Illiteracy is a curse for any nation or country. It has no advantage at all. Its disadvantages are many as:
The first great disadvantage of illiteracy is that uneducated (or illiterate) people cannot gain any knowledge through books, magazines or newspapers. They cannot learn anything new through reading. This means that they are at a great disadvantage as compared to educated people. Educated people can easily learn all they like from books and writings or lectures and discussions. Thus they are able and wiser.
The second great disadvantage of illiteracy is that illiterate people cannot know well about their rights and duties in society. They cannot easily understand the laws of the country, the policies of the government and the programmes of different political parties. It has been well said that illiterate people do not know how to use their democratic rights. They cannot wisely elect their representatives in general elections. They can easily be misled by slogans of politicians.
Perhaps the greatest handicap (disadvantage) of illiterate or uneducated people is that they cannot make much progress in life. They cannot get good government jobs and cannot join the armed forces. They cannot very well run shops or take part in trade or industry. Illiterate villagers cannot easily learn the ways of advanced or modern farming, and so remain poor and backward. They go on using the old, outdated methods of tilling fields, sowing and reaping crops. Thus they cannot add to food production so much. They can really make quick progress by getting educated.
The country or nation, as a whole, cannot make proper and quick progress if the majority of its people are illiterate or uneducated. Only properly educated people can promote the agriculture, trade, and industry of the country in suitable ways. Scientists, engineers, doctors, scholars (learned men), philosophers, writers, poets, and artists arise out of educated and literate people. Illiterate people can at the most work, with their hands or do “manual” labor, thinking less and struggling more. They cannot so well make use of their minds or intelligence.
We should make the best efforts to educate the illiterate people. The government and the educated people should work together to bring illiteracy to an end. Illiteracy promotes backwardness and thrusts us behind the less advanced nations even. Religious, social, cultural, scientific and economic progress on the modern lines are impossible without a high level of universal education.