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The Public University after Rohith-Kanhaiya

The public university is on its way to becoming a truly democratic space. It is the only site in contemporary India where all major social groups come together in more or less egalitarian conditions. In every other social location, there are various forms of segregation, not to speak of explicit hierarchies. The public university is thus a unique and historically unprecedented space from the point of view of the democratisation of society. This is also the reason why existing social hierarchies and power centres are beginning to view it as a threat.

Familiar words and phrases have suddenly jumped off the pages of our texts and tumbled into our lives. “History,” “contingency,” “caste,” “class,” “nation,” “solidarity,” “fascism,” “democracy,” “university” and other such words are jostling each other as they acquire agency before our eyes. Brushing aside pedantic definitions, they are miming their meaning for us as they bypass language, posting a revolution in real time. It is an exhilarating, frightening, uncertain time; it is a time of immense gains and great losses.

Making Too Much?

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