By Onkar Sharma
Very recently, I picked up another book from the Crossword bookstore. It was a book called ‘Fluid’ by Ashish Jaiswal. ‘Fluid’ is a treatise that questions the popular education system poised to produce specialists by discouraging cross-discipline knowledge. In his book, Ashish draws examples of the great masters and popular personalities from over the centuries. Ashish argues that great masters like Goethe, Da Vinci, Darwin, Tesla and others did not restrict them to just one subject or discipline. They imbibed inspiration from multiple fields, areas and disciplines to widen their horizons. Even though some of them later on excelled in one area, their knowledge of other disciplines helped them to perfect their systems, theories, etc. Throughout the treatise, he advocates that the art disciplines and science disciplines should not be entirely siloed; and the popular perception that both are different worlds should be done away with.
Later in the book, Ashish has proposed the Fluid wheel model advocating the multi-disciplinary culture so that learners can look beyond their cocoon. It very much emphasizes that everyone should have knowledge of many disciplines. A student to chemistry will be able to do justice to his subject when s/he knows also about other subjects. Similarly, a history student or a sociology student will be able to do justice to his subject when he understands other subjects.
The book succeeds in leaving an imprint on us and is highly recommended for those who see faults in the present educational system, which is no more than a factory producing specialists. Unlike many other books, it proposes a conceivable solution. Whether the solution can work or not, it can be argued, but there are definitely a few points that are worth paying attention.