The days when students are forced (or feel compelled) to choose the Science or Commerce stream have not yet completely disappeared. Being a Humanities student, I have heard a lot of criticism about my choice of subjects. I was asked this particular question repeatedly by relatives, teachers and peers — “Why haven’t you chosen Science? Haven’t you always scored well in your exams?” The fact was that I was not as interested in the Sciences as I was in the Humanities. To me, passion was more important in my decision than the marks I obtained and it was a myth that Humanities is supposedly where “failures” are deposited.
Contrary to popular belief, the Humanities subjects are actually as challenging as Science and Commerce subjects and are extremely relevant in the outside world. The curriculum is vast and the nature of it is subjective; there is no right or wrong answer. These qualities of the stream require its students to work hard, persevere and preferably have a genuine inclination to study the subjects.
Humanities train students to think openly and creatively, form intelligent opinions and ask questions. Not to mention, these are the core subjects dealt with in careers such as the civil services, law, journalism, psychology, archeology and several more.
Although in some places Humanities is treated as the last resort, this status is not prevalent in all regions of India. For example, Ninou Kipgen, a Humanities student of Sanskriti School in Delhi, says, “In our institution, 11th grade has three Humanities classes while Science has only one.” On the other hand, the Delhi Public School, Pune has only a single section of Humanities in the 11th grade out of four.
But as society and the thought processes of teenagers are constantly developing, more and more students are opting for the Humanities stream. They have a greater freedom to choose than before and are no longer hesitant to explore, or even create, new professions that may have been less favoured in the past.
Humanities does not narrow down career prospects, it in fact, opens them up and creates space for world-changing ideas. So many famous people who revolutionised the world studied different disciplines in Humanities or Liberal Arts, such as Karl Marx, Lenin and S Radhakrishnan. The subjects are about what the world is made up of: society, humans, us. It is a matter of great pride that students are now willingly opting for it and are beginning to see its worth.