The Graduate Debate
It’s not even been a week since the swearing in ceremony and a crumbling opposition threatens to embroil the current government in controversy. The opposition seems to be fighting tooth and nail to not waste any opportunity to malign the ruling party. The debate that has launched a thousand tweets now is the fact that our HRD minister is not even a graduate, and hence not fit to run the education ministry.
Here I digress a bit.My paternal grandmother was a class 4 dropout. She only knew how to read and write .My grandfather was a doctor ,who, like typical men, had no interest in household affairs. This was in the 1970s ,and in addition to their children, innumerable extended family members visited the house on a regular basis.My grandmother single-handedly managed everything in the house, from the children’s education,to the monthly budget to everybody getting their respective cups of coffee and hot food on time.All her children today are well-educated and well-settled (touchwood).It’s been more than ten years since she has passed on, and even today at family functions, we hear our extended family members applaud her for her MBA-like ability to manage the house.
This brings forth a very common question-how important is a degree anyway? Mrs.Irani started off working as a waitress in McDonald’s and proceeded to become a successful TV actress,all on her own merit, which shows that she can work hard. Hardships tend to teach us more lessons in life than college.She is clean, has no criminal records (which says more for her than it did for some of her previous members of parliament) and her ability to apologize for the remarks against Modi in 2004 show that she can accept her own mistakes . She may not have a graduate degree, or might be a school dropout for all we care, but her speeches and her dynamic go-get-it attitude (seen since her initial days in the BJP) show a lot of promise. On the other hand, we have politicians,whose mouths seem to blurt out things without going through their brains first,despite their fancy degrees.
So what is it that makes these dropouts different from the graduates? It’s the sense of ethics. It’s their sense of judgement .We emphasize our children to read,to write,to get good marks,to graduate magna cum laude, but we don’t emphasize on the matters of respect or ethics. Some lucky kids learn later in life, some from their parents, and some stubbornly grow up thinking that they rule the universe. Education is not,and cannot be a guarantee card for ethics.As for Mrs Irani ,all she needs is an ability to improve the current education system in India, formulate policies which will help the countless educated unemployed, and she will be fine. One doesn't necessarily need a degree to run the country ,all you need is a good sense of right and wrong, love and respect for your country and the will to make it a better place for all its citizens.