Delhi bureaucratic class distort education values
There was this column in a national newspaper, on Stephenians in Parliament. About the students of St.Stephen’s College in Delhi entering Parliament by one old student now serving the UN in New York and a talented writer.
The column added some names that were not the college alumni! St.Stephen college is an old Christian establishment, we guess, the first one in Delhi University and as such it had acquired some reputation for academic quality. It is flocked usually by the Delhi middle class, mostly the government officials and their progeny Over the years, the IAS power elite, that had so much hold on the so-called Delhi social life, the more ambitious from this sector, often the writers and journalists, have written excessively on the virtues of the Stephenians!
The prestigious Rhodes Scholarships were administered from this college, most of the old holders in turn play the role of selectors who in turn select mostly bureaucrats’s sons and lately daughters too. Thus, the Delhi bureaucrats and the academics have come to decide the education and much of social values. Luckily, the political values, if any, were not their preserve!
Now, the point is Stephenians have most been genteel middle class, their aspirations don’t go beyond kushy jobs, keeping away from the more mainstream political class. The so-called politicians from Stephenians are either bureaucrats turned politicians or from some remote connections with the ruling dynasties. The claims about college life are wanting in reality, any remote comparison with Oxford colleges, so-called union Debates senior and junior common rooms are simply pure fantasy!
The Delhi education environment, the so-called “public” or other schools is now driven by money factor, there is such a fierce competition among the schools to make big money, schools are run like “chains”. As for the colleges, there are too many, the quality of education provided is as good or as average as any other State capitals colleges, be it Mumbai or Kolkatta or Chennai or even in such towns like Bangalore or Mangalore, wherever there is an old Christian establishment. There are so many in Kerala. The only thing wanting in these regions is the lack of such concentration of bureaucrats.
So, we wonder: what is great about bureaucrats’ aspirations? Their visions are quite modest: good jobs, careers, petty creature comforts and a retirement that is marked by club membership or such fantasies like the Oxford and Cambridge Society! This magazine is a member of the Oxford-Cambridge Society and we are appalled by the paranoia and timidity that mark the members of this so-called exclusive club. There is nothing exclusive, except the fear of the outside world!
So: what is great about Delhi society’s education values?