I had to leave Kashmir in 1990 in very trying circumstances. Hope was receding. But then a very magnanimous India gave the Kashmiri Pandits shelter which only a mothers’ kind heart can provide. Slowly and steadily we remade our lives. And the gratitude is now a part of our psyche.

Now I do not regret of having to leave Kashmir. It gave me an opportunity to identify myself with the pain and poverty of India. And the progress I made is now more sustainable. It may also benefit the poor masses who want their kids to gain the skills associated with education. What I am going to write now is to pinpoint the role which deception plays in sabotaging every effort by the governments to overcome the affliction of illiteracy.

But first the dance of deception!

In the year 1977, I was posted in Baramulla Kashmir. The election to the State Assembly was declared, perhaps in the month of May. Sheikh Abdullah was the Chief Minister of the State. As the tumultuous phase started, both National Conference and the Congress fielded their resources to woo the voters. One-day Babu Jagjivan Ram came to Baramulla to address an election meeting. I hadn’t seen him before. Notwithstanding his physical dimensions, he addressed a very big crowd. He talked very sensibly and convincingly. But a very dominant political Party, Janta Party which had made history by defeating the INC, was giving sleepless nights to the main contender, the National Conference. The situation was fluid. The election period in those days was a game of fun and frolic. Next it was rumoured that the NC won’t be doing well at the hustings. That was bad news for Sheikh Abdullah. It was a matter of life and death for him. So was the deception fostered!

One week before the election the rumour mill started churning out Sheikh’s health bulletins. He was sinking! And the stage managed public prayers and offerings were offered. In this way a sympathy wave was generated and the mood of the people started swinging in favour of the NC.

On the penultimate day more rumours were fed. The final result gave massive mandate to NC. Sheikh Abdulla mysteriously improved. He lived for five more years and died at a very ripe age.

Scottish writer Charles Mackey is unknown in India. Indian scholarship and it is funny, are still finding it difficult, what to say and what to hide from the grown-up student population? He wrote an extra ordinary book, Popular Delusions and Madness of the Crowd. He paints a vivid scenario of how delusion works. Hysteria generated by financial bubbles to major religious and political events, he captivates one with the simplicity of an honest narrative.

In 1852, he accurately describes how fads begin …Whole communities suddenly fix their minds on one subject, and go mad in its pursuit, that millions of persons become simultaneously impressed with one delusion and run after it…. We find one nation suddenly seized with a fierce desire of military glory, and another as suddenly becoming crazed upon a religious scruple, and neither of them recovering its senses until it had shed rivers of blood and sowed a harvest of groans and tears to be reaped by its posterity.

But who listens? Scramble for Africa in late 19th century sowed the seeds of two Big Wars. Europe will never recover from the punishments of the sins her past generations have committed!

Oh! That was a digression, pardon me! We shall return to the election narrative of 1977 in J&K State. In that election, I was a presiding officer in a booth in Sopore. Syed Ali Gheelani was fighting on the Jamaat Islami ticket. He faced a very tough candidate from the NC. His name was Hakim Habib Ullah. On the polling day, my team could hardly find time to have a cup of tea. Such was the enthusiasm; such was the display of faith in the virtues of the Indian Democracy. After depositing the vote boxes in the treasury, I reached my residence at 12’o clock in the night.

The election results gave thumping majority to NC. Gheelani’s result took some time. He finally won. He polled 16717 votes 33 more than his NC rival. That is the information available on the Net. But he won by 27 votes that is what is printed in my memory bank.  So, one candidate of the Jamaat Islami won! The loser candidate was made Chairman of Legislative Council. You can draw your own conclusions.

