Privatisation of Education

Vidya Bhushan Rawat

With Ambanis getting favor from the government, it is important for our academic fraternity to go into details of all this. This government has opened front against people particularly the marginalised at different fronts. Closing UGC is one thing but before closure, UGC send notice regarding ‘ Institute of Eminence’ where they said ‘merit and merit alone will be the criteria’. In India merit is absolutely brahmanical in nature and in certain way to deny the space to the SC-ST-OBCs in the institution. These institution will have their own ‘autonomy’ and will be outside the domain of UGC. They can negotiate with foreign institution, collaborate with them. The aim is to bring them to ‘international’ standard.

Fact is that the agenda is to target all other institutions. When the people were campaigning for equal education for all, we have a government which want to create this difference in the name of ‘excellence’ and ‘merit’.

So you can understand why Narendra Modi still enjoy support for the upper echelon of the savarna jaatis because through these ‘institutions of eminence’ you keep the status quo ante and state abdicate its duties towards people. Finish the education system of the country and bring the Dronacharays into these institutions of ‘merit’.

But what to say. Political parties feel that their duties finish after sending a tweet with #bhakts of all varieties respond as per their leaders.

The day we start responding as per our issues and not as per our leaders, the things will change.

The day, we start going beyond individuals and seek wider consultations, listen to your critique things would be different.

The day intellectuals, academics and those in public life speak without being a ‘Bhakt’ things will change.

This is the biggest war that the brahmanical system has now imposed on the Bahujan masses. With the help of crony capitalists, they want to deny opportunities to India’s indigenous people. They wont do things openly. They wont challenge the ‘constitution’. They would do it in a surreptitious way which means, kill the institutions and universities which were government added and provide huge opportunity to India’s historically denied people.

I wrote a few days back appealing to all the political parties that swear in the name of social justice, Baba Saheb Ambedkar, Ram Manohar Lohia, Periyar and others that there is a direct assault on people’s right to education. We have not fulfilled the earlier promises but rather than making things better we created a mess so that people cant make it to these institutions.

This need a strong political response to the extent that all the member of Parliaments of SC-ST-OBCs-Minorities must seek explanation from the government on this. This matter will not be helped through court cases as we know who is using court but this matter must be resolved politically.

Baba Saheb wanted education for all. He wanted quality education. How many Universities does this government offer a budget of Rs 1000 crore which it want to give to ‘institutions of eminence’ ? Why should this kind of budget not made available for our primary and secondary education with efficient teachers and better schooling facilities. Why can’t government improve the existing infrastructure in the Universities and colleges and make them better accountable if it feel they are not functioning well.

Privatisation of education is a highly irresponsible act of the government. It is not that all these institutions will run on private money. Frankly, the Ambanis know it well that they will need a friendly government to support them establish with infrastructure and also with government grants. The freedom these institutions
will have is to deny students admission in the name of merit and secondly, only those would be able to go there who have a certain amount of budget in their pocket.

70 years after independence we are witnessing the re-emergence of the Dronacharays in the institutions with active help of the state to deny the bahujan masses quality education. The pressure on the academic from the Bahujan communities is high as one senior teacher at the Baba Saheb Ambedkar University in Lucknow belonging to Dalit community was brutally beaten by a brahmin students. That is the stage set in all the universities. They have created chaos everywhere so we were engaged in fighting this or that and here quickly the MHRD came out with its ‘idea’ of creating ‘ institutions of ’eminence’ as if it is a kind of Pakoda that you can buy any time anywhere or get it done with money.

Will Ms Mayawati, Mr Rahul Gandhi, Mr Askhilesh Yadav and other political parties raise the issue in Parliament. We know the Ambanis give chanda to all. Please be responsible to people. It is time for all these parties to make their stand clear. Fight this battle as future generations will never forgive you for not speaking up for their rights. Stand up and speak.