New pathways to social sciences - posers and arguments

RSK Sometime in the middle of last year, an year of such infamy, of disease, deaths and economic collapse, the National Education Policy (NEP 2020) did manage to stir the nation and animate the media which otherwise was so consumed by the havoc the pandemic had unleashed. Education much like health is an area where India lags not just behind the west but even its post colonial peers like China, Singapore, Korea. However India still manages to nurture a minority of students and boasts of select institutions like IITs, IIMs whose bar to entry is high but yet several thousands enter its portals and make their way to big companies and universities abroad. This irony is much like health where India boasts of some fine world class doctors and hospitals but both sit oddly with poor learning levels, i ncompetent teachers, malnourishment and limited access to basic primary healthcare. Coming to research and patents too India is a laggard with little to boast about compared to neighbouring China

JNU - from possibilities to a pathology, its hollowing by left

The furore that a left saturated Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has generated in the last few years is a matter that disconcerts many. It invited my wrath too, against an authoritarian and intrusive vice chancellor on the one hand and on the other and more, against the left academia and politics that too had violated the sanctity and possibilities, the university promised. In JNU, particularly its social science and humanities centres, we hoped for an alternative student culture and scholarship of a kind unique in a country where majority universities have ceased to be anything beyond degree awarding institutions. Even today JNU is known and to a considerable extent justifies itself by its rigorous research, exceptional faculty ushering in new models of understanding and also providing a learning environment where not just a few but a sizeable majority acquire 'skills', confidence and disposition to morph into citizens in a truer political sense. This is all the more r

A manifesto for India's middle classes and their political awakening

I have been a student and a school teacher of social sciences for nearly three decades. Social sciences as such is a normative discipline where in studying people and cultures we seek to envision and re-imagine society more equitable, democratic and just. Marxism at first seemed to provide the best possibilities to achieve these objectives and transforming our imaginations and political aspirations into concrete realities. But then the variables constituting social change are many and not everything is explained by Marxism and socialistic vision. All state backed socialist experiments failed and indeed the Soviet Union experience and what we see in North Korea has been nothing short of disastrous with neither any semblance of democracy or humanism. China represents another socialist caricature. Indeed the possibilities of a socialist world is ironically becoming slimmer even as capitalism has become more brazen, hurting, egregious and ubiquitous. There are more millionaires and billio