Bharatiya Education in the views of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay
In the views of Deendayal Ji, while considering the subject of Bharatiya education, some questions naturally arise in the mind like whether the education system of any society is good or bad. What is its criterion? Is it appropriate to try to judge education as good or bad? What should be the aim of education? Has the education system of independent Bharat been successful in achieving its goal? How objective should education be? How appropriate or inappropriate is subjectivity in education? These are many questions whose answers our educationists have to find. Bharat's independence is such a boundary line that inspires us more for introspection.
Pandit Deendayal ji's views regarding Bharatiya education are reflected in his book 'Rashtrachitan' some of his articles in Panchjanya and the study of his articles published in Organizer. It is reflected that Deendayal ji was a supporter of an education system that was in keeping with the times. It should also be country-friendly. According to him, the first thread connecting the individual and the collective is ‘education’. They consider education as the mother of society. According to him, if the new components are aware of their relationship with the old components and if they move ahead by accepting and understanding the life experience of their old components, then that group gets the name of society. That is when one human being after another imparts or communicates his entire experience in various fields or its essential part through various means to others, who are usually born after him, then in this process, a continuously dynamic human group is created. Which is called society. If there is no education then human society will not be born.
Making one aware of the priority and dignity of the place of education in society, Deendayal ji says – According to our scripture writers, this is a debt to the sages, which is everyone's duty to repay. When we make arrangements for the education of our future children, we do not have a feeling of gratitude towards them, rather we wish to repay our debt by handing over whatever heritage we have received from our ancestors to the next generation.
Deendayal ji believes that education is the birthright of every person and should be arranged by society. Selling of education will be fatal for the society. Therefore, education should be assured and free. In this context, he writes that it is in society's own interest to educate children. Humans are born like animals. Through education and values, he becomes an integral part of the society. It is wrong to charge a fee for work that is in the society's own interest.
In the present changed situation when we have established a public welfare state, it is the responsibility of the 'State' to bear this social responsibility. In his book 'Siddhant aur Niti', Deendayal ji writes "Do not let the people neglect education, help them in education-related work, keep learned gurus in abundance at every place, keep the time and place favorable to education, It is the traditional duty of the state to arrange educational institutions at various places and to maintain their enthusiasm at all times.” Despite considering the state responsible for education, Upadhyay is against the governmentization of education. He says - Of course, in a welfare state, the basic responsibility of children's education lies with the government, but we should avoid governmentization of education. They support educational autonomy. According to him – “Even after the time of education is taken over by the state, there should not be governmentisation. There should be autonomous bodies of teachers and educationists to manage educational institutions in every region. It is not right for them to run as a government department. The distinction between government and non-government educational institutions should be abolished. The pay scale and other facilities for teachers in all areas should be such that qualified people do not hesitate to come into the field of education. It is not appropriate to allow educational institutions to become the private property of managers or management committees.”
“It is also necessary to beware of the tendency to create personal wealth by misusing freedom. Therefore, autonomy does not mean the shopkeeping of education but the education system being under a constitutionally well-defined autonomous all-India body.
This is actually what Deendayal Ji meant. Similarly, they are also against the dual structure of education, in which there is a system of 'public schools' and government or private schools. Describing public schools as schools that leave an 'all India destructive' impact, he says - "Education should not create differences in the society but should create a sense of unity, the 'public schools' of India are contrary to this objective. There is a need to raise the level of all educational institutions.”
In his view, while there should be proper regulation of education by society and state institutions, it is also important to take care that external imperialist forces on education should not make our society unhealthy. From this point of view, they consider such institutions in India as dangerous. To what extent is it appropriate to give rights to foreigners in the field of education?
Allowing foreign forces to influence the immature mind is like giving freedom to cut the root. Deendayal Ji believes that education is not just a school undertaking but is a complete social process. Despite school education being an important part of it, society cannot be completely safe through school education alone. Hence he describes a teacher trio. He believes that in the broad sense of education, every component of society is a teacher. Therefore, the first teacher is the society, the second is the school teacher and the third is the individual himself.
This teacher trinity has been reflected by Bharatiya writers in the following sentences –
1. Mata Pratham Guru:
2 Acharya Devo Bhava:
3 May you be enlightened:
Those three teachers have different mediums of imparting education, first - culture, second - teaching, and third - self-study.
