CFD_My Comeplled Drum_Readings_Dhruv Raina
Director: Dina Boswank
Duration: 00:46:28; Volume: 0.064; Words per Minute: 95.461
- Just read it out loud,
- And anytime, there is something coming to your mind, or interesting, just interrupt!
- Yes, alright, okay - and this is okay [the shouting outside the window; protests at JNU in Delhi Feb 2016] or shall we wait?
- I think they are walking by, so its okay
- I mean, I won't use that for....that's okay
- [starts reading] Now you asked me particularly in what way our education is defective today. Now that is a question that probably everyone, and I think many of you are also wondering for you are
....[mobile phone is ringing]...sorry!
- Now he asked me to tell you particularly in what way our educaton is defective today. Now that is a question, which is probably everyone and many of you are also wondering for you are fortunately here in a polytechnic after you have completed your course and you won't have to bother so much about earning your own livelihood. You will be able to do it easily.
- But there are hundreds and thousands of our students, who go to colleges and begin to wonder, before their studies are over, what they are going to do with themselves and how they should earn their livelihood.
- It's important to see, that Prof. Humayun Kabir was a very very important educationalist in the post-independence era. And already people were beginning to ask themselves questions about....beginning to ask themselves questions about, ehm, about the relationship between getting a degree and the kinds of jobs you will get. Already the question is being asked by educationalists.
- And so here was somebody, who was running a Polytechnic and not an Engineering College. And a Polytechnic is a kind of lower Engineering College in the Indian system. It's not like "École Polytechnique" in Paris. In India it's considered like a lower level, where people then go into lower level technical jobs rather then....
And this is the question I think, that Humayun Kabir is facing in this [thing] with G.D. Naidu. Because he thinks he's running a Polytechnic and how do you give somebody...what kind of people do you wish to place in industry after they pass out the Polytechnic.
- Mr. Naidu said, that your schools and colleges make sick persons and criminals of you. I do not think I will agree with him, that they make criminals of you, but I agree, that they make sick persons of you very often and that is because education is not a complete education. It is not education in the real sense of the term.
- Well, the first thing we have to think about is, is that education going to open our mind? Is it going to [someone at the door]
- Sorry to disturb...he's not picking up the phone. [...] Are we going ahead with our meeting with the vice chancellor?
- Yes, we are, we are, we are, ....[...] You know what - our research can't stop, Mohan!
- We can postbone it, you know?
- Not now, I know we can postbone it, but the proposal has to be written.
- That we can continue to do, why should we meet this vice chancellor?
- [laughing] There's not going to be another vice chancellor.
- [...] ...can't pretend there is nothing happening on campus?!
- [...] .., that we plan to meet him, [...]
- I [...] she did not reply. Anyway I am at the workshop, students haven't attended, only the paper presenters are there.
- Oh god.
- So we couldn't have postboned it.
- Oh, I know.
- Sorry, yeah?
- Yes, that's...
- It's a difficult moment in the University.
- It's just, I took the wrong day [laughing].
- No, you did anticipate it, right?
- So, here is the second point. And I am rather surprised, that Naidu is so critical, you know, when he says, that schools and colleges make sick persons and criminals of you. So he is critical of contemporary education, because he thinks it's not any good enough, for whatever reasons. I don't know, why Naidu thinks that way, but Humayun Kabir, as an educationalist is fully appraised of... at least he guesses, what Naidu's problem is with education. That this education is not complete. It's not a complete education.
- It's not education in the sense of education as Bildung. But, you know, it's more education in the sense of; it gives you probably some technical skills. Maybe even not, if you go back to the previous paragraph.
- But he said, "you are fortunately here at a Polytechnic" ...
- Exactly, over here,
- ...it is better. Is he saying this?
- No, no, basically he is saying, that, well okay, I mean a Polytechnic might make you relevant for a particular kind of technical job, whereas an Engineering education we don't know!
- Allright, so it's kind of a suspicious ...
- So, well, what is the education outside to draw your attention. The difficulty needs s.... needs soft life. This difficulty needs soft life.
I don't know, what that means.
