Getting facts right

“Hang me if I have committed a mistake” – News papaers reported that these were the words of state congressman Mallikarjun Kharge reacting to questions on his involvement in the Telgi Stamp case. While his words may have moved his followers to tears and swear by his innocence, the gentleman had his facts on “hanging” wrong.
Since this is not a country where we practise public hanging he must have been referring to Capital punishment. Capital punishment in India is awarded for various crimes including murder, instigating a child’s suicide, waging war against the government, acts of terrorism, or a second conviction for drug trafficking. I do not think it is awarded on the request of a convict by the courts.But of course this is a country in which one can be a minister without knowing anything about the laws or even the constitution or even the first name of Mahatma Gandhi. Shocked about the last? NDTV reporters actually asked some MPs questions on freedom movement and the leaders who fought for freedom and level of ignorance was unimaginable and one of them, yes an MP, did not know the first and middle name of Gandhi. Finally he managed Karamchand but the firstname simply eluded him!
I keep wondering about the history that is taught in schools today. The other day in a television channel, there was a quiz in a college in Karnataka. One of the questions was “Who was the Guru of Bhishmacharya?” and some of the answers were “Shankaracharya” and “Ramanujacharya”! Similar pathetic responses on states, political leaders, national flag etc..
We had a subject called civics in school which spoke about our constitution, Flag, freedom movement,our rights and responsibilities. Do they still have it?
Sometimes Independence days have a way of making one pensive and even angry about the state of affairs!

2 Comments so far

  1. rubic_cube (unregistered) on August 16th, 2006 @ 9:58 pm

    Usha, they had published a survey in Mid-Day on 15 Aug about awareness of basic facts. There some who were mentioned on the page. Appalling status, I say! So many did not know the difference between a National Anthem and National Song. Even more did not know how many spokes are there on the Ashoka Chakra and what they mean. Another survey was on school girls about why they were celebrating I-day. 50% did not know. Which class they were in? Std. III to VII! Believe it or not!!


  2. Shruthi (unregistered) on August 18th, 2006 @ 3:06 pm

    Usha, RC – I just cannot believe it!! What a pathetic state of affairs! What on earth are the teachers doing in schools? Or do they know in the first place?



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