Mohit Khodidas

Concept of Man - Zaidi

· Mohit Patel

In 2002, I was ravelling to one of my favourite places in India - Shimla. Viceregal Lodge in Shimla is a beautiful building, housing the Indian Institute of Advanced Study. There is a small book store in the campus. While rummaging to antiquated books, I chanced upon Education and Humanism by Sabira K. Zaidi. I had never heard of her, and probably most have not. I bought the only copy available, clearly in disuse and disrepair, pages smelling of the decaying yellow-tinted paper. This book has been in printed only nce in 1971. I am very fortunate to have got this copy. I did not get around to reading it or another 2 years. When I did read, it I found to be the one the most elegant writers on education. Apart from the incredible style, the concepts are rich and deep. This combination is very rare, and I deeply admire her writing.

Half the book is dedicated to Nehru’s Philosophy of Education. Other smaller chapters complete the book. I particularly encourage one to read the chapter on Scientism and the Study of Man, particularly relevant in the current context of dogmatic science. If one wants to read more on the philosophy of science in this particular aspect (scientism), he/she can look at Friedrich Hayek’s The Counter Revolution of Science as a starting point. One can also read my earlier posts: On Method and Porosity of Boundaries.

This week we are reading a chapter of this book, which can be downloaded from here.