In different languages and in different ways, children constantly hear one thing from adults around them: "Padhoge Likhoge Hoge Nawab, Kheloge Koodoge Hoge Kharaab" (Read 'n' Write, You'll be a King, Play Around and You'll Pay for your Sins). But how well-founded is this notion?
In present day India, schooling is not as widespread or effective as it was expected to be. Does schooling mean the same thing to all children? Does it open the same doors for all? Should education be compulsory, universal or uniform?
Instead of offering yet another adult perspective on the subject, PADHOGE LIKHOGE HOGE NAWAB talks to some children to explore what schooling means to them. Here, girls and boys from government schools in tribal Madhya Pradesh, a public school in New Delhi and an alternative school in Andhra Pradesh describe schooling as they know it. They speak of what they like and what they don't; how they feel about teachers, punishments and rewards; their fear of failure; gender roles, role models and the stress on conformity; the kind of school they would like; and their fantasies of life after school.

Duration 34 mins
Format Betacam sp
Language English, Hindi
English subtitles

Padhoge Likhoge Hoge Nawaab?
(Is School The Thing That Makes A King?)


Direction Surajit Sarkar, Vani Subramanian
Camera Hemant Chaturvedi
Editing Madan S Rajan
Music Indian Ocean


3rd InKo Women's International Film Festival, Chennai, 2010
The Roshd International Film & Video Festival, Teheran, Iran, 2000
The Mumbai International Film Festival, Mumbai, 2000
Film South Asia, Kathmandu, Nepal, 1999