Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The World of Thoughts

Getting the "right" kind of education is as significant as being educated. But almost 75% of the world's population of students are being deprived of quality education disregarding the socio-economic or cultural standards of the countries to which they belong.

The "right kind of education" is not something that can be perceived in the curriculum or in the syllabus of the educational institution, but it is the collective influence of all these factors upon the individual student, under which the student will become capable of adhering himself without causing any unnecessary tension, to the social order and at the same time, will be able to question the very notion of 'society' itself with cogent critical perspectives.

The absence of such a condition is what makes some say, there can be seen more wisdom sometimes in the uneducated people than, the educated. The university products will only be labelled to be the university wits and fail to address any of the problems of common human interest, like the stopping of corruption in the bureaucracy and politics. Instead, they themselves become causes for corruption and provide ideological covering for all political parties. For this purpose, the political parties breed their own intellectual groups by patronising them.

They compose dangerous and cunning concepts or policies and release them to the society, where they proliferate and create new effects and become autonomous structures with self multiplication capacity.

This simply means that the problems from corruption to environmental degradation and from colonialism to terrorism, etc., are not a particular visible structure of a particular order other than the social order, which causes threats and unstable conditions to the social order, but a conceptual existence, which works as an autonomous authority within the society. These concepts gradually imbibe in them the aspects of a system and become a system. This can be detected in the interactions of these concepts with its environment. Its interactions would show the similar aspects as that of a 'system'. 'System' is a scientific word. Whenever an ideology or a theory takes the form of a system, it will assume an identity. That identity is not that of the ideology, the theory, the social milieu, and the people involved in it, but something unique and detached from the components of its creation. This identity might have relations with each of those components in the system, but the interaction of the system with the components will be one sided that is, from the system to the component and not vice versa. The exertion of power includes itself as a major impetus in those interactions. Thus, a system assumes the form of an autonomous entity, with an identity of its own, or we can put it as a self-reliant organism with multifarious one-sided interactive components.

This transformation of concepts into systems is the reason for the existence of establishments, which mislead the perceptions by being themselves identified as concepts. An example will prove it simple. The empire, the old British one, was once the visible structure of colonialism. After Britain being pushed back, it was the US who held the 'crown'. Then, it is unveiled that every country, every village, home, and relationship within itself carries the power structure of domination and subordination.Thus, colonialism ended in neocolonialism; an awareness of the tendency or instinct intrinsic in every individual, to rule, or power structure as an omnipresent ghost.

"Human beings were clutched at, and clutched at others in their turn. If power was a cry, then human beings were lived in the echo pf the cries of others" (p.125. Salman Rushdie, The Enchantress of Florence, Jonathan Cape: London, 2008.).

If Britain would have been the "colonisation", had it not been ended by its loss of power in the global power spectrum. But then came the US. The question is: Why? Because colonisation is not a material entity or the wrong deed of a particular territory over another. It is a concept, an idea, and a thought, which has been set loose as one of the invincible demons in the middle east folk's tales, into the social psyche of the world through linguistic and cultural tools.

The society is a space where plenty of concepts exist, in which some are weak and some powerful. Sometimes the concepts like in the example given above, fail when they confront with some other concepts, and other powerful concepts overtake them. This becomes a revolution. But every revolution ends in the re-enactment of the present and it becomes a routine. There will be concepts, which can take on over them too. And every society becomes a space for endless conflicts and battles, where spilling of blood only means an enactment of the battle of the concepts for supremacy, in human terms, or in a more simple way, a 'mimesis' [The Platonic concept]. And peace thus becomes not the absence of conflicts, but the resonance with them.

In this light, statements like: "government is nothing but a reflection of our society" becomes nonsensical. No government is the product of the society, but a product of the dominant concepts prevailing in the society. This domination is not an effect of the number of people involved in it, but an effect of the number of people crushed and enslaved by it.

In returning to the root cause, it is how an individual is trained in his childhood or school course that decides what he or she understands from life and delivers to it. It is said tat an individual is learning throughout his or her life, from birth to death, or even after that! Indeed. But what one learns mainly depends upon how one is trained or programmed to grasp the knowledge. It is not that all the programming is done at schools, but the socio-cultural environment also is involved in deciding the perception and understanding of an individual. Still schools can play a very decisive part in this process.

How many schools that we know make the students aware of the risks involved in exercising freedom and being free?

The risk involved is not simply a material kind, but it is an ideological problem. How can one remain free under the influences of some concepts or slavery to some concepts, as I suggested before, including that of "freedom", as a living and breathing concept? The notion of "freedom" also becomes problematic through its registering into the form of another discourse.

Children in schools are only taught to obey and be slaves to certain concepts and to ignore certain others. In this process, they are fed with the flickering illusion of freedom, which only becomes the blind acceptance of a hypocrisy.

There are so many other examples for idiosyncrasies that the students are destined to face with. The main thing that they face and learn from their teachers is the hypocrisy, which the teachers were tended to call "diplomacy". I am reminded of some experiences narrated by one of my friends, Samjith, who is presently working in Bangalore.

He shared his college experience with me; the experience during his post graduation. He was in a delirium when he narrated them. No teachers except a couple of them, he said, managed to stick with their words and able to create a good impression in the students' mind.

He was a person with a creative spirit and his assignments and term papers were all suggestive of his tremendous creative potential. Even his examination papers were filled with innovative combinations of language and ideas. Every teacher seemed to encourage this. Some told him at his face that they will surely encourage those who are creative and attempting new ideas. But eventually, when it came to the final results, none remembered him and those were fostered who presented word by word brain copy of the answers, which had been given by the teachers as lecture notes. When asked about this, he was returned a smile and a piece of advice that, this was the nature of the system and there was nothing that they could do about what had happened and so and so. Those who remembered and spewed the notes, became crowned as the worthy ones.

This is a personal experience. But I know, this never can be limited as something personal. There will surely be more Samjiths around me.

When children learn about an object and being provided with that object in front of them, they will learn it quickly. When the word "apple" is taught in the classroom, and the teacher shows the real apple or at least a picture of an apple, learning becomes more effective, both linguistically and psychologically. Similarly, when the teacher teaches about 'truth' and 'honesty', the students look for models, who they can relate with the linguistic image, as an individual identity. Here, teachers have to be their models. Not a hypocritical model to deceive the child and make that one to think the worst of the whole humanity, but a true model. It sounds like a bizarre condition in the present day world. But it is this present day world that desperately needs true teachers; the miracle workers, as Jesus, as Mohammad, as Buddha, and as many others who are there in every memoir, in each and every heart as a model that he or she preserves, who can transform and reconstruct the individuals with untapped potentials and abilities into people with unimaginable prowess and bliss.

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