The neglected state of humanities in India

If you’re a student of Humanities and haven’t been shunted with comments like ‘Did you score less?’ or, ‘You guys don’t know what’s stress like’ or, ‘Do you even have exams?’ – then you’re living in some parallel world which subsists in the periphery of your imagination. It is saddening how India is still living in prejudices and cloaked with typecasts that bounds her from transforming. We have grown up in a culture that has a pre-designed structure to the tendency that education must follow; where the capacity of students according to their mental abilities seems to descend from science to commerce to humanities. More so often, such taboos are mostly followed by none other than our families, or the extension of families. To thrust upon one’s ideals based on their predispositions is not only wrong but it is the worst form of atrocity that cuts off the wings of a child who has barely identified the direction to his interests.

To dwell into the depth of the issue we must first apprehend what Humanities is as a subject and how much prominence it holds for present-day scenario. Technically, Humanities cover history, art, literature, sociology, anthropology, etc. But scholastically, it is the study of human behavior that separates social situations from hitches and explains the intricacy of social relationships with changing time. We ofcourse need mainstream science but to breed scientists who can search answers to many central and dense life-based questions, we require Humanities. However the importance of the same is victim to utter ignorance and indifference over the application of the subject in real life. Money-making and intelligence is often allied with professions that are more skill-based and technological in nature. People fail to grasp the value of depth about human life and its existence. Let alone individual preferences, our education system is caged in chauvinisms where humanities as a subject is considered the least capable parameter to face globalization. Then and now we get to hear about the biggest Institutes of India like IITs, NITs and IIMs but rarely we come across a list of the best Humanities’ Universities. Moreover, when science and technology is measured to provide global acknowledgement to India, the attitude towards Humanities’ subjects is that of a laggard and not much is done about its progress. This result is discernment in budget allocation and thus, humanities is as always the left out subject.

This is a serious issue and much thoughtfulness could transfigure not only our Indian education system but also make us true humans in the true sense of the word. To bring about the change we must disengage ourselves from some of the common myths that had been passing on through generations – that it is the last option for students who do not attest to be ‘smart enough’ to fit into science and commerce streams. Parents need to be non-judgmental while letting their children decide what they want to pursue. The way schools and colleges advocate about the importance of science, should also reflect the same attitude while encouraging students to take up humanities. This can be done from a very early stage of a student’s life while providing an insight to the career options and job prospects Humanities offers. Also, the government should equally work on the quality of courses and allocate funds at par with science subjects.

Because we must understand before it’s too late – Science and Humanities are interlinked. Breakage in one can jeopardize the existence of the other.

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