India has very few good universities. Except for standalone institutions like IITs, IIMs, NITs, IISER, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, which focus on particular disciplines and do not qualify as a university in a true sense, most of the educational institutions produce graduates that are not employable.
The left-liberal intelligentsia that had a stronghold over our universities destroyed the academic and professional environment for petty politics and ideological divide. Most of these universities do not get a place in any international rankings and have near to zero path-breaking research in their bogey. The ideological hatred of the left-liberal intelligentsia towards corporates has kept the students away from getting trained as per the human resource needs of the industry.
Frustrated with the quality of the graduates that India was producing, many entrepreneurs came forward to start private universities where the students can get trained as per the needs of the industry. Ashoka University, Jindal University, Shiv Nadar University, KREA University, most of which came on the ground in the last few years, are among the universities that were trying to fill the gap of skilled graduates.
However, the left-liberal intelligentsia started infesting these universities with the people from its own ecosystem, and now even the private universities are facing a crisis due to these individuals. The exit of Pratap Bhanu Mehta, and the subsequent resignation of Arvind Subramanian from the university, has generated a big controversy on national and international forums.
In his resignation letter, Mehta told Ashoka University Vice-Chancellor Malabika Sarkar that he is quitting because his association with the university may be “considered a political liability”.
“After a meeting with founders, it has become abundantly clear to me that my association with the university may be considered a political liability. My public writing in support of a politics that tries to honour constitutional values of freedom and equal respect for all citizens, is perceived to carry risks for the university,” stated Mehta in the letter.
Mehta, who has tried to advance the left-liberal thought at the Ashoka University, resigned from the post of Vice-chancellor in July 2019, a few months after the Modi government was elected to power with an even bigger majority.
“The contemporary world has unsettled so many of our political and philosophical assumptions, and I increasingly felt the need to reorient myself academically. Hence, the decision to step down,” said Mehta in his resignation letter.
Before the whopping electoral verdict of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Pratap Bhanu Mehta had been heard saying, “The last five years have been a mutilation of the Indian soul,” he said. “They stand for everything that is un-Indian,” and “against every promise that this democracy gave to each one of its citizens.”
The ‘values’ left-liberals held dear find no resonance with the values held by the modern political class which holds the governments in most of the countries around the world, and this has made people like Mehta irrelevant in the modern political discourse. People like Mehta, Ramchandra Guha, Sagarika Ghosh have been reduced to internet trolls in the current political environment.
In fact, a large part of the youth today despises the hypocrisy of left-liberal intellectuals like Pratap Bhanu Mehta, who were embedded in the ‘system’ for decades and yet refused to speak against its evils. They sought state privileges and institutionalised entitlements in return to keep the hypocrisy of the old political class underneath.
Today, a number of them have joined private universities – that were supposed to break the old system of ideological education and incompetency – and are trying to infest them with similar problems that made government-funded central universities incompetent.