Schooling is not important, education is. Frank Zappa had said, ‘œIf you want to get laid, go to college. If you want education, go to the library.’ It will be better if we wait for her performance appraisal and criticize her then.
The row over new HRD minister Smriti Irani’s education has shed light to what we understand from the term ‘education’. Irani is 12th pass and her critics point out that she is “not educated enough” to run the HRD ministry. Yes, she discontinued her higher studies. But that does not mean she is not educated.
Schools are where we receive our basic education. But education in itself is a constant process. Mark Twain once said, “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education”.
When Congress leader Ajay Maken or anyone else says that Irani is “not educated enough”, they mean that she had not undergone the schooling for higher studies. But they fail to understand that she has kept her education process on.
Questions may be raised on the issue of difference in the affidavits filed by Irani, but question her on ‘education’ is unnecessary.
In her defense, Irani is a well read person. She is a quick learner and has good knowledge of Indian history, polity, geography and scriptures. She speaks five languages. She can debate on any issue of national importance. Her performance as an MP has been quite good. In fact it has been better than many of her Congress and BJP counterparts.
She scripted BJP’s win in Goa assembly elections despite being an outsider and having a little knowledge of the state and people. She learned and devised effective strategies which earned her accolades from the CM of the state and her critics as well.
She spent less than a fortnight in Amethi, the constituency where she took Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi head on. But she managed to earn a big percentage of votes minimizing the difference of her loss to decimal quantity.
irani is only 38 and she has seen the peak in two careers consecutively. It is her hardwork and dedication which helped her achieve this feat. And that too sans schooling.
Then comes the comparison part where we question others on their education. If we have to question like BJP, barring their counter question on the Congress high command Sonia Gandhi’s educational qualification, how much (and many) of their leaders (Congress or non-Congress) have pursued higher education? Have they been successful in running the administration?
While they not be able to answer it, but we certainly do know that there have been leaders who have been “less educated” by Maken and other critics’ standards and have been successful administrators. For instance, BJP’s Uma Bharati is only 5th pass. She has the accolade of being the CM of Madhya Pradesh and running the administration successfully there. Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa is a class 10th dropout but no one can question her political assessments and administrative qualities. Maneka Gandhi is also 12th pass but she has been a person of better understanding about environment conservation than anybody else.
All these examples show that schooling is not important, education is. Frank Zappa had said, “If you want to get laid, go to college. If you want education, go to the library.”
It will be better if we wait for her performance appraisal and criticize her then.