Have we developed citizens with rational, critical & scientific temperament?

With the events and happening seen against the established principles in recent days by growing fan
following of preachers of any religion, attempt to change the public narration towards rigid beliefs and
behavior towards particular religion and sect by instigating emotions, public response of people on
political and social participation in democratic process are really present day concerns for the country.
Especially when we look at the constitutional aspirations from the citizen of this country. Have we really
emerged as country of matured and well informed citizen? The primary question emerges with all these
events that since independence almost three generations have undergone with the formal and informal
education still getting influenced with superstitions, theology regime with miracles and strong religious
beliefs with hate prepositions governing the society. Most concerning factor is that it is playing a role in
deciding programs and policies of this country. For any social change worldwide education has played an
important role thus is an important tool to change, which we have not used appropriately in this
country.
The constitution of India recommended one of the aims of education that every citizen should have
scientific temper as specified in article 51A on Fundamental duties i.e. “it shell be duty of every citizen of
India…. To develop scientific temper, humanism, and the spirit of enquiry and reform” (sub clause h).
Being a person with scientific temper or with scientific attitude, it is to be person with rational, critical &
enquiring mind, which is applicable for each person undergone with formal education system or with
informal dialogues exists in the society.
By this theory of theology or religion can’t go together with scientific attitude. Primarily all religions are
based on supernatural beings and have rules of conduct called morality having no relevance to the
secular and present day need of mankind. Beliefs in supernatural being that can affect the human
destiny is against the rational living. For example astrology many a time lead to a psychologically
debilitating diseases or even inspire a person for unwarranted and unjustified adventures as we hear
every day. Is Superstitions such as astrology can go with scientific temperament? More dangerous is
advocating it part of educational curriculum.
Similarly, do democratic process need to be demonstrated with favoring a particular faith or religion?
Making religious postures of worshiping of particular deity? What kind of massage the people by holding
positions with constitutional obligations and in position to decide policies for their decision in
democratic principles, want to give? Is it not an attempt to change the narration in the society that is
definitely not in concurrence with democratic values and leading to a particular ideology? Citizens of this
country is getting influenced for their right of free selection of candidates on extraneous consideration.
Even situation has come when political masters are debating on true Hindu or true Muslims, who are
supposed to be our policy and vision makers.
Be it rightist or leftist twisting to history, redefining nationalism, secularism, freedom of speech,
freedom of expression, redefining our cultural values and so on…are issues in the democratic world and
are real concerns to address. It seems everybody is free to define everything as per their own ideology
and for that matter as a free group of citizen it is not problematic as long as someone with authority can
make full stop to the actual notion of these issues. Still debate on these issues can go but if we have
decided in our constitution and it is in concurrence with humanistic values it can’t be twisted and
imparted in the educational institutions with whips and fancies of ruler.

We do have a very good Education policy with National curriculum framework that guides our education
system but sometime it seems that those are sugarcoated words written in the documents as our
political masters do not allows them to be imparted as their own intends and philosophies do not match
for vote seeking process. Should there be a role of educationists who happened to be involved in such
documents or the role of administrative bosses in the government once it is passed by the parliament or
legislative bodies to implement it with its true spirit? Should there be autonomous bodies in education
like election commission to implement the educational processes in the country without the
interference of political bosses? Also the non-formal education of those people, who are out of formal
educational process be independently implemented as per constitutionally adopted principles for this
country?
Our new National Education Policy is expected to be on the floor any time next year. Last policy that was
formulated in 1992 will see lot of changes as in 20+ years scenario is quite different nationally and
internationally. While finalizing new education policy we certainly need a programmed plan to develop
our future citizen in accordance to constitutionally imagined framework of citizen, also a system where
educational institutions are not forced to twist principles based on whims & fancies of political bosses to
satisfy their ideologies.

By Anup Badola

(Independent writer writing on social & developmental issues. Involved in education sector for last 12
years in various local & national organizations. May contact @badolaanupkumar@gmail.com also for
other articles visit blog: enloger.com)

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