Educated or Mere Literates?

Let me start with a very simple question for you “Are you educated or are you just a mere literate?”

What would you say is the state of education in the country today? Good? Improving? Deteriorating? Pathetic? Why am I even asking this question? Is it really an important issue for us? Is the problem of education in the whole county going to affect me as an individual??

To be honest, the answer to both these questions is a big fat “YES”. If the people around you aren’t educated the standard of living does not grow. If the standard of living does not grow your life does not improve. It really hurts you then, doesn’t it?

But then again, coming to think of it, being educated is not just about passing school, attending college or getting a big fat degree. That is not education. These are only the steps to obtaining education. Most people confuse literacy with Education. Just to make my point clear, literacy is the ability to read, write and interpret, while education is where you understand the constructive nature of what you have read and imply it for overall development.

It is a pleasure to notice that the literacy rate of the country is improving day by day. I am very happy to know that female education is being promoted by the government. I also feel they are pioneers of our future, but let us not get sidetracked. The figures state the growing literacy @ 1.5% a year and currently, the nation has 61% literacy!

More people can now read, write and understand the world better. Does that mean there are more educated people now? That is where my real problem lies. To be honest, only a fraction of our so called educated people, have basic civic manners. Take this example, when we travel on the trains, you will find engineers, doctors, graduates and more of the so-called educated people. How many of them consider giving up a seat for an elder? How any consider that eating smelly food is annoying an already frustrated section of people on the train? This does not stop here. Speaking loudly over the cell phone, loud blaring ringtones, using abusive language publicly, throwing out of the train window, they may seem as small things that really do not affect us; but then think again.

We are the ones that scream that the Government doesn’t do anything. The streets are dirty, the railway tracks are dirty. How will they get clean if you do not want them to be clean. Imagine for a day, not a single person in Mumbai throws things on the road, uses only dust bins. Can you imagine the tons of garbage we will save the city being defaced with? We overlook the whole issues as who cares, it’s already dirty, but the same sect of people when on an international trip would not even consider doing it.

But then we have the habit of always finding a scapegoat. In most cases, it happens to be our Government. We cry there are thugs, cheats, uneducated people on the Government and they are not working. Well if they are not working whose fault is it? We are the one who put them there. Why? We are educated people and we do not have time to run the country? If we start taking interest in politics, the Government, set standards to the people being elected, don’t you think we will get better results?

The next cry in that case would be - what can I do all alone? Well for starters you can create awareness, you can create citizens groups. If you do not comprehend that you have the leadership skills, you can join citizen’s groups.

There is a lot that can be done provided you want to do it. We read a lot in our books about the development of the country, the contribution you can make, have we only read or actually learnt something from it? There is pollution which is already showing its signs respiratory diseases, floods, record-breaking cold and record-breaking heat within the same year. Are we concerned about that or we just don’t care and let our children deal with it when they grow up?

Our country is coming up in the eye of the world, but we really know what’s happening. We really know that it’s the mindset of the common man that needs to be changed first. Education teaches us to be level headed and think for ourselves rather than be blind followers. We have the power of education and we have means to do them. The thing that seems to be really missing is the will. We have wasted generations of time assuming that the next generations will take care of the problem. Do you want your children to grow and blame you for being so irresponsible?

Lots of questions I know, but we need to ask them to ourselves. We need to think about them. For if you think you can find a way, you will. if you ignore, you will only delay, but the problems will eventually come back to you.

So tell me again… “Are you educated or are you just a mere literate?”


  1. Good one...but again No one wants to take a step forward....

  2. The post is just plain "Bingo" or "Bango" as the Texans would say!We are the oldest civilization (or one of the). Its high time we became civilized in our daily lives. And that will indeed come from Education, and not literacy, as you rightly pointed out.

    Power to you!

  3. Well Deepa.. you can do it yourself too.. like if i ever see someone trying to throw stuff out the window in the train or bus i simply tell them "i have the patience to throw it in a dustbin, please give it to me.. ill do it for you.." .. the embarrassment through polite words and actions works wonders..

    I remember my mom telling me about my grandfather years and years back who saw a rude guy throwing peanut shells in the train and asked him.. he got a rude reply.. my grandfather just smiled and bent down and collected all the shells this person had thrown on the ground and said.. you dont have to worry.. i will throw, you can continue.. the guy was embarassed to the point of tears... it works..

  4. Hey Miya..
    I am so impressed..nice perspective..a very fresh one ur writing..u sure have one
    Keep writing..its meant for you...

  5. You are the Man, the bitter truth of our life. Keep up the good work.

  6. For changing the nation the change should be in u first.I have a habit of carrying a plastic bag with me where ever I go.I collect all the waste like chips n biscuit wrapper the kids eat n throw it in the dust bin.I agree to the point that if everyone throw their part of waste it the bin it would save alot of work.

  7. such an excellent article with creative tips

  8. keep it up and keep shinning like a star

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