“I will humbly request all of you that judge be my work”, said Human Resource Development minister of India, Mrs Smriti Irani on the controversy regarding her educational qualification. Madhu Kishwar, a women’s rights activist, raged a controversy over the fact that Irani, just a Class 12th pass, has been made the Human Development Minister.

Whenever the topic of minimum educational qualification came up for discussion, I witnessed formation of two groups. One would readily emphasise on its urgent need while other would refrain from such imposition.

India has witnessed one of the best political leaders across the world ever since it got independent. Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, our first Prime Minister, graduated from Trinity College,Cambridge. His knowledge and insight was the key reason for the formation of our constitution which has upheld the country ever since.
Dr Rajendra Prasad served in various educational institutions as a teacher. After completing his M.A in economics, he completed Doctorate in Law from Allahabad University. Can we imagine the plight of our country if leaders like them had not been educated? Education helps in doing away with the narrow mindedness of an individual. It promotes open thoughts and acceptability towards a change. With technological advancements and globalization it is necessary for leaders to readily accept and adapt to changes. A strong educational background of the ministers holding important portfolios refrains from them being dependent. It helps them in making their own decisions wisely and intellectually.
India needs to do away with its caste based politics. Education will help in making people understand the triviality of caste and creed.
But let me tell you that setting a compulsory minimum qualification still wouldn’t ensure its ‘progress’. We live in a country where a larger chunk of people are illiterate. Penetration of education in most areas is quite low. Don’t you think disqualifying majority from contesting elections will be against the democracy of India? This would perhaps curtail India from being called the biggest democracy around the world.
“People rise because of hard skills and fail due to dearth of soft skills”. The decision making ability, honesty, integrity, leadership, attitude and behaviour are some of the soft skills which are said to be inborn. According to experts, hard skills can be learned and perfected over time whereas soft skills are more difficult to acquire and change. A politician’s determination will make a better difference in people’s lives rather than his degrees.
What makes us come to the conclusion that more education can cut down the corruption? I must tell you that greed is a never ending property of an individual. It’s not the education but moral values that will come to rescue in such circumstances.
Mr Andimuthu Raja is a Bachelor of Science and of Law. He is the prime accused in the second biggest scam in India- the 2G spectrum case. The alleged amount in the scam is around Rs 1.76 lakh crores.
Mr Suresh Kalmadi graduated from Ferguson College, Pune and served the Indian Air Force for six years. Kalmadi is also a co-accused in the CWG scam. He is charged with forgery, misconduct and conspiracy under prevention of Corruption Act.  Also, the former Maharashtra chief minister, Ashok Chavan has Masters in Business Management. He is the prime accused in the Adarsh scam.

Mayavati, LLB from Delhi University continues to play caste based politics. Not forgetting the father son duo, Akhilesh Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav. Even though Akhilesh is a master in environmental engineering from University of Sydney, he continues to support his father according to whom, “Boys will be boys, why hang rapists?”

On the contrary, Mr K.Kamaraj was agreeably one of the best politicians in India. I must tell you that he dropped off school very early to support his family. He was awarded the Bharat Ratna as he brought school reforms in the state of Tamil Nadu by introducing free and compulsory education up to eleventh standard and mid-day meal scheme.

If the educational qualifications of ministers had anything to do with the works they have done, then surely, India would have been a different place. We can emphasize on the minimum qualification based on the ranks. Thus much will not be demanded by a sarpanch and no less will be settled for Prime Minister of India.
Let us for then judge the politicians on the work they do and not just their educational background.
“I will humbly request all of you that judge me by my work”.
Will you?

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