"Science" in India

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Oct 19 06:04:56 UTC 2000

> > engineering programs receives the lowest priority, not because the
> > scientists are blocking it, but because the humanists often couldn't
> > less.
>Or because they don't have the funding. But you are only proving

They have sufficient funding for a select few to become big icons, and to
lead lavish lifestyles far beyond the reach of the average Indian. Then
every side fights with every other, hurling labels like communal, secular,
pseudo-secular, fascist, leftist, casteist, what have you. As with
everything in Indian politics, it soon becomes one personality cult against
another. Still, it is just plain irritating to see judgements being passed
from outside over the nature of Indian education. Let me just say this, you
are not making any friends with such sweeping generalizations. The army of
techno-coolies knows what it is doing in technical fields, if not in
humanistic fields. Besides, has anyone wondered why the general priorities
of Indian education are so skewed that it produces a vast army that Indian
industry and economy cannot support, and must therefore export to the West?

In an earlier interview with Frontline, Romila Thapar made a statement about
how in most Indian institutions, history was only being talked about
according to the mindset of fifty years ago. What she calls state of the art
research is being done only in a few places, it seems. For a person of her
position and influence, with all those sinecure positions, over some three
or four decades, what stopped her from taking the initiative to update
educational policy on this score? All one hears about her nowadays is the
unfairness in dropping her from a couple of central government appointed
boards. But what was she doing before then?


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