PRESENT EDUCATIONAL SCENARIO
When we talk of innovation, India does not stand a good position in the list of nations producing innovators. Today the system we have, in which there are a few kings and lot of common people, cannot create innovators. It kills innovation rather and keeps the powerful as rent seeking controllers of resources. It will eventually turn us into a nation of clerks for the world. Innovators will rule the world , we will be left to serve them. We may not get colonized politically but we will get colonized mentally as well as economically. The responsibility to not let this happen , trickles down to the root of the social setup i:e our education system.
At school , our education system hammers out our indivisual voices turning us into servile course material slaves. Kids are not encouraged to raised their voices in class, perticularly when they disagree with the teacher. And of cource, no subject teaches us imagination , creativity or innovation. Curriculla are designed for no debate kind of teaching. For example, we ask "how many states are there in India". Answer is 29. Its correct .But if we ask, on what basis the states are divided ?. No answer. Because problems like this are never discussed , children never develop their viewpoint .
Ingenuity does not matter in our system as much as scoring marks do. We are taught to score good marks, get a good degree, good job, a six digit salary , settle down , have kids and pressurise kids to get a good job. Now the question arises, where does the innovation gets its space in the system? Are we not creating indivisuals who are trained to follow herds like sheeps do?
From childhood, a child is taught to be servile and as he grows , the trait of servility creeps in his blood and becomes a part of his character. Questioning the existing norms and traditions is not encouraged and accepting them blindly is marked as the sign of obedience. The nature of the society lies in applauding the achievements of those who excel in the established system and criticizing those who refuse to accept conventional ways and make a mark for themselves.
Thus it is not difficult to conclude that education in India is all about passing the established legacy of servility to the posterity. The whole meaning of education and its objective is confined to getting a job, which is a qualification for being socially respected. This basic urge to earn social respect stems from the fundamental roots of the education system where society satisfaction comes first and personal satisfaction is put at the back seat. The quest for society satisfaction has led to race among indivisuals where the winner is one who has got the most lucrative job and maintains standards as per the society expectations. The society has a propensity to get more inclined towards the person who has money regardless of how it comes as opposed to someone who refuses to tame the "lure of lucre", posseses self dignity and lives to pursue his passion despite not getting bulky packages.
The society teaches to the child , the meaning of job security and social status at a very early age and the virtues of following one's passion , living one's dream, creating one's own way, are not given the required conducive environment to creep in child's mindset.
In words of MR. ALBERT EINSTEIN
"EDUCATION IS WHAT WHICH REMAINS WITH THE MAN ,WHEN HE HAS FORGOTTEN EVERYTHING HE LEARNT IN SCHOOL"
By depriving the child of these virtues , we are depriving him of accessing his unlimited potential and creativity.
Society expects a child to be engineer, doctor or I.A.S but no-one cares to ask the child if he wants to become a painter, cartoonist ,writer or an athlete. His interests get buried in his childhood and he grows to be a man tamed by society and nicely trained to come up to its expectations. With the passing time, this grown up man turns into a programmed machine working 10-12 hours a day, chasing material possesions and satisfying society and family by doing things, which he wants to do more out of compulsion and much less out of his interest . One of the reasons of half of the population languishing in conditions of extreme stress, mental problems, anxiety and sleeplessness, is that people are not doing things they are passionate about and hence have lost all the spark they had once as kids . Their lives could have been better if they were taught to pursue their passion and make great carrers out of it.
Thus it is imperative for all of us to introspect and realise the fiasco on our part as a society. We have to change our mindset and collectively this has the power to make the biggest difference. We have to unlearn whatever is holding us back and definitely break the cycle so that we dont pass on these traits to the next generation . Our children should think clearly, have opinion and speak up. They should learn to follow their interests and navigate their way themselves.
LET US ALL RESOLVE TO START WORKING ON OUR OWN MINDSETS, RIGHT NOW.
JITHIN LAL V J
SAFETY OF WOMEN IN INDIA
Women in India are today becoming the most vulnerable section as far as their safety and security is concerned. When we glance through the pages of newspapers, we come across many headlines reporting cases of sexual assault, molestation, sexual harassment, rapes, and trafficking, ill treatment of women in houses, violence against women in almost all the nook and corners and remote areas of our country. What does these shows? This certainly implies that there has been an increasing trend of such sexual overdrives in present generation.
The Indian Constitution has envisaged a dream of true social, economic and political democracy, which guarantees the rich and moral principles of equality for our citizens but this, has not been fully realized yet. Still our better halves are unsafe and insecure towards the realization of freedom and liberty. It is unbearable to imagine the plight of women who are sufferers of such crimes. It is really a jolt on the confidence of the women, of society and on our judicial system. Besides, it has much of cascading effects, which affects her life.
