INDIAN FESTIVALS : Sri Gurubyo Namaha
Purpose Of Education
By Dr. S. Radhakrishnan,
Founder Member of the Bhavan
Dr. S. Radhakrishnan
We are demanding a more equitable social order. We can achieve it only if we plan our education properly and strive to eliminate the sources of iniquities and injustices. Education is the means for the reconstitution of society.

University men who are expected to cherish ideals of a better life for mankind are active in producing destructive and deadly weapons of war. Our libraries and laboratories, our institutes of technical research are utilised for the same purpose. All forces of science and culture are used for the one terrible and tragic end. This appalling condition of the contemporary world, this failure of man is not the decree of fate; it is the work of man. It is not destiny, but dastardly crime.

As university men, we are not directly concerned with changing the political and economic conditions which are responsible for the war but it is our duty to propagate right ideals. If men make history, ideas make men. What is our objective with regard to the training of youth? Are we to prepare them for life or for death? Do we send children to school, young men to colleges, to make them behave like beasts of prey? When we look around and see what is taking place in academic centres, how we are imposing on suggestible youth false ideas, how we are debasing the minds and corrupting the hearts of the young, making them crazy with the lust of cruelty and power, do we not feel guilty of using the noble instrument of education for ignoble ends? What is our purpose in university education? Is it the Nazi ideal of military efficiency? Is it the Fascist ideal of “work, obey and fight”? Are we to train the youth for class struggle as the Communists demand? Will systems of education based on such ideals help us to create a new and better order of society? The totalitarian States look upon human beings as aimless, drifting, credulous creatures, who without any mind or will of their own can be driven like cattle or moulded like clay by those who appoint themselves as their rulers. We are not taught to welcome what is beautiful, and gladly receive it into soul, and feed on it, and grow to be noble and good; and he will rightly reject and hate all that is ugly, even in his childhood before he has come to the age of reason, and when reason comes, he will welcome her ardently, because this has been his upbringing. There are no mechanical cures for psychological maladies. If the world is suffering from sickness of spirit, we have to cure it. India has her proud heritage and is broad-based on the central culture of mankind. We are not a rootless people deriving a fickle inspiration from transient fashions. We have been taught the transience of mere material wealth and the transcendent importance of the spirit in man. We must vindicate that spirit against the dead-weight of circumstance. Indian culture has stood for the ideal of freedom of thought and worship though there were periods in which allegiance to this ideal was weak and others in which it suffered eclipse. It welcomed the Jews, the Christians, the Parsees and the Muslims. It not only allowed them freedom to practise their rites and forms of belief but provided facilities for doing so. Its essential aim has been the recognition of universal human worth and dignity, of unity amidst diversity, of co-operation despite differences.

We are demanding a more equitable social order. We can achieve it only if we plan our education properly and strive to eliminate the sources of iniquities and injustices. Education is the means for the reconstitution of society. If we are to prepare ourselves for a democratic order, our education must have in view the development of each and every individual as a producer, a citizen, as a human being. He must have opportunity to develop to the utmost his innate ability and genius, physical, mental and spiritual. Equality of opportunity is the basic principle of democracy and that can be realised only if we have faith in the dignity of the human soul.

Also Read:
Ideal Teachers:
Role & Responsibility of Teachers in Building up Modern India
by Swami Ranganathananda

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