Manufacturing Consent in Delhi University
Vishank Singh is a student at University of Delhi. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of the most celebrated text of a Journalism Classroom is the ‘Manufacturing Consent’ by Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman in which they wrote extensively on how media plays the role of an effective ideological institution which mobilize the public assumptions and thoughts on the lines laid by the state sponsored Capitalistic intentions. What is happening in Delhi University since few years demands another edition of ‘Manufacturing Consent’ which I hope might reach the book-shops in few days. The way the ideas were molded and the plans were executed during the implementation of FYUP demonstrates the extent of ideological exploitation especially of the Student community inside the educational institution.
Delhi University VC, Prof. Dinesh Singh has rolled back the disastrous FYUP. This was done in the backdrop of intense student and teachers protest which was followed by the UGC directive of resuming the 3YUP. But things are still left with a question for the University’s future. No matter what may be the policy on Earth it is not superior than the thoughts and ideas of man! FYUP was installed in the system by men in hurry. We were silent! College officials (blindly working on the guidelines of VC) used their Pro-FYUP rhetoric for gathering the support of student community. We were still silent! New offices were created in the administration especially to monitor and promote the swift transition to FYUP. Then we were compelled to be silent. A specific cast and region was given priority in the appointments of these high officials. But nobody was there to speak (or was allowed to) against it barring a few who then were alienated from each and every decision making process of the University. Even the principals of most of the colleges were following this whip with a submissive attitude under the DU administration.
This was unethical though natural as they had to depend on the administration for their day-to-day business. And maybe it was realized by them that supporting FYUP is not a costly deal when it can lead them to obtain funds in the name of several projects from the University in return. In the wake of procuring this favoritism everything went in an undemocratic way which killed the very soul of the University. Everything that was dictated became the norm and there was no place for any contemplation.
At the college grass root level it was the attempt of the principal lead ‘Special Force’ to identify the potential Pro-FYUP and Anti-FYUP elements. These operations were followed by the marginalization of Anti-FYUP academicians and students in order to warn each and every voice about the outcome of its protest to FYUP. This stance which was followed by the colleges in most of the forms and manifestations gives us the idea up to what level the consent for FYUP was manufactured forcefully in the students and Teachers. But the Crisis of ideas followed by these incidents deserves the condemnation.
With the implementation of FYUP, things in colleges went so conservative that merely an independent review of the FYUP from a student was enough to land him/her inside the Principle’s court for a one sided trial. This attitude was no doubt borrowed from the VC administration but was against each and every norm of a university as a whole. “What on earth could criticize FYUP?” was the common gesture of the college officials of most of the colleges in DU. But this was not enough to curb the democratic ideas which indeed got sharper.
There must be an affirmation that FYUP was the concern for each and every student no matter he/she belonged to 4YUP or 3YUP. But there was a plot played by the administration which was divisive and anti-harmonious in nature. It tried to instill the antagonism between the 3YUP and 4YUP students. The reason propagated was that the 3YUP students should mum their mouth on FYUP as it is none of their concern. Yet it failed! But if we go by this logic I would like to throw a light on an incident happened few days before. This very administration sent the messages to all the students (including 3YUP) for joining the demo near Arts Faculty for saving the FYUP. However the pretext was ‘To save Delhi University’s autonomy, To save Antardhwani and to save Gyanodaya’. When the students of non-FYUP program were not allowed to contemplate freely on this issue under the excuse that they are not involved in the affair then what made the administration so feeble to call upon those very students to save the FYUP? I know that FYUP is no more alive but our administrations must entertain this question.
There is no doubt that each and every system has a chance to improve along with evolutionary process that goes side by side. But keeping a dog in front of the people and claiming that we would make a man out of it in few days with some modifications doesn’t make sense. The case with FYUP is very much similar to this. Should I point towards the potential of the ‘MULTIPLE DEGREE OPTIONS’ to preserve the social inequality? Or should I point towards the illogical course and curriculum that was fetched in FYUP? What not should I criticize in this whole structure devised as the ‘Educational Revolution’. We knew this since the time of its inception but our freedom to criticize was caged under the pretext of discipline. With the team of Principles behind VC it was clear that the voices of protest would be crushed especially in the colleges where there is no provision of Student Unions! And it happened!
We were silent since a year observing things going in dictatorial terms. But things as they have changed today so I felt it’s my duty to enlighten the Conservative approach with which we were made to live in the Delhi University. I am not writing it serving my allegiance to any of the political spectrum but to my own conscience. University should not be the prison where one cannot walk with a critical approach. May be together we would have constructed a great example of coordination. But things were barred and censored so we kept our silence. Taking the lesson from this the student community must realize that in any sense or in any expression we must be there on the side of democracy rather than the Autocracy. Consent is not there to be manufactured it is won by harmonization and mutual understanding in the milieu of free expression. Long Live the DU!