On the Link between Creative Expression and Education: Is the Public University Dead?

On the Link between Creative Expression and Education: Is the Public University Dead?
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Aijaz Ahmed

Universities, by their very nature, play a noteworthy role in the inculcation of values among students. They are the powerhouses of generating knowledge that gives birth to different ideas. They are the higher places of learning in which learners comprehend the moral duties of society as well as obligations. Universities are places where thousands of minds meet and give birth to enormous ideas. Exposed societies encourage us to admit and countenance diverse thoughts and practices. They unfetter and enlarge our minds and our pledges. When societies turn inwards, they create barricades between themselves and the outside world. The hurdles that society craft in the process of knowledge production restrict the critical thinking of the intellectuals and students. But, currently, the institution of the University as the undiluted space of learning and critical learning seems to be under review. The creation of controversial ideas in the campuses give birth to the labelling process in reading, writing and understand among the students that result catastrophic for the nation development and integrity. Further, it is believed that labelling process in the educational system creates illiteracy and ignorance among the potential students.
All this confines their critical thinking capacity only with themselves. The whole higher educational system in India is converted into the post-trauma realm, in which students feel threat in acquiring education and thinking about the appropriate and inappropriate thoughts and ideas. We know all about the fact that the Constitution of India is full from the justice elements but unfortunately, the operators are stultified. The Constitution grantee people the rights of freedom, in speech and expression but it yet remain utopia rights.
The famous argument of Christakis, from a childhood developmental perspective is that students need to learn how to reject or refine ideas that trouble them, rather than running immediately to ban and punish. So this depicts the worth of thought that gives birth to the universe.
The famous social theorist (J.S.Mills) who has very sophisticatedly elaborate the idea of freedom of speech in his famous book “On Liberty”, in which he argued that if we are hearing any contrary ideas, then we must analysis and then criticise then we can cultivate knowledgeably. There is a great relationship between the free speech and education, if we limit former we can never achieve latter.
Among all disciplines, humanities and social sciences have a very worth to be talked about. They inspire students to encounter and interrogate, even as they discover the past and the present. But, these domains of knowledge stand stultified. A famous writer Terry Eagleton has spoken on the death of university in which he say that without critical disciplines, universities are no more than teaching shops, generating so much unthinking labour for the market.
The name of the game appears to be production of submissive or passive knowledge and minds that neither think critically nor question. This would, besides, creating closed minds , have other negative consequences, the foremost of which would be the death of the public university , as it should be both, in theory and praxis

—The author is a Research Scholar in the Department of Sociology at the Aligarh Muslim University. He can be reached at:naikaijaz727@gmail.com

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