Education can lead to social change

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan I The Sunday Guardian I August 17, 2014

We are living in a world of corruption. Everyone is worried and wants to have a corruption-free world. This in itself is a good desire, there is no doubt about it. But such a desire can be achieved only through adopting the right method towards its fulfilment.

People, both political and non-political, are fascinated by the concept of raising voices against evil. Every day there are some examples of the use of this method. Some people are speaking on stage, some are protesting on the streets, some are organizing paidal-yatras, while others are trying to produce the required result through the ballot box. The purpose of all is common, that is, to raise their voice against social and political evils.

The question is that these methods have been in use for more than half a century, however, the required result is nil. The situation is akin to sowing the seed but having no yield in return.

Why have these efforts failed to produce positive results? The reason is very clear. Social change cannot be brought about through demonstrating on the streets, it is brought about by changing people at the intellectual level. Social change is not an issue of street activism, it is an issue of intellectual activism. The only way to social change is one, that is, education, both formal and informal. This method seems to be a very long-term method, but according to the law of nature, any substantial result is achieved only by long-term planning. Short-term planning cannot produce any valuable result. Social construction or nation building is like growing trees of oak. If we perform this task in the right way, a time will come when nation building will have become a reality. However, if we do not adopt the right method to carry out this task, then even after thousands of years of effort we will not be able to achieve our target.