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An architect of change

NIKHIL VARMA
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CHAT Aabhas K. Maldahiyar’s new book, Crossing the Line, talks about the crying need to overhaul our education system

The education system in our country has come under attack for being tedious, for promoting learning by rote and ensuring that the inherent creativity of individuals is stifled. This makes education regimented and immune to change. Though successive governments have made moderate changes, the system continues to draw flak. The education system is the thread that runs through Aabhas K. Maldahiyar’s second novel, Crossing The Line . Aabhas says, “I wanted to write a book on the issues plaguing the education system.”

He adds, “The protagonist is a person who goes from becoming an architect to a journalist, gets selected to the civil services and eventually makes his mark as a politician. The book is semi biographical and I made the protagonist an architect as I have a better idea of the manner in which architecture training is carried out in India. This helped me write the novel from an insider’s perspective.”

The book also talks about the various methods to ensure that the system does not create students who specialise in the learning-by-rote method. The entire system needs to be reconfigured, and innovation and creativity must be seen as the fundamental parameters to acquire knowledge.” Following the mass movement against corruption in 2011, Aabhas decided to focus on the issues of corruption, lack of governance and the multitude of ills affecting the education system. “My publishers wanted me to write a romantic tale. I decided against it as I felt that it would not convey the message.”

When did he get the idea of writing this book? “I was in school when I figured out the education system did not suit the changing times and seemed to be stuck in a time warp. After college, and becoming an architect, I was convinced something had to be urgently done. My book is just an attempt towards this. Crossing The Line is available at Rs.100 in bookstores across the country.

NIKHIL VARMA

My publishers wanted me to write a romantic tale. I decided against it as I felt that it would not convey the message Aabhas K. Maldahiyar

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