My textbooks were silent on the Emergency, the Babri Masjid demolition, problems in Punjab, Kashmir and the North East. They were silent on the day to day corruption.
Goodness me, you want so much more in your textbooks! Did you also want fries with that ?
The vastly overrated textbooks!!
Why do people fight so much over worthless pages that merely serve to immiserate little children?
Incidentally, my textbooks were also silent on the directions for using toilet paper ! And yet …
My point: If only we’d relied on textbooks to create a citizenry, we’d still be waiting for the French revolution (and all the revolutions that followed). Cheer up !
the traditional nepotistic and self-serving attitudes of most Indians meant that we choose ambitions/aspirations with little regard to what effect our life will have on the broader society we are part of.
Now then, you don’t want to be saying things like this, or you’ll have a billion people (aka “most indians”) making chutney out of you. Whats wrong with self-serving, as long as its not detrimental to others? And nepotism – in India we call it “family business” – some also like to think of it in the framework of “reciprocal altruism” (since you’re the academic type, check out Trivers).
Its more important, IMHO, to fulfill one’s creative potential, excel at whatever one chooses to do, than chase after some phoney “greater common good”. (If you can have both in one life, that’s a bonus)
Bottomline: A khadi kurta can never be a substitute for competence (in any field, including social activism)
because the young blood that would have nourished them is now either in America doing a PhD in Computer Science or working in a tech company in Bangalore.
Oh dear! You couldn’t possibly have patted yourself on the back any harder ! And now after the gratuitous self-congratulation (via the back), shall we move to the , er!.. bottom…..
We’re quite fine with our RBC (red blood cell) count, thank you! Too much of it is not good for health. Some RBCs (statistically insignificant) do float abroad looking for more oxygen. We honestly don’t expect too much from them – many (not all) are wont to succumb to necrosis upon return- but we welcome them back just the same !
And now, what was it that you wanted to say?
Certainly, fixing textbooks wont solve the problem of civic activism in India, but can you dispute the fact that most educated Indians would understand contemporary India better than they do today, if what they learnt in school was more relevant ?
I stick by what I said about the attitude of Indians, it is detrimental to the broader country. When you push your child to become a computer engineer when he/she really wanted to be an environmental lawyer you are doing some damage.