Why education must be understood in the real sense

Mere academic degree i.e. career-based education hardly serves the moral fabric of the society or enlightens one's mindset and viewpoint because it can often be earned by merely memorising the answers of the questions as suggested by the professor or tutor

ByKajal Chatterjee

Updated 18 Oct 2022, 6:27 am

Representational Image (Photo: Pixabay)
Representational Image (Photo: Pixabay)

Recently a gory episode in Kerala emitting foul odour of black magic, superstition and cannibalism have created sensation throughout the country.

Most natural; however the most common reaction being heard "How can such a thing happen in a state as educated as Kerala"! Hardly surprising because in our society mere academic degree/certificate from school/college/university gets treated as only/final "proof" of being "educated"!

Now a question being asked very humbly and firmly - - - "Can there be any relationship between (a+ b)^2/Latitude-Longitude/Archimedes principle/Mendel's law /Panipat war with ethics, values, humanity, morality, common sense and rationality"!

Yet why do the people in general get shuddered on witnessing any wrong perpetrated by "educated" people or happening in an "educated" state!

It is high time we learn to appreciate the meaning of education instead of equating it with mere academic certificates and degrees.

In this consumerist society, an essential need as basic as education has been turned into a mere commercial commodity which needs to be purchased from the market! This is the very reason why innumerable people fail to enroll their children in school or are forced to discontinue their studies after fifth class. These hapless lot could have become doctors or technocrats had they got financial support from the parents, Government or society.


After all we are all born equal with the same talent and potential, the claims of merit and intelligence are nothing but bogus and hollow rhetoric. Less said about the orphans whose unexploited promise gets nipped in the bud in ruthless manner. In this pathetic and inhuman perspective, how can society dare to evaluate human beings through the yardstick of academic status or "education"(highly wrongly interpreted terminology)!
Yes, mere earning a degree does not necessarily make a person/state/country "educated". And one can also become truly educated without completing school education, attending college or pursuing higher education. There exist innumerable  "educated" persons in the society who are racist, casteist, communal and intolerant to the utmost, get engaged in "honour" killings, regard the fairer sex as "inferior" to the menfolk or superstitious.

The think-tank of all terrorist organisations consist of "educated" persons possessing respectable degrees from prestigious institutions. In many reputed engineering, medical and management institutions of the country; along with the "best" brains who are the "future" of this country, even professors and readers taunt the poor students who belong to certain castes or tribes and go all-out to humiliate them and indirectly leading them to take the extreme step of committing suicide.


Less said about the philistine mentality of ragging among the "jewels" of the student community the better!  On the other hand many "uneducated" and illiterate are learned enough to regard the whole human race as one by rising above narrow boundaries of race, religion, caste or colour, reside at the furthest distance from corruption or pledge to donate their bodies after death for medical cause by getting rid of silly superstitions.

Mere academic degree i.e. career-based education hardly serves the moral fabric of the society or enlightens one's mindset and viewpoint because it can often be earned by merely memorising the answers of the questions as suggested by the professor or tutor and "inspires" the students to become successful professionals so as to make loads of money by hook or by crook. The crimes and sins of innumerable "educated" folks bear proof enough that mere attainment of a university degree is neither the path of enlightenment nor the be-all and end-all of life.

A particular political honcho of West Bengal has got imprisoned in recent times on charges of corruption. Let the law take its own course. But how bizarrely can the major section of the media and people treat the accused leader as "convicted" and character assassinate him to the full without anything yet to get proved against him in the Court of law! So indeed I harbor a lot of sympathy for him.

But I got retarded to the extreme when he demanded his release by invoking his MBA degree and past record of holding "high" chairs in Corporate world! How can academic "glory" and corporate history come into the picture here at all! Does he mean to say that only an "ordinary" peon or illiterate cobbler can commit crime and deserve imprisonment! Yet, such an atrocious  proposal gets done just due to the obsession of the society with all persons "educated" as if possession of "glamorous" degree is the "passport" to all things honesty, ethics and values! Also "educated" persons are "eligible" to get special privileges by making a mockery of equality and law!

Ending with an anecdote revolving around Harsh Mander --- the brave upright righteous former IAS Officer who had resigned in protest against the Gujarat pogrom in 2002.

The highly educated Mander delivers lectures at various universities. Now once while lecturing at IIM Ahmedabad, Mander boldly addressed the class(consisting of students considered to be creamiest of creamy in terms of "talent" and "brilliance") in the following lines :-- "Don't think yourself to be special. I am standing here and you are sitting here only because we are privileged. Had all Indians been as privileged as us, I would not have been found to be lecturing here"!

What Mander meant to say is that had all Indians been privileged enough to gain the best of educational opportunities, he as well as his students might not have gained access to IIM because of resultant extremely steep competition.

So right from that jailed Bengal politician to people in general - - - all should arrive at the realisation that each and every person can attain high academic degrees and posts if fertile ground gets provided to them and so there lies no "special gene/brain" to "reach to the top"! Also mere academic degree is not equivalent to "education" and so there lies nothing surprising in the Kerala horror.

Yes, only that person/society is truly educated who/which value human rights, remain humble and courteous, know the difference between right and wrong with scientific temper and also practically practice it in daily life. No wonder this is the very reason why many degree-holders used to seek advice of a certain degree-less Ramakrishna Paramahansa or follow the philosophical path of another certificate-less Rabindranath Tagore! 


First published:


educationraggingblack magicsuperstition

Kajal Chatterjee

Kajal Chatterjee

Special Contributor, KOLKATA, West Bengal


Top Stories

Loading data...

IFP Exclusive

Loading data...