Oh Minister, “Forget the ‘Tie’ and Go For Developing Education”. By Fr. Anand Muttungal

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Madhya Pradesh education department has come into controversy many times. The recent one in this line is the order of removal of tie from the school of excellence, a group of schools run by State Government. The minister added spice to her statement by quoting Mahatma Gandhi saying “we were not made slaves by the British but we ourselves accepted the slavery.” On her second part of the statement she said, “We are wearing tie in tropical climate like our country made students feel uneasy.” This statement too has to be read along with her previous statements like calling teachers Rashtra Rishi which she had to withdraw due to opposition from her own party and Hindu organizations along with many other organizations, Surya Namaskar is the second one which went to the Court and she had to keep it optional for children ad the third is the Bhojan Mantra which she had to opt for a common prayer without mentioning any God or Goddess. The latest controversy regarding the “Gita Saar” teaching in schools has not ended as it encouraged other religious followers to ask to include their scriptures too in education and the matter is now pending with the High Court of M.P It looks that getting into controversy on petty things has become habit of the Minister to keep her presence felt.
It is to be noted that everyday different media is highlighting poor state of affairs in the schools. The schools which are near to the capital too is facing many problems like lack of class rooms for schools, lack of teachers, school buildings are used for sheltering cattle or used as banns to keep grins or cattle feeds. Many schools are lacking basic facilities like, toilets, drinking water, play ground, libraries and above all very poor result in class ten and class twelve. Adding to this very often the temporary teachers and Gurujis are protesting on low salary. At times media keep on reporting that some Gurijis are seen doing menial jobs to take care of their families and teachers absent from teaching. All these problems seem to be not affecting the education minister and her department. If some non-government organizations go to field to verify the annual report of the education department one could really understand how the education ministry is running on papers.
It is also good to analyse the dress codes of Indian educational system. It was a year back the environment Minister Jairam Ramesh while addressing students at the seventh convocation of the Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM) removed the special dress used for convocation in Indian Forest Management Institute in Bhopal . "I still have not been able to figure out after 60 years of Independence why we stick to these barbaric colonial relics," Ramesh said. It is a fact that the pants or tight jeans, belt, t-shirt, tie and above all shoes and socks. They are the dressing habits of the cold countries and not suitable to Indian climate. In summer I place a board in-front of my office with writing, “Kindly do not remove shoes.” It is avoid bad smell of the socks from the people who come to visit me. But we forget that these dressing habits have become common habits of people across the country. It is used in Governmental, non-Governmental and corporate world as well. It has ceased to be Indian dress but has become symbol of a global identity.
If we consider that these dress habits are part of the British slavery then it should be treated as narrow mindedness and looking for cheap publicity. But if it is seen as a desire to bring a changing in the dressing habits of people according to our climate, then we must go for designing a new set of dress as per our climate. It can be used across the country except a few states which has cold climate. It would be most important that before we take sides on the issue, we must read these statements between the lines because it is often said that one who has very little to show as achievements always try to be in media through controversy.

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