I love traveling and my favourite destinations are the UK and France, especially the cities of London, Edinburgh and Paris; cities where the historical architecture and amazing buildings have been preserved so well that they are inhabited today even after 500 years.
What amazes me is the fine blend of traditional and modern worlds that coexist in these countries. These countries have a tradition of respecting, recording and preserving old culture and wisdom. At the Edinburgh Castle Museum as I was walking through what struck me was the huge section devoted to the great wars of Mysore and they had one huge wall filled with names of officers who died in those wars against Tipu Sultan. Walk through Srirangapatna and the guide cannot go beyond the name of Tipu Sultan.
If you ever happen to visit historical places in India; we only get to see ruins of India’s culture and take a deep breath and pride in its glory, but very little is done by any of us to preserve it. The only thing that we do today in the name of development is to bring down old structures and build new swanky structures over them which in no way are reflective of who we are as a nation. The architecture of most Indian Airports is a case in point, great structures but nothing Indian about them.
If you were wondering why I am talking about tradition, I see a similar trend in the way in which we are treating our educational system. It seems like the entire country is out to change India’s Educational System. Top priority is being given by the government in this direction. I just want you to hold back for a moment and look around you. Today we are known as an emerging super power and we are on the threshold of greatness as a nation in the eyes of the world. All this is thanks to the educated Indian and one of the biggest qualified work force of the world. Incidentally we are all products of the so called old and outdated educational system.
The point that I am trying to reiterate here is that India’s traditional educational system that has been followed over the past 50 odd years was not that bad. Yes of course it had its limitation that need to be worked upon, but my worry is that we are out to change it completely and we might lose its essence in the process.
It is very important that we identify the core strengths of the ‘Old School’ and ensure that it is nurtured and carried forward. Bringing in innovation is important, but not at the cost of old wisdom. Let us strive to build an educational arena in India that has place for the ‘Old School’ thoughts and actions and enough room for modern innovation and technology to coexist. This is the ideal way forward.