Coherence

Software developers use the term ‘coherence’ in their work. It means logical, orderly and consistent relation of parts.

Baba Ramdev’s demands in Bhrashtachar Mitao Satyagraha includes

“7. Educational curriculum in Bharatiya Languages – Curriculum and examinations of engineering, medical, agriculture should be made available in Bharatiya languages too and as fast as possible so that even a villager can get education properly instead of being deprived on the name of a foreign language(English) which we are using as the primary mode of education even after 64 years of independence. What a shame! We are not against English. But we must learn to respect our own languages first.”

The main demand of the movement was publicised as to bring back the black money stashed away abroad. What is the direct connection between the core demand and that for higher education in Indian languages? Is there a consistent relationship of parts of the whole demand?

It is a different argument that the citizens of India, like people of many other countries, want to study in English medium. At least, people of Karnataka have rejected state government’s effort in imposing Kannada as medium of instruction even at primary school level – leave alone for higher studies. By mixing such issues with other set of meaningful demands, we give opportunity to the other party to find loopholes in the argument and divert the dialogue.

Let us include cohesion as a topic of study and practice in all domains – not just as part of software engineering syllabus. It is relevant in every walk of life. Let us reflect on some sample cases:

  • A rhetoric or dialog has to be cohesive with one theme and a clear purpose. If the parts of the case and argument do not fit well together, we lose our stand. Our own and the listeners’ understanding suffers and the results can be different from what we expect.
    This applies to all our communication – in all our roles and position – at home, in the community, society and professional transactions. Coherent communication is genuine, effective, clear and purposeful and fosters teamwork, cooperation, and productivity.
    You may read an interesting report titled “To what extent does the government implement a coherent communication policy.”
  • By harmonising our thoughts and actions we bring cohesiveness and authenticity. It reduces confusion, improve confidence, and earns us respect.
  • Many lessons in our text books have contradicting information in different parts of the same lesson. A few years ago, my nephew Chetan enrolled in M.S., Computer Science, from Bangalore University distance education program. He was thoroughly confused with the notes on “Analysis Design of Software Systems,” supplied by the university. I could trace different paragraphs to different books by popular authors. Each author was right when he wrote his book in his context. When parts of their texts are copied and put together without consideration for consistency and wholeness, meaning is lost and we punish the student.
    We see lack of coherence in many prescribed text books for schools. A teacher who prepares the students for examination herself does not understand the contents. E.g., read lesson 3 in Science for class 10, Karnataka State. At the end of ten pages, we have 26 questions – starting with “What is electronics” and ending with “write a note on the principle of working of television.” I invite you to read these ten pages and understand the contents.
  • Fabrics and clothes require coherence. The fine clothes the ladies wear on special occasions require inner lining. If the cotton lining-cloth is not pre-shrunk, when the cloth is washed after stitching, the outer and inner parts misfit. If you own a cotton shirt with rubber painting, you have an issue – if you do not iron the shirt, it looks crumpled and if you iron, the rubber melts and disfigures the shirt.
  • Ayurvedic food combination tips tell us about the food items that are compatible or incompatible in combinations. We are advised not to take food items of conflicting nature. All the cultures have guidelines on what food item goes with which other items.
  • If one is prone to allergic cold, taking medicine to cure the cold and then relishing a bowl of ice-cream to invite the cold again is not a coherent lifestyle. Mind, body and lifestyle are all part of own healthcare.
  • Different professions need some core attitudes – like, a teacher needs a thirst for knowledge and a doctor should have compassion for suffering people. If a professional does not have the core attitudes of her profession, there is no quality in her work.
  • We wear lounge suit for a formal party and swim suit for beaches. We are cheerful and all smiles in a birthday or wedding party and solemn in a funeral.

We can reflect on the concept of coherence and harmony in every thought and action and derive gratification from our situations and work.

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About pgbhat

A retired Naval Officer and an educationist. Has experience with software industry. A guest faculty at different institutes and a corporate trainer with software development companies.
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