Speak as if you were Educated Meeta Sengupta
- The manners of a man are supposed to make him, and her, of course. Without manners we cannot lay claim to being civilised. We acquire these manners through our education and demonstrate it through our communciation - speech and behaviour.
Looking around one may not think so. Many highly educated people have demonstrated otherwise, being rude and uncouth both in public and in private. Education seems to be no guarantee for logical thought or rational conversation. Nor does education seem to have created a set of people who can actually research and retain facts, and then base their opinions on a solid foundation. This, is either a personal failure or one of the system. Without pointing fingers here, for that would be fruitless - a greater failure comes to mind - the failure to self govern.
There is no greater shame than the need to be policed. As a democracy, the freedoms we have are collective. We retain the freedom only if we do not damage anybody in the group - else we give the police the chance to come and tell us what to do. It is as we learnt at school - if the mischief is mild, and nobody gets hurt, we can carry on and self regulate. If the mischief hurts anybody, the teacher must intervene.
These are the norms and values we learnt at school, and these are what we carry on with in life. But it is sad that our school taught us to fear and avoid the teacher's intervention but there was little thought given to eliminating the need for such intervention. The upper hand was always retained by some one else in charge - we were never wholly in charge of ourselves. We neither sought to behave in a mature fashion as a group, nor was maturity expected of us since we were policed.
This meant that some of us did not know how to exercise boundaries unless policed. And since they broke decent bounds often enough, they gave reason for the police (read teacher/principal/headteacher) to interevene and punish the group. With self regulation and self discipline, especially as one grows older, the need for an over arching authority with the tools for punishment should cease to exist. This is the meaning of growing up, this is the purpose of education.
We see the consequences of this in public life today where a dash of censorship has been exercised by those who have the power to do so. It is no doubt true that free speech is essential in a democracy, and it is the task of journalists - both professional and citizen journalists to call out those in power. The task of calling out what one thinks is wrong is neither easy, nor pleasant. It is not possible to mince words in attacking what is wrong. But that is not hate, nor is it abuse.