AMID THE ongoing debate over rights of Dalit students, the Lucknow University is set to hold a national seminar in March on ‘Dr Ambedkar’s Vision and Status of Dalits, Women and Tribes in Higher Education’.
The event, scheduled to be held on March 4 and 5, is being organised by departments of Anthropology and Geology. Organising secretary Ajay Kumar Arya said he has already received about 80 papers from students and teachers of different universities across the country, who wish to put their point forward during the meet in Lucknow.
Arya, who was recently made convener of the Congress’ SC/ST department, said: “Permission has been taken from the university vice-chancellor for the event… it is purely an academic programme. With the kind of incidents taking place in educational institutions across the country, it has become significant to discuss such issues rather than run away from it.”
However, he added that the event has nothing to do with any political party. “It is an academic event being organised jointly by the Anthropology and Geology departments… A notice on the seminar has also been put on the official website of Lucknow University,” said Arya.
Asked how a seminar on a social topic was being organised by Anthropology and Geology departments, Arya, an assistant professor with Geology department, said: “Sociology, Anthropology and Geology are synonyms. Thus, the two departments have decided to jointly take up the discussion on the issue, which is touching society at large.”
A two-page pamphlet giving details about LU and the seminar states: “Education has been seen conducting an emancipator role in each person’s life. The current education system has drawn inspiration from opinions, which are cultured from the authoritative powers of the dominating classes, and seems divorced from exploring the rationale for its relevance in society at large and the youth within.”
It further says: “Dr Ambedkar was an impeccable leader, who took up the leadership to light the lamp of enlightment… Dr Ambedkar’s last words emphasised — ‘Educate, Agitate and Organise’. He was the person with high intellect. It is astonishing to realise that Ambedkar’s opinions and perceptions on education aren’t recognised.”