India 2020?

60 years have passed us. A momentous 60 years. Enough to make us achieve the pinnacle of success in all fields. Enough to make people admire us. Enough to make our voices be heard at the forefront of every important event. But have we? have we proved ourselves worthy of the 60 years that have passed us by? Have we made use of those 60 years gone by? No, it seems.

we speak of development in all fields. Yet there is a contradiction here. we have a rapid industrial boom going up. our farm lands are shrinking. Farmers commit suicide unable to sustain their lives. As of the latest stats, 2 lakh farmers have committed suicide in the last 12 years in India. we boast of the intellectual capabilities of our software engineers-the product of IITs and other technological schools and celebrate ‘Pravasiya Bharat Divas’ every year to honor those men and women who contribute to our wealth. But we have children here who are denied their rightful share of education for want of money. For idiotic reasons. Who are doomed to work as labourers and forced to beg for a day’s meal.

The recent report in the Indian Express(Coimbatore edition) on 25/01/2010 page 2 is a stark example of where we are really. The report is about a Tribal school in Anaikatty area near Coimbatore which has expelled five tribal girls (of the Irula tribe) citing poor performance in studies, fearing a drop in their results. Shame on us. Shame on them. Shame on the education system itself.

Education is a crucial factor in any person’s development. Education is considered sacred in India. Yet it is here that such foolishness is staged. If the school is so concerned about producing 100% results, they ought to have done the following rather drive out those hapless girls:

Admit only intelligent students.

Monitor the performance of the students and help them out in case of any problems.

Instead, they are concerned about marks. Marks. Bloody marks. Does scoring 100% make you intelligent? Does scoring 100% teach you to face the world? Does scoring 100% ensure you a job? Can those people answer these questions? This is the case with over 90% of our educational institutions-schools and colleges alike. Education has become a business. It is not service to society. It is a money making busines.Why don’t they go and do something else like run a bank or finance company?

The recent move by the Supreme Court issuing notice to the Government to de-recognize 44 ‘Deemed Universities’ (deemed or doomed?) for their poor quality is but a tip in the iceberg. And 17 of them are in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry.

And we boast of a vision 2020. I am not blaming Dr. Kalam and Dr.Y.S.Rajan for their vision statement. I am rather holding accountable those responsible for failing in their duty of making it a reality.

Then why would there not be a brain drain? Why wouldn’t our intelligent students flock to US and UK, Australia and look for better opportunities? They don’t have it here. Quid pro quo. We have all in us. Yet we do not utilize our stock of good things.

Denying education to children-that too to the girl child on flimsy grounds on the base of caste(that is a horrible viral infection throttling our improvement, I say) is a shame and a crime for which the responsible persons should be punished severely. Such a school that boasts of results but fails to recognize the potential value in a student is fit to be closed. Not fit to be run.

Time we take this up seriously and not cover our backs in our mentality of making money. Time we make a call to take out these weeds.

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