Prove me wrong with ground facts, not with government and other cosmetic statistical data and I will be the happiest person
All citizens of West Bengal concerned why, once a Golden goose state of India in all aspects, going down in all aspects when compared with her past glory? What Killed West Bengal and her prospect?
This question is raised many times but never answered to the core.But why? Reason is obvious and let me quote from two super stars of Bengal’s intellectual treasure store one is none other than Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore and the other one is Nirad Chandra Chaudhuri.
In an article published in The Wire and what it says:
It was Tagore who had exasperatedly written in a poem titled ‘Mother Bengal’: “সাত কোটি সন্তানেরে, হে মুগ্ধ জননী, / রেখেছ বাঙালী করে, মানুষ কর নি। (Your seven crore children, O’ bewitched mother / you have kept alive as Bengalis, not human beings)”. Apart from being a cultural and moral indictment, the distinction can also be seen in the context of Tagore’s idea of the “universal man”, a person of dharma or righteousness, living under social obligations, working unselfishly for others.
This prompted the maverick Bengali writer Nirad C. Chaudhuri to pick up Tagore’s distinction and gently provoke the people of his community, in a Bengali article asking, “বাঙালি হইবো না মানুষ হইবো? (Should I be a Bengali or a human being?)”. Chaudhuri later declared in an English piece that the glorious status of Bengalis as a community was over, except for occasional flickers of gifted individuals. In Thy Hand, Great Anarch! Chaudhuri draws a characteristically provocative paradox on how “English literature” made Bengalis “sensitive, human and creative”, while “European thought, whether political or social,” led them to “sterile dogmatism”. But more than “intellectual fragility”, Chaudhuri finds Bengalis weak of character. He locates in Bengali life and society a “duality between the genuine and the counterfeit”. It is hard to find a writer like Chaudhuri, who made it his cultural duty to maintain a lively scorn against his own community. Comparing him to the Russian satirist, Octavio Paz called Chaudhuri, “the only Hindu [Yevgeny] Zamyatin I know of”.
The above section of the article forced me to think and Penn down the observations I felt in last five decades quite a checkerboard feelings.
The view expressed above is a different angle altogether, but we will try to find the reason from average Bengali family line of thinking, which is much more direct in approach for the problem.
Bengal before 1947 was the melting point of all financial, educational and cultural activity of India and it was rightfully said what Bengal thinks today, India thinks tomorrow. But sorry to say we have made it an utter mess and now the prime time to move the dice to get back our good old days of Bengal Saga.
Few are the points needs to be noted:
- Quality of Education started downwards in every primer institute in terms of Teachers, infrastructure and students. Do not jump and start dance till you read the argument and think over it.
- Quality of professionalism in the work environment of Bengal is almost a laughingstock in every industrial and service sector across our developed industrial fellow states. “The BONG” is the new character in most of the cracked joke all over, we have replaced Santa and Banta in jokes with ourselves. Do not argue about this, if you have not stayed worked or studied outside Bengal for more than a year, a kind request. Time for counter argument is plenty.
- Health and Health Infrastructure. God save the person visiting any district Hospital of Bengal except name nothing special about it. We are carrying the legacy of Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy, Dr Nil Ratan Sircar, Dr. Bhola Nath Chakraborty (Homeo) or Shiv Kali Bhattacharjee (Ayurveda) and India celebrates Doctors’ Day after Dr. B.C. Roy Legendary Physician and Ex CM of West Bengal, what irony.
- Kolkata Maidan lost his high respect and no more Kolkata is a landmark of Indian Football, so as Bengal.
- Tourist attraction is decline not due to pandemic but lack of pure zeal to conquer the confidence of tourist in terms of quality service and amusement while we had the best gifts from nature in the name of Himalayan Queen Darjeeling, Wildlife Paradise in Dooars & Sundarban with boarders of five Indian states and 3 foreign land Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh.
