Deendayal in Government Schools : Neglecting Education, Indoctrinating Exclusion

चित्र परिणाम

(Photo courtesy : livehindustan.com, From left to right – Golwalkar, Deendayal Upadhyay and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, . Photo taken in Mathura during Goraksha/Cow Protection movement, 1965)

“DEENDAYAL UPADHYAYA is to the BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party] what Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was to Congress” opined R. Balashankar, former editor of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh’s (RSS) organ Organiser and now a member of the BJP’s central committee, on Prasikhshan Maha Abhiyan

(The Indian Express,; September 24, 2016).

Cows inhale, exhale oxygen, says Rajasthan education minister Vasudev Devnani

(http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jaipur/cows-inhale-exhale-oxygen-says-rajasthan-education-minister-vasudev-devnani/articleshow/56612529.cms)

Rajaram (name changed) Principal of a school near Jaipur, Rajasthan is a worried man.

An honest teacher all his life, is not able to comprehend the rationale behind the recent order by the state education ministry asking every secondary and senior secondary school to purchase collected works of Deendayal Upadhyay Continue reading “Deendayal in Government Schools : Neglecting Education, Indoctrinating Exclusion”

Radhika Vemula on Bhim Auto

radhika vemula के लिए चित्र परिणाम

(Photo Courtesy : indiatoday.intoday.in, Photo Illustration by Saurabh Singh)

..The value of a man was reduced to his immediate identity and nearest possibility. To a vote.  To a number. To a thing. Never was a man treated as a mind. As a glorious thing made up of star dust.  In every field, in studies, in streets, in politics, and in dying and living.

..My birth is my fatal accident. I can never recover from my childhood loneliness. The unappreciated child from my past.

(Excerpts from Rohith Vemula’s suicide note)

 

The middle of this month would witness a different type of Yatra on the streets of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Neither it would be led by high profile leaders – who have the aura of Z plus security with them – nor it would be undertaken in an ultramodern bus – fitted with latest facilities and which could even be used as podium for a public meeting.

It would be taken out on a blue pickup truck renamed Bhim Auto and would be led by a fifty year old woman Radhika Vemula  along with her son Raja demanding justice for her elder son Rohith. During this Yatra Radhika intends to visit one Velivada ( Dalit hamlet) after other in these two states to tell people how castiest forces are hell bent upon denying dalits their due rights and how justice is still being denied to her son who committed suicide because of the machinations of such people. (http://nsi-delhi.blogspot.in/search/?q=rohith+vemula). She would also communicate to them that not only the ruling dispensation at the centre led by BJP but the state governments in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have been callous towards the plight of the Dalits and have joined hands to deny justice to her son. Not some time ago the government of Andhra Pradesh had made outrageous statements about Rohith not being dalit and earlier in February had demanded that Radhika ‘prove’ that she is Dalit in 15 days. Continue reading “Radhika Vemula on Bhim Auto”

असहमतियाँ इस दौर में – प्रसंग जोधपुर विश्वविद्यालय : हिमांशु पंड्या

Guest post by HIMANSHU PANDYA

1-2 फरवरी को अंग्रेज़ी विभाग द्वारा आयोजित संगोष्ठी में प्रो. निवेदिता मेनन के व्याख्यान के बाद जयनारायण व्यास विश्वविद्यालय सुर्ख़ियों में है. विश्वविद्यालय में घट रहे विवाद को देखकर लग रहा है कि एक साल पहले की सारी कहानी ज्यों की त्यों दोहराई जा रही है. एक साल पहले उदयपुर में सुखाडिया विश्वविद्यालय में हुए व्याख्यान के बाद भी यही सब हुआ था. अफवाहें, तथ्यों का गलत सलत प्रस्तुतीकरण, मनगढ़ंत आरोप और तत्काल सजा. फ़र्क यह है कि इस बार हमले की तीव्रता और फैसले की हड़बड़ी ज्यादा है.

