Culling education in India

educate

In ancient India, education was a sacred duty. Everyone was bound by it in their early years.

Education is the most important resource that every country has at its’ disposal. It is the single most crucial tool of social development. In India, it is also the most overlooked and undervalued of commodities. Nowhere is the apathy of Indian polity more in display, than its’ attitude towards education.

Kerala, a small coastal state in the southernmost tip of India, has a literacy rate of almost 94%. This may look good on paper, but in the real world, it translates into a huge population of ‘unemployable’ and  ‘educated’ workforce. Unemployable, because they do not have the right skills or the right attitude to succeed in the modern workplace.

The higher education sector in Kerala is the most important recruiting ground for political parties. The Communist Party of India, the Congress, and the BJP, the three active political players in Kerala, all have student’s wings active in colleges across the state. New comers to college, fresh out of school, are especially vulnerable to their corrupting influence. Like all teenagers, stepping in to adulthood, these students seek identity, a sense of belonging. The political parties are quick to exploit their needs. They divide up the students among themselves, and clashes between parties are common during the first few weeks of an academic year.

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The most promising orators and students are rounded up, and given a thorough grounding in politics. The manipulation is often subtle. They are told to look at fellow students who have joined other parties, as adversaries, rather than peers. Intolerance is distilled into their veins from an early stage. College campuses, which are supposed to be a hotbed of ideas, turn instead into seething grounds of violence. Arguments are settled, not by constructive discussions, but by violent clashes that often spill over to the streets.

In one such instance of violence, ‘Sree Kerala Varma College’, one of the oldest colleges in Kerala, was shut down for a week following protests by the SFI, the students faction of the Communist Party of India. They were protesting the dismissal of five students, who had beaten up students belonging to a rival political party, and attacked teachers on campus.

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Students Federation Of India – Student’s faction of the Indian Communist Party.

‘Acharya devo bhava’ – An ancient Sanskrit saying, which exorts students to consider their Guru as God himself.

We can say that our society has reached a new low, when students physically assault their teachers, and use words like ‘bitch’, while talking to them. The incident happened in Sree Kerala Varma College, as students belonging to SFI ransacked classrooms and accosted their teachers. Their crime? The teachers tried to protect their wards, from being attacked. These people do not deserve to be called students, and a more appropriate term would be ‘goonda.’

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Something is seriously wrong when a place of learning reminds you of death

In Kerala, several children who enroll in colleges are graduating as criminals. This trend has been around for some time now, but the issue has become more serious now than ever, after the violent clashes started claiming the lives of kids barely in their twenties. The ruling class need not be expected to raise a finger to remedy the situation, because every political party is a silent accomplice in this travesty of human rights.

The Govt. of India, in its’ infinite wisdom, has decided to cut back the education budget by Rs 4000 crore for the coming financial year, to curb fiscal deficit. Common sense dictates that a struggling economy requires an educated workforce to recover its’ momentum. But successive Governments in the centre, have a history of coming up with short-term myopic policies that do not extend beyond their 5-year electoral term. And they have decided that education is not very important to national growth.

Falling on a sword cannot destroy this country faster.

In a way, it makes sense.

“Education makes a people easy to lead, but difficult to drive; easy to govern, but impossible to enslave.”

– Peter Brougham

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16 thoughts on “Culling education in India

  1. Krishnan, another beautiful piece…. it is very sad that the present generation is going down. they are not only degrading in their academics but also in morality and ethics. I feel what is the use of education when that doesn’t make one grow mentally..
    I really feel very bad when the people who are to keep us united and safe, use us for their self motive filling anger, hatred among us has divided us.

    • Sir, I disagree with you. It is not the present generation which is going down. It is the lapse of morals on the part of the Sonia Gandhis and Rajnath singhs of the world. In fact, unity and patriotism is boiling in the blood of the youth. But like Diverse India, even the youth are divided into two factions- the Divided and the United. The political parties take advantage of the weaknesses of the divided and coerce them into violent politics. Had it not been for the United, we would never have had the Anna agitation success and the AAP party, the Criminal Law amendments and many other things. To blame this on the youth is a wrong judgement. It is like saying Indian people are mute because Manmohan Singh is. Thank you.

      • Hi there, and thanks for visiting my blog.
        I appreciate your comments, but had you read the post, you’d know that every instance of violence mentioned here was carried out by youth movements. I do not see how a political party can convince the youth to take up arms, unless they become willing collaborators themselves. Rahul Gandhis and Rajnath Singhs have a hold over us, only because we allow them.

        I too am a part of said youth, and I never engage in blanket criticism of the youth or anybody. I was merely mentioning a trend that was revealed itself over the past several years. I know of several instances where young people have made a difference in our country.

        As for the Anna agitation, that was a disorganized movement, fueled by public anger, and dissipated out in a few weeks, and to be honest, nothing concrete came off it. The criminal law amendment, and all the demands made by the Anna movement, have still not been met. Anna himself was not in favour of starting the AAP.

        The AAP, is contesting the elections in Delhi on a single plank – corruption. Mr Khejriwal himself said, and I quote – “Ruling Delhi is not rocket science, anybody can do it”. That is precisely the kind of lackadaisical approach that has come to epitomize Indian politics, and Mr Khejriwal towing a similar line, does not give me hope.

        If the AAP and Anna can make a genuine difference to Indian politics, well and good. But a movement in Delhi is in no way a indicative of the situation in the rest of the country. Their’s was not a grassroots movement, and as for the rest, we will have to wait for the elections to be over, to find out if the people in Delhi share your enthusiasm for AAP.

        Let’s hope for the best.

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