Thursday, December 6, 2012

Classroom Stories - II

A matter of choice

I felt jittery. What is she gonna decide? What if she chooses to go for the event over attending my class?

Though it may look very trivial, this was a classic situational dilemma. You want to be at one place while you also want to be at another place at the same time. What do you do? A student of mine was faced with a similar situation where she wanted to come for the class (she has a good attendance record) but then she had this opportunity to go for an event as well. 

She got through the selection process. She would be introducing a couple of speakers at the venue. I was asked to inform her that she will be dropped out if she can’t come for both days of the event for logistical reasons. For a moment I felt content. Cool, so she will not be missing the class. I really felt it’s an important class and all must attend. But then the teacher in me told me - This is a wonderful “teachable moment”! Who decides what is ‘more important’ for someone? This was a situation where my student could actually bring her decision making skills in use.

I called her and informed her about her selection. I explained to her the condition for attending the event and also explained her both scenarios, with what she has to lose and gain. She asked me, “Bhaiya, what should I do? I want to come for the class. But I also want to go for the event.” I told her, “You will have to decide for yourself.”

She got a little irritated, “What bhaiya! Someone is saying go for the event and someone is saying go for the class. I don’t know what to do!!”

“Look dear… this is one chance for you to bring in action the learning from our class. We always emphasize on the value of choice and decision making. I have explained you both scenarios. Now it is up to you to decide what you want to do. And your decision should not be affected by what I have to say or feel and what your other teachers (people involved in the event) have to. All that should matter to you is – what YOU want to do. Take your time. Think over it. Call me back once you have made up your mind.”

With not-so-confident voice, she said, “Ok bhaiya.”

In an hour’s time, I got a call from her. In a very sheepish voice, she asked me, “Bhaiya, is it important to come for the class? Can I miss this time?”

“Important or not is something that you should decide.”

She took a moment before she replied. “Bhaiya, I would like to go for the event.”

“Sure. So you will be going for both days…” and I gave her further instructions on what would be the next steps. When I got done with the call, I had to inform the event people. What do I inform them – my student chose to not attend my class and go for the event? But then another thought crossed my mind – More than what did she chose, it’s important for me as a teacher that she did chose. Whether she comes to my class for this one day or not, but she is a young girl now who can take her decisions without being hassled by the pressures of “precious teachers’ suggestions”. 

It’s really interesting how the person in us has to deal with the teacher in us, in every moment of our lives. I have to constantly remind myself that I am a good teacher not when my students become what I want them to become, rather when they become what they want to become

Sometimes they may not select the best things; so what’s the heck? Even I do. Recently a friend notified me of being so unsure of some of my own decisions. I think it’s important for our children to go wrong at times and own it up. That’s part of learning. As teachers (or parents) we, at times, become too cautious of things and start taking the decisions that our children should take for themselves. Funny thing is we are the same people who couldn’t take our own decisions (our teachers and parents did for us) and now we want to take someone else’s decisions! In such situations, we are actually disrespecting our children’s intellect. 

I feel happy that my students are making their own choices, and they have their reasons for those choices, irrespective of what I may have to think of them.

Friday, November 30, 2012

The city of hills and the sea VI

Where the mind is without fear...



When I expressed my disapproval upon the curfew imposed due to the death of Mr. Bal Thackeray and the resulting inconveniences caused, a very dear friend of mine told me, “Stop criticizing on things. Find solution. Respect the place where you stay… accept their culture. It’s same like people love Rajnikath in south India. And Amitabhji in Bihar. It’s their love for their leader.” 

I have always wondered what the “culture” of this city is. Is it bringing an entire city to halt if a certain group’s beloved leader dies? Or is it forcefully dumping one’s sorrow on another? Or is it to force the city  to shut shop? Can we use examples of fanatical behavior of another state or city to justify our own? 

And before you get judgmental about me, let me make this clear, I am not against what Mr. Thackeray stands for. In fact, I haven’t studied his work and life in much detail. I am only against any kind of fanaticism and blind faith which can pertain to any religion, caste, gender, sexuality, etc. So here, my views are not about Shiv Sena really. It’s about this city I am apparently in love with – the only place, of all that I have traveled so far, which let me be who I am and gives me the courage to let others be who they are.

