WhatsApp pumps me with information that triggers new articles! I got a link to a blog post by Tamil writer Charu Nivedita with a word of caution stating no offense meant! Knowing Charu and having received the cautionary note, I was prepared to a shocking article. While going through the article, I felt, it's not surprising to get such an outcome from someone with such a high ego! "I don't want everyone to comment on this assuming that they are equal; but I don't have other places to express this and that is the only reason for me to write here" is an expression of that ego. He will never be able to understand the principles with which someone like Dr. Kalam operated. For being a life long learner, researcher, scientist and a level five leader one needs open mind, inquisitiveness and humility. When someone thinks that they are above others, it implies their assumption of knowing it all, learning ends there! It is very easy to understand which category Charu belongs to!
Following are some points running in my mind as a response to his article:
- Sure there are several needs and challenges the society has today; not everyone can focus on all them. That understanding is the very fundamental building block of civilisation! Not all of us can do farming, manufacturing, teaching, safeguarding the nation, providing health care etc. So, we exchange these services with each other. We need to work together. Kalam's services were in a domain incomprehensible by Charu. If Charu thinks the points he raises are important, he should be working on them even more seriously to make it happen. How many new thoughts has he brought into Tamil, how many of them are new translations, how many new techniques to improve Tamil usage? How about any effort to improve lives of those who speak Tamil? (BTW, I love Tamil, I want all technical knowledge to be brought into Tamil! The point of contention here is what Charu is doing to enable this that gives him the right to criticize Dr Kalam)
- What does Charu know about C V Raman, S Chandrasekar J C Bose, Mahalanobis and the like? Just because someone knows these names and what they did, can we assume that they are skilful or competent in all areas of life or if they don’t know can we say they are illiterates or less competent? He does not seem to even know that the satellites are helping with agriculture and education. How does he expect a scientist to know all the writers in Tamil? Moreover, appreciation is different from recognizing someone as an expert! Appreciating Vivek for his ability to think is different from saying that he is a philosopher. We all know what Dr Kalam would have said!
- Similar to how problems in one industry or domain affect the others, innovation in one will influence others positively too. Charu's understanding of impacts of satellites seems to be very limited. Also, he underestimates the need to be a safe country. All fine arts can flourish only when there is peace in the country! I can only pity him for his ignorance!
- There's only limited time and capacity available with each individual and each organisation. They prioritise based on near term and long term needs. Unless we understand the pressure of both from Dr Kalam's perspective, we will never know what trade offs he took and why; for that, we need deeper study or we should have worked closely with him. Anybody who does not have that proximity or research capability, can look at the outcomes of the chosen decision/action and comment; but not at the decision! Someone who is not exposed business world, educational institutional pressure and who is focusing only on one objective (if at all there is one!) will not be able to grasp the big picture
- What is Charu's views on who teach wisdom and not knowledge say the likes of Jaggi? He does not seem to have respect for them either. Looks like, only literarians and critics have a right to be appreciated or celebrated! There too, there is only a few people can be appreciated according to him!
- His article probably is a publicity stunt! Just to attract more visitors to his page!
For completeness, including a point added by one of my cousins as a response to the article in WhatsApp.
- Charu does not seem to understand that knowledge is not acquired in exchange of money. Knowledge and skills are not only for generating money but for building a strong nation - be it in the field of medicine or agriculture or anything of that sort. In fact, the primary objective of developing knowledge is to build a stronger society in all aspects while money / wealth is a by-product.
Charu will never understand this! So, it is useless to respond to him! But I could not resist responding! It is my ego!