e the graduate students of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, take this opportunity to solicit your attention into the fact that although huge number of modern sciences are being taught and few more are in the pipeline to be introduced at the University of Kashmir , being the torch bearer of knowledge; but philosophy being one amongst the ancient sciences is not yet introduced. Even though we are moving forward with a great pace in scientific fields, none seems to be worried about how we are going to chart our trajectory and bridge the gap between human and humane, in absence of requisite culture for philosophy.
The idea of education in absence of philosophy is bogus and no wonder we find literate uneducated masses today. Many times the issues we are facing in our society, are all problems arising from lack of morality and wisdom, which could have been addressed, since they are what philosophy deals with. The moral teachings of saint philosophers of India like Mahatma Gandhi, Vivekananda, Aurobindo, Buddha, Maulana Azad, etc, have influenced people for generations and have set the standards so high that no one ever will be able to fit in their shoes. Thus by neglecting philosophy, not only are we closing the doors on debates, rational arguments and discussions, but also logic and reason. History is testimony to the fact that our India has produced great philosophers like Swami Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo, Kabir, Kapila, Varahamihira, Bhaskaracharya, Brahmagupta, Chanakya, Chakrapani Datta, Madhava, Panini who not only have influenced the pupil community at large. But the perspectives of such great philosophers are still relevant in many aspects of life.
The chief irony is that the subject is being taught at some colleges at undergraduate level but the same is missing at postgraduate level. We have a few colleges and lesser 10+2 institutions teaching philosophy and our professional institutions don’t have significant places for philosophy or ethics. Besides, philosophy is a core subject in the B.Ed course. No wonder we keep suffering from specialists who fail miserably on intellectual and moral fronts. Despite the claims made by the Government in reshaping and rebuilding the standard of education in terms of new innovative courses, nothing is seen on the ground level for philosophy or for providing depth to any discipline that its philosophy provides. Last year our Central Government introduced a new policy for education and our Prime Minister himself confessed that the policy was influenced from the philosophy of Swami Vivekananda. “Indian culture and philosophy have had a strong influence on the world. These rich legacies to world heritage must not only be nurtured and preserved for posterity but also researched, enhanced, and put to new uses through our education system,” the NEP states.
India’s new National Education Policy (NEP) sets out on the right note: “The pursuit of knowledge (Jnan), wisdom (Pragyaa), and truth (Satya) was always considered in Indian thought and philosophy as the highest human goal. The aim of education in ancient India was not just the acquisition of knowledge as preparation for life in this world, or life beyond schooling, but for the complete realization and liberation of the self.” Interestingly, the word ‘philosophy’ appears 14 times in the document, while ‘English’ is mentioned five times.
Sir, each year the University produces thousands of graduates who had philosophy as their major subject, during their UG program . But the majority of those students who cannot afford to continue pursuing the discipline at the Universities located outside the UT, have to switch their field of interest. However this not only costs us the optimal utilization of resources, our potential future thinkers; but also our legacy of philosophical traditions and their teaching and ideologies. We are eroding the fertile land that could have produced resourceful personnel and the least cost we are bearing is keeping them unaware of our glorious past. Wherein institutions supported multidisciplinary teaching and research and hosted multicultural scholars and students.
This year their again was an unofficial announcement regarding the introduction of PG Department of Philosophy at University of Kashmir, however due to the pandemic it got delayed again. Which costed students like us a year of our academics; cause we were lying in wait for that to happen. This approach of our institutions towards this subject has led to a perception amongst people to think of philosophy as a waste of time and resources. It is better to prepare children for an MBA or software engineering than to set them on the ludicrous quest of a resident philosopher’s job, they think.
But one doesn’t need philosophy to find a job. One needs philosophy to do any job better, to cope with any situation better, and to see opportunities, adversities and situations in the larger context. The reason our students opt to switch their field of interest and not pursue the discipline at other Universities that do offer the MA program; not only include the economic constraints but also the barriers like being the only kid in the family, lacking job opportunities in near future. etc.
Sir, we the craving youth beseech your esteemed self and hope you as a chancellor of Universities and as Lt . Governor will review the dismal scenario and will redress it, and reach the conclusion at the earliest. So that in the next academic session of 2022 . We finally can study the field of our interest and not have to switch our subjects, and thus being resourceful. Hope you will grant attention to the problem on priority.
Students of UG ( Batch 2017,2018).
Umair Hassan, Rabiya Bashir, Umaisa Rasheed, Israr Ahmad Tantray, Haroon Rashid, Ishfaq Rashid, Mehraj Majid, Imran Naik, M. Azhar ud Din, Aabid Hussain.