Mata Pratham Guru (Sanskar)
Culture is the first medium of education that a person receives from the society. From the point of view of values, every person in the society is a teacher. The first social component with which a person comes in contact is the mother. Hence it was said that Mata Prathama Guruh. Then the person comes in contact with other components of the society. There is a social environment that has an unknowing effect on the newborn and developing child, this effect Upadhyay ji calls Sanskar. Parents, and family members = forefathers, teachers, classmates, leaders, and founders of the society. All these people keep instilling different types of rituals continuously. Therefore, every person in the society is a teacher. It is his social responsibility to create a society with a virtuous environment through his behavior. If society, devoid of this sense of responsibility, depends only on school education and teachers, then its progress will be considered extremely doubtful. Public participation is necessary in education. This is not a matter for just a few experts. It can also be called educational democracy.
Acharya Devo Bhava (Teaching)
Providing education through formal teaching by arranging schools is a universally accepted educational method. We educate a person through literacy and some courses. This formal education should not become a lifeless ritual, hence it is necessary that people who understand the broader meaning of education should become teachers and society should accept teachers as the most respected post. Disobeying the advice of his well-meaning former teacher, Upadhyay took admission to Teachers Training College and describes his experience there in his article as follows – “At the right time, I took admission in the training college. I saw there that this noble work of a teacher is not attracting idealistic and service-oriented people today. Only those people who are unable to get a position elsewhere become teachers. ICS These trainees used to appear in various examinations from the level of Naib Tehsildar to Naib Tehsildar, but only those who failed the thought of becoming teachers. This fragmentation of the aura of a teacher whose ancient social system is called 'Acharya Devo Bhava' is very worrying. If we want to truly educate our society, we will have to re-establish the dignity of the teacher.
May you be enlightened (Self-Study)
After the teacher stage of society and the formal teaching system, a person himself is his own teacher. Swadhyaya is man's self-teaching. Man assimilates knowledge with the help of reading, meditation, and contemplation. Without self-study, the knowledge gained neither lasts nor increases.
Without self-study, there is no question of making knowledge a part of life and making it bright. Hence, ‘Swadhyayanma Pramadah’ (Do not be lazy in self-study), is the order of the Vice-Chancellor to the graduates on the occasion of convocation. Provision of library etc. is necessary for self-study. Upadhyay Ji lays special emphasis on establishing libraries at home and in the city and creating an environment for learning in order to create an educational environment in society. Without this, the desired sustainability and development of school education is not possible. School education alone does not make a man. There are many areas of culture and teaching which are outside the school sphere. If there is a conflict between these two areas, then a conflict is present in the student's life. Instead of the development of a coordinated, integrated, all-round, monolithic personality, its nature begins to include divided loyalties. There is a gap between the society and itself. Today, more emphasis is being laid only on formal education, and due to the frustration of not achieving the desired results, an environment of criticism of the education system and mutual accusations is being created. Upadhyay ji considers this to be a sign of the unhealthy condition of society. Formal education is the link between values and self-study. The first condition for completeness of education is – a 'cultured society' i.e. a feeling of responsibility towards education is necessary in every person. Family, market, farm, and barn, all these are forms of school. It is the work of social, political, and cultural movements, organizations, and leaders to create this consciousness in society. Without doing this work, it is completely impractical to imagine a holistic system of education only through government medium. A coordinated teacher education system is the guarantee of a holistic education policy in society. In this sequence, Upadhyay Ji also explains the indispensability of the native language for education. In the entire ideological presentation of Upadhyay Ji, the education, and cultural system have the utmost importance. They consider education as the fundamental foundation stone for achieving the fourfold endeavor of society. In that context, Upadhyay Ji considers the insistence on any special order and system as inconsistent. The power gained from education enables society to always find the right path. Therefore, when planners ignore education due to political and economic reasons, Upadhyay Ji calls it unfair.
In this way, Upadhyay Ji appears to be in favor of establishing the Vedic ideal of Bharatiya education as per his country and times. Good knowledge from all directions is the guiding principle of our philosophy. But we also have to decide what we should accept in the interest of our country and society. This is not only our right but also desirable.
– Dr. Rakesh Dubey
(The author is the Principal at Meera College of Education, Sardulewala, Sardulgarh, District-Mansa Punjab)