Saturday, March 17, 2001
M A I L  B O X

Lessons that companies teach

THIS is with reference to the article "Lessons that companies teach" by Aradhika Sekhon (March 3) in which the writer explains the way companies are vying to quietly mould the school children into becoming their future clients. They use different methods to induce them to pressurise their parents to buy certain products.

Children’s precious study time must not be wasted in activities unrelated to their studies. Using the school premises for activities unrelated to studies and that too for very long durations, is also not desirable and must be discouraged.

But today’s world is highly commercialised and competitive. We cannot shut out all these influences from students completely. If they are kept in a cocoon of idealism and theory and have no idea what the real world is like, they get a nasty shock when they have to face it as adults. They find it difficult to adjust in such a world. Immense bitterness and disillusionment sets in and it can lead to erosion of their self-confidence, severe maladjustment, frustration and depression.

Besides this, children are also being exposed to the impact of advertising through many other channels, specifically the television. So it is not very easy to prevent the impact of advertising from reaching them. They get motivated to choose particular products while sitting at home also. In this scenario, there should be a sagacious selection of the companies being permitted to peddle their goods in schools.


Educated bores

This refers to Khushwant Singh’s write-up "Most educated Indians are bores" (February 17). It is a reality that in many cases educated Indian are big bores. They don’t have anything to talk about. They don’t have any interest in what is happening in the nation or in the world at large. Further they do not cultivate any hobbies. This compels them to remain silent when in the company of intellectuals. Then being highly educated they are always afraid of being laughed at in case they say something foolish. They love to talk about their own professions as it is quite safe to do so because the people around may not be knowledgeable enough to challenge anything they say.

To an extent I believe our education system is also responsible for this situation. It kills the very interest and creativity it is expected to boost. As a result on the completion of the required minimum qualification one gets so disinterested in studies that the day one starts earning one literally throws away one’s books and never looks back.


Life after death

This refers to Suneet Kaur’s article "Believe it or not — the truth about life after" (March 3). The entire world is made of only two things — energy and matter. Both matter and energy can be transformed, but neither can be destroyed. Life is energy. If neither matter nor energy can be destroyed, of course, life cannot be destroyed. Life, like other forms of energy, may pass through various processes of transition or change, but it cannot be destroyed. Death is mere transition.

But if death is not mere change or transition, then nothing comes after death except a long, eternal, peaceful sleep and sleep is nothing to be feared.