After having served the country in various administrative capacities for 37 years when my friend was back home, many thought of learning from him. Many a social and educational organization retained him as an adviser. My friend happily picked up several assignments. He and I started interacting with each other, once again, after about 40 years. I was shocked to find that in last 40 years he had learned nothing but to cook stories to substantiate the ideas he had 40 years back.
I never say that experience has little value, but it had been my constant experiences that willingness and courage to experiment with the things around us benefits the society more than anything else. For cementing our prejudices we very conveniently resort to cooking up stories to augment proofs for our false prejudices. That causes much harm, but not as much as, the habit of cooking stories in our selfish interests. The man falsifies history, misinterprets religion, creates pseudo knowledge and glorifies charlatans to exercise control that he is not entitled to over the natural resources (including the men who are also being treated as natural resources by the powerful, since the time immemorial).
The man is adding up more helplessness every day to his helplessness, negating the eventual disaster being caused by cooking up more and more stories. No system developed by the mankind for his benefit viz. politics, economics, religion, philosophy, social welfare, recording human history and the ethics, etc. has remained uninfluenced by the overwhelming activity of cooking up stories. So much so, the very foundation of the modern education system the world over has been laid on the cooked up stories by the man.
I am aware that many would think that I am viewing things rather negatively; or, at least, overreacting to what is happening around us. But, when read a chapter from a school book on history, visit an office of a public utility department, listen to TV news, read an article from a magazine on current affairs, attend a seminar on higher education, discuss with an expert in any field, talk to a sales person, or listen to a political speech or any transaction that I make in my daily life, I am forced to swallow one cooked up story or another.
My friend, having worked in high positions for 37 years, being considered by most as an expert in public administration, has become an accomplished story teller. One cannot catch him; he always gives a slip by telling a fresh story.
PROMOD KUMAR SHARMA
[The writer of this blog is also the author of “Mahatma A Scientist of the Intuitively Obvious” and “In Search of Our Wonderful Words”.]