maya-angelou-smiriti

Schooling is not required for education

maya-angelou-smiriti
Schooling is not required for education

“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” ― Mark Twain
Schooling is not required for education. Education is a lifelong experience and there cannot be a single source of learning.
It is only the end which makes you recapitulate the beginning. History has given us one more opportunity to do so by the death of Maya Angelou. The American author who died at the age of 86 has shown a remarkable journey from a prostitute, a night club dancer, opera performer to a journalist and a celebrated writer. It is interesting how her popularity of her nightclub act made possible her release of her first album Miss Calypso. Her life is a living example of life in general as a trajectory rather than fragmented pieces of existence. Every experience counts that what she showed.
The recent election of Smriti Irani as the Human Resource Development minister has created ripples which are enough to resurface her past. Madhu Kishwar, an academician, attacked Irani’s education qualification saying that the Indian system is headed for a fall if people who have merely passed 12th take in charge as ministers. The controversy which started on Irani’s different statement about her education in 2004 and 2014 got shelved making way for the issue of role of education in politics as a whole.
Congress MP Sanjay Nirupam further commented on Irani’s career as a television actress saying that she is fit to dance on television but not as a political analyst. Keeping Angelou’s journey in mind, it shows it is precisely her popular image as a television actress which made it easier for her to familiarize with the people of Amethi.
“Man is by nature a political animal” said Aristotle in his theory on politics. Politics is an art which cannot be studied in a school. If that would not have been the case then Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) wouldn’t have tasted defeat despite having the most educated members in it. Despite having clear intention to root out corruption from the country and work for the people, AAP failed to convince the public which seem evident from the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Its defeat certainly is enough to comment on the nature of politics which doesn’t bank upon education.
Amartya Sen in his fantastic book The Argumentative Indian has given a clear picture of India deriving its democratic strength from its dialectical nature. He says that democracy is intimately interconnected with public discussion and interactive reasoning. This argumentative tradition of democracy goes back to the reign of Ashoka who ruled the bulk of Indian subcontinent. Sen describes Ashoka as being a powerful ruler who was committed to public discussion and this tradition is what has maintained secularism in India. What is poignant is that in the past such discussions were made to formulate the truth rather than humiliate each other. Today the scenario is reverse. Counterattacks are made not to bring a clearer picture but to distort any clarity available.

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