I read A. Farooqui’s “Opium City: the making of early Victorian Bombay” a few days back. He writes, “the diverse composition of the capitalist class in terms of the communities from which it was drawn – Parsi, Marwari, Konkani Muslim, Gujrati Bania, Bohra, Armenian, Indo-Portuguese, to name only a few – gave it a cosmopolitan character, which was reinforced by a relatively high degree of collaboration with private European leaders. The openness that this implied rendered Mumbai less of a Maharashtrian and more of an imperial city.” 

If I believe Mr. Farooqui, which I have every reason to given the kind of research he has put into his work, it appears to me that the most significant characteristic of this city is its cosmopolitan nature. Hence, I ask whether the events unfolding on that Saturday and Sunday stand justified? 

In my exploration, I was talking to another friend of mine. She said, “Though ideologically, I condemn what happened, I think that was the best way it could have been handled. They released the news in the evening keeping in mind that people would already be going to their homes after work and least chaos was caused. Knowing Shiv Sainiks, it was important to give this national and state honour to keep them pacified and not cause riots, which otherwise would have.” 

I think this is important for us to understand. It definitely appears to be a thought out move; the best that could have been done ‘knowing the Shiv Sainiks’.  However, this hints at a very interesting question – do we legitimize fear because we expect it - fear of something concrete and practical – or do we prepare ourselves to deal with it? Likewise then, should we simply give away Kashmir because there exists a perpetual state of fear and people do get killed in everyday affairs, isn’t it? 

I woke up at around 08:30 pm on Saturday and went out on a stroll to grab a bite. The only people on the streets were the police and the Sena youth in their SUVs bearing the Shiv Sena jhanda. And  a few random strange people like me. Hadn’t seen Chembur station like that before; not even at midnight. While treading those barren streets that evening, it wasn’t fear that ran through me but a mix of anger and sadness.  My understanding of Mumbai was shaken that day.

Mumbai, a city, where when hundreds of people die in a train bomb blast or a market blow up, it only takes sensational breaking news features and a few moments of mourning to get  it moving again. Mumbai, the same city, comes to a standstill  to mourn the death of one political head. Is that how the balance shifts?  A Bal Thackeray’s life is more precious than all those people, it seems. Not because he was a great leader, but more because he was a demi-god. I was attending a book launch on Gandhi a few days back where Justice Dharmadhikari mentioned that we Indians have this tendency to create gods out of human beings. We revere our leaders with such fanaticism that we just don’t want to look at the other side. And then we make their status unattainable and continue to remain who we are, instead of learning from their lives. We did that with Gandhi so much that he has almost become a joke in our country. Whereas many other nations and leaders across the world, from Malcolm X to Nelson Mandela to Martin Luther King, critically analyzed his work and learnt from him, saw a possibility of doing similar things and actually went ahead and did something about it. Gandhi sadly for us remains lying shut in our text books; folded in our pockets and garlanded every 2nd Oct in every public institution, street and park.

Another interesting thing about us -  we make death sacred. It’s an auto-correction for all faults one commits in his/her life. So all of a sudden Mr. Thackeray becomes a national leader – though he may not have even vaguely effected say a Tamil Nadu or Nagaland. All TV channels spoke about this “tiger’ and his brave life, he was given a national honour- his body being draped in the Tiranga and the police force giving him  the official Salami.

I go back to my original question – does creating a fearful environment in Mumbai because of a Marathi-Hindu leader stand justified? And where does it lead us to from here?  Does Mumbai now live on the mercy and ‘goodness’ of organizations like Shiv Sena?

A city known for its cosmopolitan outlook, and probably the only city in India, almost died that evening. It was drenched in the cruel fear of a dead man and his army of irrational men. It’s the same fear that I suppose, and what most Shiv Sainiks believe, Mr. Bal Thackeray fought against, during Mumbai’s underworld days.

Today, they forced us inside our homes. Tomorrow, they will force us outside it. And we will simply sit and enjoy a non-working day. I think the Shiv Sena supporters’ loss is not in the fact that Mr. Bal Thackeray died. Rather while he was alive, he couldn’t develop and instil the critical, sane and researched perspective/ understanding of leadership. He may have given a lot to the city of Mumbai, but he has left it with some highly irrational people as his followers.

And for my friend and many others like her, I just hope that someday they start respecting the cosmopolitan culture that characterized Mumbai, and in my imagination still does. I hope that someday we all realize that fear can never be equated to respect and fear can never be won over by another set of fears. I hope that someday we all realize that a wrong done at one place doesn’t justify the wrongs done at other places.

