Friday, December 7, 2012






Reforming Education System is the most urgent and important need in India today.

In the three parts earlier, we examined -

(1)        What Great people think of Education system,
(2)        The Need to build Character through Education system.
(3)        The need to gradually phase out the CASTE SYSTEM – through Education – and Bring Unity among all people
(4)        The need for day to day skills like cooking
(5)        Greater stress on sports and Games
(6)        The need for lateral, creative and objective thinking
(7)        Skills to fix basic electrical and electronic appliances

India is a secular country. But, secular Education is not availed by certain sections of the society and they still prefer their own religious schools. Madrasas for Muslims and Christian schools for Christians are all over India and proliferating.

But, Hindu scriptural teaching is not available anywhere. Thus, while Islamic religious education and Christian religious education are available, Hindu religious education is missing. Many social ills in India today are due to such lop-sided education, we don’t know anything about the Major Religions of India.

Indian secularism has thus become a negative, negating concept and not a positive, inclusive concept.

In last three years, I have been studying the Gita and the Upanishads. The more I understand them, the more, I feel that they do not belong to a Particular religion in the conventional sense, but, belong to the whole humanity. They are one of the RICHEST SOURCE of all morals, ethics and the best practices of social living.

It is the lack of their knowledge that makes many Hindus practice untouchability, superior-inferior complexes and so on. India takes a person from worship of everything in Nature, to a single representative thing (an idol or such things), and from there to a shapeless formless God and finally to a level where one sees himself in all beings and all beings in one’s own self. The Individual must realize the divinity in himself.

These are based on solid, sound reasoning. Lack of knowledge of these extraordinary and highly scientific methods even among the Hindus has given rise to various misconceptions in the minds of other religions and Hindus themselves – that Hinduism has so many gods, Hindus worship only Idols and so on, which is far from truth. All religious Acharyas like Adi Sankaracharya and Ramanujacharya have condemned the practice of UNTOUCHABILITY in strong terms.

Adi Sankaracharya has invoked the authority of Siva Himself, who directed him not to practice un-touchability. Therefore, Adi Sankara's clear message is that NO ONE  should practice untouchability. The latest to tell us this by personal practice is - Mahatma Gandhi himself. In spite of that, if it still exists, we have to blame our so called secular education, which doesn’t teach this great aspect of religion.

I have read the Bible too to a reasonable extent.I have heard parts of Koran from many of my Muslim friends.

The point is - India must introduce a positive all-inclusive religious education, taking the best aspects of each religion. India must become a Model country, where people understand each religion in the country – and choose their personal religion freely – according to their conscience, instead of basing it on somebody else’s conversion inducements. In all religions, we do find extremely liberal, tolerant, well informed Individuals, who do adopt to such liberal religious practices.

Which means - an Individual may at his option, adopt himself to the BEST OF ALL RELIGIONS- a sort of UNIVERSAL RELIGION. Individual choice should not be obstructed by any Priest, Mulla or Bishop of any denomination. There should be true, free,well-chosen, informed religious freedom.

Today, all wars all over the world are RELIGIOUS WARS, between the persons practicing the world’s 2 great religions. This happens because of NON-TOLERANCE and non-appreciation of each other’s religion and a constant itch to interfere in other’s religions. We cannot shut our eyes to this FACT. It is true that mostly, religious fundamentalists only involve themselves in such activities. But, disturbing fact is, because of non-secular, religious education, the number of such fundamentalists is growing.

INDIA can show the way for true religious freedom and inter-religious tolerance. Let the Best of all religions be there in the curriculum – and let people choose whatever principle they like – not necessarily whatever religion they like.

For example, USA frequently calls the DALI LAMA and listens to his wonderful lectures on Buddhism – but these are applicable to the whole of mankind. Many Hindu Gurus attract just as much attention in the UPA and people there are beginning to understand Indian ethos mow much better. Why can’t Indian Universities also - periodically call eminent well informed religious leaders also – for lectures – as USA is doing?

That should be the Goal of Secular Education – not the present lifeless, goalless, so called secular education.

Readers' views on this important topic are MOST WELCOME

= Yours







IMRAN KHAN  has countless admirers on both sides of  the Indo-Pak Border. Today, I saw him on an Indian TV Channel answering wide ranging questions from many well-informed VIPs on the Indian side, with consummate ease, friendliness, and foresight.

I wish, all Pakistanis also see this interview and approve of his views wholeheartedly – and support him and all Pakistani Politicians of his Genre.

It is quite possible that individually, each of us may have some small differences with the views of Imran Khan. But, I feel, most of the viewers in India,  largely agree with his views – which are wonderfully liberal, pleasingly honest and highly optimistic.