The indomitable Sharad Joshi once summed up the scenario in these words

Those who are undesirable in the state service are sent to Central Secretariat. Those whose honesty and competence are questionable at the Centre are posted in the states. Those who win become Chief Ministers. Those who lose are sworn in as Governors! We make bridges so that rivers could one day flow under them…… 

Since Gheelani couldn’t become the ruler he bid for time and raised the issue of plebiscite. And it took less than ten years for the people to get attached to the idea. By 1989, the situation for the Indian Democracy to survive in Kashmir was meagre. All those who would swear in the name of Constitution came out publicly distancing themselves from the election processes. In the 1989 General Election, I was again a Presiding officer at Delina School in Baramulla. That day we had enough time to pray, eat and discuss politics. Nobody dared to come near the school.

Kashmir, on the eve of signing of Treaty of Amritsar 1846, was on a death bed. Depopulated and dying, it received a lease of life at the hands of much maligned Dogras. It took one hundred years of peace for the Dogras to create institutions to give semblances of civility to Kashmir.  Next the Indian magnanimous financial support gave it strength which turned out more than sufficient to challenge its benefactor. So, they chose to undo what has been achieved, in the year 1989. One hundred forty years of peace was broken. And with it the tragedy of Kashmiris visited them once again.

Gheelani is still guiding the Kashmiri Muslims on a path that is not rosy. But having walked up the garden path for 33 years, they mechanically overlook the delusional ineptitude of their leader. He has taken full control of their bodies and minds. But look at the cost his flirtation with his personal destiny has exacted from a civilised society. The minority community have become refugees in their own country. The civilian Muslim population is now at the mercy of lawless gun wielding militants. The hinterland housing villages are living in constant fear. The casualties of men in uniform are mounting so are the militants and those caught in cross fire dying.

A new culture based on deceit, perfidy and double cross has been fostered in Kashmir now. If peace in Afghanistan is still a far cry, how can peace return to Kashmir is the question the Kashmiris are asking each other now?

“Men think in herds. They go mad in herds. They come to senses slowly one by one” Charles Mackey.

 II

J S Rajput is the former Director of NCERT. Post retirement he contributes articles to newspapers.

The latest titled Case for Decentralisation of K 2 Education    he starts as all phony authors do to make an impression. He quotes Gandhi to give taste to a boring cuisine. Whatever he places in the public domain every week carries the protest of a failed director. I have failed to implement my ideas when I was at the helm!

His latest article made me to pose a question to myself. What is education? Next came the answer uncalled and unsolicited!

Language and Information! Two wings for a wingless bird!

That was a flash!

It will be good for the world of education if the educators fix the coordinates before breaking up quantum of information to be imparted at different levels in schools and colleges. Language is the platform which enables a student to learn about information. Language is a storehouse of vocabulary. More words mean more resources of language. It also involves in framing sentences which students learn in due course of time. Every word is an idea. Every noun is a quantum of information. And every discipline has a unique vocabulary. Chemistry/physics/biology/mathematics/ and the rest have unique language resources.  Therefore, a good education means providing students an opportunity to learn words, their meaning and how to use them? So, the testing language skill should be to discover the capital of vocabulary a student has amassed. It is not to expect a two-line answer to a question which he/she doesn’t understand.

Language has to convey. It has not to impress. All those who write to make a living like journalists weave confusion because they usually write about themes they are not conversant with. Small sentences make reading and understanding affordable.

Words can become a resource if the students are given easy to read story books. It is here those associated with preparation of books need to source stories from the world of literature, rewrite them in an easier form so that students sit down and read. If the story is not interesting they won’t read. Learning has everything to do with patience. If a student is not taught to cultivate patience, he/she will not sit down to study. He can’t make progress.

 III

 Newton gave us a method to quantify abstract concepts like energy and time. In fact, he made time a physical quantity. But he overplayed his hand when he worked out the numerical value of big G. I give Newton the benefit of doubt for two reasons. One, only projectile guns were available in his time. Two, he could not distance himself from the Church. Universal gravitational constant was something to refer to Father! His attraction between two immutable heavenly bodies is ludicrous. Yet his was a path breaking endeavour. But from his fiction grew the number line math which gave value to zero.

This was the first deception. Next calculus popularised limit and made curves to move. We move on roads. Roads are not conveyor belts. The narrative of limits makes me laugh. If something is limiting to zero, it is a collapsing field! The heart beat is a collapsing and expanding motion. But if something is limiting means it is in motion. Means energy is involved. But motion and energy are the domains of physics not mathematics!

