Education is blooming at the unlikeliest of places. Schools and colleges are just time pass for most of our cool as cucumber kids. Not even in our wildest dreams do we expect them to be bothered with such trivial pursuits such as studying. Why disturb them when they have better things to do – such as uploading ossum pictures of last night’s party on FB or getting their adrenalin rush from the Playstation that Dad gifted for scraping through last semester.
The unlikeliest pupils are a gaggle of convicts who are turning studious with a vengeance. The trend started with the trigger happy former DIG of Gujarat police DG Vanzara, who is now lodged in jail for masterminding a series of fake encounters. The gent has just completed a Post Graduate diploma in Value Education &amp; Spirituality. I quite like the logic of earning good karma while twiddling your thumbs in jail. So what if the realization came after killing scores of unarmed men &amp; women for political gains.
Apparently Vanzara is not alone. No, I am not talking of the ghosts of the dear and departed that haunt him or the jailed criminals dying to teach him a lesson. There are other jailbirds who have shown penchant for uplifting pursuits. Hardcore Islamic militants have also completed the same course from their cells in Sabarmati Central Jail in Ahmedabad. So happy are Universities with this development that they are clamouring to open study centres in District jail.
Are prisons the new temples of learning?
These prisoners have also turned into voracious readers and are lapping up Gandhi’s autobiography.
So, if my daughter doesn’t get admission to any college after she completes school, I know where to send her. Gandhi will help her get rid of her vampire fixation and she might end up with a PhD if she stays there long enough. Plus she will get to eat free healthy meals.
The land of the beauteous Heena Rabbani Khar is not too behind either. Abdul Rasheed, one of the accused in the assassination of Benazir Bhutto has come out with flying colours in the Secondary School examination, securing 3rd position while writing the test from Rawalpindi jail. When Ahmed had expressed his willingness to complete his studies, the jail administration happily provided teachers and other facilities to him.
This has given me an idea which might just fetch me a Nobel Prize for peace.
Since most of our MPs and MLAs are Xth fail, it will be a fantastic idea to send them all to Tihar. Out of sheer boredom they will start singing bhajans and kirtans every evening and come out with flying colours in their exams. After a stint in prison they will emerge deeply spiritual and demand bribes with their heads bent down with humility. In Parliament, after our elected representatives have thrown chappals at their opponents, they will apologize profusely in English. They will take permission from the speaker of the house, before climbing on tables to protest. Armed with brand new ideologies our honourable MPs will insist on joining Anna Hazare’s movement and fast with him. With their pot bellies gone after a prolonged stint of fasting they will look dapper and almost attractive.
It is my humble suggestion that all our iron-willed netas who think stealing is their birthright and smash their colleague’s laptops to express their displeasure at being caught should be sent to prison as well. It will be a soul cleansing experience for them. Ms Simi Garewal should be deputed to sing lullabies to them in her British accent. She has ample practice in putting her audience to sleep with her talk shows. It is possible that Ram Gopal Varma will express interest in making a movie on our leaders startling rediscovery of their spiritual selves. I will be asked to put in a guest appearance but I will turn it down. The movie will be titled From Bihar to Tihar – journey of a Reformed Rascal...
Our prisons better start getting ready to welcome their new guests. They will need extra cells and a cafeteria where our newly turned intellectuals will exchange ideas over cups of chai. Complimentary Jholas should be provided to cart heavy books from the library. Jails will be like a finishing school that will add polish and panache to the much sullied image of our Politicos. Vote for Dharamveer Prasad, BA pass ...MA First Class... and fresh from Tihar.
Come to Jail, see the change and who knows, India will be shining again.