That wasn’t a very apt title. But then I didn’t want to plagiarize E=mc^2 title “Guide to Indian Idiocy I”. Anyways, Sujai’s blog, to which I subscribe to, has a great article how Indians equivocate wisdom, knowledge and education. Fantastic read, as most of his posts are.
Some excerpts below:
Therefore, it is a given fact for most Indians that a Professor knows more than the student, an older man knows more than the younger man, a boss knows more than the subordinate and so on. There are no arguments about it or doubts about it. This is a cardinal rule applicable to all domains of knowledge.
1. Knowledge depletes with each generation.
One can extrapolate the above observation to say that Indians also believe that our older generations knew much more than what we know. For Indians, knowledge keeps depleting with each generation, not increasing as is conventional wisdom in the West. Indians believe that our ancestors, during Vedic times, knew almost everything.
2. Wisdom is Knowledge.
For most Indians, Wisdom is nothing but Knowledge itself. And knowledge is directly correlated with one’s education. And education is directly correlated with one’s degrees. For most elite and urban Indians, there is no difference between knowledge and wisdom. They are synonymous. Hence, a PhD is supposedly wiser than a Masters Degree holder is wiser than a Bachelor’s Degree holder and so on. At the bottom are the rural (and therefore ‘illiterate’). Invariably, all those who went to IITs, IIMs, AIIMS, etc, are all wise for the rest of their lives.
And the best
Look at the present campaign by TOI called Lead India. It is nothing but a reflection of this sentiment held by most urban people. All those who got selected are urban, well-educated and comprise mostly upper caste, and Hindu. When describing them, TOI uses many words and sentences to talk about their qualifications, which college they went to, which MNC they worked for, etc. According to me, most of them have completely vacuous opinions on socialism, on caste-issues, on secularism, right to vote, coalition governments, etc. In my opinion they are inane and downright dumb. However they seem to reflect the sentiments of these urban Indians very well that Wisdom = Knowledge = Education = College Degrees.
3. Experience is Age.
Older a person, it is naturally assumed, the more experienced he is. Even if that person has not traveled anywhere outside his city, Even if that person has not met people of different cultures, even if that person has not tasted different cuisines of different lands. Just because he is old, he is considered more experienced.