Politics of knowledge


One may wonder what is politics in knowledge. But the denial of true knowledge is politics. Some personal or group interest interfere in transferring knowledge. Examination oriented teaching is, in effect, denying of the true knowledge. Politicians and those in power do suppress facts from the public as part of their politics. 'Right to information' is thereby denied. It is politics of knowledge.

Knowledge is something which everybody can can earn and possess. Generally, education process is the step towards acquiring knowledge. A child entering into a learning institution comes out, after a prescribed time, with added knowledge. We say that the knowledge level of the child has increased because of learning.

In the process of learning or knowing things, the children might confront certain problems. They would find out solutions to these either by themselves or with the help of teachers. But there may be still several unresolved problems in the minds of some of the students, especially in the minds of students who think independently. They may not, sometimes, get a helping hand from their teachers. Either the teacher may not be in a position to give an answer to the students' queries or may not be interested in sharing this knowledge with them. A sort of politics interferes there, politics of knowing.

This attitude will be more apparent at higher education level. The attitude of the teacher will be only to prepare the student for appearing the ensuing examinations. The Professor will be knowing the pattern of the questions. The class time will be more used for explaining how to answer those questions. The question setter also will not go into depth while preparing the questions. Most of the students will be very happy with this situation. Unknowingly, politics of knowing interfere here also. Those students who actually wanted to understand things in detail are being sidelined here. Examination oriented teaching is really denying the right of students to understand the topic in detail.

In post graduate classes, the Professor teaches in detail about certain scientific theories. But he may not be explaining anything about the social impact or applications of these theories. For example, a Professor teaching about nuclear physics will be skillfully illustrating about the generation of electric power using atomic reactor and also about the machinery involved in the whole setup. But if a student asks him about the environmental impact of the plant in the locality, he may not give a satisfactory answer. Thus the student's knowledge become incomplete. It is because of a biased approach by the professor; again an example of politics of knowing.

Conveying partial knowledge has become almost a rule of the day. Only those who quarrel for the knowledge, get the full picture. We hear the political speeches during election time. Each speaker presents half true facts in front of the audience. The other half may not be helping them for getting votes. Thus our information get distorted.

The official facts are also very often not perfect, it get biased because of the interests of the ruling party. Original expenditure data of different development works carried out may not be convincing in several cases. Only partial information will be conveyed through the available data.

Another technique used by the suppliers of knowledge is using terms which are not understood by ordinary people. Even the officials or those having direct contact with the people may not be capable of explaining the exact meaning of the terms used in an Order. As an example, Government's pronouncements about the financial situation of the country using certain economic jargon are not understood by majority. Perhaps, the Government do not wish that those things are clearly understood by people. A politics is there, evidently.

Now, as per constitution, Right to Information is guaranteed. But the provisions contained there in are not properly utilized. This also add to blacking out of knowledge as a means of politics.


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