Chapter 34: The Power of Nothingness
I have seen them, in the cold season, perspiring because I had raised a question and they didn’t know the answer. And they didn’t even have the guts to say, “I don’t know the answer.” They pretend that they know everything.
So there should be a special examination for a professor - that means, whether he is articulate, whether he can speak well, whether he can express himself adequately.
And secondly, the Indian Educational Service should have every year at least a one-month refresher course for every professor of the country, so that they are made up-to-date. Knowledge is exploding so fast and to remain up to date is an absolute necessity, at least for the professors; otherwise the whole country will remain backward.
Refresher courses are needed. Or, if it is felt necessary, then before entering the examination of the educational services there should be a certain training of three months, six months, where they are taught how to teach.
This is strange: school teachers need training for teaching; they have to have a Bachelor’s degree in teaching. Strange: primary school teachers have training - and university professors have no training. They are untrained people - and almost always the wrong people, because the people who top the universities are not articulate people. They are involved so much in reading their textbooks, preparing for the examination, that they don’t have any time.
Speaking is an art, and a professor should be an artist. His words should not be simply words; they should carry some poetry in them, some music in them.
As far as subjects for teaching are concerned, in India there is a problem: there are thirty national languages, and every state wants its language to be used as a medium of expression. This is impossible. The whole country would become divided into thirty segments which have no way of communicating with each other. So a very clear-cut decision is needed.
The people are not willing to accept any Indian language as the national language. Hindi is spoken by half of India; still they are not ready, the other half is not ready to accept it as a national language.
And I can understand their difficulty. If Hindi becomes the national language, then all other languages - Bengalese, Assamese, Gujarati, Marathi, Malayanam, Telegu - they will all be losers, because in every national competition the person whose mother tongue is Hindi is bound to be superior.
The only way is that English, which is foreign to everybody, should be the national language. So each state should have two languages from the very lowest school to the college, to the university: English as the national language and the local state language as the state language.