The ivanblogs Open Air Part 1 – 100% Literacy, 0% Education

August 1, 2008

The Wacken Open Air Festival in Germany is on baby, and boy, does it rock!!! And it will, with Iron Maiden headlining the event!!! Since I don’t earn much to travel all the way to Germany and back, and though you’ve been generous with your love and admiration, it would look highly embarrassing to ask you for donations 😦 😦 😦 So well, while Maiden (Gods) rocks the pants off thousands in Germany, I thought I’ll try the same among a few hundreds here… And hence, this 2-part episode of Thursday Nights, the ivanblogs Open Air Festival!!! And to check out the real one, you can go here and have fun

Now as you understand from the headline, this is gonna be something that all of us have been subjected to. Literacy. Not Education. Because I for one believe that India is a land of highly-literate, uneducated people. Nothing else can explain our dismal failure to understand the basic tenets of human existence, while we scale the peaks of achievement, glory and fame. Why so? Why such an unjust treatment of a Shining India, a Leading India?

Look around and you’ll know what I mean. We can write the most complex algorithms for solving problems, we can create the best ad campaigns that win international accolades, we can have the most lucrative and profitable movie industry, we can have the largest written Constitution in the world, and yet we manage to spit on the road, urinate in public, exhibit general lack of courtesy in our general living, and are lecherous old bastards. And all this is not true of uneducated, no rather illiterate, people. All the Gormints (and hear I borrow a word from one of my most favorite columnists, Jug Suraiya) that have been at the helm have put all their efforts in making India a literate nation. Padhna Likhna Seekho, O Mehnat Karne Waalon – the jingle still rings in my ears when I used to watch it over Doordarshan. And by God’s grace, we’ve done that. We have learned to dot our i’s and cross our t’s; we have learnt to roll our r’s and blow our o’s; but we’ve at heart remained the same old uneducated selves.

We spit on our roads, we urinate in public. We shout at people lower in strata than us, and mob people who are on a higher level than us. We show general lack of courtesy while talking to a fellow-being; we exhibit our ignorance of national, international and social affairs in our conversations. We confuse degrees with knowledge, and street-smartness with wisdom. And hence, it is the most literate among us, with a plethora of degrees who has a chance of making a better future, no matter if the person in question knows not what a DEGREE means. People from other educated nations also view women as objects of pleasure, we only go a step forward in making them realize that by our public lusting, eve teasing, and staring. And we call ourselves educated.

How can we call ourselves educated, when people like Bal Thackeray, Narendra Modi, L K Advani, Raj Thackeray, ride on the support of educated people like us? If you think that the people comprising the lower-income strata are the strengths of these individualistic political leaders, you are sadly mistaken. The lower-income group only forms the foot-soldiers for their armies, the brains are manned by the so-called educated class. Bal Thackeray has the maximum support from the middle-class Maharashtrian. And not because he gets something from Mr. Bal Thackeray, but because he genuinely believes that Bombay is only for Maharashtrians, and that by the systematic elimination of outsiders, all of Bombay’s problems will be solved. Is this how an educated mind thinks? The ones who started and perpetrated the Godhra carnage were people like you and me. Literate people, Educated people.

An educated individual is thing of delight. He/she is a paragon of sound judgment, of prudence, of maturity. An educated individual does not jump to conclusions or act in haste. An educated individual is one who is tolerant, of his faults as well as the faults of others. An educated individual never acts in anger, always in patience. An educated individual seeks the greater good of all, not his own self. An educated individual teaches, yet never claims to be learned. He/She never dominates, but leads. Never orders, but commands. Never begs, but requests.

Who is at fault here? Our education system – which aims at increasing our grades by increasing the mugging power of its products, or our population explosion, where holistic learning for all is only an impossible dream? The Times Of India has started a new initiative, “Teach India”. It is a wonderful initiative, in that it is organizing a much-needed breath of fresh air into the system by engaging voluntary teachers from among the literate population of India to teach the less-unfortunate. And by the looks of it, it looks as an effort towards holistic learning.

Holistic learning is the need of the hour for a developing country like ours. We are good at the sciences, extremely capable at mathematics, and also have a good reckoning in the business and arts sector. What we need at the moment is to transform us from a mass of literate automatons to an enlightened species of educated leaders. And holistic learning helps here. Learning, where religion is not taught in the Moral Science lecture, but a detailed critical study of every religion without bias. Where we are taught right from our childhood the importance of manners and public behavior, of the sanctity of the sexes and of the virtues of patience and tolerance. Where prejudice of any sort has no place and ideas are not kept idle for fear of being ridiculed but are thrown back and forth, tossed and evaluated and implemented. Where everyone wins and no one loses.

Thank you beautiful people!!! I shall return…


One Response to “The ivanblogs Open Air Part 1 – 100% Literacy, 0% Education”

  1. Khadija Says:

    Good one Ivan, even I am of the opinion tht India is full of educated illiterates

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