This post continues the ongoing debate on Kafila occasioned by the charge made by Prof. Ranabir Samaddar in the DNA Newspaper about what he thinks is the ‘elitist’ character of the students movement that is continuing at Jadavpur University, Kolkata.
Guest Post by Anindya Sengupta
Now Ranabir Samaddar has done it. This charge of elitism – as evident in his article’s title ‘Elitist Protest in Jadavpur’ – is not new; it was in the air right from the onset of the movement, evident in numerous threads of comments in social networks. But when such labelling, as is regularly dished out by a Trinamul Congress backed Bengali daily like Khobor 365 Din, finds an echo in left-wing scholars, it hurts. It was almost a relief that Prof. Samaddar didn’t repeat the accusation that these rebelling students are a doped and debauched lot.
Looking up for the word ‘elite’ in the dictionaries yielded this among many: “A group or class of persons enjoying superior intellectual or social or economic status”.
Continue reading Hok Kolorob! A Strange Chatter in the Air – Ranabir Samaddar’s Fictofacts: Anindya Sengupta
This is a guest post by N P Ashley: For a teacher, it feels strange to defend one’s workplace in public against the experiential remarks of an individual who happens to be in some ex-student capacity in the same college. “I didn’t like X’s classes” or “I found academic excellence in St. Stephen’s College a myth” are statements that need no attempt to be disproven precisely because the writer, Thane Richard, makes no attempt to prove them in the first place. The narrative is anecdotal and validation is through “personal experience” which can only be countered, rather weakly, through other anecdotes. Hence, I won’t get into it. But there are certain methodological problems with the entire exercise, which, if not countered, will wrongly define the concerns of the readers. Continue reading The Golchakkar of Premier Institutions: St. Stephen’s College as a Public Concern: N P Ashley
Guest post by PRATYAY NATH.
This piece is in response to Waled Aadnan’s post on Kafila titled ‘Because Presidency is an Idea – All You Need to Know about What Happened at Presidency University’ (dated 15 April 2013). Mr. Aadnan’s well-written and succinctly argued piece is not an isolated voice; it echoes a dominant way of thinking that has been noticeable among the various protests against the recent incident of vandalism in the Presidency University (erstwhile Presidency College). Let me begin by stating, like many others already have, that the vandalism that happened in Presidency on 10 April 2013 should be condemned in the harshest of terms. My discomfort lies in some of the ways in which these condemnations are being articulated in the public domain over the past few days. I would suggest that the majority of the protests emanate from a sense of hurt delivered to the idea of eliteness of the educational institution in question, which cannot unfortunately be supported because it tries to detach this incident from the broader socio-political forces of our times by sensationalising the issue. Continue reading Debating the Attack on Presidency University: Pratyay Nath