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The Knowledge Commission

Monday April 4 2005 11:02 IST

By Karmayogi

Socrates was born two thousand years ago. The world has not yet followed the knowledge he gave us or the love Jesus brought. Just because knowledge is there, people will not benefit by it. But we see if one man adopts a sales trick, at once all the shops readily adopt it.

Knowledge diluted to become readily usable information is at once taken and used. Where people hesitated to imitate the upper middle class in terms of education, dress, hotel visits, etc. in the past, now they do not hesitate any longer. Everyone, even domestic servants and accountants in flower shops, wants his children educated in the best of schools.

There was a time when middle class people felt that plane travel was not for them. Even those who could afford it felt it was not right for them to travel by air. Such a social hesitation is no longer there.

It is due to social awakening. University teachers keeping important reference books of the department library for their own use and for those close to them used to be the custom. There were not many professors who would gladly part with the information, even to their own students.

As far as possible, any information that one needed would be kept as a secret. The public came to know of essential information only by experience, which means they had very little access to information. The Internet is gradually making such information public, thus removing all social inhibitions, which spreads like a wet blanket all over social life. Truly, it is a revolution the world is undergoing. India is not in the habit of readily benefiting by such advantages.

The Prime Minister speaking in Kolkata announced that the government is contemplating starting a Knowledge Commission. This is the third commission this government is instituting.

Even when such good initiatives are taken, in practice their full value is diluted when the proposal passes through the system of administration. It does not matter what the government is going to do and what real benefit will accrue to the public. It does announce that the government is awake.

To me it means it is a sign of Social Awakening. Exporters in India can vastly benefit by a directory of importers in other countries, which can directly boost our exports. It is a direct service by information. If this Commission can release ALL information that is now a close preserve of the social hierarchy and make it fully available to the public, a great step will have been taken.

A further step is needed by which the public should get into the habit of using the available knowledge for their personal benefit. Any beginning in this direction is of value. It is entirely another topic that describes what should be done for the people to acquire the habit of using the available information.

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