ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Social Science Research

Social Science Research

Some recent acts of the ICSSR cannot but intensify suspicions that the ruling party, more so the ministry of human resources development under the venerable Murli Manohar Joshi, is in the process of disregarding established 'norms' and tightening its stranglehold over institutions of knowledge production. The tragedy is that our research community has made little effort to re-invent itself, to creatively explore other ways and sources of support.

We seem to be living out the theatre of the absurd. When the premier official body mandated to aid and promote social science research (ICSSR) takes upon itself to felicitate Bangaru Laxman on his elevation to the post of the president of the Bharatiya Janata Party, a clear first in the inglorious history of growing proximity between ostensibly autonomous institutions and the ruling party, one can only shake one’s head in despair. There is, of course, the argument that Laxman was actually invited to deliver a lecture on national integration, and that the views of the BJP president constitute an important agenda for research. One wonders, however, how many would be fooled by this subterfuge.

This latest act cannot but intensify suspicions that the ruling party, more so the ministry of human resources development under the venerable Murli Manohar Joshi, is in the process of disregarding established ‘norms’ and tightening its stranglehold over institutions of knowledge production. Even those, including this writer, who were unwilling to cry wolf when M L Sondhi was appointed chairman ICSSR, this despite his background, had to eat crow when the council re-named its documentation centre as The Shyama Prasad Mookerjee Gateway to Knowledge. Or on learning about the moves to initiate a new research institute in Manali (HP) in the name of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya.

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