New Delhi: Renowned academicians on Thursday slammed the central government for what they called its unwarranted interference in central universities and autonomous educational institutes.
"Universities are places for dialogue where people from different ideologies are free to express their opinion based on ideologies they concur to. In any case, depleting education system over the year has turned most of the state universities to cheerleaders of the respective governments," Satish Deshpande of the Delhi School of Economics said at a seminar here.
"Central universities were still managing to hold their position but the series of recent events have shaken their autonomy to a huge extent."
"The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh map of India begins from Afghanistan and goes up to Myanmar across Pakistan and Bangladesh. Is it not distortion of the geography, as the actual Indian map is a lot different," said Burra Srinivas of the South Asian University.
"There has been a complete distortion of Indian history under the present regime. Recently, the Sanskrit department of our university organised a seminar on the Indian history. When I asked them about the historians and evidence provided by the Archaeological Survey of India on the topic they were discussing, they told us that western powers have wrecked our history. We will re-establish it through our Sanskrit scholars," University Grants Commission fellow Vikram Soni said.
Concurring with his views, Sunil Kumar of Delhi University asserted that "certain forces wish to saffronise the entire history, demolishing its factual perspective completely".
"Ambedkar fought for the existence of the Dalits in higher education. Today, there is a class which is challenging this very existence. Anyone dissenting with their view is labeled with a range of adjectives," Rukmini Sen of the Ambedkar University said.
More than a dozen intellectuals and academicians participated in the seminar.