Don't merely read; wise up to live better

Dont merely read; wise up to live better

It is said that an average person in China only reads 0.7 books/year (understandable they trust whatever their rulers say).

It is said that an average person in China only reads 0.7 books/year (understandable they trust whatever their rulers say). Vietnam with 0.8 books, India with 1.2 books, and Korea with 7 books come next. Only Japan can compare with Western countries with 40 books/year while Russia scores 55 books.

In 2015, 44.6% of Germans read at least one book a week – similar numbers for the Nordic countries. A developed world does not mean a rich country. The more educated the people, the better developed the nation would be.

Lack of education makes us repose our faith in things that are irrational and illogical and unscientific and make us dogmatic. Lack of education also leads to lack of culture or a low level of culture and one tends to spend more on gossiping.

An oft repeated answer from the parents to a question on stone-throwing in Kashmir is:"What else do they do? We don't have continuous schooling. The more the disturbance, the more the closure of schools. Most of the parents in the valley are not educated properly and only a section of the society is. They just spend time on chit chat. Nothing else to do and hence stone throwing." A real tragedy it is. This is what we see on the streets of India and in our TV studio debates. Ignorance.

One could argue that those taking part in debates are highly educated. No. They are not, by any yardstick. These are no better than those who take to streets to express their rage or ire over something they think is their right to defend. It's strange that people have the gumption to interpret what they have not studied at all properly. The exam-heavy-education these guys have acquired lends their senses no sophistication hence all the crudeness.

All those Constitutional experts that argue their cases also seem to be no better. Their knowledge is limited to select reading. Anyway, that which does not lend wisdom is no knowledge. The lack of history-reading creates a lot of problems for society. It is not just books, but what type of books they choose also matters. A race without reading is a race without hope. But, a race with wrong-reading is a disastrous race. It applies equally to our politicians too.

Choose Kautilya or Plato (depending upon your disposition towards Indianism), both had clearly mentioned the duties of the king. Kautilya was a firm believer in the moral order of the universe. According to him, there is a close relation between kingship and Dharma. The King (Swami) is the fountain of justice (Dharmapravartaka). It is the King's ordained responsibility to maintain Dharma and to protect his subjects with justice.

Plato in turn says: "Until philosophers are kings, or the kings and princes of this world have the spirit and power of philosophy ... cities will never have rest from their evils, — no, nor the human race, as I believe, — and then only will this our State have a possibility of life and behold the light of day." Doesn't it make sense to us? Or do you still say how it matters to us?

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