New courses to help private sector: Aijaz Ahmad
PATHANAMTHITTA: Renowned historian and Visiting Professor at the Centre for Political Studies attached to Jawarharlal Nehru University Aijaz Ahmad has expressed concern over the increasing imperialist influence on the higher education sector in the country, ultimately leading to crass commercialisation of the education sector.
Inaugurating the 48th State meet of the All-Kerala Private College Teachers’ Association in Thiruvalla on Saturday, Prof. Ahmad alleged that the education sector was fast transforming into a highly commercialised `knowledge industry’ owing to "imperialist pressures."
The ongoing trend of a shift from what he called the traditional courses to new subjects was aimed at encouraging the private sector by way of promoting private self-financing colleges. Many private institutions across the country have been developing some sort of double standards in the dissemination of knowledge, giving enough room for the State to gradually withdraw from its responsibility to ensure better education facility for all,” alleged Prof. Ahmad.
He said this kind of privatisation was aimed at creating divisions in the teachers’ movements, creating divisions among those who work in State-aided institutions and those working at various unaided institutions.
Mr. Ahmad alleged that the "profit-seeking kind of education" by certain "commercially-oriented" Western universities was in the offing with the Government permitting foreign universities to open their branches in India.
He said information and entertainment were intertwined in the imperialist countries. "And now, the imperialist forces have started colonising the minds of the common masses, their private life, with the help of a media inspired by the Western world," he said.
"Economic imperialism cannot function by itself and it is pure fiction that capitalism functions spontaneously. Likewise, globalised militarism cannot survive by itself."
He alleged that the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance Government had simply accepted the policies of the previous BJP-led NDA Government. Even Congress president Sonia Gandhi had openly stated that the NDA Government could not be given the credit for the "economic reforms, liberalisation and privatisation," as the former had only continued the policy initiated by its predecessor Government led by the Congress," he added.
He alleged that American imperialism had become more aggressive following the fall of the USSR.
"It is not that India is too weak to resist U.S. pressure tactics. Instead, the Indian bourgeosie parties such as the BJP and the Congress are with the U.S.," he alleged.
Now, with the recent visit of U.S. President George W. Bush to India, the Congress-led UPA Government has "accelerated the process of Indian integration into the U.S. design at the risk of losing the opportunity to check any sort of foreign domination," Prof. Ahmad alleged.
Prof. Ahmad said defeat of the Congress in the forthcoming Assembly elections in various States such as Kerala and West Bengal was necessary to rule out the chances of a mid-term polls to the Lok Sabha.