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Punjab Education League

chandigarh Updated: Dec 14, 2014 07:48 IST
Khushwant Singh

Kabbadi is back again and so are my Kabaddi blues. Blues, because it is my personal opinion that Punjab should concentrate more on Mental Kabaddi and a good sports policy than just Kabaddi.

The government should focus more on children getting their text books and sports kits than just slapping their Jhangs (thighs) once a year. I am not critical of Kabaddi, I simply want to highlight a shortcoming in the state ,which is, that it does not invest in its intellectual pool as much as it does in its brawn. Not that I have anything against brawn, after all what is a Punjabi without brawn?

Moreover who am I to complain, given that Kabaddi has assumed a status of a league now. Credit should go to the Punjab government for gifting something so valuable gift to the nation. In other words, if they put their mind, heart and soul into something then they have the capability to really make it worthwhile. Where there is a will there is a way and all that.

So, how about gifting a Punjab Education League (PEL) to Punjab? Why should only the Kabaddi guys get to see the Priyankas and Sonakshis? What about the geeks and the nerds of the state? After all it is them who need an outing the most.

So what’s this bizarre idea of Punjab Education league all about? Frankly speaking, I also have no clue about it, but I see no harm in the government exploring it and taking it forward. Its an idea where the students of the state compete amongst the world’s best in a bonanza called Punjab education league.

Imagine, the Bathinda stadium witnessing a march past of teams from the top institutes of the world who would descend to challenge each other in research, science, technology, biology, mathematics, engineering and creative arts. Harvard Rangers versus PU Raiders, Or Lovely Ladoos versus Yale Burgers competing against each other in the different fields.

For example, robots created by various research students competing amongst themselves in athletics or sowing paddy or potatoes. This is one robot Punjabis are going to love, except that charging it is going to be a problem given the power situation. Punjab, if it wants to make a place for itself in the world of excellence and get out of the jugaad culture will have to start investing in its intellect. It not only finds itself neck deep in the drug culture but is sadly also not developing a scientific temperament which is very essential if a society has to progress.

According to Darwin, “freedom of thought will best be promoted by that gradual enlightenment of human understanding which follows the progress of science. Scientific temper describes an attitude which involves the application of logic. Discussion, argument and analysis are vital parts of scientific temper. Elements of fairness, equality and democracy are built into it.

“On the contrary, Punjab’s people are drifting towards babas and god men and illiterate politicians who are advocating nonsense. Their classrooms are getting more attendance than the schools, which means that, unless we plan to create an atmosphere where the mind grows with knowledge and rational, people will remain aligned towards babas and not research and science.

Serious thought needs to be given on this, and Punjab Education league could be a movement in that direction.