Jo khwab aap dekh sakthe hai, voh paa sakthe  hai – said he at the end of the Interview. And, the”Khwab” he has and he showed all attendees at the Interview was of a grand, friendly neighbors, and smooth solutions to all major irritants between the two.

Many questions were well answered by Imran Khan spontaneously and without reservation or hesitation – which is why he is so much liked in India. These answers found immediate acceptance and approval in the hearts of the viewers. 

I am sure, we, in India, also share the same khwab. Indians have absolutely no enmity with the general public of Pakistan and want a friendly Pakistan as it neighbor.

One or two questions remain – in the minds of India and Indians – because of the potential damage that have always done to Indo-Pak relations – and to Pakistan itself in the long run.

(i)                        India is certainly suspicious of the so called NON-STATE ACTORS, who view a very peaceful India  as its enemy No.1 and try time and again to launch terrorist operations on India from Pakistan – which the Pakistan state actors also try to  shield and protect and thereby support the inflicting of  terrorism on India.

Pakistani Public must be made totally aware of these activities and the state must get the Guts to tackle them. They are the biggest thorn in Indo-Pak Relations.

(ii)                    Where from does either Love or Hatred take root in us? It takes root in us when we are children or Youth and are at school or College. If Education tells Children / Youth that Hindus are their enemies, idol-worshippers must be be-headed, Hindu Idols (and temples) should be broken and so on -  and if sections of people believe that and indulge in such actions – terrorists are bound to spring up from such Brain-washed children and Youth.  Education must teach peace and love – and of course bravery to tackle injustice. This is one area which will constantly pose problems for Pakistan itself – and for its neighbors.

(iii)                 On Military, ISI, Nuclear weapons and Kashmir Problem – Imran Khan has given India the best Possible Hope from Pakistan side. If these hopes come true –  Imran will be the BEST THING that ever happened in Indo-Pak relations, Indo-Pak prosperity and mutual friendship.

We wish Imran Khan all success in bringing his Khwab into a GRAND SUCCESS. We wish Pakistani Public all peace and prosperity.




Sunday, December 2, 2012

REFORMING EDUCATION SYSTEM - PART-3 - Teach cooking - Health promoting sports - creative thinking - Most important- Abolish CASTE from the mind of ALL STUDENTS




Reforming Education System is the most urgent and important need in India today.

In 2 parts earlier, we examined -

(1)What Great people think of Education system,and, 

(2) The Need to build Character through Education system.

In this third Part, we will examine in brief, the need to build contemporary Life skills into the Education system.

The Education System that we have built up in India - is perhaps the most LIFELESS, PURPOSELESS Education system that ever existed in this country.

Many people think, that this scholastic, generalist Education, with no focus on life - was introduced by the British, when they ruled India - to manufacture clerks and interlocutors whom they needed, to govern India.

And, the same system continues till this day, with minor modifications.

It doesn't teach a single Life skill. At the end of 12 years of grueling education, students find that they know almost nothing - on how they can earn their living or live a purposeful life.

Our Education system doesn't teach anything worthwhile about contemporary India, its problems, possible solutions, its immediate neighbors  its relations with them and such other important contemporary history, geography and contemporary problems.

It does not make an iota of endeavor to promote Nationalism, patriotism, love of all people in the nation, irrespective of religion, region, caste, creed, state and so on.

Most students don't even know -

(i) the districts in their state and their capitals. 
(ii) the states and their capitals. 
(iii) their fundamental rights and responsibilities.
(iv) how parliament and legislatures must function ( not how they are actually functioning)
(v) their rights and responsibilities vis a vis the other people traveling on Roads by their side , living in their neighboring houses and such other basic, common sense concepts.
(vi) how a Post office, a Bank, a Taluk office, a collector's office or a magistrate court functions - and what services they render to people.

But, students know who ruled India 1000 years before and how. And this history is HIGHLY SUBJECTIVE and inaccurate. What one or two men thought - has become history in most cases - much against what most Indians knew as their ancient history.

India has certain heritage problems - like the CASTE SYSTEM. We all think that this system is not the best thing to retain today. We know that.

The caste system could have vanished very easily and all people could have been made to feel the oneness of India very easily - through the medium of the Education system. 

This could have been accomplished DECADES AGO.

Instead, India is perpetuating the caste system through reservations and many other caste-preserving legislations. 

The CASTE SYSTEM  had some real use in ancient days. Likewise. the Reservation system now does give some benefits to some deserving people.

But, overall, if CASTE system could be made to disappear from our minds, while taking care of ALL THE POOR, the Nation could have reaped much larger, more significant long term benefits by now.

Its small benefits apart - the caste and caste based reservation systems have divided India and Indian psyche very badly. The benefits they have given are minuscule  compared to what could be obtained by abolishing the CASTE SYSTEM smoothly through the Education system and implementing a poverty based Reservation system.