सबसे पहले उन बिन्दुओं पर चर्चा कर लें, जो आरोप की शक्ल में जोर जोर से दोहराए जा रहे हैं.

प्रो. मेनन के व्याख्यान पर मुख्य आरोप यह है कि उन्होंने देश का नक्शा ‘उल्टा’ दिखाकर राष्ट्र का अपमान किया. जिस बात को इतना बड़ा हौव्वा बनाकर पेश किया जा रहा है, वह एक सामान्य सा अकादमिक अभ्यास है, जो दुनिया भर में मान्य है. दुनिया गोल है और नक़्शे में उत्तर-दक्षिण-पूर्व-पश्चिम सिर्फ हमारी संकल्पनाएँ हैं. उत्तर आधुनिक विचारकों द्वारा पूर्व पश्चिम के द्वैत को बरसों पहले खारिज किया जा चुका है. उत्तर औपनिवेशिक इतिहास लेखन की एक सम्पूर्ण धारा है जो यूरोकेंद्रित इतिहास दृष्टि को खारिज करके नई सोच के साथ इतिहास को देखने की कोशिश करती आयी है. (और इस धारा में गैर मार्क्सवादी ही नहीं, दक्षिणपंथी रुझान वाले इतिहासकार भी शामिल हैं) इसी क्रम में नक्शों के यूरोकेंद्रित होने को चिह्नित करते हुए न मालूम कितने प्रयोग हुए हैं. आप एक लेख से इसकी झलक पा सकते हैं. (1) और तो और, आप चाहें तो उल्टा नक्शा अमेज़न पर जाकर खरीद भी सकते हैं. (2) सिर्फ उल्टा ही नहीं, ग्रीनविच रेखा की केन्द्रीय स्थिति (यानी यूरोप की केन्द्रीय स्थिति) को बदलकर या ध्रुवों के परिप्रेक्ष्य से दुनिया को देखकर या और भी अनेक तरीकों से भूगोलवेत्ता नक़्शे को बनाते और प्रदर्शित करते रहे हैं. उदाहरण के लिए यूनाइटेड नेशंस का लोगो जिस पद्धति का अनुसरण करता है वह सरल भाषा में ‘पोलर मैप’ कहा जा सकता है.

यू एन का लोगो

यू एन का लोगो

वैसे आपका नक्शा जैसा भी हो, जो चाहे उसे आयताकार फैला दे पर दुनिया गोल ही है और भारत के विश्वविद्यालय, मध्ययुगीन चर्च नहीं हैं.

सबसे मजेदार बात यह है कि जो विवादित चित्र प्रो. मेनन ने अपने व्याख्यान के दौरान दिखाया, वह NCERT की कक्षा 12 की किताब में एक दशक से है, अभी भी है और उसे देश भर के लाखों शिक्षक और विद्यार्थी रोज देखते हैं. और तो और एक साल पहले तक यही किताब हमारे अपने राजस्थान पाठ्य पुस्तक मंडल की किताब भी थी और इस तरह हमारे राज्य में भी लाखों शिक्षक-विद्यार्थी इस नक़्शे को देखते आये हैं. अंग्रेज़ी-हिन्दी दोनों पुस्तकों का पेज नं 150 देख लीजिये. अंग्रेज़ी वाला हमारे दोस्त ने उपलब्ध करवा दिया है. Continue reading “असहमतियाँ इस दौर में – प्रसंग जोधपुर विश्वविद्यालय : हिमांशु पंड्या”

Corrupt Notes – the Black Comedy of Tragic Error: R Srivatsan

Guest post by R. SRIVATSAN

Reflections on the many paradoxes of the demonetization process: the schizophrenia of the BJP, the desire of the well to do, the baffling sacrifice of the have nots, the faults and fault lines that propagate through our society in crisis.

