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

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False Consciousness

This is with reference to Krishna Kumar’s “Teaching and the Neo-liberal State” (EPW, 21 May 2011). Most of the opposition to neo-liberalism in India uncritically accepts Keynesianism. This, to a greater extent, justifies the corrupt nature of the State and its inefficiencies. Weak institutional structures, for instance, often formally reproduce the unequal social structure in the realm of higher education. This permits nepotism in the universities. Though the reservation policy framework allows entry of the erstwhile lower castes, it seems only the creamy layer gets to enter the ivory towers of academia. Given this complex picture, I am sure most of Krishna Kumar’s students themselves are pushed to work for the NGOs whom he rightly brands as the “fixtures of neo-liberal governance”.

Although Krishna Kumar’s perspective is well-written, it is not as thought-provoking as his earlier articles. One possible way out is to acknowledge the limitation of uncritical acceptance of the State, failing which, scholastic false consciousness will persist.

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