Reality Bites: A Tale of Two Liberal Indian Universities, one old and the other new – National Herald

Posted: March 21, 2021 at 4:56 pm

The latest outrage is from the world of academia. Scholar Pratap Bhanu Mehta resigned from liberal Ashoka University ostensibly because the founders were upset that his columns in the Indian Express were becoming increasingly critical of the governmentwhich they were, thank the lord! Such a welcome relief from his 2014-2015 columns where he behaved like an indulgent uncle.

Back to the founders: Do you find it odd that people who create what they call a liberal university, and underline the liberal tag in a show-offy manner (with haloes gleaming on their fat heads) are not remotely interested in defending democratic values? This behaviour is not all that strange when you consider that the founders are businessmen, and it is a truth universally acknowledged that Indian businessmen believe that anyone associated with them should not criticise the mummy-daddy sarkar, because then the mummy-daddy sarkar will not give them sweeties and how on earth will they turn into smug fat cats?

In solidarity, Mehtas colleague, Arvind Subramanian (former Chief Economic Advisor to the Modi government, best known for his All is well reassurances when all wasnt well), also resigned.

Then other scholars from across the world who had also cheerfully assured us in 2014 that we had nothing to fear from the scary Modi government jumped in to defend Mehta and described him in the sort of glowing terms that are best suited for obituaries. Sigh. As for me, Im jumping up and down too. Up, because these people have finally realised their earlier judgement errors, and down because of the gravity of the situation.

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Reality Bites: A Tale of Two Liberal Indian Universities, one old and the other new - National Herald

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