Wednesday, August 15, 2007

No-taker Gandhian studies

Bangalore University centre for Gandhian studies has no students. Hasn't had one since they set it up, says The Hindu. Lack of interest among today's generation shouldn't come as a surprise to many. The fault need not totally be with the youth. It's probably because old-time Gandhians have failed; worse still, pooh-poohed attempts to redefine Gandhi. Lage Raho Munnabhai may be dismissed by Gandhians as much too simplistic and masala-driven. But the Bollywood attempt does reflect the need for teachers to relate Gandhi to the nation's current concerns.

The Gandhian Studies Centre at Bangalore University has provision for annual intake of 40 students, is endowed with a Rs.15-lakh annual budget; has built over the years an infrastructure, including a 200-seat auditorium and an open-air theatre. Media report says that the few who applied for the PG diploma course offered by the centre did so to take advantage of free hostel facilities. The authorities who got wise withdrew the facility. No go. No free hostel, no studients for Gandhian Studies.

One has to be naive not to ask why the university authorities would still want to continue with the studies centre (now a campus within the univeristy campus). The determination of education administrators to press on with the course may have to do with their devotion to Gandhi and his thoughts; their belief in Gandhi's continued relevance. Wonder if the authorities ever viewed closure of the studies centre as an option. Even if they did, they couldn't be expected to voice it without risking sharp resistance from staunch Gandhiwadhis.

Also read Talking Gandhi over brandy

Cross-filed in Praja-Mysore

No comments: