The cultural constituency to which I belong has ensured that I am a polite person. My home, my school, my university and the birds that I flock with have vaccinated me against the kind of conduct that is often seen in places of expected public decorum such as legislative assemblies and offices of governance. You know the kind: a flower-pot tossed here, a mike-head hurled there and someone whacked here and there with the long list of unprintable etcetras. Therefore I shall be polite and courteous instead of screaming my lungs out like a hysterical banshee at the entrance of a wicked mother-in-law's kitchen.
For the last couple of days at an academic conference, attended among others, by the UGC chairman, Professor Suskhdeo Thorat a number of nasty things have been said about the state of higher education in Bihar. The newspapers have been scandalously reporting the comatose state of higher education using pejorative vocabulary contesting the roseate official reports of migration reversal and the large scale manufacture of genius in our institutions. I am truly reminded of the theme of ingratitude so poignantly articulated in King Lear: How much less sharp is a serpent's tooth than a thankless child. This, after the media had been feasted with advertisements. When power is perceived to be on the ebb, the returns are like the Wall Street crash. O the unregenerate peddlers, manufacturers of consent and mechanics of thought control, this was the unkindest cut of all.
My pigeon tells me that academics have been raising fingers at the kind of appointments to superior academic posts. To give the authorities the benefit of ten years of doubt, they may not know the academics of eminence. After all evaluation has the tendency to be subjective. One man's meat is another man's poison unless of course you are a practicing vegetarian and have nothing to do with meat. Now lets be sensible,how can we tell that such and such professor is good? If the argument is provided that s/he is punctual, regular, conscientious, blah, blah and blah plus has written books and has published widely, it may be argued that the person has limited talents. S/he is unsociable, has not networked with politicians, incapable of fund-raising and therefore unsuitable for appointment to a public office of contemporary significance. In today's postmodern world, the slippery indeterminacy of language leaves all arguments open-ended. And so too with higher education. Sukhdeo Thorat will leave droppings that will have been washed clean with the next shower of rain. Many of you may say, its not raining much these days. This thing hope is such a bait/ it covers any hook. Between Volpone and Pink Floyd its just another brick in the wall.