The education system of our country is facing an unprecedented onslaught from the neoliberal, corporate and Hindutva fascist forces that are working covertly and overtly to subvert the Constitution and to reduce the republic into a paranoid nation of lynch mobs led by criminal ring masters. While it is true that the previous governments are responsible for the rot that afflicts our education system from school to higher levels, the present dispensation in Delhi is working zealously to wipe out whatever gains the people of our country, mainly the Dalits, bahujans, adivasis and minorities have so far made in terms of access to educational opportunities. The draft of new education policy earlier released by the central government has already stated the intention of the government to detain children in earlier stages (class V) and push them out of the formal education system into parallel and inferior skill development streams. Government school system is being consistently starved of funds and thousands of government schools are being closed across the country.
Similarly, higher education is also under calibrated assault – fund cuts, curtailment of scholarships, curbs on teachers’ and students’ rights, surveillance and bureaucratisation have become order of the day. Needless to add that this is just a glimpse of the total attack on our education system. At the same time, the Hindutva forces are constantly deflecting public discourse and debate on these fundamental issues affecting every child and youth and trying to raise false issues of protecting cows and building temples that stand in stark contradistinction to all the ideals of our freedom struggle to build a humane and enlightened society.
It is to counter this perverse discourse and to make education a rallying agenda in the coming general elections and political discourse of the country that AIFRTE decided to organise the All-India Hunkar Rally on 18th Feb 2019 in Delhi. This is not a single-point event, but a concerted movement under which we have been organising meetings, seminars, yatras and other programmes across different states in the country. We have approached different sections and different lines of democratic thought in the process, thus trying to build a synergetic action to effectively counter the reactionary agenda of neo-liberalism cum Brahmanical forces.
Please see our leaflet and the Programme of Action (PoA – 2018-19) document to know in more detail our position and the various assaults on our education system. We take this opportunity to appeal to you to support, participate and generously contribute in making the Hunkar Rally a resounding success. Please note that we are an entirely public-driven movement and we do not accept funding from any source except donation from individuals supporting the cause. Hence, your contribution would be invaluable for the movement. The details of the bank account will be provided if you inform us of your desire to making any contribution, and a proper receipt can be issued and provided to you.
Prof G Haragopal, Chairperson, Prof Anil Sadgopal, Convener, Dr Swati, Co-convener, All-India Steering Committee of Hunkar Rally, Dr Meher Engineer, Chairperson, Dr Vikas Gupta, Organising Secretary, All India Forum-Right To Education (AIF-RTE).