Recently the movie “3 idiots” was released which broke all the past records of success! Really a good movie! It seemed after this movie that either both Raj Kumar Hirani and Aamir Khan had been meeting Kapil Sibbal or Mr. Kapil Sibbal took their class before making film. Film is good editing wise and story moves with pace and thus attaches. The movie starts with the effect of pressure on students in institutes running professional courses. We are shown that how pressure of family, peer pressure, pressure of earning money and a name in society does not allow a youth to be educated. To be educated means is to gain knowledge and to be able to apply that knowledge in practice. But the education methodology is such that it does not allow one to learn but rather in mugging up the subject in order to be successful or get good marks. It is more of a kind of training then education. Inventions, new thoughts and creativity has no relation whatsoever with this training. First a human should be educated and then trained. As far as modern scientific education methodology is concerned, this criticism seems correct. Even our Human Resource Development minister has been emphasizing on this for past one year publically. But the first question is this that is it the reality of our society and its education system? A nation where 77% of population lives on or under 20 Rs per day, a society where 46% of children suffer from malnutrition , a nation where only 7% of total eligible youth population reaches the higher education, can never have the primary question of the education methodology in engineering institutes. The primary question is that why only 7% of eligible youth reaches higher education and why only 1% of total eligible population reaches the institutes offering professional courses. The reason behind is this profit-based system which can never give opportunity to the deserving. The majority of population still lives in darkness of illiteracy. And in this regard film makes a very dangerous point. Aamir khan suggests a boy who sells eggs, milk and iron the clothes in hostel that you do not need money to study in school! But only uniform and a bag and if caught change the uniform and school, these “creative ideas” actually dodges the point that it is the responsibility of state to provide education to all and if it does not then it must be questioned. If the 50% children in India follow the “creative ideas” of film then what will happen? We leave this on the imagination of director. The film never criticizes the government and the system which is root to all problems. It only criticizes the education methodology of engineering colleges, that too without any definite aim and result. This criticism has nothing to do with the majority of youth population.
The second question is even more important. Such toothless criticism only helps in strengthening this profit based capitalist system. These criticisms only complete the hegemony of the capitalism. It happens self-spontaneously and do not always require intervention of state. Ministers do not take class of movie makers for this. The social levers of state do this job on their own. Reformism is one such ideology which does this job. Such films act as safety valve in society. After watching such movies viewer unconsciously looses his subversive (revolutionary and creatively violent) pressure. It creates a false illusion of sensitive nature of this system. Neither Kapil Sibbal nor Aamir Khan or Raj Kumar Hirani can do anything to keep cut throat competition away from education system. The society and the system we live have “social Darwinism” as its principle. That is, survival of the fittest. And here the class of the best is not genetic but is sold in market. The main question is of “purchasing capacity”.
The character of Boman Irani, Viru Sahastrabuddhe, is actually the anti-message of the movie. For instance, he explains that life is like a race and if you will not run fast enough the person behind will crush and move ahead of you. Yes, this is the truth of capitalist system. The cuckoo’s chick is born in crow’s nest and throws the eggs of crow on its birth. Life starts with death. In the struggle of different species only the best survives. But capitalism applies this struggle of different species among humans with fitter and better on one side and less fitter and average on other side and organizes a cut throat competition between them. Darwin’s law is for inter species analysis and not for intra species analysis. But capitalism can use it this way only; this is the law of capital. At one more place Viru Sahastrabuddhe tells one more right thing. He explains to Farhan Qureshi and Raju Rastogi that they belong to middle class and lower middle class. You cannot afford the “all is well” philosophy of Rancho. All is not well for you. But Rancho is the hero of film and how can his philosophy go wrong! In the end, Raju Rastogi despite being a below average student despite being expelled from college for some time, gets a job in multinational company! And the interview board is like angels! They are enthralled over the honesty and truthfulness of Raju Rastogi! Now those who have seen these greedy animals, they know quite well what would have been the behavior with him. Farhan Qureshi becomes what he wants to be, a photographer. All goes well. But we all know that in reality if that had been happening then the youth would not have been in such despair.
Movie also presents very insensitive view towards the questions of poverty and gender. Raju Rastogi belongs to a destroyed lower middle class. The picturization of his family is very insensitive. Movie changes to black and white whenever there is scene on his family. His paralyzed father, his poverty shattered mother, his sister -every member is being joked about. As if poverty is not at all an issue! But this is the biggest problem of this society. The only issue for director is the education methodology in engineering colleges. With this, it has also been shown that poor are dirty. Raju’s mother uses the same belan to roll the chapatis which she uses to scratch the itch of Raju’s father and then serve the same chapati to Raju’s friends. What has been found in experience is that poor are great hosts and offer whatever they have with their heart. The way film picturizes the poor family one can easily be prejudiced. At one more place in the film a student, who has exceptional cramming abilities, has to read speech in Hindi for some ceremony in institute. He prepares it in roman script as he does not know Hindi. Our Rancho replaces the words “chamatkar”(miracle) with “balatkar”(rape) and “dhan”(money) with “istan”(breast of woman). After this the speech becomes funny. Although this was done to make the fun of “mugging up” trend in engineering college, but this “absurd humour” experiment shows insensitivity. Then in the whole movie words “balatkar” and “istan” are used to signify various things in the movie, which shows the lack of sensitivity towards women. But the Indian viewers have not that ability to grasp the form of humour so as to discuss the structure and form of humour. Indian cinema has not developed that ability of Indian viewers.
But this is not the main issue. The main thing is that this film on the whole does a reformative criticism of the education system and that too without any operative part. It in no way attaches itself to the 85 % population of this county. The reformative criticism is just what Kapil Sibbal has been speaking of. Its work (not aim) is to strengthen the hegemony of this system culturally and ideologically in mind of those youth who consider changing the structure of this society.