In this interview, Nandita Narain, president of the Delhi University Teachers' Association, discusses the government's systematic dismantling of the possibility of an autonomous, subsidised public university system geared to the life of the mind.
The way ahead for us is to actually take this campaign out of our universities to the people at large, to show them what they have to lose. Surely, those who fund the government through indirect taxes have a right to affordable education for their children. I think education is the most important thing; and it is tied with all the struggles, whether workers' or the struggle of the people, tribals, women and other marginalized sections, or people in the university. I think we have to come together and I am confident that we can do that, and I appeal to people with different kinds of ideologies. What kind of life do they envisage for their own children in this country? Do they want them to get a decent education or not? So we have to come together and fight against this kind of neo-colonial attack which never really went away. It has been there in the form of even the educated elite, who have been just extensions of the colonial arm, and I include myself in that.