What is mankind’s greatest invention? After thousands of students wrote in their views on the subject for the elimination round of the HT Scholarship Programme 2015, Bollywood actors Imran Khan and Huma Qureshi, in a panel discussion moderated by Soumya Bhattacharya, editor, Hindustan Times, Mumbai, explored the topic on Friday.
Opening the discourse, Bhattacharya said, “We had assumed people would write about the clock, the telescope, internet, mobile phones and they did, but a lot of children wrote about things like family, community, love, relationships. So, the way they interpreted it was not so much as invention as mankind’s greatest gift.”
While Khan said penicillin, the antibiotic, was the best thing man created, Qureshi said it was the ability to tell stories.
Talking about the challenges in the field of education, Qureshi said she was brought up in a family that gave her the same educational opportunities as her brothers – something many girls in India are deprived of. “Also, in India, for some kids, education is a luxury as they cannot afford it,” she said.
Discussing the current state of education in our country, Khan said, “Whatever is in the textbook is considered right. Children should be made to think there could be other information available,” he said.
Qureshi was asked if she would have chosen films had she topped the university. “My father asked me the same question. I enjoy exploring my creativity. It is important to love what you do,” she said.