I don’t have to justify or testify my love and respect for this city of Mumbai. However, how you, my readers, would understand what I am saying would depend a lot on your own understanding of love and respect.

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To read the previous posts in this series, you may visit following links:


Image courtesy: http://forum.xcitezones.com/threads/24929-Mumbai-Shiv-Sena-patriarch-Bal-Thackeray-passes-away-at-86
 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

पलायन


एक बेपनाह तमन्ना ज़िन्दगी की,
या था कोई ज़ुनून,
जो हो पनपा किसी घुटन के विरुद्ध ?

वजह नहीं बता सकता ठीक-ठीक,
पर जहा भी किया पलायन,
अपनी थोड़ी सी आत्मा छोड़ आया हूँ ।
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Palayan


Ek bepanah tamanna zindagi ki,
yaa tha koi zonoon,
jo ho panpa kisi ghutan ke virudhdhd?

Wajah nahi bata sakta theek-theek,
par jahan se bhi kiya palayan,
apni thodi si aatma chhod aaya hoon.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Classroom Stories - I

Power of a right feedback


It was Akash’s turn for the 1st Term’s one-to-one feedback session at the Service Learning Program (SLP). As our conversation began, I told him how closely he reminds me of my own childhood. His expressions, his gestures and his tone – all appear so much like my own. Along with these, I can spot the areas for improvement too… same as my own. We had a lengthy conversation on his experiences at SLP and the areas that need to be worked on -- not only for him, but also for me as his facilitator. When we were about to end our session, Akash asks me, “Bhaiya, can I say something?”

“Yes”

“I remind you of your past, na bhaiya… I want to be like you in the future, bhaiya.”

I smile.

And he responds with his trademark smile.

These one-to-one feedback sessions have helped me understand my class so much more, so much better! It is helping me to design instructions, examples and pedagogy to use in class. I can now better relate with all of them and their responses in the classroom. I understand their aspirations, their dreams their goals and their struggles so much more.

I recently read an article – Finessing Feedback – by Marge Scherer. I have been experimenting with some of the concepts discussed in there. So now in our feedback sessions, we no more end with a ‘good job’ or ‘this is where you can improve’. We now discuss if something was good, why it was and how it can be better and if something went wrong, why was so and how can we set it right. So when Akash drew in his life map that his biggest learning from his family is – how to love, that was something inspiring. For teens of his age to admit such a thing in an open forum may at times be embarrassing (and in fact it many others giggled at it when he said this). In our feedback session, we discussed how courageous it was and how beautiful this idea his. I asked him, how he thinks he can use this quality to enhance team building in SLP group (which I have been struggling with for quite some time).

This Sunday, we did Life Maps with students and to start the class we tried to understand what a map is, beyond its geographical understanding. I was delighted to hear what Ashwini offered, more because of the kind of connections she made than what she explained. I could have simply said “awesome” or “good job”! However, we together tried to understand why she said whatever she did. She linked to concepts of historical maps and genetic maps to arrive at a generalized definition of maps. This helped us in two ways beyond basic job of appreciation. One, it helped me to point her beautiful thought process to herself. Two, it helped me to present a wonderful example to my other students, how we link various learned concepts to generate new concepts for us.

Another of my students, Shanu, in one of his home tasks, had designed a plan for community service through his favourite subject, geography. His idea was interesting; however planning had to be more meticulous. So together, we prodded into finer details to arrive at something which made better sense. This exercise excited him to work on it better. He said, “bhaiya, I would like to redo the entire task and share it with you tomorrow.” I said, “Fine, as long as you are interested in improving your work, I am okay with it.”

Marge in his article, very interestingly have shown that by changing the tone and content of our feedback, we can actually push our students to think better, clearer and farther. And I am already seeing its benefit. With Akash and all my students.

I see great potential and determination in my students. After all coming every Sunday morning after a hectic week of junior college and tens of other commitments is not an easy thing. And in them is where I draw my motivation from.

When Akash was walking out of the discussion room, I called for him, “Akash… I don’t want you to become like me… I want you to become like you… someone who is… may be… hundred times better than who I could become... Go, send the next one in.”

He smiled, “yes bhaiya”, and left.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

What Young India Really Wants!

