All-India Shiksha Sangharsh Yatra-2014
Being Organized by
ALL INDIA FORUM FOR RIGHT TO EDUCATION
In the context of India’s education system facing continuous neo-liberal attacks coupled with the increasing communalization of education and the threat that right-wing politics poses to the education system with its inherent casteism and patriarchy, there is an ever pressing need for expressing our strong resistance. Be it deteriorating condition of government schools; auctioning/closing/sale of government schools; policies encouraging private universities; policies promoting plunder of our pockets and public funds by private education shops; attacks on democratic spaces of the universities and the banning of teachers’, students’ and employees’ unions; increasing contractualization of teachers; plans to introduce sectarian, majoritarian and anti-people communal-fascist ideas, beliefs and practices in curriculum in name of “Indian values”, the list of communal-fascist and neo-liberal attacks on education is endless. All India Forum for Right to Education (AIFRTE) is organizing an All India Shiksha Sangharsh Yatra-2014 (AISSY-2014) with the objective of building a protracted struggle to resist commercialization and communalization of education and fighting against all other forms of discrimination in education, such as those of caste, class, gender, disability, language, culture and religion Etc and establishing a state-funded Common Education System from KG to PG that is capable of realizing a just, democratic, secular, socialist and humane society in our country.
The AISSY-2014 would commence on 2nd of November 2014, in solidarity with Irom Sharmila’s struggle, from five different points in North-East, South, West, East and North of India. Crossing through diverse cultural, historical, linguistic, political, social and geographical mass of our country the Yatra will culminate on the 4th of December 2014 in Bhopal.
THE POLITICAL CONTEXT
India’s education system has been facing successive attacks of neo-liberal capitalism since 1991 at the behest of its agencies viz., World Bank, IMF and WTO along with a range of international funding institutions. The blatant commoditization of education has entirely disoriented the very purpose of education and the epistemic character of knowledge. The Constitutional structures like the legislative, executive and judiciary stand marginalized even as the global capital and market forces dictate terms. To make the matters worse, the neo-liberal assault has been increasingly and cynically accompanied by communalization of education.
It is in this background that we have to analyze and assess the recent right-wing turn in Indian politics and its almost fascist implications as reflected in the rising frequency of attacks on religious, ethnic, cultural and linguistic minorities, particularly women among them. All available indicators reveal that the pace of commercialization and communalization of education is going to rise rapidly in the coming years. The deprived and oppressed sections of society, constituting more than 80% of our people, are certain to be excluded even further, with only lollipops being offered for a tiny minority among them in the name of the so-called ‘inclusive’ policies. The increasing market hegemony over political discourse combined with religious fundamentalism is bound to dismantle India’s rich heritage of plurality of philosophies, historiographies, religions, races, ethnicities, cultures and languages. The consequent fragmentation of Indian society is designed to further break and weaken the social movements aimed at resisting the neo-liberal and the fundamentalist communal and racist forces. What is ultimately at stake is not just the socio-cultural fabric of the country but also the very Idea of India as a democratic, socialist, secular, egalitarian, just, pluralistic, enlightened and humane society.
In these circumstances, the only real option is to rekindle the hope and faith of the Indian people in their inherent capability to reconstruct the education system as part of the wider politics of fulfilling the dream of our anti-imperialist freedom movement. For this purpose, it will be essential to build a mass movement with a view to reverse the rising pace of attacks during the past two decades by the forces of the global corporate capital as well as religious fundamentalism and racism. Hence, the call for organizing AISSY-2014!
The Pedagogic Mahamantra of Shiksha Sangharsh Yatra-2014
Go to the people,
Work with them,
Share their concerns,
Perceptions and dreams!
Learn from them,
Reconstruct your ideas,
Translate into kala jatha,
Transform into new struggles!
And return to the people
What you have learnt from them,
Critically enriched and nuanced,
As you move onwards!
Excerpts from Draft Proposal as discussed by Exigency Committee &recommended for consideration at NE Meeting (18-20 July 2014) of AIFRTE.
For more details, you may like to visit The Section on Documents, particularly, the Documents Pertaining to AISSY2014.
In order to have an in-depth acquaintance with the ideological perspective and activities of AIFRTE, you may like to visit the section on Other Documents of Struggle.
You are invited to visit the section on the Documents about AIFRTE if you are interested to familiarize yourself with the history and organizational structure of the Forum.
If you endorsed the broad objectives of AISSY2014 (as mentioned on the registration form), you may also become participant/volunteer of this movement.