A Guru-ism Crisis

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Era of unprecedented growth in Science, Arts and what not, and yet more than three-fourths of student population in India has no guru! More than 7 million teachers and yet a shortage of Gurus! That’s underwhelming. Knowledge can now be bought, which may come as a serious offense to our modern educational system, but is it what led to the fall of the ancient Indian tradition of Guru-ism?

The word “Guru” has turned vague with induction of words like mentor, and emergence of definitions like “a spiritual leader”, “someone who acquires followers” etc.. What “Guru” essentially means is a mentoring teacher and counsellor. Seems simple to understand at first, but that is only a brief, not quite definitive definition. The real Crisis surrounding today’s students and experts is absence of real Gurus. The confusion surrounding mentoring, teaching and counselling is just too big.

The position of Guru, which held a place above our parents according to Hindu scriptures, has been taken over by teachers, tutors, trainers, instructors, schools and professors. The problem of providing a lot of teachers for the same set of students makes it difficult for students to adapt to a single style of teaching and mentoring. This usually makes only a small set of students to go through the required rigorous training actually required for practical purposes. This also induces a sense of insecurity and incompatibility among the students causing natural decrease in education quality.

The seemingly good answer to the above problem came with unified and synchronised curriculum being enforced throughout the world by major institutions and “Gurus”. But what is a book if you don’t know how to read. The problem with self study is that you might know everything about what you know, but you never know what others know. A complete knowledge is never complete. What can be achieved is close to complete knowledge of a specific skill or subject.

And the highly competitive world today is capitalizing on the same fact. Abstraction may come as a helper in understanding how this is achieved.

The current need is not to provide a great or effective curriculum, but effective teachers, mentors and counsellors or Gurus. A push can throw you off a mountain or carry you along with the clouds. Whatever quality any curriculum may attain, it is still a cliff to jump over, if not implemented properly. So here’s a question to you: do you have a guru?

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