The power of political legitimacy!
New Delhi exudes power and authority. Power and on authority on whom?
The people? That is a subject no one asked. Being in Delhi and if you don’t talk of politics, then, it amounts to cowardice. During the Mughal times, then, under the British Indian people did live peacefully or otherwise for some centuries.
Now, there is democratic politics and that is a positive factor in Indian history. But where are we now? Why all these corruption and misdemeanour?
Intellectuals and ethically minded are also in politics. But there is not much visibility. Even otherwise, those who call themselves intellectuals, writers and poets, the sort of people who are expected to be swayed not by power but by values, truth, transparency, honesty, intergirty etc are nowadays are afraid of powerful politicians.
The new segments like media, may be, not academics, not certainly universities, are scared of political power, political forces. The latest case of Yogendra Yadav, the just expelled member of the University Grants Commission shows how we have become so paranoid of power, that is exercise of brutal power and that too by very cowardice manner, Through some faceless bureaucrats. We know from our interactions with universities, VCs and others, more so through the Central Universities, how discredited some of these universities and also university bodies.
So many wrongs are done and being perpetuated.
Just when the Yadav controversy broke out, on the NDTV debate on September 5, we saw how the farce of appointing 16 VCs for the central universities was done in one or two days!
Is this the way to run the universities?
Also, there is so much frustration in the higher education circles, more born out of poor management, poor signals from New Delhi and where is the light?
We don’t know for sure!
But what we know for sure the rot had set in at the top and it is eating into the vitals of the society. Indian higher education needs a strong hand, before that a well articulated vision. The HRD minister would do well for his own reputation if he takes some bold initiatives and invite some VCs, past and present and also some interested, let us call busybodies to come and interact with him, the minister.
Why Delhi is door hai and so the minister can alternate his interactions in justified nearby geographical locations.
Now democratic governance is at its worst low. There is simply no commitment for truth, transparencey, and ethics. There is so much arbitrariness, so much ignorance and disrespect to intellect that intellectuals in India have become a set of cowards.
What is the point of getting Padma awards and other awards if your intention is to stand by the so many wrongs of the establishment?
So, the Indian intellectuals are not contributing to new articulation and clarifications as to what is Indian democracy achieving, what freedoms are, what other new manifestations of some of the precious concepts. After the scandal over the Edward Snowden and Assange, the Wiki Leaks founder and others had done for individual’s freedoms and human rights have done, it is a poor consolation when we are patting ourselves on our backs that we are democracy.
India didn’t open its mouth when Snowden knocked at our door. See what the rest of the world is doing?
Even a small, tiny nation like Bolivia, we say tiny, when we compare with our vast geography, but Bolivia is a brave nation. It has filed a case against USA as a bully and sued the great power for refusing to let the Equador President place was blocked by USA through other European nations.
The sentiments of even small nations are on par. Where is India and where are our thinking people, the intellectuals, writers and poets, not to speak of the media people?
Indian media didn’t do itself proud for the simple reason that it has now become embroiled in its own credibility!
The point is that Indian learnt to live by the day. Indian politicians have taught us this art. This is very dangerous.
If by any chance, there is so much overwhelming sign on the road today (you have to see the outside of the BJP and Congress offices in New Delhi to see the crows, the number of cars parked outside of these offices.
So, there is a mood swing in the air. If the BJP captures power, it will just undo what the Congress had done so far. The new government might rename the airports, bridges and others that now bear the ruling dynasty.
Why not? You can see this happened in TN and UP.
Where will be the current office holders?
Only the really committed intellectuals and party old hands or the new committed youth cadre, has to bear the burden of the fight for truth, honesty, transparency and also for the few freedoms we have fought for all these years. The RTI, Lokayukta, Lokpal and even human rights as entitlements are all to be fought for as vigilantly as ever!
Beware; there is no alternative except to be on eternal vigil for peoples’ freedoms!