School, college, prison: The ethics of the educated criminal
The recent report of a lawyer who tortured his ten-year-old maid in an attempt to exorcise evil spirits should drive out any ideas elitists may harbour about the lower classes being responsible for backward values.
Far too many people point fingers at the poorest of the poor and blame them (or their poverty and illiteracy) for the moral bankruptcy that surfaces in our headlines every day. Far too many people equate literacy with enlightenment. In an ideal world, with an ideal education system and an ideal society, perhaps this could be a fair correlation. However, the truth stands that literacy in and of itself has little to do with building character.
The crime committed against such a young child initially disgusted me too much to write about; is there anything left to say about barbarism and inhumanity? What stands out in crime reports lately is not the nature of the crimes-human rights abuses have always existed and have always been disturbing-but the background of the perpetrators. Last month’s newspapers carried stories of rape, torture and gross miscarriages of justice carried out by doctors, lawyers, professors and policemen. Such is the state of our literate (I cannot call them educated) classes.
Any individual can choose to be enlightened, but it seems that this has become a choice rather than a necessity when going through school and college. People can acquire professional degrees without acquiring a modicum of decency or humanity along the way. There is no doubt that a lack of education poses enormous hurdles to our development as a nation but much deeper thought needs to go into our definition of education. Until then, barbaric professionals will continue posing as our “educated” classes-and the abuse will continue.
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