Narendra Modi and Arun Jaitley, in their brilliant strategy to kill black money through the withdrawal of currency, show no basic understanding of what the term ‘black money’ signifies.  Prabhat Patnaik has recently argued there is no such thing as black money – there is only a black economy.  However, one aspect of the black economy is the refusal to pay taxes and instead hoard wealth in the form of currency that is not recorded in bank deposits.  Another is the payment of bribes with untraceable currency to authorities and politicians who use their position of leverage as personal property on which they charge a rent for use. Both these uses of black money as corruption have a common lineage. In both cases, corruption is the failure of categories that were supposed to have been water-tight.  A) “All income is taxable” B) “Public servants are true servants of the people”

But first, here is an attempt to shake our convictions that the refusal to pay taxes is a moral evil.  To do so, let me take the example of a Hollywood film, Stranger than Fiction (2006).  The plot of this film, which has a quite complex fantasy storyline, baits the viewer’s desire through the emerging love interest between an IRS auditor Harold Crick and his investigative target Ana Pascal, who runs a bakery.  Ana is a conscientious objector against taxation. She argues that she openly defies taxation since she doesn’t support the hegemonic objectives of the USA which spends most of its revenue income on weapons of war and destruction.  Ana is thus the beautiful and charming face of morally upright conscientious objection which masks the libertarian hatred for a state that taxes more than minimally.  As Robert Nozick asserted long ago such taxation is seen as thievery, against the sacred right to private property.  Ana’s position thus also masks the refusal to redistribute wealth through welfare. As a viewer, I found it extremely difficult to think of Ana as an evil person.  She was the most charming free-spirit I had encountered on celluloid (well, on a TV screen) for a long time. The objective of this sub-plot of film criticism is to help the reader shed the ready moral judgement that not paying taxes is a universal crime and a sin against society, so that it becomes possible to examine exactly what the complex nature of the act that constitutes tax evasion is. Continue reading “Corrupt Notes – the Black Comedy of Tragic Error: R Srivatsan”

Buying into Demonetisation- the Popular Ideological Receptors of Creeping Fascism: Sanjay Kumar

Guest Post by SANJAY KUMAR

The withdrawal of eighty six percent of currency notes by the Modi government has been an administrative fiasco. It is clear that little economic thought, and only a political urge has gone into the exercise. Informal sector of the economy, which accounts for 80% of the employment and 40% of the national output, has suffered short to medium term damage. All cash dependent transactions, wages, wholesale and retail trade, agricultural purchase and sale, are at a crawl. Workers are not getting wages, factories are closing, mandis are empty. Crores of young and old working people are spending hours in queues at banks and ATMs to withdraw their own money now gone scarce.  Press reports count more than eighty deaths. Parliament of the country is in a limbo, because the prime minister thinks it below his worth to reply to charges by the opposition party MPs. While ordinary people are suffering, the Nero like rulers are trumpeting the arrival of the nirvana of a cash less economy as the answer to India’s economic ills.

Even while Mr Modi’s government is solely responsible for this needless and widespread suffering, it would be naive to expect an automatic popular backlash against it. The politics of the ruling party does not fit into the patronage or identity driven models of its competitors. Its closest template is fascist politics, which  is a very particular kind of authoritarianism. What distinguishes a fascist regime from other modern authoritarian regimes like military dictatorships is the popular support it is able to garner for its policies and depredations. This is achieved by carefully working upon popular anxieties, prejudices, desires and fears, and refashioning them as grounds for aggression against selected minorities, and a belief in an imminent deliverance under the personalised rule of a leader. Continue reading “Buying into Demonetisation- the Popular Ideological Receptors of Creeping Fascism: Sanjay Kumar”

Aam Aadmi Mohalla Clinics Set to Shut Thanks to L-G and BJP Controlled Municipal Bodies: Jyoti Punwani

