A raving lunatic with the potential to be perfectly normal.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Welcome to the jungle.

I never thought I would write a post on this but somehow this one issue has deprived me of sleep. Maybe, it is my fault that I care to think at all and not walk away from it, with an air of "nonchalance" , whispering "yeah, whatever".Yet, I cannot do so. Call it a compulsive sensitive disorder, if you may, yet the wallowing mire of questions do not cease. Why does it have to come to this and why does the shadow of India's feudal past have to re-emerge, like the dark lord, time and again, to hinder its development? Why does it have to come to reservation? Did reason die? Was it a natural death? Did they turn off the lights?

You were young and naive. They told you about the greatness of this land's democracy. They taught you about freedom in your history books. Your mom used to pack your lunch box and everyday as you made your way in a "perfect world" to your perfect "sanctum sanctorum" like school, did you ever wander that they told you "what to dream".

Welcome to 2006, kid, the year of the donkeys arse. You either have the right to remain silent or they will make you "shut up" and while their sons' celebrate their mass orgy's with pet monkeys in a barrel of oil, you make up for the soup coz they have you in it.

Reservation! That one word that sounds like pure music to their ears. They meet in their private garden party's and amidst tea and subsidised u.f.o's (unidentified fried objects, could well be their balls) they play with the variables of your future, hopes, dreams , tweak it any which way they like till they come out with an optimised solution that ensures their stabiltity in the coalition. The result is a unanimous "we don't care about you kid".

They are clever, very clever indeed! They know that you are bound to protest and they use that to divide you further. Yet, the real issue with education remains concealed. Oh no! that could have them exposed!!

What does education mean today? Really, what does it mean? Is the end purpose of education the creation of a world which is governed by arrogance and indifference?

Let's try and analyse the situation. Right now, you have a set of grumpy old people who decide your future, a set of anti-quota protesters , and because they exist a set of pro-quota protesters have to. Maybe, this justifies the fact that reservation is a zero sum game and in a country that has a huge population the "somebody" on the somebody has to lose out is a rather large number. The issue, however, is not that. The issue is whether reservation is a realistic, feasible solution in the era of globalisation.

The personality of a human being is defined as the "as a stable set of intrapsychic(internal)characteristics and tendencies that determines the psychological behavior of people." The behavior determined by personality is realtively consistent over time and it is, usually , completely developed by the time one is 12 yrs old. Which in turn implies that, the most essential criteria for a human beings growth and development is primary education. You cannot expect a slum dweller, who for all you know could happen to be a brahmin, and who has received little or no education to suddenly start solving Irodov. Similarly, it would be a bit unfair to expect a person who hasn't received that great a primary education to suddenly compete with the cream at IIT. Facts indicate, that that indeed is the case. How is this being fair to the person who has through the much hallowed "quota" gate. The government, of course, would like to present the example of an Anna University, which with reservations in place commands a great market value. However, one wonders if there is a positive correlation between reservation and market value.

India has a lot of poor people and very often the ones most deprived of any education are the girls. Yet, that is somehow never brought up in a discussion. Reservation itself is a very subjective issue for the government. When it's mutually beneficial for "vote gathering" they accept it and when it hurts their collective chauvanistic egos (read: The Women's bill) they reject it. Given all that, one is left rather skeptical when they state that we are doing this for the creation of a "level playing field". Any human being, with even an iota of self-esteem, would like to get to the top because of his/her merit, dilligence and hard work rather than a special retro-regressive provision.

I am sure most intelligent people will agree that in order to acheive anything remotely close to the concept of a "level playing field" it is essential that the issues that affect education at the primary and pre-graduation level need to be addressed. One gets to hear of cases of children falling sick after consuming the mid-day meal , comestibles being stored in the bathroom, lack of resources both human and material(blackboards, benches.etc). Very often the schools in question turn out to be government schools. Go, figure!!

Today, we have come to a stage where education no longer stands for the "manisfestation of perfection already present in humans (Swami Vivekanada)" . It's become just another convenient system for making money. Barring, of course, a few institutions, most establishments indulge in this trade. Students have to pay to the H.O.D of the physics department to clear their labs and so on and so forth . The list is really endless. Worst of all, some students are rudely made to realize that the college they study in does not even have a valid permit. I think these are the real issues that plague the education sector as of today.
The world looks up to India only because of the fact that this land is blessed with several intelligent, skilled and smart-working people. A compromise with quality, at this stage, would only lead to a catastrophy.

Reservation on the other hand, in its present avatar(a whooping 27% ), will lead to more harm than good. Some of which are as follows:

1. It'll lead to further division amongst Indians thereby creating an atmosphere for hatred which is in no way conducive to progress.
2. A potential riot like situation.
3. An increase in the number of teen suicidides, who now have more reason to be stressed out.
4. Increasing pressure on the IIT's and IIM's to keep the governments word(if they still have any value that is).
5.What it will also do is to ensure that no work gets done to address the real issues that plague the process of education at all levels( especially the primary level) because they can always use the quota card as a cover up and yet, the key ingredient responsible for this in-equality will still be things like.. lack of infastructure and quality teachers at the primary and pre-graduation levels.

So, are we headed for the elusive "level playing field"? Current observation , however, suggests otherwise. Methinks that this field is very politically inclined and with "gaping great Indian bustards" refreeing this game of "kicking your balls at their will" the future looks rather bleak.

(With due apologies to John Lennon) .....

I'm sick and tired of hearing things
From uptight, short-sighted, narrow-minded hypocritics
I've had enough of reading things
By neurotic, psychotic, pig-headed politicians
All I want is the truth
Just gimme some truth

Peace Out.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Twilight City

Old couple on a parkbench,
Cataract blurred eyes look for space
in the free cosmic marketplace.
Conversation withers.

At this point, for a moment, conclusions are foretold
As those eyes seek the little child
seeking euphoric rain
On her way to catch a rainbow.

Encoded shapes, Dreams of misty evening
drift into a twilight sea
that witnesses the chain of longing.
The lost language of silence.

In the apartment, an antidote
Maybe the casual eventuality where
Intoxicated screams meet this sea
On the rooftop.

Transfixed in this gaze, isolation transmuted
to significantly amaze
the soul of this modern city.
Draped in the garment of its unbecoming.