Seriously, what is education?
It is Enlightenment!

imgYou can debate the subject however you want. However you debate the subject of education and the various strands that flow from it, the central question is that an education for any country has certain common features. American education, for instance, defines the way the American people and society conduct their affairs. So too other countries, both old and new.

However, historically the older nations, mostly in Western Europe and elsewhere, may be in India and China, two other older civilizations, we have an educational tradition, an educational history. In the context of the modern world, we take the Greek and Roman traditions seriously, for the two civilizations had come to define what we hold as marks of a civilized society.

Individual freedoms we hold dear, so too liberal democracy. Along with them, comes the constitutional form of governance, then comes the rest of the features, free judiciary, freedom of the media and also an objective bureaucracy and the many new institutions. Women’s rights and women’s increasing role in governance and everyday, the modern society and modern man is learning to lead a more decent life and decent life style. But what do we see today in India? Right now? There seems to be an emerging anarchy, violence and much intolerance and also an emphasis by the leaders on seeing democracy as a combat zone for the rulers and the Opposition parties.

The recent vandalism of the destruction and defacement of statues of leaders of all parties and ideologies is a sign that there is some underlying hatred for those who had captured power, even though through elections. There must be some other deeper primitive energy suppressed for long and in an open democracy there are opportunities for new forces to be unleashed. The purpose of education, schools and universities and then the society that benefits by such a well-spread education is to know things by rational means. But there was these pent-up forces that were lying low so far and these forces came out not in established channels, not from writings and speeches, through books and TV channels but by brutal forces of anarchy.

Though, it might be impolite to say right now when emotions are still raw and out in the field, the parties and their leaders, if you study them as calm research students, the leaders were using much uncivilized language, as if the elections were to destroy one party to establish the other, Congress mukth Bharat etc. What is this? You don’t even care to read your history. You try to rewrite history, not history as such but history textbooks in schools? Please read the 20th century history to draw lessons. You can get some ideology as foreign. For that matter, the very word, the very phrase is foreign. For Communism you have the fascism!

We also have role models, the foreign icons for each of the ideology. Caste, communalism and much of our superstition is still afresh in our own modern democracy. Please restrain the leaders and other spokespersons! We have to recall some of the olden days. We win political freedom through a long process. Now, it is time we have to recall our current realities and go slow. Adopt some wise retrospection and let us return to some rational behavior in our public life. Education and culture and much of our public discourse must adopt some restraint.

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