NEP: Is New India moving towards no education to all?

So "no asset" means "no smartphone" which translates to "no online education" ie "no education" at all!

Representational image (PHOTO: Unsplash)

When rabid religious line gets zealously pursued with Who's Who of the polity religiously spewing vitriol against certain communities with many of them being associated with deadly riots and pogroms; when outfits based on parochial divisive communal "philosophy" start dominating in a multi-religious heterogeneous country and dream of a time and society when/where a particular religious group and religion would call the shots by relegating all norms of cultural and religious heterogeneity to oblivion; the noble humanitarian inclusive idea of  Secularism is bound to receive least respect possible!

So it hardly evokes any surprise when progressive concept of secularism finds no mention in the new National Education Policy's statement of vision and purpose!
NEP also wants to develop among the students "a deep sense of respect towards the Fundamental Duties"! But what about Fundamental Rights :-- Right to free speech, cultural and religious freedom, education, health and employment(rights)! Absolute silence!

NEP stresses on making "job creators" rather than "job seekers"! It seems that in "New India", basking in the "glory" of "Good Days", seeking job opportunities have turned out to be a "crime" of sorts! What a "brilliant" way to  impart a subtle message that the state will not endeavour to generate employment opportunities; rather your mode of subsistence is "your headache" and the prospective young man or woman will be deemed a "failure" if he/she can't earn sustenance for failing to  create jobs for himself/herself and others by taking over the responsibility of employment generation from the state apparatus!

So concentrate only on your duties towards the nation without demanding any rights or harboring any expectation by drawing inspiration from Gita's (or Lord Krishna's) clarion call of  "NISHKAM KARMA"!

And this overhyped "online education"! It is sad to see how economically weak families are feeling compelled to sell off their only assets in throwaway price just to meet the demand of smartphones as an avenue to access online education for their children! So when the wife of a labourer had to sell off her only gold earrings worth Rs.15,000 in paltry Rs 8,000; a  milkman had to part away with a Jersey cow worth Rs.30,000-35,000 in only Rs.15,000! Already economically paralysed due to the after effects of lockdown; these poor families are not only having to part with their sole assets, how brutally they are being deprived of actual price by the purchasers by exploiting the compulsion of the poor families in order to get their children educated!

At least these families had possessed a pair of gold earrings or a Jersey cow to sell off! But innumerable families lack even such a single asset worth selling! So "no asset" means "no smartphone" which translates to "no online education" ie "no education" at all!

Of course compassion and fair play can be least expected in that society which believe in the jungle "philosophy" of "Might is Right" coupled with that heartless axiom "Survival of the fittest"! After all education needs to be sole privilege of the "economically mighty" and those "fit" enough to afford smartphones can only dream to "survive" in the sphere of education in Covid-India! Despite "salt" of Covid-19 and it's after-effects being sprinkled upon the "wounds" of poverty; how shamelessly can the Who's Who of Indian polity zealously beat their own trumpet of India's "super success" story in tackling Covid!

And amidst the deadliest fang of Covid when 100 per cent energy time and resource should have been devoted in fighting it and providing relief to the economically downtrodden; arrive not only Rajasthan or Ayodhya saga, but National Education Policy as well as if it can't wait for tomorrow!

Still it would have been highly welcome if the new policy had opened up the door of education and school for many poor children for free who are engaged in hard labour at such a tender age for supporting the family. It would have been better had the country affording Mars mission-Bullet Trains-Gigantic statues-Grand Temples-Brand new Capital project procured smartphones and delivered it to the needy children of much-worshipped Bharat Mata so that they can continue their study in online mode to make the nation prosperous.

Just like lecture on protein carbohydrate fat and balanced diet is meaningless to the starved souls, "educational revolution"(that too in current online mode) is irrelevant for  millions of underprivileged children! So what is the significance of that National Education Policy which can't embrace every child of the nation within it's ambit!

First Published:Aug. 4, 2020, 12:15 p.m.

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