I was discussing how bad this book 'What young India wants", by Chetan Bhagat, is with a friend recently. Yesterday, I received the below mail from Vivek, a friend, with similar title. Couldn't help but share it with all the readers of this blog. I think Mr. Bhagat will have to a do some more research before he goes on to sell another "masterpiece". 

A must read ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------





ये दाग़ दाग़ उजाला, ये शब गज़ीदा सहर 
वो इंतेज़ार था जिसका, ये वोह सहर तो नहीं 
ये वो सहर तो नहीं जिसका आरज़ू लेकर 
चले ये यार कि मिल जाएगी कहीं न कहीं 
फलक के दश्त में तारों की आखरी मंज़िल
- फैज़ अहमद फैज़ 

Inline image 1
(L to R): 1. Black flags adorn the village on 'Independence Day'
2. The proximity of the reactor to the coastline is alarming
3. Rohind said, "Don't take my picture, take one of all of us."



Over the last couple of days most of us celebrated the Indian Independence day. We bought flags, hoisted them and saluted them. However, people in a small coastal village of Tamil Nadu abstained. The people of Idinthakarai know the historic freedom struggle too well and they also know that freedom doesn’t come easy. They abstained because they are reliving part of the struggle. Their freedom is at stake and they have decided not to be mere spectators. Idinthakarai is a small coastal village in Tamil Nadu that most of us would not have known in our lives. However, from 1986, seeds of a pact between Russia (then Soviet Union) and India meant that 3.5kms from this village, the world’s biggest nuclear power plant is going to be made. The Koodankulam nuclear power plant has had a rather slow construction, thankfully. Since the birth of the idea for this nuclear power plant, in 1986, the people of the area have resisted it. However, delayed construction, political realignments across the world and a blithe middle class meant that the advent of the 21st century eclipsed the struggle of these people. But the resilience of the people hasn’t faded one bit, over the last year the people of the area have resisted the commissioning of the nuclear power plant through peaceful protests. Their reasons are simple; they want  “risk-free electricity, a disease-free life, unpolluted natural resources, sustainable development and a peaceful future.” For over 370 days they have led a peaceful protest against the nuclear power plant that will drastically affect their lives. In the process, they have been called several names: foreign agents, anti-development, uneducated, anti-India. However, most people who attributed these names are the ones who are not ready to accept the fact that ordinary people can understand issues that affect their life and take constructive action to make change happen. I visited the village on the 17th of August to see for myself what was happening there. I happened to meet a young boy of 13, Rohind. It was painful to know that we have ignored the people of this village, their lives and their rights. I don’t want to narrate his story. It is his story and you should hear it straight from him. I have attached the recording. Before I left I told Rohind that I would bring him his picture when I visited next, he smiled and replied, “Next time you come, we close the nuclear reactor.” What young India really wants, if only we care to listen rather than proclaim. 


Audio link: Rohind's interview [please click to listen to the audio]

Thursday, July 12, 2012

That thing …forever!

Sun spread itself on the floor of their drawing room. The only sounds that bothered the otherwise quiet air were the occasional hush-hush of few members of the family and the call bell that the maid would answer once in a while.

Ravi and Sarika were sitting on the either side of the clean white sheet; motionless, speechless but full of thoughts – thoughts which raced from one to the next, without giving any clue where they got lost in the whole scheme of things. 

He was lying on the floor, resting his both hands back to support his body which would have otherwise fallen down. He scanned around the house looking at the walls and the roof and the floor and the door and the windows. They all look quieter. Quieter than what they all seemed a night before this day when they all were filled with the cacophony of their fights, echoing the hate they would spill off on each other. Could it be the suffocation of that hatred which is responsible for what happened – he wondered. He then fixed his eyes on one end of the white sheet, the end opposite to where she was staring at. 

Her lower lip curled itself inside to get wet. Her eyes would have turned into stone if they were not blinked for some more time. She could hear her voices from the last night. She had almost shouted at Ravi, “I want to be free forever. And I want my son to be free… free from the clutches of your failures… free from your anger… your rage… your fucking, miserable life... for god’s sake! I want to take away my son to a life of hope and positivity and happiness…. forever and ever.”

It’s been two months. Their divorce was settled and now they were fighting for their son’s custody. If things would have gone as planned, they would have been sitting in the court room today to hear the verdict. Last night, both tried to argue, as their last chance, before the final verdict… just in case the other would change mind… or heart. No judge. No advocate. No legal hearing. Only their twelve year old son, to their ignorance, was standing behind the closed door, as motionless, speechless and full of random thoughts… as they were now. 