Telling some people that they are inherently inferior or superior compared to some others  is the most unscientific brainwashing that went on in the name of caste system in the past; and THE VERY SAME BRAIN WASHING is now going on in the name of RESERVATION SYSTEM. It is dividing people into two warring camps wholly unnecessarily; 

No doubt, India has great heritage and that great part of the heritage needs to be preserved. That could be done very well by all combined - rather than all divided. 

The Vedas and Upanishads are great. I do not have an iota of doubt about that. Many other Indian ethos and systems are very great. But, their preservation works well, if all minds unite, and all feel equally participative.

This is one Benefit of Education, which India is missing out - for too long,  wholly unnecessarily. Our Education must introduce this concept of National Integration - TODAY. It was needed 66 years ago. It is late now - but at least now, we must wake up to this need.

Second,  basic life skills are not taught in our Education, but they are a MUST. 

Like cooking skills. It is horrifying that neither Boys nor Girls either know or have interest in this, most simple, basic, important life need of COOKING. Do we know that many divorces today hinge on who should cook at home? Many mother in law - Daughter in law hate-fight-alienation is precisely due to this lack of interest of the D-in-law in cooking? Many National problems will vanish if both Boys and Girls know cooking well.

If only Boys and Girls are both taught cooking skills at school and their interests are kindled in this life-skill, many, many household problems will vanish very easily and life of all in the homes will improve a lot.

Not only that, cooking is a science. it must be treated as such; and it must be vastly improved in India. Our Education system must invest in R&D of this cooking science. As human beings, we do not live for food alone; but we can't live without food. It is one of the great pleasures and needs of life.

Right now, cooking that happens in most homes is thoroughly unscientific, unhealthy and not also tasty. People who cook and serve - do not know the art and science of it. Even serving must and can be done with pleasure and not as a hateful part of life.

All this must become an integral  part of the Education system. There must be half a day cooking class in each fortnight of the school study - at school.

Sports and Games must be an essential, INTEGRAL part of the education. Every day-one hour must be devoted to physical education, meaning sports and Games. Today, most Indians are addicted to games like cricket - that too, not playing, but watching. This should change. We must have body building, skill building, strength building sports and games.  Indians, boys and girls both, must understand the need to be healthy and strong. Sports also must promote Unity.  These must be played - scientifically - and AT SCHOOL, in school time. 

How many of the readers know that, over 50 years ago, when we were at school, our sports abilities were tested like in an examination, marks are awarded and these find place in our marks certificate Books - for each class from 8th onwards - and given to us when we pass out from school. That was not sufficient. But, we have now abolished even that system now totally. It is really sad that our contemporary education has no focus on the essentials of the Education system.

All study and no Play makes Jack a Dull Boy. This is the ancient proverbial wisdom - but not learnt and practiced in Indian education system in the last 2 - 3 decades. 

In India, health is taking huge beating. Students especially are getting into a mess as far as health is concerned. Drinks, drugs, a bad life style with addiction to TV, computer etc is  ruling their lives. Cricket especially is making them lazy watchers of the sport - rather than making them players. We need sports like foot ball, volley ball, tennis, weight lifting, pull-ups, gymnastics, and Yoga - all of which enhance the students' physical and mental health. I am not against cricket - but I am against India as a whole, wasting time, merely as watchers of cricket. We don't see any other nation, wasting so much time in merely WATCHING CRICKET. This should change.

Food and health apart, the next most important thing to be introduced in our curriculum is - lateral, creative and objective thinking techniques. A thinking student can learn, retain and use every thing in life much better. A thinking student will move faster towards wisdom - rather than a student who merely memorizes answers to standard questions, repeats them in examinations and secures marks. Our Education system, and more especially, our examination system, must move on to testing the thinking abilities of students rather than their memorizing abilities only. Both are needed - but thinking abilities are more important of the two. 

In examinations, every question is a memory related question and not a thinking related question. All questions - or at least  75% of them - must be thinking related questions. This must change immediately.

The unfortunate paradox today is - many students get depressed if they don't get a few marks more, and some even commit suicide. This tragic stupidity has to be attributed to the shallow education that does not teach thinking skills and values of life.

There are many common life skills that students need. Basic fixing of electrical and electronic gadgets need not wait for Post school specialist trainings. Planting of trees and taking care of them also need not wait. In fact, many such skills are never taught now at school.

Every home has a TV, computer, Telephone, mobile etc today. Why not teach the use of their Basic parts - at school. We find, Engineering Graduates not knowing how to fix simple things in any of these. We all need these basic skills useful in every day life.

I have mentioned a few, most important of such skills. there are many others like this - either equally important or more important than these.

We will see them in another part.

I request readers to discuss, debate and ensure that - together, we reform our education system quickly. I seek all of your views.