We don’t and perhaps can’t afford to talk on many issues that are of capital importance. We are deceived and can’t talk about deception. But at least we should be conscious that we are getting deceived and play Mulla Nasrudin’s fools who know that we have to feign being fools, play our little games or roles as fools and move on. Let me illustrate.
Our environment is at the brink of a major disaster. Floods can visit us any time. Class divisions are getting sharper. Corruption is incarnating in newer modes. Education is so thoroughly ideological that we don’t even suspect it being so. All kinds of ideological state apparatus including schools, policing institutions, social institutions like marriage functions are operating with everyone’s full consent including their “critics.” Let me analyse how ideology shapes educational discourse.
Who doesn’t believe that school going age, nursery, pre and post nursery classes, KGs, are a must? And famous private schools should be preferably sought for better career of children. Who doesn’t pursue careerism? Who is not opting for aggressive private tuition of his or her children during winter and even after school timing? Who believes in possibility of community schools? Who is against torturing kids in crèches so that they become better eligible for securing admission in quality schools? Who doesn’t think students need value education and think this can be done by including it in syllabus? Who doesn’t force children to get better grades and ideally be the first in the class? Who doubts the value of universalization of school education? Who cares for what Ivan Illych has called deschooling society? Who is bothered about the costs of current episteme that require super-specialization? Who is asking education for what? Who is getting education that teaches resistance to status quo, to dominant discourse? Who isn’t envious of investment value of education as business? Who doesn’t seek admission in professional courses that perpetuate reign ideology of better careers, more profit centric careers, white collar jobs, service sector that are more parasitic than productive for economy as a whole? Who doubts the logic of all kinds of insurance schemes for here and hereafter as if life isn’t an adventure into the unknown and death can be averted or trials evaded or first class births in train to heaven secured by doing business with God? Isn’t here pervasive sawab calculus mindset as a counterpart of profit calculus calculating number of umras done, rams sacrificed, mosques furnished with luxury matting governing behaviour as if the care for the neighbour or loving God for no other reason than love or His pure pleasure that requires doing with the very ego that brags about taqwa or investments for the otherworld? Education as ideology implies student are indoctrinated with the reigning discourse on consumer economy so that a quest for better mobile, better car, better house, better earthly hoor, eradicating poverty, increasing standard of living and pursuing development with all that it implies for both economy and environment and social capital?
Now the question is: are we even ready to debate our choice?
Wai matayi caravan jaata raha
Karawaan kay dil sae ahsai ziyaan jata raha.