She wondered now, what does forever mean? 

Rishabh is dead… forever. And beyond death, what else is there… like forever? Feelings? People? Possessions? Life? …not even life. Only death is forever… naturally. Everything else is forced, constructed. If you decide not to talk with someone forever, you force yourself to not to. If you decide not to love someone forever, you force yourself to commit to it… and in our rage to hate each other forever, we went a little too far… so far that we lost our son forever. Was it all about him?

All this while she could hear her voice rise. From low pitch to high. Just like last night. Only that, it was in the head. It appeared as if her thoughts were talking to his, growing over in their heads, as loud as they could, strongly contrasting the silence outside. she felt him saying – No it was all about us. It was always about us. We had almost forgotten that he existed; existed as a person beyond flesh and blood. A person with a mind that might have had hundred questions for us and a heart that would be bleeding with thousand emotions, with what was going around him. But we never really cared.

She moved her eyes from one end towards another in a hope to see Rishabh’s face but got caught by Ravi’s, who had moved away from the face, in a hope to seek a momentary withdrawal from the reality of the moment. When they both met, they could not really decide what was more profound in each other’s – the guilt or the sadness? Hatred? Probably that was long gone, before they could even realize. Sometimes we engage ourselves in a desperate search of that “forever” thing… so intensely that we almost forget what we really wanted for ourselves, for ever.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Irresponsible entertainment?


What would we do when we graduate from X with good grades and getting admitted to a good junior college? Shop? Party? Have fun? This girl, I met some days ago, more than anything else, raced around to get her name changed. Why? Because her name, apparently, had become a way too popular.

It may sound a little too frivolous. But trust me, if any of you would have met her, you would understand what I am talking about. If you had seen in her eyes the guilt of bearing a name that was adjective-zed with something like “chikani” and contained in a song that vulgarizes one's being, you would understand where I am coming from.

When I asked her why she changed her name, she informed me, “Bhaiya, I don’t want to spend my first few months of college in embarrassment.” I felt angry. Imagine if I had to rename myself because some careless a**hole has turned my name into a cheap entertainment! Some people may argue that this girl, and all the girls like her, need to have courage and strength to fight it or to ignore and not to be affected. I ask, fight or ignore is a good idea... but how many times in a day?

I am sure when her parents would have named her whatever they did, they must have had some very beautiful connotation. And we – people who create such songs and those of us who have made them so popular – have brought shame upon the same name. At this realization, I think of all those girls who may be named a Munni, a Sheela, a Chameli and such. What creepy humiliation it is when you walk on the street and someone at your back sings “Sheela ki Jawani” or “Chikani Chameli”!

Men have been objectifying women since ages. That's pathetic. But what is more crazily insane is women's participation in this process of victimization. This has to stop. And to stop this, it’s not men who will take the initiative, some may be empathetic though. Rather its women who need to take the lead. I wonder - why a Shreya Ghosal has to sing Chikani Chameli in first place? Why a Farah khan has to create space for Sheela ki Jawani in her film? Why Malaika Arora has to dance on Munni Badnam Huyi? Why these women do not have courage to say no to such demands? After all they are established and powerful figures in their respective professions? Aren’t they?

As I understand cinema, the concept of “script ki demand” is crap. There are hundred other ways to narrate one's story. One just needs to explore those other ways. And I don’t think it’s about creative liberty to do what we do in liberty’s name. If that would have been the case, it would have been interesting to listen to Katrina ki jawani or Farah badnam huyi. But we don’t. Because in the name of creative liberty we rarely spill off the shit on ourselves. It’s mostly others.

I respect the courage with which all the girls with these names are surviving and fighting this humiliation. On my part, I pledge never to play to any of such songs. I pray that someday our film industry will grow to be a little more sensitive. I also hope that in one of the Satyamev Jayate episodes Mr. Amir Khan also talks about the social responsibility his industry has and is not catering to. Amen!

P.S. – I am a huge Amir fan and I love his work, including SMJ.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Reinstituting faith...


“How do we inspire ourselves to greatness when nothing less will do? How do we inspire everyone around us? I sometimes think it is by using the work of others,” suggests Nelson Mandela to Francois Pienaar, in the movie, Invictus. Frankly my quest right now is not for greatness. That’s too much to ask for when all I am seeking is sustenance in and a periodical, critical review of the decisions I have taken in my life. Why I am where I am and why am I doing whatever I am doing? In such moments of uncertainty I seek out for reasons, and further for inspiration to sustain those reasons.

