If the responses on social media are any indicator, whole country seems to be jubilant at the news of Kailash Satyarthi being jointly awarded the Noble prize 2014 for peace in recognition of his work on prevention of child labor . The question that arises in my mind is what really is more important in our society to get appreciation and acceptance? Is it Great work or Great award?
Where were we, the Indians, since 1990 when he started his work on combating the child labor? Where were all the admirers who post his photo today, when he was struggling to set up and fund his NGO? US has given him at least 7 awards, Spain, Germany, Netherlands all have applauded and awarded combat of his group for freeing the children of tender age from clutches of brutal and inhuman labor. One is forced to think where was our Indian Government all these years? More importantly where was our ubiquitous media, whose priority seems to be reporting affairs of film stars and tantrum of politicians while the positive and inspiring work of such hidden heroes does not come to lime light till it gets recognition from across the borders.
Isn't it sad, that talent of music maestro like Vishva Mohan Bhatt was recognized in our country only after he got Grammy Award? Isn't it pathetic that we could not offer a respectable job to likes of Har Govind Khurana, who had to migrate to revolutionize the world of bio science with his work on interpretation of the "genetic code and its function in protein synthesis". As a countryman it is justified to feel pride in achievement of an Indian but shouldn't we be ashamed of ourselves that such people exist in our neighborhood but we fail to identify them till they get recognition from across seven seas. Although we have got independence from British decades ago, the cobweb and fungus of colonial mindset still layers our minds. Irony is, inspiring leaders , passionate anthropologists and talented craftsmen exists among us but they are often opposed, ridiculed, scorned, bullied and even beaten till they get appreciation and award from west and then masses, media and so called system of our country share their photos and make them angels.
The second important thing is we are a ‘person centrist’ and not an ‘issue centrist society’. We don't follow the ideals and thoughts of person .Instead, we make their idol , garland them and sing praise in their name. In this process people are transformed into super heroes in lime light and the cause they stood for becomes gets marginalized on side lines. It will be interesting to see how many of these people who are singing songs of his laurels join hands and come to support his NGO "Bachapan Bachao Aandolan"(Save Childhood Movement)? There are reports that many children he freed were forced to go back to work because of hunger and poverty that prevails in those families. Isn't somewhere , someone responsible and accountable for human resource development and for ensuring that at least children get basic education and two square meals.
Majority of our output from our premium institutes like IITs and IIMs settles abroad and not all of them go there just for more dollars. In our holy land, they don't want a scientist to remain a scientist, they want to make him an officer. We transform them into an elite head clerk who can sign applications and tenders and write useless committee reports. Whereas, a fertile mind wants to do work on the chosen field of specialization that one has passionately pursued. He or she wants a laboratory , equipment , books, fellow researchers , students to pursue their passion . Their priorities are not a plush office with 9 to 5 mockery with dictation from ministerial authorities who don't know S of science R of research or E of education.
If we really have to become a progressive society then we have to be rational in our approach, sensitive in our observations and sensible in our actions . We have to develop sense of right and wrong within us because wisdom is in setting correct course before and during event as "even a fool is wise after the event ".