Learning in a saffron-tinted market

Print edition : September 01, 2017

Noakhali (now in Bangladesh), February 7, 1947: Gandhi, while opening a school for refugee children, is presenting a slate and a book to a boy and taking a primary book of Bengali for his own learning. This moving image, from a time when pre-Partition violence was wreaking havoc in Bengal, reflects a view of education as an uplifting experience that can restore moral order in a violent world. In neoliberal India, education is a commodity that has to be bought. Photo: THE HINDU ARCHIVES

The section whose interests suffer most as a result of the commodification of education is underprivileged children. Here, a message on a school wall in Barwani, Madhya Pradesh, says: "Half a roti if need be, but we will go to school." Photo: R.V. MOORTHY

Teachers and students of JNU marching from Mandi House to Parliament against seat cuts in MPhil and PhD admissions, on February 20. State spending on education has been steadily declining. Photo: SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA

Kanhaiya Kumar (left), former president, JNUSU, and Fatima Nafees, mother of missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmed, at a protest by students from Delhi University and JNU during a "Citizens' March" to Parliament, on March 4. Photo: SHANKER CHAKRAVARTY

The "Save DU" march by students on February 28 against the previous week's violence at Ramjas College. Photo: SANDEEP SAXENA

Y. Sudershan Rao, whose appointment as Chairman, Indian Council of Historical Research, in 2014 raised eyebrows. He was known to be close to the Sangh Parivar and was not considered as possessing the academic rigour that would justify the appointment. Photo: B. VELANKANNI RAJ

The present regime has combined neoliberal policy with the Hindutva ideology and a sociopolitical offensive in public life and within educational institutions in a form so virulent that it threatens the very conception and purpose of education, both for the individual and for society.
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