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

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Education as a Moral Horizon

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The year 2020 marks the centenary celebrations by some of the prominent public educational institutions, particularly from Maharashtra, which should occasion a write-up that would account for the evaluation of education as a public good. Education as a moral horizon should prompt us to evaluate the performance of these institutions against such a horizon. Arguably, the moral horizon borders on twin and, hence, interrelated concepts of equality: equality of opportunity to education for all and an opportunity of equal social standing for those who are treated as inferior in the caste and gender hierarchy. The leaders from the Bahujan castes did imagine education not just as a formal institutional set-up but more as a social condition, within which the realisation of not only equality of access to education but creating an opportunity to deepen the meaning of equality by making civil life more intimate was the goal. Thus, education as a moral horizon primarily involved a possibility to remove social division rather than achieving elitist distinction.

In Maharashtra, in particular, and in India, in general, since caste and patriarchal interests led to the denial of access even to formal education for such “Bahujan” (common masses) educational initiatives, the focus on equality of access did become quite central to the latter’s intellectual imagination as well as political mobilisation. Equality at one level expresses itself in terms of the demand for Bahujan access to basic education. At another level, the concept of equality sought to deepen the meaning of education when the publicness of educational institutions began to flatten the internal social division within the Bahujan masses.

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Updated On : 5th Jan, 2021

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