In the opening credits of of ‘Good Will Hunting’, a film I harbour a deep love for that our protagonist, Will is an unrealised and mathematical wizard. Will is a victim of his circumstance, and his ironical fate subjects him to the life of deprivation. The saddest part about that is that he doesn’t even know it, his deprivation is guided as a life of supreme fulfilment in the form of his immature albeit fiercely loyal friends.
Of unrealised geniuses is a story of tame and torture. And of undiscovered, under nurtured ones is a story of tragedy. That is the Indian education system; the saga of students who are either unrealised geniuses or undiscovered ones.
Like Will, most students in India live a life of freedom, perceived freedom which in actuality is slavery. A gargantuan lie that propels victory in the units of grades and boasts it in a noble flamboyance when in reality, this nobility is the very substance, that their binding chains are made of.
To thoroughly familiarise ourselves of the gaping holes that our education system boasts of, I would rather have you observe the situation at a micro level than a macro one. The statistics are badges that the government wears, but I’d rather show you the shrill fret of a student.
Imagine Will: a potential math genius, just deprived of the right guidance in an Indian school. He studies the narrow filtration of education broadly in five subjects, goes religiously to tuitions so he could do well in the next class test, graduates from school; goes to college and gets employed to not even half of his potential.
A student such as that would never know that he had the capabilities and potential to be a greater human being and that unrealisation is grim and dark, just like the truth of our times. An unrealised genius of that person towers over his crippling reality and ultimately just becomes a shadow.
And contrary to the high rising potential of the student is equally prudent and rudimentary machinery that exists as the Indian education system. The haystack of problems initiates its domino effect by harbouring the people. The very hands of the clock that keep this machinery oiled and in place. The system is a breeding ground of people who discourage innovation or anything that is not pulled from the book consisting of teachers, parents, administration, students and peer.
You’re either another sheep in the herd or a cattle that would never be reared. If you have been privileged and skilled enough to carve your niche even outside the walls of your institution, the boat you sail on is alone. You have to struggle for attendance, opportunity, improvement and exposure; you are on your own. And sometimes the cost of luxury is too heavy for the shoulders of the unrealised genius. The boot steps on the ant and just like the ant itself, a dream is crushed, walked over.
Coming to the individuals who harbour courage but no cause, phenomenon scapegoated as an excuse.
The undiscovered geniuses.
Opportunity is a lustful, power-hungry beast that should be fed to every individual but unfortunately, the world isn’t perfect and this system certainly isn’t. This is where most dreams die. The biggest moulder of an individual is the opportunities he’s provided. The unrealised genius here rebels and lays a playing field for himself, it could be feeble, difficult, probably even juvenile but our education system doesn’t care.
However, that is still better than the case of undiscovered genius who breathes his last breath deprived of the countless possibilities of skills, talents, passions… Different lives he could have lived.
The potential of possibility and the desire of differentiation is buried by heavy paperback books one has expected to mug up in its entirety. The hunger for opportunity never kicks the belly and this is the starvation of all students who had the potential but the system didn’t deem it worthy.
Woody Allen quotes that 80% of success is just showing up. And here’s another drawback of the education system. We have been so drowned out by our system of rote learning, there is barely any space or scope to have professional interaction. Anything less than a mugged up text is looked down upon, practical knowledge is joked about and lectures, interactions which can be proved so useful for a student to realise what the big bad world is and what it takes to get there.
However, it doesn’t happen and most rats in this get chewed upon by the culture and exposure shock of the world. The world where you realise how insignificant your education has been and how irrelevant it is. The lowest rung of the ladder starts there.
But there is one other thing that our education system fails at, it fails at being futile. It is a very hard sea and produces the most skilled sailors. The Indian education system’s protagonist is the rebel who fought; an unrealised, tamed, empty vessel who seeks nothing but growth and doesn’t accept the illusions of it. The system gives birth to the rise and triumph of the unrealised genius because anybody who cannot survive the grind that the education system forces upon its students are not made for the cut. Brutality is a reality of our times, it is unjust, unfair but a necessary evil.
The unrealised genius still has it easy when it comes to thriving and surviving. It is the true defeat of the undiscovered genius; it is pure wastage.
It is an explosion with no noise, it is quite a death of prosperity. A heinous crime is of deprivation of talent, opportunity and the people and just like Satan, the greatest trick our education system pulls is that it doesn’t even let us know of this deprivation.