Our democracy will be as good as our education system.
For the students of Symbiosis International University, it was certainly a moment to get all starry-eyed, as the legend Amitabh Bachchan himself graced the Lavale campus on Monday. Two events were being held at the institution – SIMCinema Rewind 2014 by Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communications and Festival of Thinkers. Big B first went to view the prize-winning film of the festival and later came to podium where he gave a speech to the students of Symbiosis School of Photography.
Though he arrived about an hour late, the packed hall roared with claps, whistles and cheering, when Big B graced the stage. He also happens to be Professor Emeritus at SIMC. He started by expressing his happiness at the features and amenities offered at Symbiosis. He would then go on to speak about the need for good education for the youth. “The true impact of a college lies in its ethics. The education of value is that of being human and having a character. I also had inspirational parents and their association taught me how to live with dignity, for myself and in the community. They taught me to be fair in rivalry and also, the true virtue of friendship.”
He also spoke of character building by giving it dignity through understanding and harnessing its power with discipline. He credited the boxing ring teachings in school at being a great educator. “Inside the ring, there are just two people while you have support outside. Despite all the outside support, it is all about the inner self and the fights one has to face. That is what you learn.”
He further spoke of the fact that despite having basic human rights in place, India is at the bottom in terms of literacy. “There is inhuman poverty here and people are denied right to be a part of the human population and freedom. All deserve the finest education. At Symbiosis, you are getting it. But it should be provided to every child. Good education is the most valuable thing you can get. Fortune comes and goes. But good education can never be taken away once possessed. Our democracy has to be as good as our education system. It should be expanded and strengthened.” He spoke of the support he got for his acting endeavours from home and the lesson taught by his father which still stays with him – Mann ka ho toh accha, mann ka na ho to aur accha.
On a lighter note, he explained the difference in outlook towards education and job, from his generation to the present one. “Our generation’s aim was to be a graduate. I am a science graduate but I do not remember a thing. We did not have the facilities the present generation possess.” He spoke how discipline is necessary to build oneself and that small things matter too. He also shared memories of his job (before he became an actor) which he mentions was a healthy and happy one. However, he was destined to act and would later make his way into the movie industry. We sure are thankful to destiny for bringing us this fine gentleman, who is a legendary actor and an amazing person.