Articles by Ayesha KidwaiSubscribe to Ayesha Kidwai

Life to Indian Languages

This paper presents a linguist’s response to the main themes that run through Majeed’s (2019) comprehensive and thought-provoking two-volume study of the Linguistic Survey of India and its Editor, George A Grierson. It argues that an important source of the complexity of Grierson’s subject position and the intellectual ambiguities in the LSI originates from the fact that the LSI is an unprecedented exercise in modern linguistics. Proffering a reading of the LSI’s methodology, the paper explores the ways in which linguists may participate in an interdisciplinary recovery of this important historical exercise and its afterlife.

University Grants Commission and Jawaharlal Nehru University

The Jawaharlal Nehru University was conceived as a “different” university 52 years ago when a bill on it was introduced in Parliament. By the early 1970s itself, it was clear that the university was fulfilling its objectives. Even today, the university is as rural as urban, has more women than men, with socially and economically backward students forming the overwhelming majority. It is also a place of excellence, not as conveyed by ranking systems, but by the value its research holds for its peers across the world.

UGC and JNU: A Tale of Exception Told in Two Acts

The Jawaharlal Nehru University was conceived as a “different” university 52 years ago when a Bill on it was introduced in Parliament. By the early 1970s itself, it was clear that the University was fulfilling its objectives with 20% of its students drawn from the Scheduled Castes alone. Even today, the University is as rural as urban, has more women than men, with socially and economically backward students forming the overwhelming majority. It is also a place of excellence, not as conveyed by ranking systems, but by the value its research holds for its peers across the world.

The Question of Language in Education

The Report of the Committee for Evolution of the New Education Policy displays neither rigour nor vision. Its introduction of a provision for instruction in the mother tongue up to Class 5 is to be welcomed, but its complete neglect of these languages in higher education will ensure that this cannot be implemented.Â

Open Letter to the President of India

We, the undersigned teachers and researchers of institutions of higher education in India and independent scholars, appeal to you to intervene with the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and the Government of India to ensure the constitutional right to life and liberty as well as the...

Needed: A 'Tehelkaa' in Tehelka

Amongst other things, the Tarun Tejpal imbroglio highlights the incompetence or unwillingness of organisations to deal with sexual harassment cases at workplace in the letter and spirit of the Vishaka guidelines. However, the committees set up according to these guidelines should not always be conceptualised as a redressal mechanism that is “alternative” to the law.

Death in Police Custody

We have watched with disgust and horror the brutal police assault on students during a peaceful demonstration organised by four Left students’ organisations on 2 April 2013 in Kolkata and the subsequent death of Sudipta Gupta, a participant in the demonstration, while in police custody. Sudipta was...

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: the Verma Committee and After

The committee of inquiry headed by justice Verma is a landmark for the way in which it has inscribed into the very foundations of law, the equality and liberty of India’s women citizens. To uphold the constitutional guarantees afforded to women, it is essential that the rights given to working women in the Vishaka judgment (also delivered by justice Verma) are not elided or compromised, either by the Government’s Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Bill, 2012 or by the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance 2013.

Boycott Collaboration with Israeli Academic Institutions

We, a group of academics, activists and artists in India, came together in June 2010 to campaign against yet another apartheid regime by extending support to the international campaign for the academic and cultural boycott of Israel. We believe that academic life is rooted in the values of...
Back to Top