By Dr Mansi Kapoor*
Atithi Devo Bhawah was being displayed on TV screens across the world while the monument of love was eerily quiet and serene. Homes were gutted in flames, while humans ditched to die.
Hate speeches going viral ….
Stock Markets falling with every sneeze.
Most of us- Comfortably Numb.
Daniel Kahneman’s and Amos Tversky figured out, way back in the seventies that we humans are not as rational as we really think!!! Now it’s being played out on an epic scale.
We are driven by primal emotions, heuristics, impulses, subconscious processes that we are not aware about.
“Like- Share- Follow- Like –Share- Follow” is the divine mantra that energizes faceless “connections”. With all vying for the prized attention, the most bizarre, morbid, scandalous, scary, nauseous stuff fights its way out.
So much is being said about how students need to learn critical thinking which basically is “thinking about thinking” that most us are completely incapable of.
We wish to make this the chief responsibility of under paid, over worked, diminished teachers who exist in an educational ecosystem which is largely driven by people pleasing “policies”.
High grades after all signal “all is well”. Hard working, diligent, aspiring students, taught by qualified and dedicated teachers typify “the great Indian dream.” The “toppers” which form the pipeline to “coaching” centers where they “learn” to crack really tough entrance exams to finally get admission in a “reputed “college with good rankings where the grand finale will be the campus placement with a good salary offer.
Somewhere in this ecosystem of people pleasers also exists the Great Indian Politician with a fervor for nation and “capacity” building,
The government of Maharashtra, full of swagger, sound and fury has proclaimed Marathi will be compulsory of all school children up to the 10th standard. So now, apart from biology, physics, chemistry, Hindi and maths, children will have an extra subject to deal with or mug up.
Second languages as most of us have experienced are learnt most naturally while living in a city — haggling with auto rickshaw walas, giving instructions to maids, shopping at the neighborhood grocery , listening to Radio City while driving, chatting up with neighbors and not from text books really. If you love the city and its culture, you pick up the language too.
And while Melania Trump was blissful in the “Happiness Class” which made good use of the softer, milder, classier, maybe more effective use of the Saffron Hue.
Here’s Tagore for those of us who wish to counter the narrative –
Prisoner, tell me, who was it that wrought this unbreakable chain?’
‘It was I,’ said the prisoner,who forged this chain very carefully.
I thought my invincible power would hold the world captive
leaving me in a freedom undisturbed.
Thus night and day I worked at the chain
with huge fires and cruel hard strokes.
When at last the work was done
and the links were complete and unbreakable,
I found that it held me in its grip.’
*Professor in Pune , author of “Global Business Environment- Shifting Paradigms in the Fourth Industrial Revolution”, founder of Cult Altered – A Platform to Build Change