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Is it worth pursuing Liberal Arts?

5th September was Teacher's Day. And I salute all the teachers who have contributed to making me what I am today. A teacher's place in our social system is irreplaceable and indispensable. They are the carriers of knowledge and agents who sow the seeds of ideas in the minds of students. To all my teachers throughout school, graduation and post-graduation, I extend my deep and warm wishes on this occasion for giving me the freedom to cultivate my own thought process and build an identity of my own.

I happened to attend a seminar on the topic 'Liberal Arts Education: Relevance, Employability and Pedagogy'. As a result, I chanced upon the wonderful opportunity to meet and hear Professor Lord Bhikhu Parekh, an eminent Political Philosopher, former Vice-Chancellor MSU, member of the House of Lords in UK and someone who has had the distinction of teaching at Harvard and London School of Economics. I must admit that it was a pure delight to hear him. Along with that I was reminded of my association with Social Sciences, Humanities and Liberal Arts through the five years of my study. Though I ended up doing Journalism and Mass Communication, I acknowledge the fruitful contribution of my education in liberal arts to the overall development of my thinking. I realised that reading Political Science, Sociology and Psychology really helped me construct a perspective of my own and also was an aid during my years at FJC (Faculty of Journalism and Communication). The general feeling that only those who score low tend to take up liberal arts is a sad truth of our times. What the liberal arts perhaps do (which I can claim no other discipline does) is to develop the cognitive abilities of critical thinking, reflection and questioning. Though I also agree that in terms of employability liberal arts do lag behind since the only options open to an arts graduate seem to be research and teaching. But i firmly believe that if the society has to move ahead in terms of civilization and culture, it is only liberal arts which can fill the lacunae of intellectual leadership.


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