HYDERABAD: There is an attempt to attack public funding of education in India, said noted journalist P Sainath here on Thursday.
It is not only liberal education and progressive thinking that is under attack, but rationalists are also being attacked, he added.
Speaking at a programme titled ‘In Defence of Democracy and Secularism’, organised by Hyderabad Collective, Sainath said that rationalists threaten irrational core of fundamentalism, and they paid a price for this with their lives.
“What is this attack on HCU, JNU and FTII? You are attacking public funding of education. It is not only universities and campuses which are under attack. Three leading rationalists were gunned down in the last three years. Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare and Prof Kalburgi were killed for their rationalist stand,” Sainath said while delivering a talk on Media and Communalism.
Sainath said that out of the four pillars of democracy, media is the only pillar which explicitly seeks profits. “We have to stop creating this illusion that there is an independent, institutional, freedom of press. In fact, we have freedom of the purse,” he said. He also alleged that changes are being made in the rules so that compensation need not be paid to the dependants of farmers who commit suicide.
Prof Gopal Guru said that nation as an adjective has more than one meaning. "You cannot define nation in singular term or vocabulary. There are several notions of nation, depending on who is trying to understand and the location of the person who is trying to make sense of it," he observed.