Romila Thapar explains that institutions like universities emerge from a new relationship between the state and citizen, where no one has to be subservient to the other. The essence of any university is that it must encourage students to ask questions with purpose and intention, discussions, debates, and dialogue not only among students but also with teachers and other figures of authority and absence of these would annul universities.
She also speaks on the question of police presence within university campuses. She explains universities today, are run by ‘people who are concerned with the narrowly based political side of life’. Politics on campus rather should entail thoughtful consideration of one’s imagination of the kind of society one wants to build and therefore questioning, dialogue, debate, dissent, and exchange are ways to advance the existing knowledge systems.