ByÂ Arvind Nedumaran:
The book ‘The Teenage Liberation Handbook‘ is the single most disruptive book to the Education business and revolutionary and thought provoking to the teenage readers. It helps me better understand what I went through mentally in high school. And I realize I’m not alone. People have started to speak for themselves about their disappointment with the current system. The way we are blindly pushed into a mass ‘labour production facility‘ without paying any heed to what each and every one of the millions of students undergo during schooling every year.
It doesn’t stop there. The description given to ‘Schools’ in the book matches so closely with colleges in our country. Our colleges are no better. There’s nothing called freedom that we see around here. When I say that, most people fire back at me, saying it’s the college I’m in. If I had made my way into one of the premiere institutions of the country, the case might have been radically different. But the point is the whole system matters. Not just a bunch of elite institutions. If there are 10,000 spots that offer some kind of a pseudo freedom, what’s the fate of the several lakh students that pass out of schools every year. Where are they supposed to go if they don’t get into one of these premier institutions? ‘Accept’ reality, believe that they aren’t good enough and letting themselves to get sucked into a never ending treadmill of mediocrity?
This fact made me realize that something is fundamentally wrong here. The most intelligent people are sidelined by the people who are most obedient to the system. If somebody answers an unorthodox inner calling, they are simply seen as a rebel. Who are we to decide what a legitimate call from one’s inner self can be? I personally feel nobody on earth is better qualified than ourselves to tell us what we should and shouldn’t feel passionate about. There might be people who can facilitate us making a clearer decision. But nobody can be anybody else’s substitute in finding one’s passion. An Inner calling is a natural process. But man has always been trying to ‘straighten up’ nature and has eventually failed in almost all his pursuits to overpower nature.
When will we ever see a time when people can boldly and naturally choose what’s right for them without being mocked at, secluded from the society and ignored?
I look forward to a change that I’d like to be an active part of. I call all of you to join the movement. Pick a passion, an old hobby that you abandoned for the sake of your boards, or just an activity you’ve always been curious about. It may be anything; from underwater basket weaving to just staring at the stars. Escape into one for while every day. When possible, take a break from your routine and go off the grid. Think about what you’re doing and if it’s what you’ve wanted to do or at least if you’re doing this because of no external pressure. Think about all the life decisions you’ve ever made. Just make sure they are all in agreement with the ideals and principles you’ve for yourself. The validity of most of those might have lapsed though their effects continue to show. What you can do is, act upon the ones you can right now. It sure might involve a little unrest at home, among friends and in social circles. But trust me, it’s worth all that.