An Academic Awakening

It was not in our hands to judge what a person’s idea of being a human being was.

It was the end of the third semester. Half my colleagues were itching to go home while the other half mulled over their forthcoming internships. Amidst the restlessness students usually experience before the semester is due for termination, entered a man who by the end of his course would have changed most of our lives forever – Professor A.F. Mathew.
His basic attempt was to sensitise our hearts and minds. He struck a chord of awareness, which would rid us of the shackles of mass manipulation by various organisations largely influenced by extreme religious and political ideas; fuelling the process of us becoming media professionals.

He introduced to us many concepts along with the reality of Equality, Gender, Caste, Religion, Class etc. and through various examples introduced us to the flaws in our beliefs. While the world points its finger at Islam, Professor Mathew proved to us that imperfection lies in all religions and none is greater than the other. What should truly be the aspect of our recognition is humanity.

“What do you mean by the word ‘straight’? Do other people have crooked spinal cords?” he once said while discussing gender and sexuality. Each question had no correct answer, logical or otherwise. This only further proved his point about our insensitive behaviour. With each minute into a topic we could gauge how the world was deprived of acceptance. It highlighted how even in a small classroom, we were unable to accept each other as we were, which hardly provides us with any right to point fingers at other sections of society. The facts were lying stark naked before our eyes and thus, while one could question his voice but had not fought against it for too long.

In recent years STEM subjects have received the major investment and support from government, universities, etc. While these subjects are definitely important, the importance of social sciences should not be ignored. In fact, in areas such as social and primary care, the justice system and business, among others, social science is extremely important. It is therefore very important that this educational imbalance be addressed and more support be provided to the social sciences.
Not only did the course sensitise most of us, it also completely changed our perspective on various things. It unmasked the current media and governmental practices and opened our eyes to graver issues and questions than “What shirt should I wear today?”

Article By: Shubhavi Bhardwaj (Batch 2018)
Photograph By: Shubhavi Bhardwaj (Batch 2018)