Awesome thoughts can leave you in an awesome dreamland, facing a reality that there is no reality in dreaming with the ignorance of social realities.
The movie “Secret Superstar” helps to reveal the actual situation of the Indian Society rather than motivate someone to be a superstar. It gives a glimpse of all obstacles which fall in the way of achieving dreams. There is not a single moment in the movie which does not force to raise question on role of culture, religion, gender, school, patriarchy, domestic violence, social networking, issues of adolescence etc. in the process of the socialisation of child.
I am not going to share any scene of movie; actually I do not want to destroy the real taste of ‘a great movie’ (which for me it is). Here, I just want to discuss some issues which are raised in movie relating to the childhood and dreams of Indian children. Being a scholar of education, I have a good reason to see the movie in context of different factors influencing the upbringing of child and their aspirations.
Actually, what I found is that the secret of her (superstar’s) success was not her talent. The secret was in her ability to raise questions, to criticise the notions and to apply knowledge in daily life. I think this should be the motto of any educational institution or structure – to teach student how to ask questions.
But here I am not saying that she gets this ability through education only. Life experiences can perform this role too. Not only in India but in all over world, every child dreams, but is India capable to help children fulfil their dreams? Here ‘India’ contains parents, teachers, society, education system, culture, traditions, social media, governments, etc.
It is easy for every child to dream, the problem is in the way of achieving that dream. In India, how many children get the chance to have their dreams fulfilled? Of course we do not have concentrated data, but we can assume the reality from our own lives, we also grew up with some aspirations and wishes and how many of them got fulfilled?
There are hundreds of dreams in the life of every individual which have remained unfulfilled due to certain reasons. In every street of India, we can find a different type of talent or creativity; here, reality shows may support them as they give us many superstars in different fields of talent. Adolescence, which plays a vital role in forming the identity of a child, struggles with every idea of the society.
The situation became more critical when the child knows more, asks more and thinks more. Social media is making this change possible to some extent. In this age, the child forms their identity, understands affection towards the other sex, goes through physical change, lives in peer groups, develops likes and dislikes and faces many other changes making this struggle more difficult.
Patriarchal challenges in home and in society are one of the realities which children have to face at every stage of life. It includes domestic violence also. School and education systems which force children to be around a single type of intelligence (academic); became the most specific reason for stopping them from ‘dreaming’.
Religion, social values, and culture help in increasing the size of the wall between children and dreams. These aspects apply to both boys and girls in India, but situation becomes twice or thrice more complicated in case of a girl child.
In conclusion, I want to say that education has to become a way for every child to help them achieve their dreams which will be possible only with ‘true education’ which can enable child to think critically.
Manish is a Ph.d Scholar at the Central Institute of Education, University of Delhi