Saturday, 30 July 2016

Educational Rant (Promise)

  • I deeply want to be South Indian. Or at least know the four languages there. Because otherwise it is impossible to remember that Therukoothu is a dance form in TN, Pavakoothu a form of rod puppetry in Kerala, Kudiyattam, a theatre form in Kerala and but Kavadiattam a dance in Tamil Nadu. Why can’t you at least use different sounding words so that stupid-exam givers (the exam being stupid, not the givers) can devise mnemonics to remember what infernal dance/ puppetry/ theatre form belongs to which state?
  • It is worth noting how many people say they want to clear the UPSC/ CSE exam, versus the numbers who say they want to be in the IAS/ IPS/ IFS etc. What does UPSC aspirant even mean? UPSC is the recruitment agency! Do you want to be the recruiting agency?
  • If you say you are an IAS/ Civil Service aspirant, you are only linguistically correct. Because you have to be a dumbass to aspire to a generic administrative designation.
  • Bomalattam is string puppetry from Tamil Nadu but Tholu Bommalata is shadow puppetry in Andhra Pradesh. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?
  • India is the seventh largest country in the world by area, second largest by population. Azerbaijan is 119th by area, 89th by population. The latter has a Kashmir too-Nagorno Karabakh. Of course I am simplifying, but the point is that we will be hard-pressed to find a country where a certain section does not want to ‘leave’.
  • I don’t want Kashmir to leave India. Now that I have learnt that the Kashmiri New Year is called Navreh, that their dances are called Rouff and Dhumal, that they practice a form of folk theatre called Bhand Pather and their folk music is called Gulraj. Or it may be it is the little Sanghi inside me. In my defence, if I were British, I would oppose Brexit too.
  • I know feelings are not facts, except when you have fever. Then, what you feel is far more important than the 99.4 temperature that the thermometer insists on showing.
  • There is a theatre form called Maach. That’s one of three Bengali phrases every non Bengali knows (maach khabo, jol khabo, and Kemon acho, said in a very weird sheepish tone). But is this theatre form from Bengal? No, it’s from MP, which is not even coastal! Matlab even Odisha or Andhra or Maharashtra would be easy to remember!
  • Though come to think of it, why would you call a puppetry form from any state, as generic a term as Fish?
  • Lest we think that a Qandeel Baloch would not happen in India-at least the Twitter folks would lay off celebrating an honour killing-we should remember that India does worse than Pakistan on the Gender Development Index as well as the Gender Inequality Index.
  • Bhavai is a dance form in Rajasthan as well as a theatre form in Gujarat.
  • According to an OECD Survey in 2014, India has the second highest proportion of people surveyed who said they trusted the national government. Switzerland holds the top rank [which means that the Scandinavian countries rank behind us]. In case you think this is a jabra-fans driven exercise, note that the proportion of people who trusted the government in 2014 was actually a decrease over the proportion recorded in the previous version of the survey in 2007. I guess the idiot media is to blame.
  • I know I have it on the blog about how Hinduism is diverse and allows space for hedonism/ atheism. But it’s also true that this may be the case for other religions, and we are simply not aware. For example, Islam had the Mutazila school that believed in monism-essentially there being no difference between the creators and the created. Sure it faced opposition from the orthodox, but then that’s pretty much their job description.

 Latest edition of how things never change:
  • The Vernacular Press Act sought to impose pre-censorship on the Vernacular Newspapers that were considerably bolder in their criticism of the British government than the English newspapers. It empowered the police to also confiscate the printing materials of the newspapers, if they were found to be publishing seditious things.
  • An educational committee led by Hunter in 1882 suggested that there be a two track education system-the more deserving students get to have a higher secondary and University education, while the not-as-good students get to choose a vocation and have a commercial career.
  • A Raleigh Commission of 1904 also suggested that more time be spent on academics and research in our universities, otherwise known as ‘dens of political activity’.           

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