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

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Regurgitative Violence

The Sacred and the Profane in Higher Education Institutions in India

The violence against marginalised students by a teacher at the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur is intrinsically related to the Brahminic cultural psyche of elite higher education institutions in India. It stands as testimony that post-independence India’s modern secular education has failed to replace caste as an institution to build “character” in terms of the capacity for living with others. The vitality rather than the ideology of caste is the subject of this analysis, tracing the historical and social formation of these elite institutions and caste in them.


It is a widely recognised fact that elite higher education institutions (HEIs) practise caste. Caste is practised wit­hin or outside the classroom or in the virtual space of the Google classroom or Zoom. The practice is not merely limited to the ideational content and institutional structure of HEIs. If one understands practising caste as a form of sociability, then modern secular education fails to build the character of citizens who need training to live in a community of others. This is an internal form of damage corroborated by the external damage that the current regime is wreaking on HEIs.

Pedagogy, in a multicultural and histo­rical society like ours, ought to be less constrained by a philosophy of self-­consciousness and the creation of a self-positing subject. The latter objective is generally given as the excuse for practi­sing caste and the grounds for the denial of the very being of Dalit and Bahujan students. In other words, modern secular education in post-independence ­India has displayed its inability to replace caste as an institution for building “character” in terms of the capacity of ­living with others.

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Updated On : 8th Jun, 2021
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