Friday, May 31, 2013

Aadhar Cards

I went to a local school to get myself photographed for the compulsory new identity cards. I have still not got it by post, or any information that I will get it at anytime. What really bothered me was the working condition in which those young people  who were incharge of preparing the cards had been placed. The room was ill lit, the floors had never been swept.  I asked if the room had ever been swept, and the girl said "NO".Those technicians were not Gandhian or modern enough, to sweep the room themselves, probably having been brain washed by the company that they were working for, that they were the new elite of the information revolution. The cameras for id photographs themselves were dusty, and I am lucky I did not get an eye infection, though my eyes were sticky for a couple of days. I cannot describe the dirt in that room in which these so called surveillance modern machines were placed. The young people were charming, polite, well trained. One of the cameras was however dysfunctional from the dust but one was working. However, the photos were taken, and the reciept issued. The girl worker was disconsolate, the last date was not over, it would never be over, they would be stuck in this dirty room for ever. The young men were a little more cheerful, and all of them were good at their jobs. Why they didn't sweep the room every morning before entering I don't know. Why they had no superior come in to check on their work environment I don't know. Clearly the Company had no idea what lapses existed between their intention as a capitalist firm, and workers' rights, and the government hiring their services without necessary checks and balances. Who was hiring whom? I was so stunned by the whole thing, I just suppressed it in my mind, a typical middle class reaction. As I said, the behaviour of those technicians was immaculate. They communicated that they knew their job. But they were voiceless about their working conditions.
Now with the new preoccupation of turning out millions of workers for the capitalist industry, of which information systems is only one integral aspect, the head honchos of the Delhi University are selling an institution of higher learning for just such unhinged purposes. Imagine armies of well trained clerks and programmers who cannot even communicate that the room they spend eight hours in is not cleaned. The ardour of their work must match their silence. There is no connect between a job which is given, and the results of that command.
 Once a University is dismantled, for whatever reason, it takes decades for it to be put back on track. Think of the Presidency shabby they became once their privileges were taken away. The secularisation of education is a debate which is very old in the country, the late 19th century was devoured by it.
 Sanskrit it the language of the  old elite, and also the language amenable to computer coding. By some new sleight of hand, the humanities are being rocked, so that all radical voices will be muted. By snuffing Delhi University through illogical methods, where the VC suggests that all power rests with him, and that by unwritten law he can change the very charter of the University, he is only communicating his own egoism. So many of us are trained in Delhi University, that it is unlikely that the death of the Honours Courses will go unnoticed. The working class   has only recently come into its own, and its right to be heard as privileged members of the educated class will not go unheard. By making it a four year course, working class lives will be put back into the grid of employability as the only criteria for higher education. State support will be withdrawn from higher education, and only those who can afford the fees will be able to study for four years, to emerge at the age of 23 as mere graduates.

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