Recently, we saw a professor named Audrey Truschke using her educational elitism to whitewash the wrong doings of Aurangzeb. She is the same person who vilified many Indians for revering Lord Rama even-though he is worshipped more for being a man of strong character who stood firmly onto his commitments- this also showing what these Indians see as divine. Somehow, these ideas are connected to fascism the same way Bhagwat Geeta was compared to Mein Kampf in Russia. Worse is that these notions are received and accepted by many Indians too which ultimately penetrate from the so-called intellectual cabal to the common people who get trapped in confusion and humiliation for their beliefs and way of life. Constantly these common people are thrashed until they delve into inferiority complex which gets bigger if names like Oxford, Harvard, etc. come into play. But does education and qualification really make someone ‘holier than though’ so much so that even their abuse is to be taken as a ‘gospel truth’?
The refuge in most of the cases, where one needs to justify their ideas, is some academician’s subjective opinion (like India becoming intolerant) rather than hard facts. This even goes to the extent of ridiculing the PM of the nation based on the means he chose to make his ends meet- being a ‘Chaiwala’. The most common argument is- “We are well read ones and so can’t believe a Chaiwala over some Harvard PhD unlike the majority”. Not surprisingly, these are the same lot who see democratic elections choosing a PM as mobocracy but a mob throwing petrol bombs at the police as real democracy! But surprisingly, these are the same lot that claim to stand for Marxism and Socialism when they can’t stand a man underprivileged, unlike them, earning his own bread and education and becoming the leader of the largest democracy of the world one day. This is very much alike to what led to the French Revolution- dividing the society into 3 classes with the upper two being a powerful and privileged minority, ripping off most common people that constituted the 3rd section, of their rights portraying them as uneducated ones whose opinion don’t matter.
Here, one must get this clear that in no way the educational credentials of anyone is being questioned. Neither their contribution to the society. Be it the Metro project by Sridharan or the Multi-dimensional Poverty Index by Amartya Sen, credit must be given, and we also must learn from their dedication and hard work. Nevertheless, we must also respect the heart, mind, soul, and intellect we are blessed with, thereby, receiving things with a pinch of salt. Thus, we must understand that politics which is at the root of many ills as well as good in the world calls for our individuality when it becomes democratic. Especially, when it comes to India and its complexities, not testing things based on facts but rhetoric can be dangerous.
One must also remember that being qualified or educated doesn’t shield anyone from wasted interests. Rather, when such education brings power and influence, many can intend to limit the common majority to its status quo to retain the privilege forever. This could easily be seen in the conference of Harvard where CM of a state goes onto separate tribes from Hindus, when, most of the tribal population doesn’t even know any such issue exists. While the social media brigade constantly use the ideas emerging from such conferences citing the credentials of the Harvard University, no-one really talks about the genuine need to assimilate the tribes into the mainstream society while preserving their rich culture which can have both religious or non-religious inclinations. Would it be wrong to say that these conferences, attended by the so-called qualified people just aim to malign India, milk the instability their work creates and then leave the needy to suffer retaining the power they have always had? Same could be seen when much educated lawyers stand opposing the ‘Triple Talaq’ bill.
Thus, power and money are addictive. Also, the attention seekers are found everywhere who would abuse a non-harmful faith of a non-harmful person. But we must consider ourselves fortunate enough that India not only gives us the chance to choose whom we want to give this power to but also the right to earn it ourselves. It is time we use these to add ‘selfless responsibility’ too to the above aspects. This cannot be taken away from us by anyone. It is only on us to introspect- When nature has blessed us with the capacity to think and decide and when our Constitution too empowers us to do so, why not use them to decide right or wrong rather than blindly believing on someone who backs himself/herself only with a degree that can assure no depth?