By raising the fees of JNU and promoting a loan model, the government has once again made it clear that people of our villages are an area not included in its definition of development. If the children of farmers and labourers who have formed a university with tax money will be shown the way out while then the youth of the country sits silently, cannot be done.
The government is in a mood to sell everything right now. Government initiatives made up of the people’s tax money are constantly being handed over to the private sector. Every year, this government, which generously waived billions of crores of rupees for the rich, is continuously cutting the budget of government educational institutions and education.
The condition of government schools is not hidden from anyone and private schools are out of budget for majority of the population. By passing the All India Entrance Examination of JNU, when the children of the poor are reaching the best university in the country, which is also heard by crorepati MPs and other members of government.
The JNU model of education is constantly attacked. It has been so that the model of Jio University can be established in the country where only the children of the rich can get higher education. Yes, “knowledge is power” means the economically disadvantaged having to take over the country’s social, political and economic resources wanting to do away with the knowledge and thus forming the hated JNU model.
It is strange that the Prime Minister of the country is constantly talking about creating an economy of $5 trillion, but the government of the country does not have the money to teach 5000 children. The government can spend ₹3000 crore on an idol, the leaders can buy 200 million private jets, but the government does not have budgets for universities.
The university is not a mall where you hang a 50% discount board. A progressive society should look at education from an investment point of view and not from a spending point of view.
Actually, the issue is not only about money, but a conspiracy to keep the children and girls of poor farmers and labourers away from the campuses. The government gave the slogan of “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” (save the girl child, and educate her) and worked for “Raise Fees, Beti Hatao” (Hike fees, remove women entirely) instead.
In JNU, where the number of women has been outnumbering men for several consecutive years, there are many women whose dreams of a better tomorrow have been shattered due to the hike in fees. Despite all the conspiracies to keep the children of underprivileged communities away from JNU by changing the model of entrance examination in the last few years, even today, 40% of students in JNU come from families whose monthly income is less than ₹12000. The government wants to break the spirits and expectations of the students.
The forces in power have always created all kinds of conspiracies to keep deprived people from knowledge. Dronacharya got Ekalavya’s thumb cut so that the Arjuna remained the best archer. Even today, the government can capture a handful of people whom knowledge will benefit, because knowledge has the power due to which children of the poor people can improve their lives.
The fee hike is so high that the message sent across is that you should not become a professor in any university after doing a PhD. You should either pass Class 10 and work at a nearby dhaba or do a BA and deliver goods from door to door. The children of the rich read without any rest and the children of the poor work part-time and pay the fees. Is this a matter of increasing inequality or not?
The government wants the farmers to not get subsidy on their crop, but the country should continue to pay for a subsidy on the Parliament’s canteen food made by the crop of the same farmers. The children in the university should not get hostels for a minimal fee, but the MPs should continue to live in Lutyens bungalows for free. The billionaire should be excused bank loans while a poor child should be forced to aspire to step right into the trap of the loan.
The government wants to create such a generation of young people who study with a loan and later in repaying the loan, their condition will become so bad that they have neither the time nor the strength to raise the basic questions. False information about JNU is being spread by intrigue. For example, it is being said that the hostel fee here is just ₹10 a month, whereas the truth is that the hostels here have already paid a mess bill of about ₹3000 per month. Not only this, those who talk of doing PhD in JNU in five years, should really ask why even three years BA is being done over five years in government colleges at UP and Bihar.
But, they have a problem as to why a vegetable dealer’s child is opening his own company in the field of tourism studying Russian or French, or how they became a foreign policy expert by doing their PhD in African or Latin American Studies.
Today, all those people should come forward and join the struggle of JNU, who are giving both income tax and GST to the government after studying in government educational institutions. If they remain silent today, tomorrow their children will have to study via taking loans or while doing part-time jobs.
The fees of government colleges are constantly being increased all over the country and JNU has raised its voice against it every time. Today, the struggle to save JNU is not a struggle to save any single university, but it is a struggle to save those values of equality and justice, which is the foundation of our democracy.