Saving the Democratic voices in Universities - Seeker's Thoughts

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Saturday, 27 October 2018

Saving the Democratic voices in Universities


Understanding Democracy In India - Democracy supports the individual transition from a subject to citizen. However, the right bearer citizens are more vulnerable, and more helpless at times. 

Individuals come together in associations- for example student unions etc..  Associations have capacity to challenge the brute power of the state through petitions, protests, dharnas and ultimately judicial activism.

Each diverse organ in civil society in plural form is important. A past- Some people who were associated with Human Rights were imprisoned during emergency. In 1975- 1977
Every political revolution has begun with the idea of rights to life and liberty. There two rights are the core of the other rights available. In recent years human rights groups have become the custodian of the fundamental rights. The matter of concern is poor and vulnerable.
 The democracy becomes critical if the government defies ethics and morality. Today few organizations are progressive. They have courageously taken the challenge posed by the corporates. Activists have been penalized for their eternal vigilance. The government’s right wing organizations have terrorized human right activists.  Poets and activists were targeted by police in the country. However, even universities are under scanner in the name of the code of conduct.

The role of Universities in Building Democracy
Universities are the source of new ideas for human development and filled with young generations who are higher in energy to work.  They represent the society of their time, and discussing policies of the government of criticizing the government works against authoritarianism as well as leadership is developed at the right time for future.
Should University have the code of conduct and avoid criticism of the government?
The ‘code of conduct’ is needed to prevent chaos. Universities need to follow codes that maintain respect for the autonomy of its members ensuring fairness in the evaluation of performance of students and teachers.
However, it does not mean that university people can not criticize the government. That can not be related to the code of conduct.  If such rules are enforced that will prevent creation of new leaders and democracy will itself will come in danger.
Looking at the historical events- Even Hitler and Stalin they followed this idea, and restricted the freedom of expression.  
Leaning from Abroad-
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is ranked first in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) ranking of the world’s universities for 2019. The term ‘public intellectual’ may have been coined to describe its former professor Noam Chomsky
Noam Chomsky  has been a trenchant critic of the U.S. establishment for over 50 years. His early work in this genre was At War with Asia, which attacked American intervention in Southeast Asia at a time when the Vietnam War was raging and not yet widely unpopular.
The Harvard economist, John Kenneth Galbraith, had incisively pointed out how the core of the American economy was constituted by ‘the military-industrial complex’ uncovering also its political power. Galbraith had gone on to have a happy career.
Conclusion
The code of conduct can be a tool to shush the voices in universities. This is the beauty of democracy where criticism is not considered as sedition and freedom to expression is given. The constructive criticism helps in going ahead in better ways, and criticism in Universities will help a democracy to be a sustained democracy.