- Culture is the worst hit area for the land of Sahitya Samrat Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar, Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, Nazrul, Hemanta Mukherjee, Pankaj Kumar Mallick, Manna Dey, Uday Shankar, Ravi Shankar, Satyajit Ray list can be enough to fill India from East to West and North to South. All masters used to feel proud after performing in front of Bengal’s audience, specially in Kolkata.
- Last but not the least, Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das, Netaji Subash Chandra Bose, Dr. Bidhan Chandra Ray, Dr. Shyama Prasad Mookerjee, Khudiram Bose, Binoy Badal Dinesh, Master Da Surya Sen, Matangini Hazra and many more respected freedom fighters and political minds who changed and shaped the modern India as a leader of the mass. We have lost the credibility of leaders of Bengal from all colors and none from present group stand in the list of these Stallworth of yester years.
Any argument for Jyoti Basu, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee or even Agni Kanya Mamata Banerjee well they are popular of their time and had mass support, but quality of that mass supported them does not even count as a number compared to the golden days of Bengal’s citizen. Popularity is not at all an index for quality delivery, which can stand as a Statesman’s quality. Populism and DOL politics coupled with terrorism kind of trade Union destroyed the fortune of Bengal as a whole. Don’t even try to find an argument to support your political master like a helpless prompter for any color.
Now, I can raise many more points but for today keep these only in the list and let’s see how and why I felt that these are the prime cause.
Present System of Education in Bengal is like a holocast for Quality of Education compared to pre independence era:
Let’s start with education, the human resources employed after 1970’s started depending on the political linkup than merit. Better minds found a way out of Bengal and India for better career, be it Amartya Sen, Abhijit Binayak Bandopadhyay or more recent IT sector champions. Most of the best Bengali minds are now in Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Gurgaon or now NRIs. Why they found proving quality under idiots is not at all an option to quality delivery. Computerization is a Capitalist Plan to destroy workforce, 34 years of socialist misrule forced us to miss the bus with Naxalite Movement, which destroyed the private capital to the core. All big industrial houses left Kolkata as the prime center of excellence. Add our very own historic blunder of Singur and Nandigram saga of recent time.
Just think of the days when Calcutta University, Raja Bazar Science College, Jadavpur University, Shibpur BE College, Indian Statistical Institute, IIT Kharagpur, Viswa Bharati, Bose Institute , Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics were the dream location to study and research. Sir CV Raman, Sarvepalli Radhe Krishan, Satyen Bose, Meghnad Saha, Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis were the student and Sir Jagadish Bose, Achaya Prafulla Chandra Roy, Bengal Tiger Ashutosh Mukherjee used to be the Professors. Can you find a professor who can match or even continue the legacy of Sir J.C. Bose the Father of Radio Communication or his any peer.
If you look at the legal sector, we had Chittaranjan Das, Rash Behari Ghosh, Sidhartha Sankar Roy, Geetanath Ganguly, Shankar Das Banerjee many more gems of legal arena and all were sought after globally for consultation. Now we invite Kapil Sibal, Manu Singvi and other for even West Bengal Government to put an argument at supreme court. Any other argument you need to prove we lost the edge here as well.
Nabadwip Dham used to be the Kohinoor for Sanskrit Study for all, now long gone those days. Rahul Sanskritayan, Suniti Babu and many more are missing. Even Journalist of present day can not match superstars like Barun Sengupta, Moti Nandi, Gour Kishore Ghosh or Debdulal Bandopadhyay’s legacy in quality and intellect except few gems working outside Bengal.
A popular term in Computer Science GIGO (Garbage In Garbage Out) exactly this has happened most of the cases in the education sector of West Bengal after 70s. As we ignored merit and put party line before any other quality. We started the process during last few years of Congress rule who placed the seed. In Left regime, It developed and grown to its puberty and mastered the art of idiotic wisdom in the last decade to complete the circle of death for education. No more people are fighting for excellence, but the art of begging and bagging is the trend to grab a seat in either side of the classroom.
