Thursday, 14 January 2010

4th Idiot.

Obviously, that's what you and I are feeling. Three were there , in the movie, and fourth who else but us. And it works in general because many of us didn't choose our path of our own volition , but were made to choose, by peer pressure, parent pressure and finally sheer luck. And sadly there wasn't any Aamir Khan in his philosophic avatar to open our eyes. To make us nod in acquiescence and guilt, when he says, "Excel in what you do and success will eventually follow". Sadly, I could never say that to my surroundings,which have gone by, which impressed on me the need to immerse in books , to excel with great marks, to be number 1 in studies. Oh ! Aamir where were you!

Yet, better late than never, at least now my young cousins would heave a sigh of relief, and my uncles shall have to think twice before being didactic to their sons and daughters.This generation is indebted to Aamir for redefining success and changing attitudes.

Sadly, there is a catch . Notwithstanding , Aamir's central motive, the message is as flawed as the cliched "race" theory. Why? Let's look closer for that. The idea of race originated from the paucity of opportunities. Education, as popular as it is now, has been primarily so because it opens up opportunities of survival, material well being . Yet, we have all forgotten the basic role of education , which is to enlighten minds, to open it's door to throw light into the dark alley of mind.

Education, as it is now, guarantees a certain stature in society.In order to win, you need to leave others behind. There was no win-win. A race proves that. But so does a dogged Aamir's message . Only its not so plainly visible. It's disguised with the veil of pleasure emanating from the gratification of self in doing what one likes to do and excelling in that. The end pursued in here too is not knowledge for it's own sake but gaining a position as well as pleasure of job. The movie initiates the idea of knowledge for its own sake, but fails to take it forward, which should have had been at the core.

Is it so difficult to understand? A person's standing in society , materialistic mostly , is determined by his utility to others or the power he exercises upon others. The exchange value of a person could be good only if the person produces goods that others like. What's the exchange value of something which is one's hobby but of limited or no use to others? What will be the standing of such a person in the society? In particular , in India, as compared to West,there has been serious limitations on survival derived from one's hobbies.Compare this with people , and very few,who do things only because they have to do, and their prime intent is their passion behind it, and so is it with education. There will always be few who will pursue it with passion, and find ways for themselves, but not everyone. Because all differ in their choices of passions. In a society, to survive, you put aside passion for that which guarantees survival.

Consider this. India is back office to finance and lower end software maintenance jobs, and they are not very brain stimulating jobs, but it's precisely this category of jobs that has elevated India to the world stature . Where was the choice?

Now about doing what we like . Its a very subjective idea and certainly one of those ideas that deserves a deeper understanding. The likings of a person may not be an exchange value to the society at all, what then ? Will society embrace it? No. It can't . Even the pangs that you felt, while watching the movie was the mourning for not getting enough pleasure from your job .

It's all good to say and listen, but if he were to impress the idea of knowing for the sake of knowledge (this is done a bit), his message would have sounded much clear and truer. But does gentry like that? Hmm! That's the concern, where Aamir too, for the sake of maintaining a proper exchange value goes by the popular wave.

Why am I an idiot then? Because I fail to realize that each period has had it's own message, and it's own affects. Each period has had its own callings. I had answered the call suitable to my times, when for example computers were luxury.

Today the situation is different, with Indian landscape brimming with confidence everywhere. Today, India needs more of specialists and pioneers.There is big exchange value factor present for unorthodox career paths, and that is why the message fits so strongly in present times . Now is the time for this idea and let it seep through the Indian landscape. But the caveat stays the same, we can't overestimate change and not be an idiot enough to deify Aamir and belie ourselves.

Otherwise, we are all anyways, idiots.


Sumit Sinha said...

I must say..the movie was cool and the message was super-cool, but the post could have been a bit more substantial as was more of an editorial version than a point raiser. For all the things non-substantial look much philosophical than they really are...... Apart from this i did enjoy reading you but this one forced me to comment may be because i am the 4th idiot. Wot say?

Siddharth said...

Certainly, you are :-)