Published: 04th March 2017
Kalidasa is an ancient poet with a modern perspective: Mani Rao
An interesting take on ancient wisdom and modern knowledge and it's relevance in today's world, discusses Mani Rao, Valson Thampu and Sudha Seshayyan
There is no disservice to education than being politicising through appointments. Unfortunately, every appointment of vice-chancellor in the country today is a political appointment, said Valson Thampu, former principal, St Stephen's College. He went on to say that knowledge is power and power soon becomes profit.
The present practice of higher education cuts us from our roots. The goal prescribed for education and every stated intention in The National Education Policy has been forgotten, that is our track record
Valson Thampu, Former Principal, St Stephen's College
However the topic was about bridging ancient wisdom and modern knowledge. The panel however, unanimously agreed that teaching experience bridges the gap between ancient wisdom and modern knowledge. "When there is experience there is immediacy and there is neither ancient nor modern. Both ancient wisdom and modern knowledge are present at any point of time in people's lives. We should neither reject nor denigrate something because it is ancient nor should we romanticize it," said Mani Rao, Author and Scholar. To drive her point home, she gave the example of Kalidasa, a classic poet, whose thought process was incredibly modern.
Expert take: Panel members, Valson Thampu, Sudha Seshayyan and Mani Rao during the session
Modern knowledge is often identified with scientific method. Whereas, when it comes to human activities concerned with problem solving, it should involve both the ancient and modern practices. "Knowledge evolves into wisdom. Education should address the factor of self. Information should be looked upon without any prejudice and bias. A piece of information from ancient wisdom can work best with modern knowledge. There is a necessity to evolve knowledge from wisdom. It is our responsibility of bringing up a good generation and all agencies need to come forward to achieve this goal." said Sudha Seshayyan, Director, Madras Medical College, recently in the news for having done the embalming for late CM J Jayalalithaa.