Mathematicians can pull infinite rabbits out of finite hats! One rabbit they pulled out was to make zero a number.  Mysteriously zero became an entity and was given a chair in the court of mathematical empire. But zero shares no quality with natural numbers. We can’t add, subtract, multiply or divide by a zero. Even as an exponent it reduces every number, however big to 1. So, Newton opened a path and cons opened many more paths to deceive.

In chapter 18 I have provided the proof that numbers don’t exist between zero and one. Measurements start from zero. Counting starts from 1. And math is all about counting!

When Newton calculated the value of big G, he unwittingly converted the value of small g. when we overturn a shirt inside out, we don’t make a new shirt. What is disgusting is that Hennery Cavendish constructed a cuckoo clock to measure what can’t be measured. I have discussed this trickery in the paper titled Solar System and death of Big G.

Einstein too was not satisfied when he gave us photovoltaic explanation or whatever. His mass energy equation is the most mesmerising equation that the world of science has experienced.

The age-old equation of kinetic energy is

KE = ½ mv2

Now compare it with Einstein’s    E = mc2

LHS, K has been omitted. Through some complex math ½ is omitted. And v is replaced by c. So far so good! But the twist in the tale is that c can’t be squared or cubed because c is a constant. By virtue of being a constant, in my opinion the equation comes a cropper. 

IV    

So, the students are in the math class and professor is teaching limits or sine/cosine curves. He is telling them the curve is moving. Not only that, he tells them the trigonometric curves are provided with a steering mechanism to negotiate the points of inflexion. They are also taught how to calculate area under the curve of trigonometric functions. The students are already so much confused and mesmerised by the conman that they can’t ask the basic question. ‘Sir, what is the dimension of the area under the curve? In lower classes we were told that meter square is the dimension of areas in SI units. But here no lengths are involved. Only degrees and some value between zero and one!’ once the faculties of thinking are rendered useless, the students become potential source of revenue. The parents pay for a knowledge which is worth less.

But the vast field of deception which was fostered around the fame of Einstein is simply mind boggling.

Once he was decorated, it became the duty of the scientific community to provide armour to the subterfuge. And it appears that a PR company was created to save him from ridicule. After every fifteen days stories of how Einstein has been proved correct once again appear in the media. Dr C K Raju (ckraju.net) tells us that you can prove a person incorrect in view of new findings. You can’t prove a scientist correct every other day!

Every astrophysicist who uses the value of big G and designs gadgets to watch the sky is not doing the right thing. He is using the value of small g which is the dynamic attribute of the earth. But watching sky has become another pathway for diverting money from social sector. In this way the field opens for creation of artificial intelligence and lethal technologies, away from the public gaze.

Watching sky and creating a scare is only meant to confuse and deceive simple human beings. Motion pictures are produced to cement the deception in the minds of the audience. I was amazed to watch the biopic Armageddon in which an asteroid is on a collision course with the earth. Now imagine a mountain moving at a velocity of minimum 15 km/sec towards the earth and we send a butterfly to divert its direction! Absurd! But the makers are so skilled that they can rob us in such a manner that we feel obliged.

In my opinion Chemistry is one subject the teaching of which needs to be taken up very seriously. If God has a profession he is primarily a chemist. 95% of total knowledge is concealed in chemistry, in all its avatars, from inorganic to bio chemistry. Math is a very small subject. Nature counts, doesn’t weigh! Math should be made an optional subject beyond class 8. Till then smart math should be taught. It is here that I can help. One has only to survey the engineering colleges to enquire from them what maths do they use, when applied subjects are set against problem solving or design issues.

The Reverend Doctor Opimian says, “Science is one thing, and wisdom is another. Science is an edged tool, with which men play like children, and cut their own fingers….See how much belongs to the word explosion alone of which ancients knew nothing.”

Wisdom will never go out of fashion. I am sure about it.