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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Avijit Pathak

Avijit Pathak teaches at JNU

Could the coronavirus be the prescription our exam fever needs?
Wed, Apr 28, 2021

The pandemic has forced us to rethink how we live our lives. We must also allow it to dismantle our exam-centric education system that only creates hyper-competitiveness and perpetuates inequalities.

Bengal politics is just like rest of India: toxic, gross and violent
Tue, Mar 23, 2021

Never mind what the bhadralok class thinks. The poll campaign has exploded the myth of Bengali exceptionalism.

In classrooms, we need to rediscover meanings of ‘disobedience’, ‘nationalism’
Sat, Feb 27, 2021

As teachers, many of us become overly cautious so that every word we utter in our classrooms becomes "technically perfect", "legally sanctified", and is in tune with the dominant ideology of nationhood.

Choice before JNU is not between Nehru and Vivekananda, but between a plurality of thought and the psychology of revenge
Wed, Jan 06, 2021

The university should be an ideal place to encourage students and teachers to engage with this plurality of visions, and even live with philosophic ambivalence.

There is no correlation between one’s intellectual ability and performance in examinations
Fri, Oct 16, 2020

In this world, there is no poetic wonder, no criticality of social science, and no enquiring spirit of science. High cut-offs in admissions are no reflection of standards, but a case of rote learning and hyper-competitiveness

Pandemic has confronted us with the challenge of redefining our role — as friends, communicators and healers
Sat, Sep 05, 2020

Even in the virtual classroom, teachers are doing something more than just dictating the notes of biology and geography; they are touching and healing the tormented souls of their students. Let us salute them on Teacher's Day.

Patriotism need not be free from criticality or art of resistance
Mon, Mar 09, 2020

Education should sow the seeds of true religiosity and universalism: A mind that sees beyond borders.

Gandhi’s dreams for the nation were dented in 2019. The new year offers hope
Mon, Jan 06, 2020

From Jamia to JNU, from Hyderabad Central University to Aligarh Muslim University, and from even the IITs and IIMs, students are dissenting. In this non-violent and aesthetically enriched resistance, I have begun to see the return of the lost dream.

The new generation has to experiment with the Mahatma, and his art of resistance
Sat, Oct 26, 2019

I ask myself: How was it possible for him to be religious, yet so elastic, dialogic, open and inclusive? Even though he chose the political domain as his field of sadhana, never did he allow religion to be reduced to an ideology of hatred and division.

Teachers ought to renew faith in the very meaning of the vocation of teaching
Thu, Sep 05, 2019

They are not loyal soldiers, nor cogs in a bureaucratic machine. They must be free to be wanderers. And poets and philosophers

The escape from freedom
Wed, Jul 17, 2019

Normalisation of surveillance destroys what sustains a civilisation — human interaction filled with trust, care.

Education in the liberal arts and humanities are important in themselves
Thu, Jun 06, 2019

The standardised “ambition” that schools and anxiety-ridden parents cultivate among the teenagers makes it difficult for them to accept that it is possible to imagine yet another world beyond the “secure” career options in medical science, engineering and commerce.

We need to question deletions and exclusions from school textbooks
Mon, Apr 08, 2019

We also need to see knowledge as an experience of enchantment, not an act of consumption. It is high time we took the debate beyond merely the content of knowledge — Aurangzeb or Shivaji, Savarkar or Ambedkar, Vedic rites or Nizamuddin Auliya’s verses

Exam and Peace
Thu, Feb 14, 2019

Education is essentially war. It is devoid of joy and humour, creative play and aesthetic celebration.

Why MCQ isn’t an option
Thu, Jan 10, 2019

Multiple Choice Question format forces rigid standardisation, creates illusion that knowledge can be objective.

Art For Life’s Sake
Fri, Nov 23, 2018

Why it is dangerous to reduce art to political rhetoric

Gandhi for the young
Tue, Oct 02, 2018

His ideas like ‘soul force’ and ‘gentle anarchy’ can give young people an effective philosophy and practice of resistance against new forms of social control.

The radical monk
Thu, Jul 05, 2018

Vivekananda needs to be understood more meaningfully. His engaged religiosity can help create a spiritually enriched, egalitarian society

In troubled times, walk with the poet
Wed, May 09, 2018

As militant nationalists create an environment of fear and violence, Tagore reminds us of the possibility of exploring India as a civilisation — not merely as a nation.

The presence of Nehru’s absence
Tue, Nov 14, 2017

We have lost what made his ‘discovery’ possible — a spirit of nuanced dialogue, decolonised cosmopolitanism and cultural syncretism.

Gandhi, the subversive
Mon, Oct 02, 2017

As people are reduced commodities and consumers, his moral engagement with self and society must be revisited as a protest ideology.

Hubris of science
Sat, Aug 12, 2017

It has become an ideology of the powerful. Democratic societies need a plurality of knowledge systems

A society that forgets its poet
Tue, Jul 04, 2017

Devaluing study of liberal arts and humanities could damage the fabric of civilisation

JNU’s enemy without, within
Mon, Nov 07, 2016

JNU is still a role model for other universities. Students still fight elections without money or muscle power and there is a culture of debate.

A seduction called America
Tue, Apr 29, 2003

What does America stand for? America is everywhere: in supermarkets, on television channels, in universities and in our consciousness. And a...