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‘You cannot educate youth in vacuum’

“You cannot educate today’s generation in a vacuum, without exposure to the reality outside. Sitting inside the walls will not teach children the capacity to think, choose correctly and overcome challenges,” said Margaret Alva, social activist, former governor of four Indian states and former member of the Rajya Sabha, at Open Heart, an event conducted at St Joseph’s College (Autonomous) on Monday, February 18, 2019.


Open Heart is an initiative by the PR office of the college to provide an insight for the audience into the aspects, struggles of the lives of eople. This time the speakers were Margaret Alva and actor Prakash Raj. The latter couldn’t make it to the event due to unavoidable circumstances. The event was moderated by Cherian Alexander, Assistant Professor with the English Department.

Alva spoke about her battle against patriarchy, insufficient monetary aid and minority status on the way to becoming one of the youngest members ever elected to the Rajya Sabha. She also advised young aspiring political leaders to be heard, to participate in election campaigns but most importantly to stay clean. “As we politicians say, we are neither tired nor retired,” she said on being asked on her plans after retirement.

Alva concluded the session quoting the blurb of her book, Courage and Commitment an autobiography in which she details her 40-year career under four prime ministers: Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, PV Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh. She detailed her journey from politician to governor, her trials and triumphs and the controversy surrounding her expulsion from the Congress in 1979.


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