Recently I happened to meet two inspiring sets of people.


I was walking towards Matunga station with some friends. That’s when I spotted this lady, busy teaching this child while running her vegetable shop. I wonder, what kind of determination and faith in education it would take for a mother (or guardian) to keep on educating one’s child in most difficult circumstances of life?




Few days later, I happened to visit the Cuff Parade Slum area which is majorly populated by fishermen and their families. I met these two awesome boys (right in the above picture, boys in the school dress) who lived next to a filthy garbage collection pit (left in the above picture). Still, they were getting dressed for their school with a happy smile on their faces. There was no one in the house. I assume their parents were off to work. The elder brother was helping the younger one to get ready. Their smiles whispered to me then, “We believe in what you are doing, do you?”

I would want to make a point here that I don’t intend to glorify the “power of poor to fight against the odds of poverty”. That’s not the aim. I have met people from other sections (the upper and the middle class), who have lived their lives with equally strong examples of faith. It so happens that the two stories I mentioned here come from a certain section of society (of which I have other issues but shall not discuss it here, as it's not in the scope of this piece). Also, I think it doesn’t matter which field of work we choose to live by; what matters is our understanding about our work and what is it intended at. Rest everything falls into place.

I have read Gandhi’s talisman* in almost all my CBSE board books through my schooling days. However its true meaning only unfolds now when I think of that lady on the street, those boys in the slums and many such amazing set of people I happen to interact in my course of life. With this, the doubts in my mind start melting away…!

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* Gandhi’s Talisman: "I will give you a talisman. Whenever you are in doubt, or when the self becomes too much with you, apply the following test. Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man [woman] whom you may have seen, and ask yourself, if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him [her]. Will he [she] gain anything by it? Will it restore him [her] to a control over his [her] own life and destiny? In other words, will it lead to swaraj [freedom] for the hungry and spiritually starving millions? Then you will find your doubts and your self melt away." – Source: http://www.mkgandhi.org/gquots1.htm

P. S.: The opening of this blog is same as one my previous blogs,  http://rohit2093.wordpress.com/2011/01/28/beyond-the-cycle-and-cancer/  . It fitted in here pretty well and didn’t feel like changing it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Time we change our sports?


I was sitting in my window last weekend, watching children play various sports in this huge ground opposite my building. I was following them, from cricket to football to volleyball and so on. And something struck. We have always believed that sports teach us stuff... but today, it was interesting to note how they teach us stuff that might mirror the society they originate from and those where they flourish.

Take cricket. There's one batsman and one bowler. Rest all are others. Their position may strategically have value but socially, in the structure of cricket, they are not as valuable as the role of a batsman, followed by the bowler. This is more apparent in gully cricket, where there's no team as such. Rather children take turns for batting. You ask a child who plays cricket, and 99% times you will hear that he prefers being a batsman. In fact I have seen insances where children cheat – they play their part of batting and then go home excusing themselves with “mummy is calling”. Everyone on the ground wishes to bowl the batsman, so that they can take his position. We know so many good batsmen or bowlers. Barring few exceptions, how many good fielders are remembered (and given a chance to endorse products)? Doesn't it in a way reflect the society where certain hierarchy is DNA-fied in the its structure? And where else this sport could have originated other the Great Britain, which has a history of hierarchical social setup? And where else could it gain such popularity other than India (and its neighbouring countries), which is so profoundly fixated with its love for class, caste and creed?

Well this is not about discussing how good or bad cricket is. The sport may have its own merits. However, I am more concerned about the lessons we are planning for our children on the field. All I am asking is, if we are really looking for solutions to such problems of social stratification, shall we not relook into what's going on in the schools (and not just classrooms) and streets and sports grounds? It has long been established that what's going on in the classrooms is not the most right thing that can happen to our children. Shall we also give a thought to what's going on with them on the field? And more so when The Great Britain itself has successfully shifted it's focus from cricket to football? Isn't it time we change or transform the sports we play?

P.S.: I am just thinking aloud. I may not be right in what I am proposing. It's just a point of view. I invite all the readers to post their views and have a good discussion here. And would really appreciate the cricket-lovers to give it an objective thought before presenting their views :)