Education Enigma: Seeking Meaning Amidst Misconceptions

‘We are shut up

in schools and college

recitation rooms

for ten or fifteen years,

and come out

at last

with a bellyful of words


do not know a thing’


This week’s rough weather was unexpected. Gusty winds, hazardous hailstorm and tumultuous rainfall. Forecast proved too harsh. The weather in Kashmir is getting quite unpredictable. In fact, everything over here reflects the same predicament.

There is an unusual air around. Life seems out of gear. There is an unswerving sense of torment that snares us to disgust. Our journeys are full of agony and angst. What has failed us miserably remains a whopping obscurity still.

The leaders cannot be castigated for every ailment that afflicted us. They, after all, belong to this land. The discrepancy exists in them as well. The thinking patterns are almost the same, from a commoner to an educated citizen. There is a thin borderline between them, and paradoxically commoners have demonstrated more common sense than the rest.

It is preposterous to see the so-called educated behaving in the silliest ways. Shallowness of minds overshadows their educational degrees. They feel immensely insecure by the very mention of competition, not to speak of facing it in a dignified manner. The inflated ego blocks their perception and judgment. Their opinions and interpretations lack any sound rationale and reason.

They operate on the plane of ‘camaraderie’; their cohorts and cronies become their yes-men and yes-women who worship them blindly because of their weaknesses which are lovingly sheltered and shielded by them. The kingdom of such ‘educated people’ sustains on the frailties of others. They considerably exploit these frailties and become the unopposed maharajas, who throw their weight around by dropping names and bragging ad nauseam.

One fails to understand what we are nurturing in the name of academic degrees and high positions! Is mediocrity becoming a rewarding asset or is it the manipulation that works wonders? Whatever, there is no denying the fact that the Culture of Idiocy has taken roots.

And, appallingly, it appears very glitzy and impressive to all those who have rendered themselves gullible and credulous over a period of time. Small wonder, from sheer press releases to television footage to digital pictures, our ‘educated’ frame, cut and crop things respectively for king-size/queen-size self-projection.

What’s in a publicity that sounds and smells so gratifying?! It is almost everything, for them. Call it educated crime or educated shoddiness that makes a competitor’s glimpse intolerable and unpleasant for them. They don’t crop only pictures; they actually crop merit, meaning and men. This is the mantra of their ‘successes’!

By the way, are our ‘educated’ the unquestionable bosses, who can plunder, pester or pamper the free will of others at their whims? Has the one-upmanship an undeniable attribute of compliance, which is to be religiously guarded? Does mediocrity always garner sham competence? Are opportunism, sycophancy and chamchagiri essential traits for growth?

The answers are as difficult and awkward as the searing realities that mirror the irony of our era. The travesty of times has led to the general malaise, which has put to peril the very essence of erudition and capability. The knack of deceit has trounced the faculty of merit. Our ‘educated’ are also the genre who can go an extra mile to block the ways of their competitors (say rivals) by raising petty objections meant to create bottlenecks. If it does not work out, they create non-conducive conditions for discouraging their every endeavor, thereby choking their growth.

Another class of ‘educated’ are the ones who engage their rivals in trifling, keeping them busy in stupid and unwanted conversations as well as controversies.

This class is very crafty and cunning. They possess a sweet tongue and masquerade as ‘friends’, duping their competitors wretchedly. Yet another type of ‘educated’ is the ones who boast of their brand vehicles, lineage and language.

They dabble in everything but never perform their actual job. The walking encyclopedias of lies and bluffs, they manage the most unprincipled and unscrupulous things smartly. It does not stop here.

Our ‘educated’ are the ones who believe in the most absurd and anomalous methods. They boast of being ‘emancipated’ while perpetuating the worst kind of mockery in day to day affairs. For the condolences to congratulations, they don’t possess the sense of discernment and deliberation.

Cocooned in a self-weaved shell of misconceptions and misconstrues, they eventually present themselves as learned clowns who can get corrupt for any damn thing from a packet of cigarettes, roasted chicks, wazwan, Kashmiri shawls to even a few marlas of land.

Perhaps, the brass-tacks is that we are ignorant about the real and profound essence of education. Or else we are being ‘educated’ in a way that molds our perceptions and personalities in the most crooked style. We may end up as ‘experts’ in our respective fields, while actually being the failures in our lives. We have failed to appreciate that education is not about attractive job titles or fat salaries. It is also not about speaking tall from high podiums. It is not even about flaunting our ‘knowledge’ (information) or disguising our ignorance.

Wisdom, sense of maturity and good judgment is not procured just through reading books, attaining high qualifications or big positions. Even the correct world-view and proper outlook on life is not acquired by all this. It requires right grooming and sprucing of minds on a level other than temporal and tangible one. Our life teaches us how to arrive at that level.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK

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