Elections, Propaganda and Education


The Left parties always told their members that election campaigns were to be used as opportunities for the ideological education of the masses. Losing or winning was not as important for them. But lately, we see them hobnobbing with ‘bourgeois parties’, striking tactical alliances and seldom talking directly with the people. They seem to have totally withdrawn themselves from this educational role.

We see our leaders keeping away from ‘sensitive issues’. Bad enough. Worse is that they are advised to do so even by our political analysts and academics. Why blame the politicians from shunning the role of educators? Look at the silence in the departments of Political Science in our universities in these noisy times. It was painful to see the campus, students and teachers not participating in this great exercise of democracy. We did see them campaigning in constituencies as representatives of different political parties but the fact that the campus restrained itself from discussing this election academically should worry us. Imagine lakhs of young men and women, first time voters, spending their best hours on the campus, trying to extract meaning from the cacophony of the propaganda war unleashed through electronic channels and other media, left on their own. My daughter wants to know as to what would change fundamentally in our lives after the chosen saviour is elected. Why have her textbooks or her school failed to anticipate this young anxiety and devise academic or educational means to address it? To leave the youth at the mercy and vagaries of their instincts and intuition and not create opportunities to examine their common sense is worse than not finishing the syllabus on time.

Related: “The notion that parents inherently know what school is best for their kids is an example of conservative magical thinking.”; “For whatever reason, parents as a group tend to undervalue the benefits of diversity in the public schools….”.