Category: polymath

Polymath in India

You may have wondered upon seeing the word polymath in the profile descriptions of millennials. A simple google search reveals the word meaning that polymath is person of multiple interests. Why is that so many people are obsessed with the word? The reason is pretty simple. It is because inherently we are all polymaths. Don’t believe me? Not surprising. As the hero in ‘Into the wild’ movie says careers are twentieth century invention. Before that people use to pursue their interests and use to do things they are interested in.

Leonardo Da Vinci
Leonardo Da Vinci

Some of the famous scientists are actually polymaths. A most notable example is Leonardo Da Vinci. His interests included invention, painting geometry, mathematics, sculpting, engineering, paleontology(study of fossils to know organic evolution),botany, writing and history. Another example is Aristotle who has made significant contributions to physics, biology, poetry, music, politics. Then during the industrial revolution large workforce was needed for the industries. Workforce that can be trained in a single skill. Eventually people started differentiating profession and passion. In America the major minor study structure can be attributed to this.

But it’s different in India. The horrible conditions after independence forced Indians to work based on money rather than based on their interest. Schools forced children for grades and craze for science subjects tremendously increased. The 50 years of License Raj system also contributed to this bad phenomenon. By 90s everything is in chaos. Unemployment was rampant and even people who receive good salaries were unable to buy simple things. But the economic reforms by P V Narasimha Rao and Manmohan singh in 1993 changed things for good.

Just like every other kid born in 90s I wondered what I am going to do with my life. Engineering and medicine are the most chosen professions in India. Every parent thinks his son should become an engineer or doctor since they are the jobs with good salary and respect. But recently with a spurt of engineering colleges emerging, quality started deteriorating.

Recently some people chose to excel in different fields. Still they would choose the fields that can earn money. But there are very few people who would combine their interests. Thats where the millennials come. After two decades after the reforms the millennials started seeing things differently. They combined their interests and did some pretty good things. A man named Rahul combined his interest of music and writing and started a music blog. A woman named Neha combined her interest of painting and business to start a website for selling paintings by upcoming painters.

Last decade has a seen start of many startups which have been promising bright future. Some of the notable startups are flipkart, snapdeal, ola, paytm, quikr, zomato etc. Becoming entrepreneur is simpler than earlier with Internet giving equal platform to showcase our abilities. People are opening youtube blogs called vlogs to give new content and earning money with it. Traditional jobs are slowly losing their importance. Even though it is slow, it is the right direction. So lets hope people combine their interests and bring out polymaths in them to make innovative startups.

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