I was having a severe headache but disturbance in my mind was more disturbing that the headache. So, I went to the park for a walk and of course to meet Dadu. I found Dadu sitting there on our favorite bench. He is sitting straight. His right hand on a walking stick and left hand on his lap. He never gets tired of the same posture. I went and touched his feet and sat beside him. He kept his hand on my head and then continued in his favorite posture.
Dadu asked, ”You look tired early morning. Any problem?”. I said, “I have a headache and also I am bit disturbed. I am disturbed due to my inability to bring any change to the society. I am worried that the education system is no good to transform India to glorious Bharat. All kids are in mad rush. One of my friend compared this with slaughterhouse and I agree very much. I am so helpless. Neither I can start something new nor I can change the existing.”
Dadu said, “Where you have pain in your head? I mean which exact location in your head?”. I said, “Somewhere in in right side of my forehead.”. Dadu immediately responded, “Close your eyes and start taking deep breath. Then try to pinpoint the exact position where there is pain. Once you locate the exact point, let me know. I have a medicine.” I had started the exercise as soon as he started telling. I tried to focus on it. Gradually I located the painful location but on more focus the pain itself vanished. I opened my eyes and saw Dadu smiling, “So, could you locate?”. “It is no more there Dadu”, I informed.
He said, “You know what, yesterday night one thief came to my apartment. He had stolen all the shoes that were kept in front of every flat. One gentleman saw him but when he tried to come out, he found that his door was closed from outside. So, he shouted from the window to inform us that there is a thief and he has closed his doors. We all tried to come out but we found our doors were closed too. Then we also shouted and informed others. After 15 minutes, milkman came and released all of us. Then we found one gentleman who stays in the ground floor, his back door was not closed from outside. We all asked him, why didn’t he try to come out and catch the thief. He said, as we all were shouting telling that doors are closed from outside, he ruled out that option and tried to call somebody from outside to help. But, if he would have tried, he could have caught the thief but he was under the most popular belief.” He paused and asked, “Isn’t it?”. I said , “Yes! But you could have asked police from your phone”. He responded, “Yes, but it would have taken some time for them to come too. If he could have come out, then he could have caught the thief. We called police but after the fact.”. I looked at his feet and noticed, he was wearing the same old chappal. This was not a interesting enough story to relax me so I kept quiet and sat beside him.
He understood that I am interested about the answer to my question regarding education system. He said, “So, you said there are some problems with education system. What are the problems? Tell me one at a time. I can not remember many at a time due to age”.
I said, “Schools are not producing minds which can think beyond and innovate.All are behind the mad rush. Either become Doctor or Engineer etc. There is hardly any innovation. There are hardly any independent thinkers. It is like a machine creating same product day after day and year after year. The machine is an ineffective imported system which does not know how to produce products best suited for the locality. I mean, we are using British Education system which is not applicable for Indian society. We must have the system best suited for Bharat. So that we can have our own distinct skills using which we can compete with others. It is like we are trying to compete with other education systems which are much realistic and apt for current situation”. “Hold on”, Dadu interrupted.
“You love talking, isn’t it? So, you are entertaining yourself by talking. You also enjoy as well as get excited while describing the problem, isn’t it? You have not answered my question yet. I asked to tell me a single problem with the current education system and you are telling me your frustration. If you are really serious about the problem, then find the problem first. Just do not talk about it endlessly. Example, if you think our teaching method is wrong then tell that. In order to describe the problem you must have accurate information about the current teaching method. You may have to go physically to various schools to see how they are teaching. Then find the alternatives available. After that discuss or debate to understand what should be the ideal teaching method with your friends. Once you come to a conclusion then act on it by finding ways to implement this. Talking endlessly about the problem is known as entertainment. Many a times you may find that in the search of root cause of the problem you will understand that the problem you thought is present but actually does not exist. Like your headache vanished. Sometimes just thinking that nothing can change by citing examples of other failed attempts is the cause of the problem. If you sincerely try to find the solution, there must be one effective way. Like the person in the ground floor of the apartment did not think about the back door because he just believed others that there is no way he can come out of the house. Talks about changing the system and bashing the current system endlessly is nothing more than entertainment of pseudo-intellectuals. I am not saying that you should not talk about it, you must but ensure you are progressing in action than words.
If you dare to do something different then go and teach the kids living in slums or roadside using the way you think is right. I am telling slum children because I know you do not have courage to stop sending your kid to the present school and teach them the way you want. At least if you try experimenting on slum kids nobody will loose anything. If you are successful then they will become the future you want. If you fail, at least you would have triggered the desire to learn in their mind so they will somehow continue. They will be in a state better than uneducated. If you think you have leadership skills then show that in influencing them and their parents to learn. If you have desire to do social service then spend the money you usually donate to any NGO in buying the materials that you need to teach them. If you wish you can, if you do not wish to do anything then continue talking but forget the issue after the talk so that you will not have a headache”. Dadu said.
This was nothing less than a tight slap for me. But I agreed that I am just a talk master and nothing else. Dadu got up to go and took the help of the bench than my shoulder as he usually does. This made me feel he is upset. He walked slowly and suddenly turned back to say, “I know you will. Won’t you?”. I nodded my head and saw him going out of park. I sat for a while and then came back home.