Do we ever think who is responsible for this? Is it only the lapse in legal system of our country or the police or the public where such incidence occurs or the Indian society as a whole? We usually indulge in blaming the authorities for such incidents and hence, have not succeeded in reaching to the root cause of the problem.
The condition of women in India has always been a matter of grave concern. Since the past several centuries, the women of India were never given equal status and opportunities as compared to that of their male counterparts. The patriarchal nature of Indian society, which even though gives respect to women as they are our mothers and sisters, has greatly hampered both the independence as well as the safety of women.
One of the main reasons of violence against women is the mentality which deems women inferior to men and merely limits their importance to the maintenance of the household, the upbringing of children and pleasing their husbands and serving other members of the family.
Even in today's era of modernization of society, many working women are still subjected to immense pressure to shoulder the dual responsibility of a housewife and a working woman simultaneously with little or no help from their husbands. Times have changed but the mentality still prevails in the mindsets of several narrow minded Indians.
The recent incident in which a 23 year old paramedical student was gang-raped by 6 men inside a moving bus near a posh Delhi locality and thrown off the bus naked after herself and her male friend were beaten and assaulted with an iron rod has undoubtedly shocked the nation to its core.
This was reflected in the massive protests that followed the incident, demanding justice for the victim, who unfortunately succumbed to the damage caused by her body by the assault (a major part of her intestines had to be removed due to the spread of gangrenous infection) in a hospital in Singapore.
Although it was a most heinous case of cruelty, it is ironical to note that such incidents are not actually rare in our country. There are several such cases happening everyday where females, irrespective of their age, are subjected to horrendous sexual torture by lustful men who are, in most cases, known to the victims. One cannot generalize the victims or those guilty of sexual crimes in India; they come from all strata of society and from every part of India and belong to all the age groups.
Making stringent laws is necessary to ensure that the guilty in such cases get the punishment that they deserve and don't walk freely due to the weak provisions or loopholes of the existing laws. But asserting that stringent laws will be able to curb male sexual overdrive in India cannot be justified.
Unlike the cases of sexual molestation registered in police stations, there is a large portion of women in India who are subjected to rape and other forms of sexual assault on a daily basis and still their cases go unnoticed.
These women are the unfortunate wives who have to indulge in sexual intercourse with their husbands even if they don't want to (non-consensual sex is nothing but rape). They don't actually have a say in front of their husbands when it comes to sex, they have to comply with the needs and demands of their husbands.
Another category of such women who are bound to indulge in sexual activities against their wishes are the hundreds of thousands of sex workers in India who are visited by numerous men everyday and even tortured by many of their clients. They are compelled to do as their clients say as they have no other means of feeding themselves and their children other than selling their bodies to the sex-hungry men of India.
If we take account of all these women and then collectively see the scenario of sexual crimes against women, it can be easily seen that stringent laws alone cannot do much. What really needs to be done is the moral overhauling of the minds of the masses by means of education and awareness.
Strong and stringent laws are definitely necessary as the existing laws have proved to be inefficient in ensuring swift justice and appropriate punishment to the guilty. But the actual need of the hour is a revolutionary change in the mindsets and conscience of Indian men so that they stop seeing women as objects of sexual pleasure.
Ensuring safety of women in India is an issue which successive governments since independence have found extremely difficult to tackle. The natures of the crimes ranging from domestic violence to acid attacks to sexual offences are too obvious to be discussed in detail. If government statistics are taken into consideration, the rate of prevalence of crimes against women will turn out to be just a fraction of what it is in many European and North American countries.
However for every incident that comes into limelight because the victim has shown the courage to lodge a complaint and demand justice, there are a thousand others which go unreported because the victim or her family or both have chosen to remain silent due to the fear of social ostracization. The grimness of the situation in India can be imagined from the fact that the estimated number of people affected by human trafficking in the country is anything between 2-5 crore and 80 percent of the total number of persons pushed into trafficking every year are women.
Since the root cause of human trafficking is poverty, this essay has been restricted to the crimes, harassments and wrongdoings women face, irrespective of the social strata they belong to or the geographical region they live in. These can broadly be called "Atrocities against women" and include any unpleasant or distasteful activities happening to women, be it in schools, colleges and workplace or within the perceived safety of the four walls of their homes. These are incidents that can happen to women of any age group and whose perpetrators too can be found in any age bracket. Those responsible for these incidents can be family members, relatives, friends, acquaintances or complete strangers.
For a better understanding, we can say that any problem has definitely two approaches of solution, the first is short term or immediate solution and the second one is long-term solution. These can be visualized as preventive or curative in nature.
Firstly, let us approach towards certain short term and preventive solutions. This would mean to have a multi- pronged strategy with the participation of multi stakeholders of society. As good citizens, we have a fundamental duty to contribute towards bringing an order to ensure dignity and respect for women so that she can also enjoy her human rights and fundamental rights with sense of pride, freedom and confidence. To ensure this at every level the society must work together to give an edge to the solution.