Generally in India there is a very great lack of discipline. You must have discipline. Unless you have discipline you can not do anything at all. Why is it, that a machine works so well, because in a machine every part does exactly, what it is expected to do. And carefully, if each part of the machine says, I am going to act something to my own line or according to my own inclination, no machine can run.
- Allright, they wish to make a machine out of the society, they are thinking of. Is that, what he means?
- I don't know!
- I do not know so much about your doings here. In many parts of India, when ten boys get together or when ten grown-up men go together, they do not know how to speak to one
another and there is a pandemonium.
Anybody can listen to anybody else and device and argument or debate. There is never an end to anybody's sentence.
Before one can say what he wants to say, a second person will interrupt, and before he can say what he wants to say, a third person will be interrupting, and so on nobody knows what he wants to say.
Similarly I do not know when I see all of you walking together I am not sure you can walk together
[mobile phone rings]
I am not sure you can walk together in a disciplined manner.
Perhaps somebody's hand will go in one direction and feet will move in a different way.
But when you look at an army or when you look at the police or the fire brigade, you will find, that a small group of people ar able to control their march, beause they are diciplined.
I wonder, what he is getting at. You know, it appears to me as if this is a kind of... he is making a case for education and you see a kind of disciplined society.
- ...a mechanical society. I am rather worried about this. I thought he thought very differently about these things, Humayun Kabir.
- It's not too bit [?] of a..?
- No, I really don't know what he is doing.
- Okay, so you want me to read this and then?
- Yes, yes
- No, no, just finish!..he is also mentioning something.
- You must have a life mind, but what has happened, when you listen to some of Mr. Naidu's orders? But still you have a right to think, you a right to question
and it is part of your education also to try to question and try to understand and I am sure however infurious he may be you go straight to him
[mobile phone rings]
and say; you have given that order, I do not understand, why you have given that order. And why you should do that? Why? I think he will also try to tell you, why he has given that order and why it is good for you and make you understand. Both for students and those, who are in charge of the students. Your mind should be therefore always open. You should be free and you should try to understand evrything. According to him, you should act and not merely be a blind auomate
- So, yes, okay, that is interesting!
- So I suppose in the previous paragraph he is speaking more in an ironical way. Right? ...and saying, well, you know, you say we are not disciplined. Maybe we are not disciplined, but we have a right to be critical.
- Alright, and education is also about developing that critical attitude.
- Do you think, he is also suspicious of Naidu's techniques?
- Yes, I think so! It appears to them; because he is saying taht, you know, I mean, maybe he is dictatorial. He is making disciplined people out of his students. And he is saying, no, you must learn to be critical. Because this appears more...this paragraph appears to be more in tune with Humayun Kabir and this generation.
- But the last paragraph is actually also Naidu's thing...not...
- No, is this, what he says?
- Is this, what Naidu is saying?
- Yes, because, no, this is also, well, how shall I put it? This also would be how Humayun Kabir would say.
- Okay, so maybe they don't know very well at this time?
- They don't know each other very well at this time? Maybe, yes, perhaps. Perhaps! I don't know.
- Maybe this is the way Humayun Kabir, in the early paragraphs, understands GD Naidu. Perhaps?
- That's very interesting, because, everyone else I read it with always...It was very different; those first paragraphs were actually Humayun Kabir's thing, the discipline. And he is very... and this is actually what he encounters....
- Yes, but Mr. Naidu...
- ...at Naidu's place! ...and he is very suspicious about it.
- When I read Humayun Kabir, I see Humayun Kabir as somebody, who is more representative.
- You know, I mean in the postcolonial, in the post-independence period the minister of education was Maulana [Abul Kalam Azad]. He was also the minister of education and culture. He has a very kind of cosmopolitan, very diverse view of education and he is informed by three advisers and these three advisers are absolutely brilliant people. One of them is Humayun Kabir, alright, and, the other is Saiyidain...[...]
So, he has a brilliant set of advisers and I think that Indian education in the 1960s was made by these people. You see critical education. You see the critical aspects of education and who want to push it.
I don't know. I mean, I don't know. Perhaps....
- It's a bit mysterious...or I mean, not "mysterious"...It feels like he is new to this place.
- Maybe. maybe, maybe, maybe...yeah.
Because, you know what; if he had seemed to [...] of disciplination would have [...] a little.
