I was able to talk the following (though I have elaborated a lot on here) on this topic:
Consider two classes of people upper middle class and poor slum people. The former one has access to good education, specific playgrounds, proper sanitation etc. The later class of people has poor access to things as compared to former ones.
Consider an aspect where the uplifting the poor people at-least to the level of upper class people is considered to be a progress. This aspect can arise and accumulated from either from the side of poor people themselves or from the side of higher class people or the leader of either of these people or both. In such scenario, the important thing to consider is the advantages of being poor/ to live in slum. You learn to live alongside/ in sewage, live with mosquitoes, play wherever you want to play, survive on a single meal a day, do whatever the job it is to earn money. So therefore during the uplifting process, the notion of having the upper class people as the ideal or better to be achieved will change if we consider the advantages of being poor (by analyzing their culture) and the disadvantages of being the upper class people, resulting in setting the new goal for the progress, which is different from the nature of upper class people.
I even like to draw the above things parallel to my institutes’s (IIT Gandhinagar) aspirations and philosophy. I want to quote here that I am not aware completely of what my institutes’s proper aspirations and philosophy as such, though I admire so much to as much as I have exposed to it. But if the aspect is to become the one of the kind of MIT or Harvard, it will definitely change if we consider the good things in the cultural
(for example, Ruchika Nambiar claims that the notion of Dharma is different from Justice, nevertheless Indian people perceive Justice to have the meaning of Dharma – concluding “We continue to act like Indians only that we think like westerners”, in her work “The Accessibility of Indian Concepts”, in Journal of Contemporary Thought, Winter Issue 2014.)
values of Indian (you can replace ‘Indian’ with any culture or identity or many of it) people, and integrating accordingly with advantages and disadvantages (for example, lack of mentioning of ancient works of India/ China in books of Mathematics) of MIT/ Harvard, therefore we can perceive an ideal which is very different from MIT/ Harvard.
So therefore, a good progress is the one, in which the progress is achieved in having a better goal during the progress towards achieving a goal.
I think the best way that can happen is only when we cultivate a culture where people learn to create and use opportunities including to think and reflect on the opportunities they get. For instance, one may not just use the opportunities just because one who provides says that this will lead you to ‘this’ level, rather to ask: why that level?, are we ignoring some aspects of it during the process of reaching that level? is there a better level?
Now on the topic ‘Why is science is important to farmers’, I like to quote that science and technological is not about everything. For instance, the we had some form of science and technological for thousands of years. In a way, if one technology solves a problem, another technology creates a problem, and vice versa. So therefore, I believe, it is all about creating a culture among the farmers (as universal to everyone) where they learn to create and use opportunities including to think and reflect on the opportunities they get. So therefore, the question need not center on the Science, as science is just one among the other things, and such all things can be handled in a general way by creating a culture among the farmers as mentioned before. It is more like teaching how to fish than to give the fish.
The Extempore happened at Panchayat Circle, IIT Gandhinagar. My learning includes that I was just looking at judges most of the time, which I shouldn’t have done, I should have stood at the center of the circle to involve all the audiences, I should have listened to other’s Extempore properly as my inherent purpose was to reach as many people as possible. I could have been more specific to farmers instead of far-fetched generic way, for an Extempore.
The judges of the events were Prof. Bhaskar Datta and Prof. Atul Singh. They gave very useful feedback to each and everyone who had participated. All these thoughts during Extempore just reflects what I have talked with people in Tea Shop!
Thanks for everyone who have organised!!