Avijit Pathak teaches at JNU
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.
Never mind what the bhadralok class thinks. The poll campaign has exploded the myth of Bengali exceptionalism.
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.
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.
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
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.
Education should sow the seeds of true religiosity and universalism: A mind that sees beyond borders.
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.
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.
They are not loyal soldiers, nor cogs in a bureaucratic machine. They must be free to be wanderers. And poets and philosophers
Normalisation of surveillance destroys what sustains a civilisation — human interaction filled with trust, care.
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 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
Education is essentially war. It is devoid of joy and humour, creative play and aesthetic celebration.
Multiple Choice Question format forces rigid standardisation, creates illusion that knowledge can be objective.
Why it is dangerous to reduce art to political rhetoric
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.
Vivekananda needs to be understood more meaningfully. His engaged religiosity can help create a spiritually enriched, egalitarian society
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.
We have lost what made his ‘discovery’ possible — a spirit of nuanced dialogue, decolonised cosmopolitanism and cultural syncretism.
As people are reduced commodities and consumers, his moral engagement with self and society must be revisited as a protest ideology.
It has become an ideology of the powerful. Democratic societies need a plurality of knowledge systems
Devaluing study of liberal arts and humanities could damage the fabric of civilisation
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.
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