By Sudhansu R Das
The intelligentsia of a country is always expected to strengthen democracy. If the majority of them remain aloof to the election process or misuse their intellect to serve personal interest, political power often slips into the hands of politico businessmen. When businessmen get power they use it for maximizing profit; price rise, monetization of essential services, bank frauds and increase in taxes etc follow; the quality of life deteriorates for the general public. Politico-businessmen by nature are obsessed with profit; once they are in power they use it for profit overlooking other aspects of human developments like education, culture, religion, economy, health and social life etc. The rise of honest intelligentsia with a sense of purpose and belongingness to the nation can reduce the importance of the politico business men.
Politico businessmen cannot control and manipulate unless they are supported by educated yes men in the system. The British government had created educated yes men to help them rule Indians; with the help of yes men they punished the nationalist leaders and exploited the natural resources from the country. The British in order to market their industrial products had destroyed fine Indian cottage industry products; the British traders became rich by marketing Indian handmade products in Europe. The educated Indian yes men or the babus always stood by the British government. Even today the educated Indians still carry the DNA character of their forefather babus and seldom question their political and corporate bosses about any wrong decision or policy which adversely affects national interest. The fear of losing their position and promotion fridges their minds and body; it forces them to overlook national interest. Sometimes the yes men bring political deaths to their bosses and change colors to show their loyalty to new leaders. Lack of courage to speak and act is the biggest threat to the economy, culture, society, religion and polity. The educated Indians occupying top positions should overcome their fear and honestly guide political leaders in the field of economy, banking, society, culture and for the safety of the republic.
Besides, the honest and educated people should contest elections and should not fear losing elections; their participation in the election will create the much needed awareness among people and their defeat will be a lesson to the gullible voters who will start thinking about their political representatives’ capacity to govern. Good and efficient candidates elected through inclusive democracy will protect the fertile agricultural land, water bodies, rich culture and traditions of the country for inclusive growth.
India for decades suffers from intellectual barrenness; in order to overcome this situation the country needs minimum 30% people as quality graduates who can build the core strength of India and influence public opinion for a healthy democracy. Only 8.15% of people in India are graduates as per 2011 Census; out of 8.15% graduates only a small percentage of people have done their graduation properly and are employable. Quality school education is a must to groom quality graduates. Unfortunately, eight out of ten students from class IX in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Telangana cannot write one paragraph in English correctly; they fumble while identifying the location of important Indian cities and places of importance; many of them don’t even know minimum things about their history, culture, religion and civilization.
As per ASER 2017, only a little over 50 percent of children enrolled in schools in India make it to Class 12; less than half of them enter higher education. Quality education up to 12th standard is enough to build responsible citizens who can achieve a flourishing democracy and become capable of tapping India’s diverse economic sectors for self employment. Indian media should resolve to end this crisis of intellectual barrenness in the country- the root cause of all miseries. School teachers and government employees after retirement should spend time to educating children. The Union government should make teaching profession attractive so that bright students will take teaching as a career. The English medium private schools and government schools should be closely monitored to improve the education standard and make quality education accessible to poor people. India needs a large number of volunteers who can fight the intellectual barrenness in the country. Good political leaders and Indian intellectuals should converge on achieving inclusive democracy.