The Meaning of Education

What does education mean?  The fact that your family has enough money to put you through the grind and get you a piece of paper that tells every one less fortunate than you that you have the key to better pay than them?  Just get a degree, a well paying job and be the same like every one else?

It’s a fairly common thought, check out what urban dictionary says …

Upside: A piece of paper you wave around to get free stuff and the right to make fun of stupid people. 

Downside: You have to spend 18 years of your life taking it up your ass from school to get a lousy piece of paper.


There are many such gems over there, check them out!

The urban India is supposed to be educated, but is not.  Oh we are “lettered” more than educated.  We know our alphabets and can string them together to make a fairly legible signature and can if pushed, read …

Pardon me for the rant

Don’t pardon me, I don’t care.

I find myself outraged.  The Guwahati incident and the Khap ruling, both coming in quick succession have shaken me to the core.  I find myself looking back at all the things that I have experienced in my life …

A relative telling me very patronizingly “Good you are going to college.  Grooms prefer brides with education; girls become mothers and should use their education to teach their children and save expensive tuition bills.”

When I enrolled for post graduation, my father’s sister was surprised.  She asked me, “Why?  MA karke roti zyada gol villegi?”  Translation “Will doing M.A. teach you how to roll a perfectly round roti (unleavened bread)?”

In case you wonder, she was a graduate.  My family is heavy on educating the girl child.  But education, in my view means learning how to question, to analyze and to make a difference.

Women in my generation were supposed to be a support system, to the men in their lives.  In many ways we still are seen like that.  Teach her to spell, to read and write.  She will become adept at reading and following recipes.  She will also help the kids with their home work, and she will be a good conversationalist when her husband takes her out to socialize. In short, they were not supposed to think or act.  Kind of like the video I have posted at the end of the blogpost.

I find the same thing now.  Women are being attacked; their rights are being taken away.  And what are the educated and so called empowered women doing?

We are screaming ourselves blue in the face.

Karma means action.  God gave us a brain, to think and analyse, not to escape into the fantasy world on television.  God gave us hands, not to hide our faces in, or to raise them in supplication.  Not to beg, but to wrest our rights and dignity from this unsympathetic world.  God gave us eyes to see injustice and act upon it, not to weep tears out of or flinch away.  God gave us voices, not cry, beg and plead, but to demand our right to walk this earth with dignity.

We are educated women, we know right from wrong.  We need to act upon our knowledge.  Not be the same like everyone else … like these little boxes.

16 thoughts on “The Meaning of Education

  1. Very well written Ritu ji… Mere degrees are of no use unless education makes a person truly enlightened and broadminded, and he or she can put it to good use and be a better person.
    Do read some of my recent posts on similar topics here:
    Again, great post!

    •  @e_pinion Exactly, and moreover I think education should empower a person to take a stand.  Too often, we let things slide and do not take a stand for what is right.  It bothers me

  2. Well said, Ritu! Educated does not bring real values with it. And, I hope that the women and men who are making noises are doing their own small bits in their own lives to better the lot of other girls and women.

    •  @Rachna I hope so Rachna, I really hope so.  But then look at what happened to Anna ji.  He took a stand and he and his movement was crushed by vested interests.  How empowered are we?

  3. education is in shambles . 
    In my computer job we have a few “COnsultants” with “microsoft approved certification” from some top rank insititutes in india (no names) .. and if i send you the code they have written .. its shambolic .. 
    they have sat for days and made sure they have mugged up the whole book and passed the exam .. 
    In all my jobs here the interviews I have been to , beleive me No one has even checked my degrees, it is laying in the same folder that i brought it in ..  If someone looks at me and my education I have no qualms in saying that I am NALAYAK, how i passed Even i dont know .. 
    education does not bring values , values are brought by what you experience or what ur parents have taught you etc etc

  4. Hear! Hear!  Or should I say, Here, Here!  Either way…you are so right on the money. Stand up and be heard. Speak your mind and go where you wnat to be.  Excellent and Good for YOU!

  5. I hope educated people do not mock those who aren’t. I never looked at it that way. Everyone should have the opportunity to receive an education if that’s what they desire. It’s not snobbery, it’s a chance to better one’s life.

    •  @jlansky Sadly many of the so called educated sorts are snobs and they look down upon those less educated … sadly so

  6. One problem I see here with education is even in that, the class divisions are alive and well–Community College is considered less than. Community College tends to be heavily promoted to single mothers and in high schools where the majority of the student population comes from a lower income family. My other half was a teacher for many years in a highly rated private school and said that anyone trying to come in to promote Community College to those students who were certainly bound for the ivy league universities would be laughed right out the door pretty much, and felt that Community College should never be encouraged to young people because a true university degree is better, Always. That piece of paper.

  7. I wrote on a similar subject on my blog today. I too am outraged about the Guwahati incident…things are going from bad to worse 😦

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