…continuing the Kaul Journal series
… as I turn the pages I’m enlightened at every word I read. A young mind in turmoil but I see that determination and zest for learning is what takes him places. What follows is the Kaul Journal In Prof. Kaul’s own words:
BACK AT SCHOOL
I left working in the villages and returned to school. I was underage. But, from Lokmanya Tilak to all great leaders of the Movement, I had met them all. I had been very near to some of them. I had worked under their instructions and, in a sense I was now a part of their group. But I felt my capabilities were zero. At a young age, I had become an old man. I walked like an old person. When I spoke, I waved my hands. But, I did not understand how to be a leader. I was like an empty bottle that needed to be filled with knowledge and wisdom.
None of the leaders or any of my friends offered to enlighten me. I realized the emptiness within me and was determined to fill it as I felt I had wasted a lot of my time. Until I filled this emptiness, I would not be able to help others!
Our school had opened only recently. The principal, a very good and capable man, was from Aligarh University. He had made a very good library in the school. I began to read. It was in my mind that I should read whatever came before me. If I was not able to understand it fully, at least I would understand it partially.
My masters would ask me, “What will you understand from these books?” They thought I was too young to understand. I would not be able to grasp these deep and profound ideas. They had no idea of the extent of my thirst for knowledge. I did not read these books so that I would do well in my exams.
I had seen the poverty in the villages. I had seen the kinds of hardships the people faced. I felt that if I was capable and knowledgeable, I would be able to fight their enemies.
I was going to confront the rulers of the land. I was going to confront the religious leaders. I had made myself into a soldier who would fight injustice. I did not speak about my ideas to anyone or ask for anyone’s help. I felt there was no one who could really help me in my quest. Only technical knowledge would aid me.
My thirst for knowledge was so overpowering that my parents, who used to say that if I didn’t study I would end up being a grass cutter, now told me not to study and read so much, as I would lose my eyesight!
I considered this as the best part of my whole life because, at this time, I was fulfilling a need which was there deep in my soul. My peers studied to get good jobs but, I was never interested in getting a good job.
I left the road towards a secure future and strove to fight injustice.
… and the Kaul Journal continues