A liberal’s contention to Smriti Irani

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She hasn’t had post school formal education, something our society deeply cherishes. So? What’s the big deal in that? Our constitution doesn’t have a minimum academic cut-off for leaders who want to contest elections. It believes that one can make a good leader with or without education.

The HRD position, by definition, gives her the power to decide policies and trends for the job market. Someone without a formal education getting that post is an issue for people, not that she doesn’t have a college degree. It’s the fact that the responsibility that she has been given requires her to know how the job market for all kinds of skilled people works and her not having a college degree might be a deterrent, we imagine.

She was a brilliant TV actress for many years, renowned for her role as Tulsi in “Kyuki Saas bhi kabhi bahu thi“. So she has experience in the arts, theatre and showbiz area.

The argument against our disapproval of her as HRD minister is that one doesn’t have to have a formal education to be a leader because leadership is not something that formal education can teach you. Many who get formal education have been protesting for a better way to evaluate a human’s potential, which is not through his or her marks. The movie 3 idiots does that brilliantly.

Here, the conflict opens to the debate between arts and technical education, according to me. Is our contention that someone can’t be a leader if they don’t have formal education? Even if that person was a brilliant actor?

When a lot of us demand to be evaluated by things beyond our marks then how can we be hypocrites and call her an uneducated ass? What if she has some great ideas? So the burden of proof falls on Irani now. She needs to be true to the idea of holistic education and valuing the arts, herself being such an eminent actor. She needs to do justice to her position. But has she been doing that ever since she was branded our HRD Minister?

That’s where even a liberal’s contention to her stature comes in. She showed more interest in IIT and IIM’s by proposing to build more of those and completely neglect a liberal or humanities education. That’s why, those of us who consider ourselves liberal should dislike her. Not because she’s from BJP or because she herself doesn’t have any degree. Why you dislike someone matters more than the fact that you do.

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