For e.g. women may be provided with such devices which could provide her location using GPS technology to a central control room of police or send messages of her address to nearby locations. But this requires a lot of work relating to scaling the enrollment of women bio-data showing her photographs and her permanent or temporary address into a national database system.
Other area of interest would be reform in police system. Allocation of women police in every area and their continuous monitoring which also requires participatory attitudes of govt. Such interventions can also be a preventive solution. This also requires installation of CCTV cameras at strategic places, beefing up the police security systems and closely monitoring them.
Also reforms in our legal system is required such as stringent punishment which are non bailable in nature. This could act as friction to those who perpetrate crime. Even though these suggestions are urgently required as proactive measures but since they require rigorous effort for implementation it may be not be practically realized.
So we must have remedial or curative measures such as fast track courts especially dedicated to deal only with these offences and crimes. These can be made responsible to clear the cases on day to day basis with fair trial as its core principle.
There must be allocation of woman personnel who should be dedicated to alleviate the trauma of the victimized women. Hence trained personnel are needed to boost up the victims confidence.
All the above measures and interventions are supportive in nature .i.e they act as supportive infrastructure to ensure and protect women from being victimized.But let us also look to the other face of the coin. Since only ensuring a strict legal system may also prove to be sometime oppressive as the agencies enforcing the acts in strict sense may violate tenets of human rights which is also not acceptable. Hence a balance is required to be kept with while implementation also.
So far we have dealt with the requirement of stringer laws, legal and administrative system to deal with such sexual overdrive. But it requires further delving into the matter.
We all know that India has been a land following various social customs, traditions and certain sets of religious beliefs. These customs has a deep rooted place in the core of our minds and hearts of every people of India which has defined our lifestyle, our thoughts, our expressions and our beliefs be it man or a woman. This has given to the males, the feeling of masculinity in every aspect of their acts and thoughts.
Indian males have thus perceived themselves as physically, mentally superior than their counterparts. Indian women also have accepted to treat their males as superior. This can be seen as women still perform the rituals of Karwa Chauthh where they signify men as god.
Other instance can be seen in parents preferring male child over female. In every aspect of the life, women are denied or given less preference over male whether it is for giving education or access to health care. They are always required to be within their limitations and the male counterparts have freedom in this regard. This system thus gives a feeling in male that they are superior and hence dominate over women. This instills in male a sense of hatred against women if they see a woman crossing their limitations.
So the problem is just not the case of one or two factors, but a sum total of a large number of factors. For this we need to plan more integrative approach to arrive at a solution.
This requires a large scale and an integrated social reform whereby we need to channelize the potential of woman into the stream of development. This can be brought through measures such as real education emphasizing on the quality of education, through enhanced moral and spiritual teachings so that the seed of enmity which is sown through these customs and traditions gets deeply uprooted.
Moral and spiritual inclination of education will impart impetus to curb the sexual desires of men and women and would not let them indulge in committing such heinous crimes. This solution is an ideal solution which would need a more comprehensive support of all the stakeholders of societies.
Henceforth, to see India as a more flourished nation as envisaged in our Constitution, it is time we need to realize what is right and what is wrong and act in an integrated manner so that women can be channelized into mainstream of development and thus contribute to socio-economic prosperity of the nation.
In other words, we need to take action not by force but by will to make our country more secure and safe for our better halves and bring up reforms in the desired direction so that woman can also enjoy their freedom and rights ,and feel more empowered and fearless ,as entrusted by the Supreme law of the land. It is always better to view a situation in its totality. Many times when we look at a situation, we tend to view only a part of it because we are already biased in our approach. Safety of girls and women in India is a grave issue. To tackle the problem, a multi-thronged tactics is required. Skewed sex-ratio, ‘commoditization' of the female body through media and other popular means, patriarchal mind-set and lax justice system etc are some of the reasons why there is apparently an increase in incidents of assault on girls and women.
First and foremost, exemplary punishment would be the best method of sending the correct message throughout the society. Potential criminals will be deterred once they see that justice is done and it is done within a stipulated time frame.Secondly, skewed sex ratio is bound to bring crimes into picture. India needs to be educated that girls should be allowed to live. Killing girls in the womb must be stopped. Again, exemplary punishment to the offenders will go a long way in improving the situation.
Advertisements, films, television serials need to portray women as human beings and not just as sex-agents. Women and girls, like all other human beings, exist for many things apart from satisfying and fulfilling needs of the body. Presently, female element is being used for ‘peppering' the show, the advertisement or the film. It settles the female with the concept of‘masala' in our minds. These along with patriarchal brining up give a kind of license to the criminal's mind to venture into the territory of violence.
The entire ‘contractor ship' of feminism in India is also doing great disservice to the cause of women in this regard. The entire feminist strata must understand that safety of an individual is primarily the responsibility of the individual herself. The state agencies have a role but that role comes after the role of the individual
JITHIN LAL VJ