Should Politicians in India Be Educated?

Politics and education

Politics and educationIndia is one country where most of the people do not have access to basic facilities. In certain cases they have the facilities on paper but in reality there is absolutely nothing for them. The question is who should be blamed in such a scenario? Are the policy-makers to be blamed because they do not think enough of the people who can vote them to power? Are the middlemen to be criticized for the fact that they are taking away from the common people – especially the depressed classes – what is rightfully theirs? Well, the problem always lies in the roots and in this case a significant portion of the blame needs to be apportioned to the leaders.

Many scholars have often stated that in India one of the main problems plaguing the political system is the general lack of education among most politicians. While it is true that institutional education always does not guarantee a good and justifiable disposition, its value – especially in a society like India – should not be altogether dismissed. To start with, let us think of how lack of education can actually hurt an individual. Education helps one see things from a different perspective.

Tradition and social constraints

Indian society is still eulogized for its firm adherence to norms as well as age old values and traditions. As well as it has served the nation in all these years, especially in its Independence Movement, it has also erected some insurmountable barriers in the path of development – especially in the rural areas. Problems like caste and religion-based discrimination are common in the country and it takes an intelligent and educated mind to see the light through this and guide the people in the right manner. There are some areas in the country where female foeticide, infanticide and Sati are still practised. Perhaps only an educated mind can understand how perilous these customs are to the general good of the country and do something affirmative about the same. Someone less educated and more steeped in tradition cannot be expected to feel or act in the same way.

Corruption, especially in the last 10 odd years, as well as before that, has really stalled India’s progress more than any other vice. Now if one analyses why such things happen the most obvious answer would be that people bow to their inner cravings and want to cement their position in the seat of power by hook or crook so that they continue to enjoy the fruits of the same for a sustained period of time. If they understand that they will not be able to do well by that way they decide to maximize their stay at top and get involved in huge scams such as Madhu Koda, the former chief minister of Jharkhand, did.

Educated leaders

This only betrays a lack of conviction in one’s ability to do well in life outside the political arena. Perhaps someone who is well-educated and armed with a university or a college degree will know that he or she has something good to fall back upon in case the political career does not work out well. That would enable a person in question to approach his or her political career in a relaxed frame of mind and judge things impartially and act in the interest of greater good.

Discrimination is one age old problem of India. People are discriminated against because they are women (common areas being education and choice of life partner in rural areas and restrictions on free movement in urban centres), belong to a particular religion, which is automatically assumed to have an instant connection to terrorism, are from a particular caste (the situation is especially dire in rural areas of most States where people could be refused even drinking water, to having their women violated and houses burnt and still be deprived by the justice system) and because one comes from a certain economic class. Perhaps people who are educated can understand the baseless nature of such discriminations and their rationale and do something decisive about it.

Exposure to global politics and advancements

Proper policies are one way in which India can achieve the growth that it deserves, considering its ample natural resources. However, how can a leader who is not exposed to global politics, economics and other facets of policy-making, has no knowledge of how things are being done in advanced countries and is only interested in short-term benefits for himself/herself and the immediate community that elected him or her to power be expected to do anything in this regard? With an educated person at least there is some hope that exposure to the world through the media of education and personal interest will help in some positive thinking and proper identification and resolution of problems.

It is said that science and technology are not at fault for making machines out of humans who have invented these wonders – it depends on a particular person as to how he or she wishes to be influenced by the same. The case is similar with education and power as well. With great power comes great responsibility – some might choose to remain irresponsible but then that does not make power faulty. Education is merely a tool that can teach one to be responsible but the final decision rests with the individual.


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