Jeevan Vidya- a boon for the soul or a bane for the students in the form of a compulsory two-credit Human values course. In this fast changing world with rapidly eroding moral values, do we need a course on HV 'imposed' on the students? Well, debatable questions which need to be well pondered upon. As an effort in this direction, we undertook a survey of UG1 students who have attended Jeevan Vidya. And as expected , the survey threw up trends which probably describes very well the effect of JV on them.
There goes a saying that, "You can take a horse to the river, but you cannot make it drink water". This, in my opinion, is very much applicable to the compulsory- for- UG1- Jeevan Vidya workshop. Many of the students whom I had interviewed questioned the wisdom of 'imposing' a Jeevan Vidya workshop on adults who are getting ready to take on the world. Even if a human values course is necessary, do we need to listen to someone whose ideologies or definitions we may not agree with? From the poll conducted, a fact came out that the students found J.V very boring. A testimonial to this fact is that in spite of repeated requests to UG1 students, a very few of them responded to the questionnaire. In fact, some of the fundas
unraveled in the J.V workshop went above the heads of most of the students. A general feeling among the students is that they, not having really experienced life, are too young to understand the significance of these concepts. Besides, any positive affect that J.V might have been trying to have over the students was washed away by the high tidal waves of assignments and exams, which are a prominent feature in the life of a UG1 student. Another point that came up during the survey was that most students think that many of these concepts were not relevant to their life, at least as of now. Besides, many of the students do not agree with some of the definitions which were imposed during J.V. Most of the sample also says that even if they liked J.V, they did not think of these issues after J.V, i.e., they find them too idealistic and difficult to implement. In fact, they even seem to have forgotten what was taught in J.V. Considering all these facts, should J.V still be compulsory for UG1 students? Over to Prof.Sangal.
"You can get a horse to a river, but you can't make him drink, that's true, but if any drinking has to take place, the horse has to be near the river!"
When I asked my classmates about their experience with J.V., at first many were hesitant in accepting the truth. But upon a little prodding, surprisingly, it came out that they either benefited from Jeevan Vidya, or they hadn't paid to it any attention . It also turned out that the biggest (and loudest) opposers of Jeevan Vidya fell into the second category. Now it's for them to rationalize whether at all they should criticize a thing they didn't give a chance to, in the first place.
Alas! these "non benefiteds" from Jeevan Vidya have been louder than their "benefited" counterparts, and this is the reason for the wave that has been blowing against Jeevan Vidya in the student body. But does this wave reflect the truth? In personal conversations, people come out with the facts that post J.V. their behavior has improved, they now value relationships like they never did, that they've been encouraged to think, and encouraged to act out of their own free will. These are the results, they've been attained within two months of Jeevan Vidya. If you consider the long term benefits, and the effects of the changes already achieved by Jeevan Vidya, it's not at all that bad a deal!
The idea of compulsory shivirs is fully justified as almost all the people who benefited from J.V. said they wouldn't have cared for it had it not been a compulsion. but as they explored it, they struck gold.
Finally, in the words of a classmate of mine, like we need technical knowledge to work, we need some guidance and exposure to grow up in life. Jeevan Vidya exposes us to ideas that are already within us, and just need to be analyzed carefully. So friends, shed all prejudices, and try to discover your self through Jeevan Vidya, even if it's not 'trendy'.
THE OPINION POLL
-CONDUCTED BY ANIKET N KARAN
Q1-To what extent has Jeevan Vidya affected/benefited you:
a-Greatly b-To a good extend c-somewhat d-very little e-none at all
2-Would you have attended Jeevan Vidya had it not been compulsory?
a-Yes b-No c-Cant say
3-Given an opportunity, will you attend another shivir?
a-Yes b-No c-Cant Say
4- How much different do you think the impact of Jeevan Vidya would have been on you had it been conducted in the
first month of the academic year, when the academic workload was much lesser than it was during the scheduled shivirs
a-Much more positive b-More positive c-Not different d-More negative e-much more negative
5-Will you recommend J.V to a friend in another college
a-Yes b-No c-Cant say