Sundar Sarukkai: Thinking and Learning in the Age of Maggi Noodles
In this remarkable lecture, Sundar began by telling us about a pedagogical experiment they have initiated at his University, wherein ‘themes’ are the fields of study and not particular disciplines. One of the ‘themes’ that they are dealing with is ‘Thinking and Imagination’. From this academic context, one question emerges: “What is the relevance of ‘thinking’ in education, especially in our times of ‘instant culture’?” Ironically, the constant complaint that one hears in our Maggi noodles times, even as it seems one can instantly access ‘happiness’ with less work, is that one has ‘no time for thinking’. There seems to be constant anxiety about things one has ‘to do’ despite the availability of ‘instant’ means of doing them; about the isolation that one feels despite technology bringing a network of ‘friends’ and resources from across the world to one’s fingertips; about the loss of political consciousness and ‘voice’ as one makes rapid, short exchanges with a lot of ‘faces’, instead of long reflective conversations with people whom one has a connection with. Academic capitalism seems to be facilitating tie ups that do nothing but perpetuate this anxiety, and bring into focus one’s inability to cope with the stress of doing it all (alone?).