6b6ea-tangytuesdayWhenever we open newspapers to seek job opportunities, or log in to the job portals on the internet, one of the information we look for is the required educational qualification. Whether the vacancy is for a defence personnel, chartered accountant, professor, scientist, or a railway employee, educational qualifications, experience, and essential and desirable skills are clearly mentioned. Now the doubt arises — just like a certain minimum qualification and skill is expected for the aforementioned jobs, whether any similar criterion is expected in other fields such as arts, music, literature, drama, cinema, and also politics.

First, the question is whether the field of literature demands any qualification or not. For example, it is absolutely fine for notable individuals to write memoirs and autobiographies. In fact, they must be written. These give a detailed insight into the time and times of the person, and could be helpful for the coming generations and also for academic interest. However, saying that the other general fields of novel, prose, story, poetry, drama, reportage do not require specialized training is to belittle and downplay their value. They do require specialized knowledge. Although these fields are open to everybody and do not pose restrictions of any type, yet once a person decides to enter the field of literature, certain qualifications and skills must be acquired. You must have read the novels by several writers who had been technocrats and entrepreneurs, and had decided to enter the literature field. They write and the product is a bestseller, mostly due to good marketing. Is everything so easy?

Similarly, how many politicians do you know who have studied political science as a subject? If not, how many have followed other senior political leaders, learning under their shadows the basic rules and tenets of leading a community or running the country? Graduates from different disciplines apply for civil services exams each year, and the very best from them get selected and are responsible for smooth functioning of the bureaucratic machinery. Shouldn’t we then expect our politicians, who are superior and supervisor to these bureaucrats, to be more qualified, skilled, and capable? They are the leaders, after all.

Before anything else, the first example that must have come to your mind is that of movie stars. You must have definitely realized the sharp contrast of an Irrfan Khan, Om Puri, Shyam Benegal from several other members of the community. Cinema, as also drama, requires a lot of understanding in terms of place of characters, sound, lightening and so on.

Same story repeats itself in fine arts and photography. Yes, true, formal education in arts is not always possible. Still, one could always seek the tutelage of some artist and invest personal effort to acquire expertise and finesse in the mode and medium of interest.

How can one be so sure that a particular writer, artist, journalist, musician, politician, has not done sufficient groundwork and prepared well for entering the field? Well, it is simple — the result and the output say it all.

Even then we witness a huge fan following that these people command. Mostly it is because general people take them as their role models — if they could achieve such high levels without any formal qualification, we too can. Though it is a good development in terms of inspiration, but only as far as it draws general public towards arts and appreciation. In the long run, it could prove to be disastrous, by lowering the standards and quality of the final product, if necessary investment of skill and effort is not made.

These self-identified self-made artists should realize the amount of personal effort demanded of them. Seeking proper guidance in arts, music and literature is not difficult; still, whether or not the person chooses to seek tutelage, some least effort should definitely be made to learn the basics of the field. Otherwise, a lot of talent is wasted, and a lot of time and expectations of the readers and audience are sacrificed.

If the person does not possess a formal qualification, a lot of self-effort needs to be made to acquire the required skills. Even in these days, it is absolutely possible to obtain guidance, and there are people, professionals, who are willing to help and give good advice. With rapid development of technology, information flow and communication, acquiring the skills has now become easier as compared to past times.

The necessary skills and background knowledge should not be taken for granted.

To be continued next week . . .

3 thoughts on “Qualifications

  1. Pingback: Qualifications — part 2 | Pradyot

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