Three armed men broke into T P Sreenivasan’s house while he was in Kenya and attacked him and his wife brutally. This happened in 1995. Now in 2016 he was attacked again but this time in his home town, Kerala. Though the severity of both these attacks cannot be compared, there are some parallels that can be drawn. The security guards were inactive on both the occasions. It seems like the attackers were trying to send some sort of message.
The attack on Ambassador Sreenivasan was condemned from all quarters and the strong criticism from within the party left the SFI leadership clutching at straws to find some sort of justification for that heinous act. Regardless of the issue, man-handling a septuagenarian and slapping him, is unjustifiable.
It will be an exaggeration to claim that Sreenivasan provoked the SFI activists. It can also be seen as an attempts at face-saving as anyone who watched the video of the incident will know that there was never any provocation. Those who have followed Sreenivasan’s writings or speeches know that he is not one to resort to such language. He himself has cleared the air through a Facebook post by stating that there was no obscene language from his part.
This incident happened, as per records, happened at The Global Education Meet (GEM) held on January 29 to January 30 at Kovalam. The protesters’ alleged that the meet was an effort for commercialisation of education and needed to be stopped at all costs.
The plan of action for the meet held at Kovalam with eminent personalities was to bring about a change in the educational system. It was discussed that the International cooperation is one way to bring much needed life into our education system which has always been criticised as stagnant and unimaginative. It is noted that, the number of international students is on the rise all over the globe.
Studies show that, in US, revenue of over 30 billion was generated in 2014 from international students. And as per records, the number of Indian students, pursuing higher education in the US has risen by over 30,000. So at a time when there is great interest in International degrees and studies abroad, it is a welcome move that the Government is trying to provide the same opportunities here. It is agreed that the move is not without its caveats. The interest of the students should be of prime concern and they should not fall prey to institutions with dubious reputation.
It is nothing short of an irony that the party that staged the protest has most of their leaders’ children studying (studied) in foreign universities. That begs the question; why is commercialisation of education not an issue for their kin?
The country is facing a tumultuous time with the ‘intolerance issue’ raging on. The youth have been at the forefront of all those protests condemning the attempts to curb free speech and expression. It is extremely pity that Kerala which usually takes pride in having a rational approach had to witness such an incident.