“OF ONE’s CHOICE”
Human beings are free to act, and ones deed done nothing can stop the parleys of its consequences… Even God here cannot help. That’s the power of Karma, so says Mahabharata. This is our 21st century is relevant to the choices that we have related to the choices we make.
This article shall incite on choices and the freedom, responsibility, and consequences that tag us from cradle to grave. My point to start initiates from choices that society wields in the future generation of our country making the human being redundant in carving out their success.
INDIA- A Diverse Pasture
Let’s look at a country like India. A country with rich diversified demographics, culture, and one of the biggest populations in the Asian subcontinent is currently facing one of the highest unemployment rates compared to the last 20 years. The report also says that we have Unemployment as one of the new problems. India has more than 700 universities with 40,000 affiliated colleges enrolling more than 20 million students every year. Why a developing economy to the world and the third largest education system has not been able to meet its objective of providing a means of decent living and better life. I have over the years have come across several reasons in both magazines of national dailies and articles citing external reasons such as inadequate govt support, poor quality of teaching, Qualified teachers, voucher systems, inadequate pedagogic attention, weak infrastructure, and the list goes on. The recent reports reveal that India does allocate only 3.4-4 % of its budget towards education whereas the world average is 14%. What does this mean as education is the backbone of any developing nation?
Ancient Indian Education
What happened to India which had possessed a rich tradition of learning and education right from the beginning of time? This reminds me of the Katha Upanishad which says: He, who is possessed of supreme knowledge by the concentration of mind, must have his senses under control, like spirited steeds controlled by a charioteer. Ancient education in India was rooted in the Making of MAN and not just for survival alone. The system professed in theory and practice of training the mind and the process of thinking as bare essentials towards the acquisition and assimilation of knowledge. This method or system has thrown light on a unique angle on a sense of both perspective and proportion towards which the distinction of material and the moral, physical and spiritual, perishable and permanent interests and values of life are clearly defined and differentiated. This system had three simple processes. ShravanaManana, Nidhyasana. This simply means listening, initiate for self-interpretation & comprehension of truth. Such great were our education systems. Equally important were the temples of knowledge ones stood the center stage like Nalanda, Takshashila, Vikramshila, Vallabhi which had attracted people from all across the world. One of the most interesting aspects that are noticed here is the impact of forest and not the town that is the fountainhead of our civilization where we lived and realized over selves in close relations with mountains, forests, trees, and rivers.
Much river has flown down the Ganges. India has lost much of its veneer in education with invading empires and armies such as Mughals, Britishers, Portuguese, and Arabs. Predominant left over is the British colonial system of education where the invading foreigners had extended hands to educate Indians for their purpose and benefit. Functions like manning and maintaining factories, establishing communication with local rulers and establishments, liaising with local people etc.The outcome of these deceitful extensions of help had resulted in accountants, engineers, lawyers, doctors which were only affordable for the higher classes of the society.
Marching Ahead ………
Well with the years went by this had caught the eye of the backward society drawing their eyes towards rich and affluent lifestyle. With much of the population belonging to middle and lower classes they soon discovered education as a solution for their upliftment from their current situation. This they felt would uproot both poverty and elevate their status. It stands no doubt that many reformations in the education system have happened under the initiatives of various governments. These initiatives have given the majority of Indians the courage to Dream Big. With the upside, has the insidious subtle of downside. Are our rudders set in the right direction?
Education: The now and Future
The current system of education breeds on platforms of competition with examinations and assignments as tools towards capability assessment. The gauging factor of knowledge internalization depended on his scorecard. This rot system of learning has created a breakdown in the assimilation of “True Knowing”. Much of the same is felt with students gasping for survival in an alternative challenging situation. Responsibility in choosing one’s interest would come to light when students at their young age are given a chance to reflect on what they imbibed during their formative years within their natural surroundings. After all, how good is Education if we are not able to find solutions to problems surrounding us?
Piggybacking: Our Colonial past
We in India still carry forward our colonial past as many of the parents find Subjects of Engineering a preferred choice of study or a career over many other disciplines. This has found deep synchronicity between education and status quo which has resulted and battered many an aspirant’s real choices of their innate potential. Would this muscling drive yield any productive results?
The Course Correction
Imparting of Education should be holistic for which should result in overall development in an Individual and should not be constrained towards learning a trade. Education should be a resultant of enlightenment/self-discovery of oneself with parents and schools donning the role of a catalyst for support. With world reeling under complex problems the relevance of MAN with diverse skills, the relevance has never been so prudent. 100 % of the success stories that we come across today had only happened on 2 facts of self-discovery and in chasing their dreams. A few mantras for success would be relevant here to complete my story which includes passion and conviction that shall help any individual come a full circle towards a happy self. My sense of responsibility towards my nation exerts further with a final prayer for all the parents in understanding the influential and infinite possibilities of entrepreneurship, artists, writers etc towards nation building. So, shall we get started….?