Stanly Johny is Deputy Editor with The Hindu. This comment is taken from his facebook post.
Mohandas Pai writes in NDTV, ‘Dear JNU Students, We Fund Your Studies, Not Your Politics’. It echoes in many voices, including that of a Malayalam film-maker, who suddenly started worrying about tax-payers’ money going to fund JNU (and other universities).
Who’s this ‘WE’ here? Do you guys have any idea how much money the government is gifting the corporations in tax exemptions? Will you ever have the spine to speak of it? Will you ever get indigent over corporations trying to circumvent existing laws to save tax by conducting business transactions overseas? What about the billions of rupees lent to big companies and written off as bad debts (mostly by public sector banks)? Any word on it? What about sector-specific incentives provided to industry? Never bothered about tax-payers’ money, did you?
And, what on earth do you guys think about higher education? You think the government is funding the education institutions out of charity? You think the kids in such institutions are remote-controlled robots, who can’t think independently and can’t have their political positions? Or do you think they are your slaves because you pay taxes to the government? Do you have any sense of what social science is? Any understanding of what an educated youth will play in nation-building?
And, don’t monopolise your position on behalf of the entire tax-payers of this country. I am a tax-paying citizen as well. I would rather prefer the government spending the money it collects from me and my fellow-citizens on high-quality education and healthcare, like any modern, progressive state, rather than doling out incentives to a bunch of capitalists.
And finally, Mr. Pai is the Chairman of Manipal Global Education Services Pvt Ltd, a private provider of higher education services in India as well as abroad. His problem with JNU is understandable. I am a son of a coolie, who lost his father at the age of 15. Sans institutions such as MGU (Kerala) and JNU, I wouldn’t even have an MA, let alone a PhD. My anger over these ridiculous attack on the country’s premier educational institution is also understandable, isn’t it? #IAmATaxPayerToo