Book Review: The crisis within by G.N. Devy

  • ISBN: 978-93-83064-10-6
  • Genre: Non-Fiction/ Economics
  • Publishers: Aleph Publishers
  • Price: Rs. 399/-  ( I got the book for review from the publisher)
Nearly one in every twelve humans is a young Indian for whom meaningful education is of critical importance. A good education will not only help our youth get jobs and build fulfilling careers, it will also lead to the widening of our collective imagination and the shaping of the way we think; for all these reasons it ought to be an important concern of our time.Unfortunately, this is not the case. There is a lack of infrastructure, adequate funding and genuine autonomy within educational institutions, departments within those institutions and individuals who teach in those departments. And this is not all. There is also the question of the nature of knowledge that is relevant to our rapidly modernizing country that needs to be dealt with.If knowledge is the core of education and if education lays the very foundation of a nation, the author argues that it is of critical importance that the plight of educational institutions and the need to generate knowledge appropriate to India are addressed without any delay.Original and profound, this book offers a clear picture of the mistakes that have been committed in the past, confronts the present decline of knowledge and education in the country and offers a vision for the future.

Behind the Book


About the Author
Former Professor of English at the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda and Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information Technology, G. N. Devy writes in English, Marathi and Gujarati. He is the founder of the Bhasha Research Centre, Baroda and Adivasi Academy, Tejgadh and has worked extensively with Adivasis and nomadic communities in India. He led the People’s Linguistic Survey of India (PLSI), a comprehensive documentation of all living Indian languages, forming a fifty-volume PLSI Series. He has received several awards for his writing as well as for his community work, including the Padma Shri, Prince Claus Award and Linguapax Award. Among his better known works are After Amnesia, Of Many Heroes, Painted Words and Nomad Called Thief, Vanaprastha (in Marathi) and Adivasi Jaane Chhe (in Gujarati). He has co-edited a series of six volumes on indigenous cultures and knowledge. As an activist, he played a leading role in the movement for the rights of Denotified and Nomadic Tribes and more recently has initiated the Dakshinayan Movement of writers and artists. The author is based in Dharwad.

Me thinks

Off late, I have been enjoying reading books that highlight the sociopolitical conditions prevalent across the globe. It is very interesting to note how small things impact us at the larger level. What particularly attracted me to this book was its focus on the education system of our country from someone who knew it inside out.

Not very long ago when I was a student aspiring to pursue MBA I was a part of a GD where I had got standing ovation. The topic was "Is privatization good for our country?" and in a group of 10 I was the only one against it. Nervous at first as the arguments picked up I made my points more sterner and firmer without sounding offensive or rude. My base argument was " We cannot have a healthy tree whose roots are decaying. We need to first ensure the roots are healthy as otherwise the tree will fall. We have a flawed education system, rampant corruption and so many issues like illiteracy and poverty affecting us at various grass root levels and then bringing in privatization will be like burdening an economy more than what it can take. Lets start by making our roots stronger so that such opportunities help us grow."

Sadly even today, after more than a decade,  the argument still holds true. It is sad to see the state of our education system where emphasis is not on learning but on memorizing. We choose subjects to study basis the availability of jobs and not our interests or passion. It speaks a lot for itself. This book is an eye opener in many terms. The author takes us through the lanes of our education system and highlights what all can be one to make it better for each one of us. What is admirable is that instead of just highlighting the problem, he has also presented us with solutions that can help the economy largely. He takes us into the past and talks about all that was, how it could have , should have and would have been. Even as he talks about the present he sounds hopeful  and positive about the progress we have made till now, however little.Very rarely do you come across books which have both the problems and solutions, that too such effective ones. It is really an enjoyable read to see the extent of old age practices that are still rampant and are a part of curriculum also.

I would recommend this book to all those readers like me who enjoy deep insights into what's going on in their country and want to make a difference. Reading this book might just be the beginning.

Foodie Verdict

This book is like Gatte ki sabji - traditional, yet mouth wateringly delicious and tempting any-day.

Source: Archana's Kitchen

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