‘Study’…. The phrase that forms the common iteration throughout the time-tables of the Indian Student. “To have a better Life”….”To secure a better future”… Study… for the time is ripe as ever. I used to open books day and night… I used to study believing in the principles of the regular Indian Student. That one day I was studying… as usual… reading across the page… learning whatever was put forward… and there came the ‘Will to Know’ just like it strikes everybody and anybody. Will to know that what and why am I studying? The only aim that fell in front of my approachable horizon was to score in some examination. And the spark was in the fact that this particular aim formed the centrifuge of all other aims in my life. ‘To get a better future I need a job… To get a job I need good marks and to get good marks I need to Study’… Nobody said this… but somehow they were able to sneak this code into the general programming of our brains… Us… We the Indian Students… We never really thought that why are we studying what we are studying? Why are aspiring doctors studying the plays of William Shakespeare and the poems of Robert Frost? Why is an aspiring musician studying the Laws of Newton and the theories of Darwin? We never really thought, did we? All we ever did was study? And study what… Those books we got in that haggard brownish packet from our nearest stationery before the beginning of our school session. Whatever we received in that packet… we opened and tagged them as ‘The Books I need to study for a better future’. At least this reflects the technical superiority of India over the west… they spend millions of dollars to create or depict Machines… we simply give birth to them.
But this is not the only excruciatingly pitiable trait of the modern Indian student. This misconception of the word ‘Study’ is commonly justified by its selective or rather figuratively racist visage. People claim that they don’t study ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING and they study to be an Engineer OR Doctor, etc. Science… Oh yes! The language of nature… How can I forget? Having experienced nothing but the top of the food chain… the subject scorns down at the mediocre Arts and the menial Commerce. Oh!!!! Commerce… The Untouchable in this Educational Caste System… The Punitive subject. And this infernal snobbery is fueled by the institutions themselves by dividing the students on the basis of their merit… where Commerce is presumed to be meritless and is forced on the academically-weak student. What is their meaning of Academics even? A student getting the best marks in all subjects might want to choose Commerce or Arts… but usually he doesn’t do so to escape humiliation. There is no choice, is there? Follow the crowd and bend through the stereotypes.
‘What do you want to do in life?” is not a singular question contrary to common perception. You cannot just be an Engineer/Doctor/Lawyer. There are many other aspects of life to be kept in mind. Like keeping good health, good relations with family, etc. But again… the misconceptions are usually justified by people’s hollow claims. They say that not only did they do engineering from a top notch college but also management from another top notch University… and that’s how they gained diversity of Fields. Why does a person who would be a Manager in the future waste so many years of his life doing engineering? According to Indian mortality rate, four years are a little more than 13% of our lives. We could have done so many other constructive things in those four years… We could have learnt to become a better manager even. I know the future is uncertain, but to be so uncertain about one’s own self is a sorrowful sight to bear with. As such… degrees don’t just make us capable of a job… we aren’t an engineer/doctor/lawyer/etc. simply because we have the respective degree. Unless and until we start practicing what we learned… we cannot be called an engineer/doctor/lawyer/etc…
So why don’t we study just what we want to or like to study? After the basic communication skills are developed, the option of choice should always be there for a student. But the paranoia of the Indian Student is bolstered by the so-called ‘guidance’ of the adults he generally looks up to. Everybody from our parents to teachers do their level best to mold us into the robots we become. The passive expectations and compulsions of the elders sows the seed of doubt within the student. The doubt on himself… on his choice… And it is not only the paranoia of the student but the parents themselves… Indian adults can’t seem to build a firm trust on their sons and daughters. They just can’t tolerate their kids building castles in the air. The word ‘Aspiration’ has been erased from our dictionary. It’s very late in their lives that the parents realize that their children are just mimicking their own lives. Something like “Job at 24… Get married at 26… have two kids … and raise them just like you were raised.” The phrase “In our times… (Add any tragic event of your choice)” must have been heard by all Indian Students at least once. It all forms an endless chain. So directly or indirectly they are raising robotic children who’d continue their bloodline as the future INDIAN Parent. If the surviving Jews of the Holocaust raised their children in accordance to the phrase “In our times…” then imagine what would’ve become of the poor lads. Such robotic humans live a life full of regrets and never achieve even the slightest bit of Bliss or Serenity of self-satisfaction which is the ONLY sign of success in one’s life.
So what can we do otherwise? I mean you all must be thinking that there is a constitutionally accepted pattern of education running in the country, right? So what can we actually do to change that? Well first… let us change ourselves… let us be a little informally and infernally honest about what we like and what we don’t… Why be a hypocrite? Let’s start thinking… and thinking a lot… and let’s make a list (that always helps). Small to Big… silly to sensible… anything we can think of… let us add to that list. We can always strike off the impossible occurrences. Most of the things will be very well possible… like even travelling to Mars is possible… just a little less probable. Maybe this shall change our parents too… some of them at the least. And in this way the whole system shall one day evolve with us. Every occupation from picking up garbage to cleaning houses to driving auto-rickshaws to flying aeroplanes to starring in movies… everything will be seen as a skill and not a job. The schools will also impart only the education we demand. Only languages shall be made compulsory for communication is the only basic skill a person ‘needs’ to develop. Rest all are a complete matter of his choice and ‘want’.
The current pattern of Indian Education, if globalized, shall convert the workforce of the world into desktop engineers and doctors. The engineering colleges as well as the number of applicants, both increasing in geometric progression every year, are a clear testimony to the fact that respect and attention towards other occupations is dying in our country. People talk about providing education to every kid in India… no offence… but I am thankful that there are farmers in India who cannot afford to educate their kids. All that those kids can ever learn from schools is to why and how NOT to be a farmer… Soon we’d realize what mistakes we have made. Mistakes by following this hidden code within us. When the world will be full of us royalists… where leave it be menial but even clerical jobs become a massive-rarity. The system we followed and the system we worked for… that system will self-destruct. No peace-of-mind. No self-acceptance. All for what… This better future? This future might be better… but is it good enough? Is it all we want from the small life we have…? Is it all we seek…? Well if the answer is still ‘YES’… Then I have just two words for you… GO… STUDY….