Who is responsible for the devastation, we the people? I hate to blame political leaders or administration as they came from this very society, If a boy or girl less meritorious from my family gets a chance in prime institute, I am happy, never asked why the chance was not given to a better candidate? On the contrary, I showed all how my might and connections have fetched the fortune for me to the society as an example to follow.
When their turn comes for any post, they started paying the same coin to the authority to grab the opportunity. Partition and over refuges problem created this trend in Bengal due to lack of resource and multiple eligible candidate. We showed sympathy and not empathy to the society to stand on their own feet. Overlooking the quality in the core sector and admitting less talented just out of mercy or favor started the process first, and the ball rolled toward a downfall in education for the very first time. This trend gave the opportunist in different party line to sell the position or a favor against bribe. Welcome to Black Economy at mass level in education. University at every locality with universal qualityless delivery is a new trend for mushrooming of an institute with Private Operators, sometimes in government funded sectors as well.
50 years back, 50% marks or a second class in an exam in any standards was a thing to get respected in the society, forget First Division or Star (75% marks or above) they are considered being a jewel in the crown. Now we have 100 out of 100, yet knowledge is not worthy to mention in most of the cases. Try yourself with an average random student and check the quality of practical understanding of any subject. You will understand yourself what went wrong. Marks is now the fashion, not the quality of Skill or knowledge. Now the anthem for students is “Wat Lag Gai hai to Keya Chall Dost…” means our future is screwed, so, what lets party tonight.
But this is not the fault of the students, it is the parents and teacher who made them happy with a piece of paper as certificate not with the knowledge. Passing Student without an exam may save an academic year, but surely burnt out the opportunity for their entire life. It would have been better to held exam after shock waves and allow them to enter with delay in academic year with dignity and confidence intact.This is true for the entire country. History will not forgive Modi or Mamata Banerjee, or any other leader, for that matter. They have killed the education. Bengal faced similar fate when English was abolished in primary education in the 90s.
Low quality Lab, non availability of quality instructors and professors has taken a dent in the Technical and Medical Education. Long-standing fight with central government ruined the scope for improvement and funds on time. Meritless ministers coupled with” yes man” officers have done well for their personal fortune, not for the state. At least 100 years we are now behind on all scales in comparison with any dream state in rest of India for education. My deep apology with the brilliant minds and kind hearts in education sectors of Bengal, who still trying to hold the bastion as teachers and staff, but you all are fewer than the tigers in Sundarban and overpowered by your dumb counter parts at every step.
Now come to private institutions, they are champions of branding and marketing gimmicks with twisted statistics to show a glorified picture where reality is far from the actuals in most of the cases. After entering an institute with lots of golden promises and certification to their showcase, students finds easy way to degree with no credible knowledge in most of the cases. All ranking certificates for quality is purchasable to deceive the parents and their aspirations.
Check for the number of quality patents applied from Bengal institutions of how many real value added thesis placed compared to other states of India or UK or USA or any other developed countries’ institutes in a year.
In this pandemic time, RT-PCR is a must have quality for Micro Biologists or Lab Technicians students, how many students across Government and Private M.Sc. had the opportunity to do that practical in a state-of-the-art Lab with GxP practice in place along with the instructor with a proven track record.
Lets’s ask a simple question “HOW MANY OF US Will Allow to test and believe our own medial report created by our own boys or Girls from our family who are studying any present Bengal Institute? What would be our own confidence in their performance when life and death matters”. You got your answer. But it was not the case 50 years back. That explains what is lacking and why. Confidence and quality in our knowledge factories is now standing at the bottom.
Once we used to say “Oxford has nothing more to offer than Presidency College” a pride of India in terms of quality of education. Today, How many of South Indian or North Indian students eagerly coming to Bengal just to become next CV Raman? The Days of Sree Gyan Atish Dipankar are long gone.
I will continue the second part of education in next part of the article If not killed by love and affection of enlightened minds of political fraternity or their blind followers.
(To Be Continued)