Uneducated with a Degree.

If you ask a school student in India his purpose in life, he will invariably answer along the following lines, ‘study well, get a good degree, get a job’. This preposterous philosophy, as ironic as it sounds, is engraved into the minds of almost all Indian children from the time these kids can crawl. For Indian parents, a child is destined to grow up be either an engineer or a doctor. In some rare cases the kid may refuse and express his desire to be an astronaut or a scientist, and we all know the odds of that happening. In a nutshell, education for us Indians is tool to get us a job and feed families. But I’m quite sure it wasn’t meant for that. What we see today, as many pundits have been reiterating, is the Industrialised version of Education.

Today schools operate similarly to assembly lines. The school assembly line is segmented into years. Students enter the schools and are sorted by age. Each day during the year students receive instruction on particular subjects and skill sets. Every subject is taught during a fixed time period in the day. Students are then tested on each subject to see if they meet the standards, so they can move along the line. Finally they receive their stamp of approval (diploma) at the end of the line.

On a more sarcastic note, the Indian education system, ensures that millions of kids do not realize their potential. It also, very efficiently, suppresses curiosity and censors creativity. Generation after generation, kids are put through this ordeal and come out with a piece of embossed paper that closely resembles a nutritional value chart that one can find on a pack of biscuits. This ‘mark sheet’ claims to reflect a teenager’s mental ability to follow instruction, memorize random excerpts and reproduce them on an answer sheet. Brilliant, isn’t it?


Choosing Sides

I don’t really know about the other centuries, but I believe the 21st century is a conflicted one. Daily, we are forced to pick sides. Pepsi vs Coca-Cola. Adidas vs Nike. Windows vs Macintosh. Israel vs Palestine. Each side has its own set of zealous followers who will go lengths to justify why they support the things they support. So much so, that if one were to question their ideology, he/she would be faced with a variety of prospects, ranging from coarse allegations to cuss-words to death threats. Even freedom of expression comes at a price.

Is picking a side criminal? Sympathize the loss of human life in Gaza and you’re branded pro-terrorist. Argue about a nation’s right to defend itself and you’re capitalist. Stand back and look at it from a distant perspective, and you’re indifferent and ignorant. This form of frivolous judgmental behavior of people around the world surprises me.

This generation prides itself on how freedom-of-speech friendly it is, yet it secretly wants us to be opinionated and biased. I wish there was a more subtle way to put this but there isn’t. Socially, we have evolved into an ignorant, obscure and mislead society. Or maybe I’ve just picked the wrong side.

Why do I blog

It may seem like a pretty rhetoric question to ask. but a question it is nonetheless. One of the many characteristics we humans have that set us apart from other species is our ability and more often than not, our desire to express ourselves in ways we seem fit. Our clothes, our phones, our facebook page, our choice of cuss words, the list is endless. Now thanks to the worldwide web and the internet, our medium of expression has expanded beyond realms of language and cave paintings.

In the age of microblogging and status updates, blogging almost seems old fashioned. Blogging is to social media what snail mail is to FedEx or DHL. But sometimes 140 characters just doesn’t suffice. Ideas deserve elaboration. Opinions warrant justification. Our desire to be heard is just as compelling as our human will to exist. 

I may not be a professional blogger or a hotshot journo. But like every other human around me, I feel the need to express thoughts and ideas. I, like you, want to be remembered. I once had a wallpaper that read, ‘ If you want to be remembered, do something worth writing or write something worth reading’. My opinions may not concur with yours. My ideas may not be indigenous either but it brings me a certain degree of satisfaction that my ideas, my thoughts and my voice, however feeble, will be heard.