15th Apr 2012,
So, finally we have it here. The Right to Education. In the United Nation's Declaration of Human Rights (UNDHR), this is one unique issue on which a lot of conflict of opinions has occurred. While most of the UNDHR has been about promotion of the will of a freeborn man, the right to education has come as one bondage on every citizen as a duty. The states have been empowered to compulsorily educate all its citizen. the term of 'compulsorily' has often been interpreted as an element of force and coercion by the detractors of this Article of the UNDHR. The anti-educationist camp have claimed this article as a deprivation of their freedom to not to go to schools due to their personal choice. The question rises from a philosophical meandering on the issue of ,"what is education? and, is school education only what can be termed as education?" . That is how the anti-educationist camp has found its moral strength.
nevertheless, the article has successfully continued to prevail , and on the reasoning that while the remaining of the articles of the UNDHR has continued to uphold freedom from all bondages of man as the supreme motto of Human Rights, education is must for achieving liberation from certain kinds of bondages and for sustenance of the remaining of freedom, lest the mankind again slip back into it's slavery epoch.
While the RTE has come to effect, newspapers have expressed opinions on the rising cost of education because of implementation of this law.
I do not conflict on the opinion taken by some citizenry group on this angle of the RTE, but have often remained concerned for every beggar -child i meet in the mumbai local, or on the pavement of the Railway Crossing Bridges of Mumbai. (I have only recently moved house to Mumbai due to my new job).
Everytime I see them begging, I feel an immense conflict within, about to give alms or not to give. The law , as I know for sure, proclaims that begging is a crime and to give alms is also a crime as that amounts to encouraging the begging practices. But the religious views have often upheld the belief that more one gives, the more one gets. My religion says that Gods have often come to test your honesty , integrity and faith in them by asking you to donate. the one who is ready to part with his wealth is the one who has truely devoted himself in the worship of god. however, i do not believe in the religious views as I am not so much a religious man.
But, just for the cause and sake of humanity, and that milk of human kindness running in my veins, I feel the conflict too strongly within. between my heart and my brain.
Then I begin to ponder as to what can be done to alleviate the humanity from this sufferings of the begging job. do humans everywhere, all over the world , get into begging. The Buddhist dilemma and the Three Great sights of Buddha, take over my mind. What is suffering and why some humans have been condemned to such sufferings by the bountiful and the almighty. Or , is this an act of human sabotage somewhere while the society has always endeavored to bring relief to all its deprived members. Since, I am free-thinker and almost an atheist, the second reasoning soon takes a better control of me.
The RTE has been made compulsory, but will it ever find its sincere enactment. I have and I had always paid my taxes as a citizen but what did the educated, hi-seated, power-wielding people do with that money. Quite a part, and astonishingly high chunk, has been given to those Scams worth Thousands of Corors of rupees in the form of Defence deal underpayment, the 2G/3G licensing scam, and so many more.
What did the educated and powerful pen-mightier-than-sword men do with their Education until now in the history?
Last day, i fell in one argument with a colleague over what is freedom. I discovered that he believed freedom was about running away from "competition", as he would think it to be so, by bringing admission to his children in International Baccalaureate Organisation Schools. That is the NSS Hill Spring School of Mumbai. That was quite funny because he was still quite a collegue of mine, who earned his bread and livelihood as a "professional", and not someone a celebrity. To my knowledge and belief, the Baccalaureate system of education has been meant for people of high family background who are into a different "sphere of life".
To define and explain this "sphere of life", I had to return back to Wikipedia to do some research on the Maslow's Theory on needs.
Abraham Maslow gave certain descriptions of the traits of self-actualised people. The traits are compiled in the Wikipedia site on Abraham Maslow, over here
Our education system, even when readying itself to impart education to everyone has not done enought to produce the Self-Actualised people. No matter how much we make the laws, the sincere implementation will require people on top to be Self-Actualised to work sincerely to achieve them. In this pyramid on Hierarchy of Needs, Maslow put the self-actualised people on the top of the pyramid.
In the tradition Indian system, the knowledge being in the custody of the Brahmins, the laws of Manu (Manu Smriti) wanted Brahmin to have certain qualities in them. Some how , to me it seemed that the Qualities expected of a Brahmin were not any thing different from those a Self-actualised people described by the Maslow's Need Theory.
Our Education system has become a plebeian cultivation field. People who are materialist, deprived of the values which were originaly used for the creation of the material, when material+value= Asset was created. We have lots of plebeian today. every where. seated on the high tables of decision-making. maybe because of the electoral politics system adopted by our nation. Maybe because the 'boss' in our system can be an ill-literate man while the educated people have to keep mum before the 'boss'. That produced plebeian culture.
How many laws will this country require to get itself moving on the path of achieving happiness for everyone. I don't want development. I want happiness. If development of land brings the happiness, so be it. But if development of land, the real-estate frenzy which we have created today under the guise of "development" is not what brings happiness, them let the real-estate be doomed. But to do that, RTE is essential.
But more than that, an education for the literate people, to achieve Self-Actualisation.