Dr Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, addressed the nation yesterday, to explain the opportunity and the impact of this act “Right to Education” on children who are poor.
Of late, since Kapil Sibal becoming the Education Minister, there has been lot of focus and resultant changes in the education system of India. So, this new fundamental right being implemented to spread education among the poor is welcomed. Still, there are certain pitfalls in democratic society like ours: how do we enforce it? How do we do away with age-old customs and mind-set of the poor uneducated parents?
There has to be a civil revolution among the enlightened in the population to make pathways to implement this right to education. The civil agency, group of enlightened ones, will be potent as it has been in Kerala, only if the ‘haves’ rise up to meet the requirement. In the state of Kerala, communist society, the ‘rising’ has happened since quite long! I cannot really explain why the Kerala citizens are 100% literate ( in malayalam )? But, it was possible only due to the rising of the ‘capable’ to help their community. The sense of belonging to a community is very dominant amongst Keralites. And they do not hesitate to protect the ones belonging to the state.
‘Right to Education’ is a good tool, if properly used to meet the its cause and requirement. In many of my posts, I have time and again highlighted the plight of the poor in an uneducated and populous country like ours. This problem is multiplied by corrupt politicians and bureaucratic administration. In my visits to Kerala, I have not found many beggars on the road like I witness in other states. Education brings a sense of self-respect and compels one to earn his livelihood…at least the basic livelihood. Education is the foundation on which the mind and intellect is developed. When this is combined with exposure, means are sighted and developed to meet the ends.
Hence, I do not see this act/ law as completely futile. Far from it, the law should be seen as a means of mobilising and empowering the people, rather than as an act of emancipation in itself.