- You know, Humayun Kabir is also some kind of literary figure. He is given to the use of ironies....
- What has he written?
- He has written a huge amount on education. He has also transcribed the autobiography of Maulana Azad. Maulana Azad dictated his autobiography to him and he actually wrote it down. I mean it's written in this form, because Maulana Azad was a great [...].
So he was spoken to and he transcribes it then into english. He is well versed in the literary culture of his..of his; you know, the which he is born into. In which there is a lot of newance.
He is not a technocrat. I don't see Humayun Kabir as a technocrat.
I will follow on it.
- Okay, Gopal Bagh is
;okay this is the next...
- Mh, this is actually a newspaper article, but I put it in, because it also refers to..
- Gopal Bagh is ordinarily the residence of Mr. Naidu, but his activities in the fields of industry and science gradually rose to such a high level and vastness, that he found that place had to house various factories and machine houses, too. Thus he had built up nine blocks in the premises and a tenth was added in June this year to house this Industrial Education Exhibition, which he inaugurated in June
I am curious about the name - Gopal Bagh, I mean in Coimbatore!
- I mean, Gopal...He was called Gopal. GD stands for Gopalswamy Doraiswamy.
- Ah, Gopal Doraiswamy Naidu, okay!
Walking into that special pavillon one saw a huge pile of machinery, the best friends of Mr. Naidu. While it is even said, that Mr. Naidu himself is more a machine than man; that is what his enemies say. The humane man in him is not only to his intimates, for whom I heard several heart-touching stories, though I myself claim no intimacy with him. In all the machines exhibited here are valued at about 25 Lakhs.
Alright, that's a lot of money ...for 1948.
- Alright, okay.
Then there were various types of what they called the Do-All machines; marvellous pieces of machinery produced by Germany and the US, all of which Naidu took pains to buy at he cost of Lakhs of Rupees, for his various factories in Coimbatore, with a child's enthusiasm during his numerous visits to those countries. These machines did the job of cutting, filling, sawing and welding. One machine was capable of measuring 1/10.000th of an Inch, an instrument of great delicacy and precision.
No, over here I can clearly see something, that... No, I mean by the...
I mean India is British colony till 1947 and a large number of students were going to study Engineering in England, but somehow from the 1930s onwards they begin to recognize, in a substantial way, that the Germans and the Americans have stolen a march over the English.
- There is a storm feeling. I have interviewed people, who did their PhD in the United States, who went between 1945 and 1955. I asked them, you know, why, see; I can understand why they didn't go to Germany. As it is you had to learn English, no matter what, and you can't then aquire German. So English was the reason, a large number went to.
So I said, why do you go to the United States? They said, no, we had the feeling by this time, when it came to technology, you either went to Germany or you went to the United States. They had clearly begun to advance over England by the 1920s. That was a general feeling even in India.
And, if you went to study in England there was Oxford and Cambridge, Manchester and Liverpool, but if you went to the United States there was a very large number of institutions you could go to...to study.
- What was also true and this is something becoming more evident. I am kind of editing a volume on the history of disciplines; Germany-India.
- Mhh. The history of disciplines?
- Yes, I mean, what is the nature of the interaction between Germany and India in different disciplines; psychology, physics, sociology
- Oh. Germany and India, Mhh.
- [...] Laughing.
- No, no. But as you mentioned Heidelberg; I will look up the name; I told this one professor about Naidu and he also..., because Naidu has a friendship with the family that founded Festo. Festo is that tool manufacturer form Esslingen.
- And they are producing the most expensive, but also the best tools. You know, when you go to the shop, where you can buy all this machinery, Festo is mostly like the best stuff. Like, still made and fabricated in Germany also, which is quite rare with China being...So, whatever, they have of course also a family archive and both families, they still know each other. The grand children, they still cooperate. And even the cities now are twin cities. Esslingen and Coimbatore became also...
- Oh, wow, that's interesting. What a lovely story there.
- He mentioned also, that there is many research going on; on especially the relation or the exchange between....
- Ah, okay.
