The movie logically deals with how the education system has divided the society into ‘high class’ and ‘low class.’ It deals with the story of a common man who is desperately struggling to give his child the best education.
The movie ‘Hindi Medium’ (2017) is an Indian comedy-drama movie written by Saket Chaudhary. The movie is a satire on our education system. It highlights some real pictures of our education system such as the dominance of English in the education system. The movie also talked about the problem faced by students in admission in good schools, fraud and nexus in admission, lottery based admission system of students in big city like Delhi, discrimination on the basis of rich and poor in admission, poor infrastructure and pathetic conditions of government schools and education as a money making business.
The story of the movie is based on the life of a Chandni Chowk, New Delhi based business person Raj Batra (Irfan Khan) and his wife Meeta (Saba Qamar). Both Raj and Meeta were educated in a Hindi-medium school and were therefore socially mocked several times. They, therefore, want their daughter to study in Delhi’s top school which must be English medium. Education of children in our country has always remained a highly sensitive issue forever. Today’s education system has become more or less a money making business. The underprivileged kids are victimised because of the poor education system.
The movie also logically deals with how the education system has divided the society into ‘high class’ and ‘low class.’ It deals with the story of a common man who is desperately struggling to give his child the best education. The dominance of the English in the society also shows the how the nation is divided into two sections of the society with English spoken as elite one and the local or Hindi language as the language of common people. Gandhiji in his book Hind Swaraj has cited that ‘to give millions knowledge of English is to enslave them’. He emphasized on the vernacular language or mother tongue as a medium of education in schools. Even today, the emphasis laid down by the education system on English as a medium of instruction and communication is way too much. As per National University for Education Planning and Administration, mostly Indians prefer to teach their children at English medium schools. Taking the advantages of ICTs we can enrich the quality of education through increasing the medium of instructions in schools as well as in colleges.
We can easily promote the many other regional languages through the means of ICTs.
The movie also highlights the poor infrastructure of government schools in comparison to private schools. Private schools have better infrastructure which helps in physical, psychological and mental development of the child. They also maintain better hygiene and a healthy environment to protect the health of the students. They are well equipped with modern technology and emergence of information and communication technology has further enhanced their qualities. All this while the conditions of the government schools remained pathetic. However, government schools are easily affordable to lower and middle class families as they are not capable of paying lakhs of rupees as fees in big private schools. The priority of the government school is to fulfil the basic needs with minimum required infrastructure. Government schools don’t discriminate among the low and high economic group students. It also fulfils the noble policies like ‘Free and compulsory education’ as well as ‘Education to the girl child.’ Government schools provide very basic facilities which are not enough to help the students of younger age to think sharply and differently at that age. There are a number of reasons behind choosing the private schools such as better infrastructure, better student and teacher ratio, neat and clean hygienic facilities, and better resources for extracurricular activities as well as for personality development.
In one part of the movie it also highlights how the nexus is going on in the primary school admissions. The lottery based admission recommendation has been introduced in the year 2007 under the Right to Education. The process of selection is statistically random which means it will give equal opportunity to all participants for admission in any schools. The lottery based system has come under severe criticism as it is based on luck. Along with this it also make it virtually impossible to send all their children to the same school. Anirban Sengupta writes in his column that: “If school education is a market, parents are customers! But how many private schools adhere to the customers. Under Right to Education Act, 25% seats are reserved in all private non-minority schools for the underprivileged socio-economic backgrounds. However there have been a number of cases of fraudulent income certificates and malpractices have drawn the real problems in effective implementation of this programme.”
The movie without any doubt talks about the jarring reality of the education system especially in the national capital. In Delhi, the parents have been grappling to get their kids admission in English-medium school. The movie is a brave attempt to expose the education system of our country having a vast population of about 130 crores. Lakhs and lakhs of students get enrolled every year in the primary schools. Because of less number of seats in many good schools many parents find themselves in the state of dilemma as to where to enroll his/her children. To fulfil the gap between private schools and government schools, education must be a priority for both the state and central governments. To save the dream of hundreds of thousands of students’, government should prioritise the basic infrastructure development in the primary schools.
Avanish Kumar is a research scholar in Central University of Gujarat, Gandhinagar and is an intern at Academics4nation.