The capacity of the people of this country to endure suffering and official ineptitude is matched by a analytical skills deficit and chronic incapability to derive logical conclusions. How else can one explain India’s sustained love affair with Soviet-style socialism which has collapsed in its country of origin and around the world?
Jawaharlal Nehru, post-independence India’s first well-intentioned but totally delusional prime minister, endowed the nation with a toxic legacy of neta-babu socialism perpetuated and consolidated by his daughter Indira Gandhi and her son Rajiv, all prime ministers and leaders of the Congress party which has intermittently ruled at the Centre and in most states of the Indian Union for over 50 years. Despite overwhelming evidence indicating this inorganic development model wasn’t working, the people of India, including the academy and the intelligentsia, repeatedly elected the Congress party which rubbished free enterprise and the native spirit of entrepreneurship to power, ignoring the historical reality that for a millennium before conquest of the sub-continent by British imperialism in the mid-18th century, our merchants and traders had developed ancient India into the world’s wealthiest and most prosperous region.
Although somewhat belatedly Congress prime minister P.V. Narasimha Rao discerned the damage caused to the economy and substantially dismantled the country’s infamous licence-permit-quota (LPQ) regimen in 1991, over the past 70 years, the country’s 20 million-strong neta-babu brotherhood has acquired a vested interest in LPQ raj. Like marauding locust swarms, this unholy fraternity has ruined Indian industry, agriculture, law and order and public education.
And now the bad news is that after devastating the public education system and provoking a continuous exodus of children from the country’s 1.20 million government schools into low-cost, affordable budget private schools, under cover of the Covid-19 pandemic, the brotherhood has focused its attention on regulating and micro-managing the country’s 375,000 private unaided (independent) and estimated 400,000 budget private schools which provide half-decent K-12 education to almost 50 percent of India’s in-school children. Consequently there’s clear and present danger of private schools being levelled down to the status of dysfunctional government schools. Our cover story in this issue is especially a warning to a rising number of middle class parents who welcome incremental government regulation of private education institutions.
Although this July issue of EducationWorld is late because of Covid-19 pandemic problems, it is rich with content. In particular our Katha success story, national and international news reports relating how states around the country and nations around the world are coping with the global coronavirus pandemic, as also the expert comment columns, are highly recommended.