- Already in a number of industries, private enterprises, Indian began to explore relationships with Germany form the end of the 19th century. Somebody who knows a great deal about this is probably Joachim Oesterheld, who was a professor of South Asian Studies at the Humboldt University. So he knows quite a bit about this relationship. Yes,
The whole exhibition is unique, Sir CV Raman, one of the spectators, told me after going around. He said not a word in exaggeration. I myself have seen similar exhibtions in the US and other western countries and in Japan, but I believe this is the first one of its kind in India, at least in South India.
- May or may not have been the case, because these exhibitions became very popular in India. Industrial Exhibitons in India started aquiring popularity from the end of the 19th century. So maybe he probably haven't seen them, whoever the writer is.
- Where these exhibitions were?
- They were first organized in what was called the Presidency towns, which were Bombay, Calcutta, Chennai. Alright, but then they moved into the small towns. People began to love these exhibitions, visit these exhibitons. Industrial exhibitions became important.
- I remember... here is this Pragati Maidan,
- Yeah, yeah, that's more then a permanent site...yes, that's a permanent site, right?
- The value of it could be summarized as giving a clear, plain idea to the man on the street, in the street, of some essential machinery in everyday working in the modern world. Many a man might have been hitherto imagining to himself that the machines are a great mystery, indeed, unfathomable mystery. Naidu, the creator and utiliser of machines has now proved to those, who saw his exhibition, that though the machines are to some extent mysterious, they are never unfathomable mysteries.
This is very, very important! This is very important as a kind of trope of modernity and modernization and the new knowledge.
- There was a kind of aesthetic, which probably dated back in literary writing. The aesthetic is dated back to the end of the 18th century, which literary theorists like to refer to as the aesthetic of the marvellous, particularily in the indo-persian tradition. You talk about the mysteries of the world, the wonders of the world. In persian you say "Ajaiba".
Okay, so, and, what happens is, when popular science writing begins, it draws upon the notion of the marvellous, of sciences, you know, one of the ways of exploring the marvellous and it is into this space itself, that the exhibition moved in as a spectacle; that the industrial exhibition moved in as a spectacle... into this kind of demonstration.
- So for example, if you go to Bangalore, you most probably see the Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum. And as a child, when I went there the first time, it was just a marvel. So I think it is into this very aesthetic. But he is saying, yes, it is marvellous, yes, it is marvellous, but there is a rational, which underlies al this. It's not magic. It presents itself to us as magic, but it is not magic.
- It is not magic, yes, alright, but it has the same effect, it has the same out-of-nothing [...] you can produce anything. It had the same effect, yes.
- I know, that's not a qeustion, but again I...there was also one newspaper article in the GD Naidu museum, from a German newspaper, when Naidu visited Esslingen in th 40s, or even earlier. It was titled "Mister GD Naidu from India can make ashes out of gold"...
- Ashes out of gold?...oh yes! That would be easy!
- ...with a smiling eye. There was a huge photo of this smiling GD Naidu having this bowl of gold and pouring some, whatever, acid onto it and then, it becomes ashes.
- It's funny, because it just reverses the idea...
- ...of converting base metal in gold and here converting gold into ...yes, no, no
Maybe, the idea would be here, that gold is a substance, that can not be oxidised. Gold is an [...] metal and therefore; no matter what you do to it, it's...
- So, that is one. You know, I am interested in the literally conventions; this performance you are talking about; and over there clearly one sees it as a theatre of proof. That is what science is about, what technological demonstration is about. It's about a kind of performing a proof.
- Yes, okay, when you make in the public..
- Yes, in a public setting. So I think, when I read this, that's what I see going on in the background. There is a stage someone is performing at.
[students protesting outside the building at JNU, Feb 2016]
- Yes, ..., I mean in a laboratory you are alone; it is...
You are alone mostly, right? And then you translate it and translate it and translate it...
- Exactly, correct. You come out into a public...
- That is the performance...
- Yes, it is a performance; it's a performance! You have to establish that.
- Or you make it inot a performance even if it wasn't.
- Exactly! No, no, that's another staging; another staging!
- Yes, in a way this focus is actually a scientific proof of the frustration of Naidu you could say; of what...
what forced him to destroy! No, it's a proof of the destruction or of the worse of prod...eh, destruction. Maybe?
- Yes, you know. But the cover you showed me...It says construction..
