Teach India, but what?

Like most of us, armchair patriots, I too have thought a lot (and done nothing) about helping our country grow. I have been involved in discussions about how corruption should end, rogue politicians be killed and lot of other equally unreasonable ideas. That makes me one among the lakhs who would have thought and discussed this same stuff over and over (I do it much less now, and with much lesser intensity, not sure if it's a good thing or bad).

The one idea, however, that I have always felt sincerely about is education being the key. This "innovative" comment, probably makes me one among the millions who would have said this earlier. Let me try and elaborate a bit on this cliche though.

For almost everything that we do (especially to do with things related to analysis), there are two approaches to look at something - the bottom up and the top down. A lot of solutions about changing the system, getting honest people in right places, punishing crooks, start voting seem like a top down approach at solving our problems. Like all other ideas, we can poke holes in most of such suggestions, because those just cannot be implemented. You always get to choose between two crooks in elections, even if there are rare good people elected, they are few in number or enterprise to count. However, that is not the point. If all this is tried out, it will be refreshing and it is, whenever some such things are seen.

The other way of thinking is to 'enable' all of what is said above without actually doing it explicitly.

I believe there was a generation of India who by the force of circumstances turned out to be extremely pragmatic but wily at the same time. People of that generation would be roughly in the age group of 40+ now. This generation has a very strong survival instinct and a tendency of self preservation which often makes them corrupt or too selfish so to speak. I believe the generation below 40 (and above 15) is a tad better in terms of morality, capability and ethics but is far too indifferent towards the nation to make a difference.

My hope lies with our next generation (below 15). If our generation is not a willing participant in the process of improvement, but acknowledges this fact, at least, we can try and build a generation that does it. Herein lies education as my silver bullet.

Education as I have known all my life has been about capability development. Little thought is given to developing a character. In effect our education makes most of us capable of doing good work for us and the nation but not necessarily willing to do so. We limit it to us. This "willingness" development can be the key differentiator now. And this is how I think the bottom up fix will work.

If I am indoctrinated to grow up as an honest, hard working person, sensible enough to keep the greater good above personal interest if it makes sense, I believe rest everything will fall in place. Most of the top down fixes will start "happening" by themselves.

So, here is your chance to participate in the process.

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