Police officer says future belongs to Arts students

Sudhanshu Sarangi

By Matters India Reporter

Bhubaneswar, September 7, 2019: When most Indian parents like to brag about their children studying medicine or engineering in a reputed university, a senior police officer in Odisha says the future really belongs to Arts students.

“Generally, people study medicine or science not because they love the subject but due to parental pressure to become doctors or engineers,” bemoans Sudhanshu Sarangi, who was appointed the Police Commissioner of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack a few weeks ago.

He regretted that some parents think a child studying arts will become a burden on the family. “But who is your panchayat ward member, sarpanch, member of Legislative Assembly, Member of Parliament? Are they not students of Art stream?” he asked while addressing a recent function to felicitate toppers of arts and commerce in the twelfth grade.

Sarangi, the product of a village school, has a doctorate in psychology from the University of Liverpool, United Kingdom. He is also a qualified paratrooper.

He said he has met several civil service officers who wanted to shut down arts departments saying there was no benefit in studying logic or philosophy. “Even the government thinks there is no use of studying political science and offers vocational training like driving so that the people can make money. What a tragedy,” he bemoaned.

To buttress his point, Sarangi cites the examples of successful individual in the modern world. “Bill Gates, the principal founder of Microsoft Corporation, was a student of law. Mark Elliot Zuckerberg, the chairman and founder of Facebook was a psychology major. The Apple launchers studied mostly calligraphy,” the police officer said.

Art students are successful because they do not in rote learning but read more books. They learn proper language and literature. They can take leadership.

Sarangi claims Arts students can present their thoughts clearly and maturely since they can understand a concept and convey the message adequately. “It isn’t important how much one knows what matters is the ability to express it properly.”

He said he had passed through “tough stages of learning” but gained confidence after topping the class in the school. “Such small successes made me confident,” he added.

He now contributes to the use of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and other vertical activities related to the federal government. He is also the chairperson of the committee that addresses criminal justice under the national crime branch.

He said the country set up thousands of engineering institutions and millions joined them thinking engineering promised a future. “Last year, a study by employability assessment company Aspiring Minds created a stir when it claimed 95 percent of engineers in India were not fit for software development jobs.”

According to him, it was the consequence of making Arts, science, Commerce streams self-disciplinary. “An engineer student cannot study political science. A political science student cannot study computer. The leaders of the nation and department of education do not understand the simple logic,” Sarangi regretted.

“Shouldn’t an engineer study the Constitution of India? Shouldn’t a science student learn how to give a public speech? Why can’t a student decide what to study?” he asked.

The police official wants all subjects made more inter-disciplinary and every subject should have a core and a lot of elective papers.

“What is important is creativity. Art student are more creative. Recently the Face Book and Google have decided to recruit 30-40 percent from art students. Because the Art students have the capacity to solve the problem,” he added.

The ceremony was organized by the Sambad (debate), a daily newspaper in Odiya language.

Source: Kanaka News (Odiya newspaper)

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