Many new voices that we hear more and more today in politics, business and art and culture were not heard as recently as fifty years back. Colonialism, slavery and economic repression never let these voices surface and come onto the world stage.
The trend of rural populations moving toward cities has created huge problems in the urban societies of developing countries. In the year 2005, half of the world’s population was living in urban areas. In 1994, there were fourteen mega-cities (the cities that had at least ten million inhabitants). This number increased to thirty-seven in 2017.
I was the fourth child, a son, born to parents that fought every evening as if it were a ritual without which they couldn’t go to bed. My father left us when I was seven. My mother did her best to make ends meet, but it was obvious that three jobs, paying minimum wage, were killing her. When I was twelve, my two older brothers were killed—One by a rival gang and the other by police. The grief soon killed my mother. My elder sister, who had been paying the bills with some help from the state, disappeared a year later. Some says she was a victim of sex trafficking, but I never came to know what had happened to her. There was nobody to pay the bills so I came to live on the streets. Every night, I took the last green train and slept on it; then I went to my ‘hood in the morning.
What world we are leaving for the next generation? We have often heard this question in connection with the deteriorating environment. My question is: Are we leaving a planet where the next generation can thrive?
Since the dawn of the industrial era and particularly after the Second World War, education became more career oriented. Its value as a job grabber and a mode for competition for industrial and corporate positions has increased tremendously. Gradually the process of providing values and morals, both worldly and religious, moved to the end of the list of objectives of education.
Art Education? Why? This question is an important one for a society in which there is much to be done toward the appreciation and teaching of art. Is it really a waste of time for our students? Is it a subject that just tears them away for forty-five to fifty minutes from their core subjects? Or is it a subject that provides our students with some specific skills?