[The Superintendent of Tihar Jail, went a joke recently circulating on WhatsApp, had staked his claim for the Chief Ministership of Delhi, because he had the requisite number of MLAs! The mainstream (Big) media has had a field day, reporting with great ‘earnestness’, what even the ordinary person on the street can see is an orchestrated move to harass and discredit the AAP. A leading paper even did a status report on all the cases against AAP MLAs a couple of days ago, as if it was simply ‘reporting’ (with a straight face). Some day, hopefully we will be able to come out with a more detailed analysis of the ways in which sections of the big media have – even in the person/s of their most benign representatives and columnists – played footsie with the regime at the Centre. This dispensation and its utterly unprincipled and unethical ways are truly unprecedented and this phase of our history has emerged as the dirtiest chapter of parliamentary democracy in India. In the meantime, online news forums have kept the tradition of actual reportage and fairness alive. Here are some extracts from a report by JYOTI PUNWANI, courtesy The Hoot (linked below), on the mohalla clinics and the strange politics of the media that surrounds reportage around such measures undertaken by the Delhi government.]

The AAP’s mohalla clinic experiment drew the attention of The Washington Post. Its article (`What New Delhi’s free clinics can teach America’, March 11, 2016) was also carried by the Chicago Tribune. A University of Southern California delegation came to study mohalla clinics  in July.

But our print media didn’t think this important experiment was anything special. Not all covered it; of those that did, some didn’t carry the report in all their editions….

The Indian Express carried a long report in April, after the second batch of clinics opened, in its Delhi edition (“In rented rooms across Delhi, part 2 of ‘mohalla’ clinic project takes off’’).  Livemint hada detailed report last month, after more than 100 clinics had opened (`Mohalla clinic: AAP offers affordable healthcare model at doorstep’); and earlier this week, The Hindu evaluated their performance in its Delhi edition (`A thousand promises of prompt health care’).

Among news websites, Newslaundry did a lively report immediately after the first clinic opened (`Mohalla clinics come to town’). In January, Catch News did a report  (`#MohallaClinics: AAP has diagnosed Delhi’s health problem. Can it cure it?’), and a follow-up in April after the second batch opened (`AAP Mohalla clinics: rented homes turn clinics, private docs appointed’).

A two-part article appeared in Scroll.in in May (`The clinic at your doorstep: How the Delhi government is rethinking primary healthcare…) Indeed, news websites, rather than newspapers, seem to have given the new experiment the space it deserves.

Going through the reports on mohalla clinics, it became clear that the possible removal of some of them was only the latest move against them. A few days before the NDMC issued this order, the Lieutenant General (LG) of Delhi had got into the act. Consider the sequence of events:

On August 5, the Delhi High Court ruled that the LG was the administrative head of the capital. After the judgment, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia specially requested Najeeb Jung not to transfer the Health and Education secretaries as these two bureaucrats were essential for the AAP’s new initiatives in these sectors. Continue reading “Aam Aadmi Mohalla Clinics Set to Shut Thanks to L-G and BJP Controlled Municipal Bodies: Jyoti Punwani”

On the Ongoing Debate in CPI(M): Dheeresh Saini

Guest Post by DHEERESH SAINI

“In India today, neither has fascism been established, nor are the conditions present — in political, economic and class terms — for a fascist regime to be established. There is no crisis that threatens a collapse of the capitalist system; the ruling classes of India face no threat to their class rule. No section of the ruling class is currently working for the overthrow of the bourgeois parliamentary system. What the ruling classes seek to do is to use forms of authoritarianism to serve their class interests,”

-Prakash Karat

When CPI(M) was under the stewardship of now deceased, voluntarily or forcefully retired leaders, young leaders-workers would say that when young leaders (who were actually middle aged then) like Prakash Karat and Sitaram Yechury take over, the party would zoom on to its real revolutionary track. Karat was always considered more principled and genuine between the two. Yechury has now succeeded Karat as the topmost leader. Meanwhile, the situation of the party that prided itself in waging nationwide struggle against the fascist forces went from bad to worse in West Bengal considered as its fort. In the present scenario, any party considered as progressive or secular, would be bound to face such situation. But it is disappointing to see CPI(M) hog the headlines, in such tough times, on account of constant tussle between its two stars considered most resplendent. Continue reading “On the Ongoing Debate in CPI(M): Dheeresh Saini”