the Indian family as a nation, avoiding its pollution with a representation tinged with crude realism.
Alternatively, the rural village of Somal symbolises the Indian dream of progress limited by a treacherous “jungle” that also lives next to the village’s drinking water. Narayan uses a metaphorical language to point at the problems that lurk “at the backyard of every house” (222) and that must be tackled if they are to survive. Otherwise, the “stagnant” water of irresponsibility, ignorance and absence of dialogue will end up destroying the community. The positive aspects of the banyan tree summon up every will and gather every discourse. Symbolically, Narayan puts forward the question of finding a new leader, an enchanter, a subtle language that can re-conduct the village to the correct answers while upholding the spirits and dreams of a united community where modernity and its detractors meet under the same Indian tree. India’s society grows in complexity day by day and the solution is not to cut off the communication with the outer world. Narayan’s writings express under the simplicity of forms the complexity of ideological realities that are constant sources of frictions. The literary value of the texts expresses essential contradictions and cultural threats, especially material ones that can undermine a positive social development. Education for tolerance and responsibility is a vital investment to bring up a healthy and mature society. Deliberate exclusions and communal radicalism create deep-rooted resentments and perilous desires of gaining an absolute power beyond all reason that has always proved to be of fatal consequences in recent Indian history.
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 akṣara: phoneme or syllable, as it migrated from Sanskrit to Kannada (tadbhava or derived form, akkara); etymologically means “that which does not decay” (Pollock 307). Akkar– Kannada’s root.
 Sanskritic spelling. *Vidvana, bhashadhikari, aksharajivi, apabhrashta in Modern Hindi Language’s spelling (Cf. Arvind Lexicon).
 Bhashas: New languages that emerged from the third to the tenth centuries as reaction against the hegemony of Sanskrit and its culture Sanskriti. (Devy, “After Amnesia” 6). Vernaculars, dialects from different Indian regions (Cf. Arvind Lexicon).
 Aphasia: a physical and a psychological language disorder that it manifests by the incapacity to produce a linguistic message, where the person loses the ability to link word with sense (Devy, “The Being of Bhasha” 12).