ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles By K N Panikkar

India's Education Policy: From National to Commercial

Post independence, India's leaders, particularly Abul Kalam Azad, advocated an education policy that would be liberal and humanitarian, and set the nation on the path of progress and prosperity. This path was neither a full continuation of the colonial modern nor a restoration of the feudal-traditional. Drawing on progressive ideas from India's "renaissance" and freedom struggle within the Indian "renaissance" and nationalism, this education policy was meant to unleash the potential of India's civilisation by a process of intellectual decolonisation. Unfortunately, in the past few decades, this unfi nished agenda has been dumped by successive governments. It has been replaced by an educational policy which prioritises private profi t over public good and will encourage cultural and intellectual imperialism.

Culture as a Site of Struggle

The emerging mode of historical research, either consciously or unconsciously, comes into contention at each stage with the hegemonic school of thought: the nationalist with the colonial, the communal with the secular and the post-modern with the Marxist. The changes in historiography are not necessarily a mere process of evolution, but are shaped by continuous intellectual struggles, rooted in ideological influences, political interests and material concerns. Inherent in these struggles are a variety of issues like the concept of nationalism, the future of democracy and the practice of secularism. This article explores how culture is invoked in the making of these struggles and in the process draws attention to the relationship between culture, nation and communalism.