Mr. Vijayan said only a politically enlightened group could effectively oppose trends that were not in the interests of the nation

Depoliticisation of college and university campuses will lead to a situation wherein students will be incapable of opposing, in any meaningful manner, attempts to weaken the fabric of the country, Communist Party of India (Marxist) State unit secretary Pinarayi Vijayan has said.

He was speaking at the inaugural session of a lecture series on ‘Higher education and politics in Kerala’ organised as part of the platinum jubilee celebrations of the University of Kerala here on Monday.

Mr. Vijayan said only a politically enlightened group could effectively oppose trends that were not in the interests of the nation. The education policy of 1986 drastically altered the concept of education, and the very principles on which that concept was based. For the first time, education became a commodity from which profit was to be made in the ‘market.’

On foreign varsities

When the self-financing sector became a dominant player in the education sector, it led to the marginalisation of the poor from the arenas of education and employment. The entry of foreign universities into India was being advocated. This, Mr. Vijayan said, would not be in the best interests of the country. To counter such negative developments, there needed to be a ‘people’s perspective’ on education.

Moves were also afoot to undermine Malayalam as a language. There were people who held that Malayalam need not be used much. If a language was not used, its relevance would reduce gradually, and it would die through lack of use. If that happened, what would be the fate of the Malayali, Mr. Vijayan asked.

The removal of Democratic Youth Federation of India leader S.P. Deepak from the Senate of the University of Kerala was to prevent him from voicing his opinion on the selection of the next Vice-Chancellor. Should the office of the Governor be dragged into such an issue, he asked.

Vice-Chancellor A. Jayakrishnan presided over the programme.