Politicizing education

Our academic institutions have to be academic only

Greater Kashmir / Abdul Majid Zargar
Publish Date: Oct 12 2012 12:00PM

The politicization of education is the manipulation of education for political gain. Politicians and their lackeys (as a reputed social scientist preferred to call them) suffer from a supreme inability to see that the crisis in our universities and other educational institutions really stems from political interference and  from trying to manipulate our academics for partisan political roles. Academic action and relevance of the educational institutions have been relegated to the background and these forums have been degenerated into arenas of political tussles. Even politically-motivated conflicts have been allowed to result into gang fights and violent brawls quite often, indicating that the political parties tend to use these academic forums and campuses to fulfill their political ends and nefarious interests. And this has inflicted a terrible damage  on the quality of education in India which is quite obvious from the disparaging remarks made by “The Programme for International Student Assessment and Assessment Survey Evaluation Research” about the state of education in India. It has reported that only 16 of every 100 students in India reach university level, as against  the figure of  40 in the developed world.
And Kashmir has remained no distant from this sad state of affairs.  For past few years , Kashmir University has been converted into   a hub of  a place where the seeds of a particular  political ideology or narrative are attempted to be sown into the young minds which  in the normal course should  have been busy in pursuit of academic excellence. There is a steady erosion of academic autonomy for the University. Today, political interference in university administration and intimidation of the academic community has reached unprecedented levels.
Kashmir needs a competitive and healthy environment for imparting education that best caters to the contemporary requirements of the State. The mindless politicization of educational institutions, especially to fulfill one’s own political ends, should be stopped forthwith. The institutions should be left alone and allowed to run as space for academic engagements and innovations so that the entire State benefits and the available resource are better utilized.

(The author is a practicing chartered Accountant. Feed back at amzargar1@indiatimes.com)