India is short of educated people and IITs alone won’t help. But Faiz Ahmed Faiz can

Faiz? Faiz who? What has he got to do with improving the grade point average, landing a job at Google, securing funding for a startup or getting full scholarship for grad school at a top US university? Since no professor, interviewer or grad school selection committee member cares much about Faiz (even in the off chance that they know about him), the relevance of Faiz to an engineering student is zero. Since some of these students go on to become faculty, teaching the next generation of students who have the same objective functions, few professors know about Faiz either. Why are we surprised that our engineering colleges are unFaized?

It’s not just the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). It’s not only our engineering colleges. Medical, science, business, and commerce colleges likely suffer from the same Faiz ignorance. Sure there might be the odd physiotherapist here or an unnecessarily better-read physics student there, but, by and large, we should not be surprised if students and faculties at our top colleges do not know about Faiz. To be fair, students at professional colleges are not totally disinterested in arts and culture. Many watch Bollywood and Netflix shows. They follow cricket and football. They also read, as the sales figures of books of Chetan Bhagat and Amish Tripathi attest.

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