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Mahatma Gandhi on Why go abroad for Education
An Indian doctor went to America in order to learn Nero-surgery, so that he might return & serve his people here. He has with difficulty secured a seat in the Columbia university and is working as a house surgeon. He write to ask me to influence students not to go abroad for the following reasons:
“(a) The amount our poor country spends on sending and training 10 students abroad could be better utilized by securing the services of a first rate Prof. who could train 40 students as well as equip a laboratory.
(b) Students who come here acquire basic knowledge in research but do not know how to equip a laboratory on their return home.
(c)They have not chance of continued work.
(d) If we have experts brought out, our laboratories will also get perfected.”
I have never been an advocate of our students going abroad. My experience tells me that such, on return, find themselves to be square pegs in round holes. That experience is the richest & contributes most to growth which springs from the soil. But today the craze for going abroad has gripped students. May the extract quoted serve as warning!
"The best men in the old generation.” the friend proceeded to ask, “had their education in England- you, for instance. Would you have India, when she becomes independent, send her sons there for study as before?”
“No , not just now,” replied Gandhiji. “I would advice her to send them here only after, say 40 years”.
“It means,” observed the friend, “depriving two generations of the benefits of contact with the West”.
That brought Gandhiji to his pen them of living upto 125 years.
“Why two generations?” he asked. “40 years or even 60 years is not too much in an individual’s life. If there is right living we need not grow old as 40 as unfortunately many do in this country. I repeat that they should go there only after they have reached maturity. Because, it is only when they have learned to understand the good that is in their own culture that they will be able to timely appreciate and assimilate the best that England or America has given to them. Imagine a boy of 17 like myself, going to England he will be simply be submerged.”
“Then we may expect you in England some time,” queried the friend.
“Oh, yes, you may,” replied Gandhiji amid general laughter.