If knowledge is deified, and those in the knowledge business behave like Messengers and high priests, the knowledge instead of remaining a source of liberation becomes imprisoning. And this has been the vital distinction between the system of knowledge, which we ever had in India and the ignorances which prevailed elsewhere. Knowledge there buttresses authority and leaves the society at its mercy, and then it tries to fend for some space for society. Our traditional knowledge creators mostly worked in the domain of public, and equipped society with usable knowledge. The whole Bhatkti movement, for instance, is in this order. Our universities unfortunately adopted the methods of the Roman (imperialist) Christianity and even the architectural designs of lecture rooms and conference halls resemble to that of the church. They pursue knowledge in authoritarian terms, and their ethos is not engagement but the opposite. Their ways reflect as if they are in occult, they preach instead of dialoguing, and demand unwavering faith from devotees. They are also divided into conflicting sects with followers in layered statues. Fealty and patronisation is the functionality of such sects, and there are secret codes for inclusion and exclusion.
All things were going just fine, but then globalization and liberalisation became the compulsion of reality and as they unfolded the society rediscovered itself. This also made the true trait of our universities to come out in open. They proved themselves not only laggards compared to societal advance but also acted very consciously to trammel the advance of society. And some even opted to destabilize things in place of stabilizing the social advance. This dysfunctionality testifies the rot.
I appeal for the humanization of our universities. They must descend down from their dilapidated towers, resume their innate humanity, and be one among the human beings in conversation with them. If heat and dust is too much troubling, be a brave heart to face the people on the social media atleast.
Niraj Kumar Jha