A pursuer of knowledge should never be quelled by existential precinct or ridicule just because he or she has chanced upon something which has been unheard of previously.
Education empowers! Just these two words are adequate to convey sheer possibilities that education entails. The two key ingredient of this empowering journey are ‘dissent’ and ‘debate’. Devoid of constructive application of these twin edifying pillars, education is like a dormant volcano, frozen in time and bound by limitations.
Imagine what would happen if no one ever challenged the notion of earth being flat? It might have caused a furore when age old beliefs were questioned but the alternative would have been living in ignorance of what the very planet we live on looks like and what it means for its inhabitants. It is often argued that dissent and debates lead to chaos and confusion. I agree. If used with malicious or superficial intents or giving into arguing just for the sake of arguments, it hardly serves any purpose. But, when dissent is born out of informed debate and a will to explore better possibilities than what already exists, it is truly worthy of encouragement. Our students cannot find anything new if they do not disagree with the status quo in various fields. Be it science and technology, literature or politics, a different perspective breathes in fresh air. A pursuer of knowledge should never be quelled by existential precinct or ridicule just because he or she has chanced upon something which has been unheard of previously.
I entertain no doubt that it is the sacred duty of educational institutions to impart knowledge that have been accumulated over several decades to its students but, it is equally our responsibility to encourage healthy debates and dissenting voices so that knowledge is expanded and does not become mere repetition of what has always existed.
In a world populated by rhetoric and inflamed judgements, dissenting voices deserve a place of respect if education has to reach its true potential and at the University we are committed to encourage all forms of constructive debates and discussions.
Dr. Chenraj Roychand
President, Jain University Trust