I didn’t count, but there must have been around 50 of us in the room. It was a plush new room that EZV had given us, for meetings. There weren’t as many chairs, so people shared seats, sat on tables and others just chose to stand. ‘All hands’ sessions are usually used to make important announcements that may have an impact on everyone. However, it is unlikely that someone from the outside may ever guess what this group was engaging with.
With the Assembly Elections coming up in the state of Tamil Nadu later this month, we felt it important to discuss about it. There are some of us, who do indulge in informal conversations about politics and such. However, it was decided that as an organisation, we must speak about the elections. A handful of our colleagues who perhaps take a deeper interest in the subject volunteered. One of them presented the key items that can be found in the election manifestos of the important political parties, while another presented basic numbers on the number of constituencies, contestants and so on. Yet another one of my colleagues made an impassioned appeal of why it is important for every one of us to vote. Apart from the content of his speech, his ability to inspire the audience was quite a revelation. Given that he is a salesman, some of us even wished, in jest, that he would ‘sell’ our own ideas of good education with equal passion and force.
‘Explain bicameralism with examples.’
I was reminded of my own lessons in Civics. While the Social Sciences can be the most relevant & useful of subjects, they are made unbelievably uninteresting in schools. I realised that the elections weren’t completely alien to me. Indeed, I have been trying to find out about the candidates in the constituency where I shall vote soon. Yet, there was a pang of not being aware enough. And given our work in education, that pang extended to how it was perhaps my education (or the lack of it) that could be a key cause. For after all, we were supposed to have studied about the complete electoral system of India, answered questions in examinations, scored marks to ‘show’ that we had indeed learned these things.
As my colleagues spoke on the topic of the elections, I was reminded of a promise I had made myself. I had told myself, a few years back, that I would pick up my school textbooks in Civics and read them all over again. I am grateful to EZV for having reminded me of that promise, today. I am grateful to EZV for expanding its concern and influence to areas beyond work, and working towards the well-being of EZVians, and everyone. More about that, another time!