No, no one in India is as “illiterate” as we make them. Yes, we educated people make them illiterate. Firstly, let us understand what illiterate stands for! In the simplest of the simple language illiterate is anyone who is not educated, so to say. Now what is this education?
Again, from a lay man’s point of view it is a system of providing and gaining knowledge. Now where does this knowledge comes from? We would say simply, BOOKS! Now books again, do not come for free. Education has become a victim of the Capitalistic culture that has been pursuing us ever since the colonial rule. So basically anyone who cannot “afford” the BOOKS written by some XYZ becomes illiterate to us. The harshest victim of the feudal and the capital system becomes “illiterate” to us when the word “illiterate” itself is given to us by our colonizers and is not our own. Anyone and Everyone who cannot afford the books we read or the schools we go to, becomes illiterate to us. The one who cannot confine herself/himself within the system of the western education system is someone worth belittling for us.
But, what we “educated” people fail to understand is, that education and knowledge has no bars or a certain curriculum. The knowledge is abundant and free and is available every nook and corner. Just, what it has fallen prey to is, the set patterns for education like schools and colleges. The one who cannot afford them due to our under-developed system (for which the political system has to be blamed) is codified and termed as the gareeb and uneducated. All we need to know is that no one ever is illiterate. Yes, they may be less educated than us but does not they do not deserve what we do! If, I am a doctor, so to say, does not mean I would want the world to be a doctor or a designated someone to enjoy what everyone is enjoying.
The basic crux being, if someone does not know what you know, they may know something better, that you might not know as well as, they do. If someone does not know one language, they might be knowing some other language better! After all, it is us who have graded things to better or worse, nothing really is good or bad. If things already came with a bad label, they might as well have not existed at all! So, if someone cannot calculate things as good as you do they might be able to do something else better. Knowledge, rationally comes from the experiences of life and not the set books for which we write papers and exams!
So, the next time, you meet someone who would not be holding as much degrees as you do, they might be having a better grip on something that you might have not even thought about! After all, let us be real, no work or role in this world is big or small. Whatever it may be, it always stays essential! As Albert Einstein quotes,“Everyone is a Genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”