Sunday, 10 November 2013

On reading, and also knowing Indian languages

The other day, I was at किताबख़ाना, our bookstore in south Mumbai, and was speaking to a few students.  I was surprised to learn, that in spite of having born and raised in India, one of them could not read the Kabir दोहा, that we had put on the wall.

Just last week, I met two socially motivated graduates, who wanted to help make a difference in the lives of the underprivileged.  In conversation, when I asked one of them, if she had ever visited किताबख़ाना, she said that she had never been to a bookstore, and had read only a couple of books in her life.  But that she was a 'topper'.  

I think that we have to rethink our education, if it does not cultivate the appreciation and habit of reading, and secondly, if it graduates students who are illiterate in their national tongue.  Even in the Netherlands, where all speak fluent English,mother students and graduates are also proficient in their mother tongue.