PRIVATIZATION OF HIGHER EDUCATION CAUSES CULTURAL DECLINE
Dr. Chilakamarthi Durga Prasada Rao
3/106, Premnagar, Dayalbagh, AGRA
Education system is considered to be four pillared edifice of which parents, students, teachers and the government constitute the pillars. Hence the system becomes effective provided all the four pillars are strong. Though government appears as one among four pillars it plays a vital role.
From times immemorial education has been given a very important place not only in our country but also everywhere. We in India went to the extent of saying that a man with no education is a beast.
विद्या विहीन: पशु:(१)
In Vedic age education used to be imparted free of cost in gurukulas and the gurukulas are patronize by the kings and philanthropists.
In the Upanishadic age higher learning was made available in gurukulas and students used to receive their education by staying there and serving gurus.
In Raghuvamsa the author kalidasa while describing the administration of Dilipa states that the king Dilipa was like father to the people as he was educating, protecting and maintaining them. Thus he made the parents as mere agents of the birth of people.
स पिता पितरस्तासां
It is also evident that in the days of yore in
there were many Universities
such as Nalanda, Takshasila, Vikramasila where Higher Education was imparted
even to foreign students at no cost irrespective of caste, creed, religion, sex
and nationality. India
But unfortunately in recent times government is relinquishing the responsibility of providing funds for Higher Education treating it to be a wasteful investment.
A father should not think of returns immediately after sending his ward for education as the fruit of investing money on education will be attained only after the completion of education, and not immediately.
Similarly the investment made on a particular generation can yield fruits in the next generation but not immediately.
So the government is not expected to be short-sighted in the matter of providing funds for higher education.
In this article an attempt is made to discuss the cultural decline caused by the privatization of higher education.
It is a well known fact that India is a land of rich cultural heritage. If Higher education goes into the hands of private managements cultural decline will become irresistible.
In our culture selling of knowledge is treated as a great sin. Kalidasa in his “Malavikagnimitra” condemns a man of learning who sells his knowledge and used it as mere means of livelihood as a petty trader.
तं ज्ञानपण्यं वणिजं वदन्ति(३)
If higher learning goes in to the hands of private sector the learning will be no more than a commodity in the market place. The teacher-hood which enjoyed a great privilege earlier will certainly be reduced to the level of slavery.
In ancient times students who received their education at the expense of society used to have gratitude towards it and serve the society sincerely. But privatization of higher education will provide no room for such noble ideology. Since people are made to pay through their noses, they will in turn try to get back their investment double and triple.
If higher education goes in to the fold of privatization, languages and social sciences lose their prominence. When the emphasis on language teaching is diluted the opportunity for students to learn about the cultural heritage and values it upholds as well as finer sensibilities will suffer. If such situation arises society produces rogues and higher education will make one rogue wiser than the other.
Irrespective of our invitation or rejection the devil in the guise of privatization is spreading like wild fire to devour the cultural values of the society and no body is in a position to resist it.
At this critical juncture the bounden duty of every citizen is to see that the values are protected by giving importance to languages and social sciences in the curriculum.
And also every private institution should run under the strict vigilance and unbiased supervision of government and the Universities concerned. Then alone our country will prosper. As optimists, let us all hope that day will come.
Now I conclude with a quotation of a great Sanskrit scholar of modern times which depicts the present state of affairs of private institutions.
सरस्वती रोदिति मोदते रमा
कथं स्वदेशस्य समुन्नतिर्भवॆत्
means that the goddess of learning viz Saraswathi is lamenting while the goddess of wealth, viz Lakshmi is dancing joyfully. How can our country prosper?.
१. सुभाषितत्रिशति: १/२०