Sunday, June 17, 2007

Ram Guha is angry


He doesn't like the new policy at St. Stephen's College that proposes 40 percent reservation for Christians, and will lead to to "three seats out of four [being] filled on strictly 'non-academic' grounds." He uses good arguments; here's one:

It is important to note here that while St Stephen's was founded by Christians, it is funded by the state. According to the Union ministry of education, fully 95 per cent of the expenses of the college are met by the University Grants Commission. Why should a college that draws so heavily on the public exchequer be allowed to choose 40 per cent of its students from 2 per cent of the country's population? ...

And he also uses bad ones, including some shrill name-calling; here is one:

... Those who run the Church of North India today are far removed from the faith of the founders of St Stephen's. These new Christians seek not understanding and truth, but political mileage and economic gain. In the real sense of the word, they aren't 'Christian' at all-- in the same way as Narendra Modi is not 'Hindu' and Osama bin Laden not 'Muslim'.

* * *

In a faraway land, an institution called Antioch College is shutting down for good. Michael Goldfarb accuses the college's ultraliberalism for its demise. I know nothing about this place, and I'm linking to this story for some future reference.

4 Comments:

  1. manasi said...

    I don't know who you are, but looking at the tenor of your previous posts I would suggest that you stick to commenting about the primarily vernacular casteist technical schools that you seem to know much about. Ram Guha has it right about pretty much everything (which is unusual for Ram Guha).
    The main argument against using reservations at an institution like St. Stephen's is that it actually dilutes the concept of diversity. As is, Stephen's is an incredibly diverse place, and I am talking about diversity not just in terms of caste and gender as seems to be the concern in technical schools (is geneder even a concern?) but also language, economic status, religion, sexual orientation, mixed ethnicities, and political views. In other words, all that makes our country a vibrant democracy but is not represented at your technical schools. Bishop Karam Masih is indeed semi-literate and has very little understanding of these issues. Ram Guha is not indulging in name calling, he is stating the truth. I am pretty sure you have very little idea of Karam Masih's track record. He is about as venal as it gets. I think we need to reflect on a statement made by Dr. Anil Wilson, one of the country's most thoughtful educationists and a former prinicpal of college, who asked that we reconsider the role played by barely educated religious figureheads in our minority institutions.

  2. Rahul said...

    Manasi - you write
    I don't know who you are
    and apparently totally miss the irony: Abi states not only his name but his institutional affiliation on his blog. I assume you're the same Manasi who leaves a stream of violent comments on my blog; I too use my real name, which (spelled correctly) seems to be unique to me, so you can easily find out more.

    Now, none of us know who you are. (Not that I care -- I'm just pointing out your hypocrisy, which shines through every sentence you write.)

    Back to the topic at hand: Bishop Karam Masih may or may not be "semi-literate", but Guha made no justification of his comparisons of Masih with Modi or Osama. Nor do you of your accusations. Would you say the comparison with Osama, in particular, is fair? If so, why? And why do you call him semi-literate? If you can't say why, then you are name-calling, as Abi points out.

  3. Manasi said...

    Rahul

    "assume you're the same Manasi who leaves a stream of violent comments on my blog"

    pray substantiate your distaste for ad hominem attacks by specifying which comments of mine are violent or inciteful of violence? A little whiny here aren't we?

    Also, while those of you in academia may need webpages, I fail to see why that is a prerequisite for us civilians posting comments on blogs. I expressly recall having clearly identified myself and my institution on your blog (the venerable CPI(M)). What else did you need: a caste certificate from the tehsildar? a library card from the British council? dental records?

  4. anti-manasi said...

    manasi,

    maybe instead of leaving comments on other people's blogs accusing them of being casteist, sexist or whatever, why don't you use your political clout to rectify the situation at the alma mater you love so much?