Before I start with the topic of this article, I would like to quote a great man’s wise words where he says, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you use to change the world.” The great man is none other than Nelson Mandela. I would like to ask all the Indian readers specifically out there. How many times have you come across criticism and comments about choosing the arts and humanities stream? I do know a lot of people would have because I too have seen and come across criticism, comments, statements, judgments for choosing the arts and humanities stream and not science, medical, engineering, or commerce stream like people around me.
Importance of the Stream of Arts and Humanities
Though we all know that all streams of education are important for society, community, and the world we still seem to be shunning and showing negativity to the stream of arts and humanities. Not many people realize this but, the stream of arts and humanities is so very important in human society and its well-being but people still seem to show negativity towards it due to prejudice and assumptions. I also have to put it here that people who graduated from the stream of arts and humanities and took the role of psychologist, journalist, dancer, painter, comedian, or any other job with this stream played an equally important role like doctors, biologists, engineers, and investors during the tough and gruesome time of the pandemic. That is something we should not forget. This stands as proof of how equally important the stream of arts and humanities is in the world.
The stream of arts and humanities has equal importance like any other stream or sometimes even more in other countries. However, in India that is not the case at least, this is what I feel. I will also agree when people say that things are slowly changing and people have become more accepting with the stream of arts and humanities. This has been possible because the younger generations are standing for their choices, breaking the stereotype, creating more awareness, breaking the chain of choosing to engineer, medical or science stream like everyone else in the family and so much more. This has been possible not just because of a certain age group but also because of the collective work of the community, society, government, and people of the country. Nevertheless, this is not enough. There is still a lot that needs to be done so that all streams are considered equal in the eyes of the people.
Let me tell all the readers out there something very important that we need to remember before we make critical statements and judgments about the stream of art and humanities. Our daily lives would be incomplete even till today had there not been people taking the stream of arts and humanities. Let me explain. We would not have content in the newspaper if people had not chosen to become news reporters, journalists, editors, or even for those matter writers. Yes, with the use of science and technology, people invented the machines that print newspapers but then what is the point of that invention if there are no people who have taken arts and humanities stream and decided to become a part of writing and bringing the news to people. We all enjoy and entertain ourselves with movies, TV shows, OTT series, and so much more these days. However what we fail to understand is that without people choosing the stream of arts and humanities there would not be actors, cinematographers, content writers, makeup artists, costume designers, production houses, etc. psychologists, therapists, etc play such a massive role during the pandemic and in our daily lives. If these people would not have chosen the stream of arts and humanities and pursued psychology then our mental health would have a negative impact on our physical and emotional health.
I can go on and on for a long time by giving basic and daily life examples about the importance of the stream of arts and humanities. It is high time now that we stop giving our judgment and criticism about the people who have chosen this stream and this stream in general.
Is the Stream of Arts and Humanities easier than other streams?
Let me ask all the readers out there, how many times have people around you, ask the question “Did you choose arts because science was tough?” or questions like ‘Did you choose arts because you don’t like it or you are weak in math?” or something like “Did you score less in your board exams and that is why you took arts?” I for sure came across all this. I still do under so many different circumstances. The prejudiced idea that arts are something very easy and people who study this do not have to work hard is one of the biggest reasons for these kinds of questions.
However, what people fail to understand is that there is nothing easy about arts. If you ask me, it is tougher than the other streams. Let me tell you why. The reason is that in other streams there are definite notes, definitions, diagrams, tables, etc. Yes, some streams of arts and humanities have these too, for example, psychology. However, there are still many more subjects under this stream that do not have these definite things. Students who study the course of arts and humanities have to do their research, go through different sites and read about different things for their answers, should know the information of the past, present and sometimes even the future to be able to write their answers. These are just some of the things I mention that arts and humanities students do most of the time. There is so much more.
I have even met people who say “Arts is so easy and you still do not score well why?” This statement comes not just from outside people but sometimes even from our parents. This is because of the belief that arts and humanities are easy. Nevertheless, the stream of arts and humanities is over the years has become more complex with the rapid growth and changes in society and the world. The other thing, which many people are not aware of, is that students cannot get the complete marks for their answers even if their answers have everything that needs to be there. This is something that is often omitted and not taken into consideration by people who are not part of the arts and humanities stream. Just because answers do not get full marks, does not mean some people score above 95% and just because some people do does not mean everyone can.
The stream of arts and humanities is so important in society. Students who study through this course are aware not just of the information that is there in their syllabus but also so much more than that. This includes everything that is happening in society and the world. I can go on and on about the benefits of the stream of arts and humanities stream. The reason I chose this topic for my article is that it is high time that this stream is not judged and rather accepted with an open mind and heart.
To conclude, with a quote by Michelle Obama where says, “The arts and humanities define who we are as people. That is their power to remind us of what we each have to offer, and what we all have in common. To help us understand our history and imagine our future. To give us hope in the moments of struggle and to bring us together when nothing else will.”
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