When I entered TKS, Shish was reading a book. A pretty thick book, it was. First of all, I did not know that Shish had a reading habit. Now seeing him, what with that unusually thick book, I was really taken aback. Even my friend’s daughter, who is an ardent reader wouldn’t think of reading such a big book.
N: What is this, Shish? Such a thick book, you are reading!
Sh: Not a thick book!
N: Then what? It doesn’t look thin to me!
Sh: No, I did not say thin or thick. What I said is that it is really not a book.
N: Not a book? What is it then?
Sh: It is a report. You remember we had discussed sometime back about a school to teach
N: Yes, so?
Sh: I have a friend who is a parliamentarian and also an educationist. He was actually an eminent teacher first. Then he became MLA and then MP. Nowadays, he is not in politics but he is part of many committees formed to study various things. I asked him to make a study about starting a school. He gave me this report.
N: This looks like the report normally submitted for the Government-sponsored studies.
Sh: That is because he has served in many Government committees. So, I am giving it to you. From the number of pages, it looks like a comprehensive report.
N: What am I supposed to do with it?
Sh: Well, you read it and take necessary actions.
N: Read that book?
Sh: Not book, Report….
N: Read that report fully? I can’t.
Sh: But then you must. You have to go deep into the problems associated with running a school. Otherwise how do we start the school?
N: But I can’t read that report fully. You have asked for the report. So you have to read it and give me your recommendations. And then I will give the approval…
Sh: But this is not like internet. While downloading something, normally you are asked to confirm that you have read the complete agreement by giving a tick mark in a square. I know, nobody reads them but that ‘I agree’ tick mark usually everybody gives.
N: By the way, did you read it?
Sh: Not really. I started reading very earnestly. But half way through, I slept.
N: OK. Tell me how did you find it? Whatever you have read?
Sh: I liked it. It has got a practical approach.
N: Practical approach? Can you tell me what exactly you read in that so far? I want you to tell me briefly.
Sh: First two chapters are dedicated to explain why a school of democracy is required.
N: We know we don’t need this lesson because we know already why it is required.
Sh: True. But when a report is being submitted, these things are mandatory. Chapter 3 is interesting. Chapter 3 talks about syllabus and what are the lessons to be included in the syllabus. First lesson is how to ensure that you will get a ticket to contest elections.
N: Does it explain about why elections are required?
Sh: Briefly, yes. It almost considers that you know that part. It say that elections are part of democracy…. Rather it almost means that elections and democracy are not two different things. They are the same.
N: Any particular methods to ensure a ticket to become a candidate?
Sh: I did not read it in detail. But one point I could gather is that we have to use sama-dana-bheda-dand methods. Ultimately it is not the path, it is the goal that is important and here getting a ticket is the goal. Similarly there are lessons on how to win elections and after winning the elections, how to participate in formation of the Government etc. You will be given practical training in how to break tables and chairs, how to pull out microphones and damage them, how to rush to well and shout slogans etc. There is even a chapter which deal with how thw voters should behave during elections in a democracy.
N: Looks interesting. Anyway, I can’t read it fully. It is your duty to read it in detail and give recommendations to me. And for teaching all this we will need text books and we will need expert teachers. You work on it and form some strategy. Once you are ready, then we will discuss it.