- ...for destruction.
- ...for destruction.
- construction for destruction...
- What is construction and destruction?
- Yes, by whom? It's interesting. I never heard of it. Yes, because, you know. I mean, when you look at it, in the 40s and the 50s, what you are really talking about is construction. You are not talking about destruction. You know, it's a new India, and the metapher is one of construction. Yes...
- You want me to read another one?
- I mean, I don't want you to be late at the Vice chancellors meeting?
- No, but, people are right then...
- Maybe you leave out this..
- This one?
- These are three students writing to Naidu.
- Alright, okay.
- Maybe...start with the second letter! Because we don't have so much time.
- This one?
- No, the secon one starts here, the Radhakrishnan...
- Alright, I introduce myself as a student of the 4th year Electrical Engineering Annamalai University. I had an opportunity in last October of visiting your workshop and radio factory. I was much impressed by your beautiful ideas. But a few days back I heard from Mr. Muthian, that you have smashed two beautiful cars. It was a shocking news to me. I know, that when you try to open the eyes of hundreds of youngsters and enlighten the South, the government are trying to hold you up.
- I can to a certain extent feel the mountainous difficulties that lie in your way of progress, but when I heard of your program of destruction it was something too horrible for me.
Yes. But this is also intersting though, I mean, that the destruction is also a demonstration..
- Yeah, yeah, mmh...
- That is also..., because, you are looking at it as a performance, but it is within that same theatre.
Let me most humbly request to pint out to you, that by destroying the valuable inventions and the vast possesion of yours you are not doing real service to the country, to Tamil Nad.
- Clearly, he has seen this within the idea of consruction, of nation-building.
- Yes,...very much. Also especially Tamil Nadu.
- The Engineering Undergraduates like me, who wish to industrialize the South, want to follow the path paved by great, genius people like you. They are looking for you with hope and optimism. But if you decide to follow your destructive program, surely, they will be much discouraged and I can not foresee the consequences
But, I mean, what is also important here to see, that he has already become amongst...he already has a following.
- Mhh, that's true.
- It's important to see. He already has a following and lots of people see him as a kind of repository of a new.... a new program in engineering itself. Building the devices; that he has skills; things he can do with technology.
- I am sure you do not wish for that. You have been experiencing difficulties with patience, which are humanly unbearable. Kindly allow to appeal to your patience to bear them a little longer. I do not for a moment mean, that you should bear them forever, but I hope with optimism, that the conditions and the ways and means will be favourable in the nearer future.
So clearly he has also conveyed to his readers the idea of despondency; he is suffering from the obstacles being put in his path. He is not allowed to do, what he wants to do.
- Let me conclude this by requesting you to acknowledge my letter. In your reply I wish to see your decision to drop your destruction program. Excuse me for to long a letter. S. Radhakrishnan
- Also he responds to it?
- Yes, he responds.
- Alright, so I am in receipt of your letter of the 31st. I am indeed very glad to see your kind advice and deep interest for which I have to thank you later on. I very much appreciate your desire for the development of our country.
Okay, that's what I was saying.
No doubt, if all students, who are spending their valuable time in colleges take your view to the full extent and work our country will top all other nations. I doubt, that there will be many like you.
So, already, you know, there is this engineering college - polytechnic distinction, here, probably, I mean....
- As regards my construction for destruction...
But, you know, perhaps he is also being, ..., Naidu is also feeling neglected by the Engineers; that the Engineers have not taken, taken to the kind of work he had been doing, you know, I mean,
- Because he never studied, right....
- I think there is a status difference there, which has bothered him.
- Yes, very true.
- Possibly, I don't know, okay.
- As regards my construction for destruction, my idea od construction is for the destruction of illiteracy of any kind, but unfortunately such desire and knowledge was redirected by the government to all other corners like an echo. Of course, echo has reflection through feeble
no, though feeble and there are ways and means to magnify that feeble sound. I am not going to bother you in anythimg hereafter, because the place, circumstances and environments are not fit for my ideas.
So, yes, he is clearly; he clearly feels betrayed, marginalized, ignored, really ignored. Yes.
- It is a mistake...
You know, I mean it could also be, I don't know whether this is the subtext or I am always pre