(Based on my address on the occasion of the 11th Foundation Day of Jaipuria Institute of Management, Indore, August 5, 2020)
I am proposing to share with you my thoughts on What is best, worth knowing for Indians?
The Foundation day, in my opinion, is the occasion to revisit questions of fundamental importance like, why were we created? What was, has been, and will be our mission? And Why?
I believe the mission of your Institute was laid down not 10 years ago, but 75 years ago, in 1945, when the Patriarch of the Jaipuria family decided to go into education sector, well before Independence.
Missions don’t change so often. But Visions do. Vision is where we visualize ourselves in the next 3-5 years. The need for visioning and re-visioning is equally applicable to Individuals, families, institutions, nations and societies.
Do such questions interest you, as individuals, as why were we created and what is our mission and vision? I believe so. To me these are the questions concerning our self- development and self- management.
I don’t think there is any one among us who doesn’ want to be Successful, Wealthy, Happy, Self- actualized, Self- realized and Immortalized.
Let me share some of my thoughts, on these questions of interest at the individual level, based on my personal experience.
Success is a function of Strategy and focused action. Get those two in place, you will then have to work hard to fail.
Wealthy, to me, is one having secured financial future. Secured financial future is a function of positive Net worth, not just assets alone.
Happiness is a function of health, wealth and recognition. The key to happiness is ability to deal with failures. In simple words, do the best that is in your control and leave the rest to Chance/ God/ Luck/ Almighty Supreme, whatever you call it.
Self- actualization is being able to do what you like, as you like. Living life at your own terms. Living by Free will and choice. The formula for self- actualization is do what you love or love what you do.
Self- realization is realizing your true self. Please know each one of us has three bodies. You are gross body; you are thought body and you are cause body. Do you further know that each one of us has 14 components? 11 are gross body; 2 are thought body; and 1 is cause body. This is based on Bhagwad Gita 13/5. Let me tell you self- realization will empower you immensely.
Immortalization means not dying or ending. Is it possible to be immortal? The answer is Yes. First, your cause body is immortal. It is only gross and thought bodies that are mortal. But gross and thought bodies can also be immortalized by your good deeds, earning goodwill of others. Rama and Krishna have actually immortalized themselves by their good deeds. They are still alive in ‘Yasha Sareera’. And Indians are building Ram Temple today, despite so many hurdles and so many years, is the evidence of his ‘Yasha’.
Do those questions of fundamental importance, that I have enumerated above, apply to an institution like Jaipuria Institute of Management? The answer is yes. The institutions are legal persons but have life like natural persons. Indeed, institutions are the mirror image of the values of their leaders. Institutions also aim at Success, wealth, happiness, self- actualization, self- realization and immortalization.
To do this we need our own Indian education system, not the Macauley’s.
Macauley’s education is what India got in 1835. Let me quote from the Minutes of the General Committee of Public Instruction in India, dated Feb 2, 1835. Macauley said:
“We must at present do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern, —a class of persons Indian in blood and colour, but English in tastes, in opinions, in morals and in intellect. To that class we may leave it to refine the vernacular dialects of the country, to enrich those dialects with terms of science borrowed from the Western nomenclature, and to render them, by degrees, fit vehicles for conveying knowledge to the great mass of the population.”
Our heads should hang in shame if we still continue with the same. We should not call ourselves Independent India, in that case.
India got its National Education Policy, 2020, last week (of July 2020). It is not that India got its first National Education Policy since Independence. We have had earlier in 1968, 1986 (amended in 1992), and many other education commission reports earlier than that. I have been still waiting to see a National Education Policy of India that says:
“We must at present do our best to develop every citizen of India, Indian in tastes, in opinions, in morals and in intellect, committed to serve the cause of India and its population.”
‘Bharat Tere Tukrde Honge, Inshallah, Inshallah’ is an evidence of continuity of Macauley’s Education system, even after 73 years of Independence.
Is everything lost?
Certainly, not. I am personally incorrigible optimist.
But doing more of the same, is not change.
I have seen words like Reform, Restructure, Reconfiguration in our national Education Policies, time and again. I am still waiting to see ‘Replace’ the existing system.
We need a system where we teach our students, what is best, worth knowing?
Macauley’s best worth knowing for Indians was, to quote him again:
“To sum up what I have said, I think it clear that we are not fettered by the Act of (British) Parliament of 1813 (that had budgeted money for publications in India in Sanskrit and Arabic), that we are not fettered by any pledge expressed or implied, that we are free to employ our funds as we choose, that we ought to employ them in teaching what is best worth knowing, that English is better worth knowing than Sanscrit or Arabic, that the natives are desirous to be taught English, and are not desirous to be taught Sanscrit or Arabic, that neither as the languages of law nor as the languages of religion have the Sanscrit and Arabic any peculiar claim to our encouragement, that it is possible to make natives of this country thoroughly good English scholars, and that to this end our efforts ought to be directed.”
To teach what is best worth knowing for Indians now, the role of an educational institution is catalytic. Education is the most powerful change agent. It is the greatest leveler. If you are born in a poor family, you can become rich through education.
In Indian tradition we have a term known as ‘Dwija’, that means born twice. An educated person is ‘Dwija’, born twice; and an uneducated person is born once only. Your first birth is biological from your mother. The second is educated and enlightened from your Guru.
Indians got ‘Verna’ from father or family and ‘Gotra’ from Guru. Verna is Class by occupation and not caste as has been engrafted by Britishers on us. I have published an article, who is the father of racism?’. And based on referable and verifiable material, I have shown that he was a British Physician, Charles White, who had published a book titled, ‘An Account of the Regular Gradation in Man, and in Different Animals and Vegetables…’(1799) and then British Colonizers, spread it everywhere, wherever they went and ruled. It is just about 200 years. But we know and believe what is readily at hand; it is easy and smart, no hard work; and don’t take the trouble to know the truth. It is all the more important in modern day world where fake dominates facts.
India has a long history of Science, Arts, Spirituality, of thousands of years. How long is the history of Britain or America? The easiest way to show themselves “Great” Britain and America is to discredit our history. Islamic Invaders did everything to obliterate it. Christian Missionaries did everything to discredit it. If you say, they are still doing it, it wouldn’t be wrong.
I will strongly recommend you all to read, ‘India’s Glorious Scientific Tradition’, by Suresh Soni (2018). Also please watch Episode 1 of the BBC documentary, by Michael Wood, ‘The Story of India’. And also watch a video, ‘Everything You Know about British Empire is a Lie’ by George Monbiot. These are freely available on internet.
I must say that education has changed my life. It has changed the life of many, I know. It can change the life of anyone. Management education is a very valuable skill. Men, Machine, Material, Money are dormant assets without organization and management. I have an upnishad saying to quote:
Amantram Aksharam Na Asti,
(There is no alphabet from which a poem can’t be made)
Na Asti Moolam Unaushadha,
(There is no herb from which medicine can’t be made)
Ayogyo Purusho na asti,
(There is no person completely incompetent)
Yojka tatar durlabha.
(What the society lacks is organizers)
Be Great organizer. Be Great entrepreneur. Be Great executive Leader.
Let me leave you with the thought that consider to learn ‘What is best, worth knowing’ for us, Indians, in 21st Century. Go out to own the world. Go out to rule the world. Keep ‘India First’ in your mind and try to ‘make India First in the world’ in whatever you do.
Note: It would apply to all former colonies of Britain. Just replace India by name of your country.
Dr Sat Parashar, PhD is former Director, IIM Indore. He teaches at University of California, San Diego, and is a Financial Services Professional. He may be reached at [email protected]