I am always fascinated by the diversity of the collection at ArvindGupta website. I was talking to a friend about James Thurber’s “The Last flower”, which I first found in ArvindGupta site. As I began revisiting the list of books mentioned over there, I stopped at the mention of this title –“An illiterate’s declaration to a literacy preacher”. The title in itself had enough to convince me in to reading it immediately.
You can read it here.
It starts with humble acknowledgements like – “I am again grateful to you for being so worried about me. I have given my full attention to all of your preachings.”
After enlisting a sort of comparison between “educated” and “uneducated” lifestyles, comes the punch line (IMHO) – “My learning is apparent and authentic in itself. I do not worry about being awarded any certificates to prove this.”
It was followed by a strong (in my view…not so compelling… and extremely blind) criticism of modern education system. However, at one or two places, it made me think a bit. For example, towards the end, it says:
“The real problem of today’s society is not that the working class is illiterate. In fact the real problem is that the schooled people of our society are averse to work, particularly to any sort of physical labor.”
I do feel the whole article has a strong “anti” feeling towards “modern” education and criticizes every thing in it, which makes it uncomfortable for me to call it “objective” … even if objectivity as such is a myth.
However, despite all its shortcomings, in the few minutes while and after reading it –
How many times was I reminded of “Nookaalu” of Gangaputhrulu?
How many times was I reminded of “Rudrudu” of Sontaooru?
How many times did I think about the shallow but informative chats with “sage-in-making” on the topic of development?
How many times was I reminded about “Gao Chodab Nahin“?
– I did not count!!
This short document might hit you hard, if you really do the Hamsa act, separate what is valid criticism and ignore the rest 🙂
Not that I know the answers for all those question, though! 😉