The new place and new responsibilities soon vied for my attention and the past almost became a blur. Neither did I receive any letters nor did I send any. I suppose that is the law of nature - how long can the greenery left behind by the rains, last?
By chance it so happened I got an opportunity to pursue higher studies in England. I spent three years there and returned to become the principal of a college. I had developed good relations with the education minister. He however did not concern himself with the finer details of the education sector, and was therefore only too glad to shift all responsibilities on me when I arrived. He rode the horse but it was actually I who held the reins.
I held radical views about the education sector; this caused the minister's political rivals to oppose me and I found myself at the wrong end of allegations and hate campaigns. As a matter of principle, I am against compulsory education. I strongly believe that a person should have complete freedom to choose a course of action that affects his own life. I think there is no need for compulsory education in India. It may be necessary in Europe where parents, owing to corporeal necessities, force their children to start working from a tender age. There is a spiritual simplicity in Indian life on the other hand. Indian parents will not force their children to work unless circumstances make them helpless. Even the poor Indian labourer recognizes the importance of education. He wants his children to be educated; not because education will empower them, but because learning is the crowning jewel of human morality. In case the Indian labourer does not send his children to school, then you may be sure he is utterly helpless. I do not think it would be fair if under such circumstances, the law makes unnecessary demands on him. There is another reason why I am against compulsory education. I feel, at present, there are not enough competent teachers in India. You cannot expect ill-paid teachers to set any high ideals before the students. At the most, the children after four-five years will learn the alphabets. Children can learn the alphabets within a month when they grow up. I can say from experience that we can amass a huge store of knowledge in just a month in our youth which we will not be able to acquire even in three years during our childhood. Why, then, should a child be kept confined in a class-room? The child can learn much better from nature outside the class-room besides breathing the pure air. By confining the child in a class-room you are only stunting both his physical and mental growth.
The minister, inspired by my reasoning, opposed the implementation of compulsory education. This however led to personal allegations being leveled at me. I was labelled as an "enemy of progress", "traitor" and "slave of bureaucracy".