Friday, November 03, 2006
Post Kerala Piravi Delirium
Kerala piravi is over.
now we can shed the mask and ask ourselves – what’s is wrong with us?
why didn’t we have the graciousness to set aside the strike at least on that special day which is or should be an emotional one?
the answer is simple. our hearts are so hardened that we FEEL no more.
we have become a barbaric people. no. worse.
we are sub human.
strong words, I know. but well deserved. well earned.
a private bus owner association official goes public with such profundities as, “getting killed by a speeding vehicle is just another disaster - like the tsunami. it is nature’s way of checking population growth.” !!!!! that’s the Malthusian theory for you. customized, kerala style!!
and why not? we are, after all, a highly literate populace.
literate, yes. and we have that rare honour of reversing that taken-for-granted theory that literacy is the key to development.
kerala has proved that literacy brings out the worst in human beings.
Let’s take a quick look at what literacy does to the keralite:
it deprives him of all civic sense. look at the waste skirting the prestigious MG Road in Kochi or streets in posh residential areas. each man keeps his house in order and dumps waste on public roads. affluent denizens of cities creep out of their luxury bunglows with food waste in their imported cars and stealthily dump them on roads!!!!!!!
literacy teaches him not clean up his mess but leave it behind for the world to see. wash rooms in bus and railway stations and airports will testify to this.
it makes him self centred . nay. self obsessed. obsessed with his rights. indifferent to his duties. angry at being called to account. it’s each man for himself. my rights at the cost of my neighbour’s.
it creates a cockeyed understanding of the dignity of labour. a maniacal, touchy obsession with the dignity of the LABOURER – but a supreme contempt for the labour he is paid for. thus we have attimari, umpteen breaks( extended chai and lunch breaks, beedi breaks, back –stretch breaks, nature’s call breaks, warming up breaks, winding up breaks – you name it) in between the 9am to 5pm working hours, additional grease for the palm which receives payment from the taxpayers money - - -
it causes aggression to be imported into his language and body language. and cynicism too.
and the casualty is refinement, self respect and respect for others – and productivity.
our education is all skewed. our educational system has given us literacy divorced from education.
sheer coincidence. I was brooding over this issue when I stumbled upon the chapter on education in Gandhi’s Hind Swaraj. he challenges our educational system which was created for a different culture and imported into India during the colonial days. he does have a way of hitting the nail on the head!
but then, that’s a subject for another blog. should be treated with the respect it deserves.