The Two Es: Elections and Education

March 26, 2019 India , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS

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By

Ananya S Guha

 

 

Elections are dominating everything in the news today. Elections are round the corner almost every time. If there are no central elections, there are state elections, or better still by-elections. Even elections in University campuses make headlines of sorts. We get to see everything about elections even before they have begun. Never has an election been so smeared with words that malign an opponent or an opponent party. Electing an individual or a political party is a law of the land. This will continue to take place as per political and constitutional processes. But this dominating every minute of the news is a testimony to politics taking possession of our lives. It has come in a way that we can view nothing but a political context. That is why this context is everywhere, in education and social contexts. It is high time we evolve methods for peace, development, health and education. My point is that politicization of everything not only weakens the body politic of a nation but its sustainability and overlooks the happenings in our surroundings. Poverty for example, the plight of the poor, the struggles for a daily living in a country like India.

 

Then where do we go to? Yes a new ruling government will come, let it come and let the work for development, the common man, employment and above all living in peace come. There is a diversity in the country which is unique. Such diversity must be the strength and the disparity in terms of social and economic conditions must be alleviated. Then only can the strength of diversity be brought to a common platform. Otherwise the proclivity of driving wedges on the basis of caste, community and religion will remain.

 

And how do we play up to all this? The mainstream media does by constantly introducing acrimonious debates or discussions, where you have politicians dominating the scene, or journos and academics who have political leanings. This will hamper education and the right to think in our country. In short we are being brainwashed, and the vicious hand of hatred takes over our psyches. Are we looking for change? No. We are only anticipating change in a political firmament. Do we want to see more education for those who cannot access it? Very doubtful. What happened to the Right to Education? How do we address the needs for a holistic education for the drop outs and the disadvantaged? Without education there can be no access to a better living. This is simple: because education provides sustenance for combating the outside world, arms an individual to question and also makes a person more discerning. Skills can be developed concomitantly. How much focus is there on education in the media?

 

Coming back to university campuses political groups dominate there as well. What do these student leaders do for education in their respective regions?

 

If we are remembering Gandhi today, what are we doing to understand the art of persuasion, dialogue or mediation? It is here that education is the fount. We can resolve conflict through mediation and meeting something or someone half way. We do not. We simply aggrandize and thrust our views on others. We play politics and groups in our ethos, workplace or even homes. Then where is non violence, satyagraha, being civilly disobedient? We remember the patriarch but not what he stood for. We mouth these terms but do not put precept to practice. Gandhian ideals are mouthed, not practiced. We need more introspection. Education and the manner of bringing resolution to crises can help us achieve these. It is a feeling versus reason dichotomy that we must constantly resolve, not the politics of bickering, shaming and attacking.

 

Only then can the cultural heritage of India be understood, realized in a seamless context.

 

 

 

 

Ananya S Guha

Ananya S Guha was born and brought up in Shillong, North East India. He has seven collections of poetry and his poems have been published worldwide. They have also been featured in several anthologies. He is also a columnist, critic and editor. He now is a Regional Director at the Indira Gandhi National Open University and holds a doctoral degree on the novels of William Golding.

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1 Comment

  1. Debashish Purkayastha March 26, at 12:07

    I think I totally agree with what Ananya has written. It's education alone which can bring about a transformation to more sane and meaningful politics which shall bring the desired prosperity to the Nation at large.

    Reply

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