I was at the ThinkEdu Conclave recently. The main theme of the conclave was “Indianizing Education”. It was heartening to see many people in prominent positions in the Indian society taking interest and effort in setting the right vision for education in India. I had a chance to ask a question to Honorable Minister Smriti Irani Ji and she did have a point when she shared that individuals and committed institutions have a central role to play in Indianizing education. With the current debates going on in the country, “Indianizing” is being misunderstood as “Saffronizing” (which in itself isn’t bad, but the word has been used so many times with a certain connotation that it has taken a completely new meaning now).
What we mean by Indianizing education?
Many people have started observing that the education that they received in school or college did not help to strengthen their bond with India. Infact many people feel distanced. Education has failed to create an appreciation for traditional and indigenous practices, so much so that anything traditional is being viewed as superstition. Those who want to strengthen their roots feel a dearth of formal channels in mainstream educational institutions.
We are a part of a rich culture and if education alienates us from the same, there is something seriously wrong. When we say we need to Indianize education, we mean that we need to create and offer content that is representative of the Indian ethos, mindset, practices and heritage. That way, the solutions that we evolve for problems in our society will be more suitable to our land. We won’t be outsiders to our own people. Education that leads to a better bonding with the motherland is a need of the hour.