The misinformation and propaganda against our culture and heritage has left educational institutions of India burning today. Abhinav Khare writes an open letter to PM Modi to clean up Indian academia
Dear Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji,
Ministry of Human Resource Development is as critical as Ministry of Home Affairs, if not more.
Education is the soul of India. Allowing wrong people to give wrong education to our kids is akin to selling our country’s soul. Education shapes the world view and narrative. Education shapes generations. Indian Education System is dominated by mediocre academics who are good at Leftist politics and bad at authentic research, innovation and creativity. We need to urgently fix it. We need to increase our spending on education by many folds and bring quality talent in Indian academia.
Today we are at war, at war with misinformation and propaganda against our culture and heritage. While the taxpayers watch helplessly in shock, the educational institutions of India are burning today filled with disparate groups and innocent youth inflicted with Left ideologies. There is one common thread that joins it all, it is the domination of our education system with Leftist post-modernism.
Few radical teachers and professors are misusing our youth while romanticizing “Azadi from Hinduism & Hindustan”. There have been examples where a couple of radical professors at our premier institutes were able to issue statements opposing Citizenship Amendment Act without the consent of their student councils which leaves the students no choice but to remain silent else, they face discrimination. How did we, as a country, allow our children to be used this brazenly, Sir?
The roots of this Leftist domination over all our educational and intellectual establishments started with the systematic removal of all non-Left intellectuals from these institutions in the 1950s. The biggest example was the removal of Columbia University Economist Jagdish Bhagwati from the Delhi School of Economics. The cleanse was so intense that by the 1990s, there were no non-Left thinkers remaining in these institutions.
We should not have a knee jerk response to these protests going around our universities. Instead, we should strategize and systematically work to reform this century old education system. We know, sir, that we won’t get immediate results.
The world has now understood and recognized the role of culture being integral to our broader development goals. The UNESCO International Congress “Culture: Key to Sustainable Development” held in Hangzhou, China in May 2013 recommended that culture be included in the United National development agenda and it should focus on heritage, diversity, creativity and the transmission of knowledge. The study of religion and culture is in fact mandatory in many countries around the world. In Finland, religious education is a mandatory subject both in comprehensive schools (7–16 years) and in senior/upper secondary schools (16-18/19 years). In Germany, Catholic or Protestant religious instruction is a required subject, but students over the age of 14 can opt out, thus ensuring that the necessary value system is built in a child before they venture forth in the world. If the developed nations know to respect their religion and culture, why should we ignore our traditions?
The Big-4 ministries have always been the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Defence. Education has always been neglected and now time has come to change that. It’s time that the Ministry of HRD is added into this power club.
Mr Prime Minister, India needs to be an open market of ideas and the Left cannot be barring entries to it. This is the clarion call; we need to clean-up the academia. And we need to do it now!
A Concerned Indian Citizen
About Abhinav Khare
Abhinav Khare is the CEO of Asianet News Network and also the host of a daily show named Deep Dive with AK. He has a lifetime collection of books and gadgets and has already pinged more than hundred cities around the globe.
He is a tech entrepreneur, who is passionate about policy, technology, economy and philosophy from ancient India. He earned an MS Engineering from the ETH Zurich and an MBA Finance from the London Business School.
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Last Updated Jan 4, 2020, 6:07 PM IST