A.K. Malik akmalik45 at yahoo.com
Tue Sep 22 17:50:38 IST 2009

Dear Mr Jeebesh,
                    Some beginning has been made which is a positive step. Let us live with it for some time and then can force the Govt through opinion/pressure to go in for the requisite amendments.Dowry Prohibition Act is there,but how many marriages are done without dowry. There is no use of having Acts on Statute Books which can not be implemented in reality.Just tell me one instance where you feel there is equality in India.Everyone should then be sent to Stanford,LSB to have equality.
Is there anywhere in India equality in employment,criminal justice,politics, religion,babudom,in our own families, etc?
In order to get the best for everyone, we should not deny them better and good.That is my opinion.


--- On Tue, 9/22/09, Jeebesh <jeebesh at sarai.net> wrote:

> From: Jeebesh <jeebesh at sarai.net>
> Subject: [Reader-list] LETTER OF DISAPPOINTMENT
> To: "Sarai Reader-list" <reader-list at sarai.net>
> Date: Tuesday, September 22, 2009, 10:46 AM
> dear all, i came across this letter in another list, where
> a campaign  
> against the just passed education act is brewing. given
> that in india  
> there is a clear move towards an apartheid mode of school
> education,  
> it would be nice to hear some thoughts from people on this
> list on the  
> current schooling system.
> warmly
> jeebesh
> To
> Dr. Manmohan Singh,
> Prime Minister, Government of India,
> South Block, New Delhi
> September 19, 2009
> Sir,
> We the undersigned wish to express our deep sense of
> disappointment  
> with ‘The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory
> Education Act,  
> 2009’ signed by the President last month. After waiting
> for this  
> Fundamental Right for six decades, India’s almost 46
> crore children up  
> to 18 years of age expected a characteristically different
> Act. It is  
> our considered view that this is an anti-Constitutional,
> anti- 
> education and anti-child Act that denies Fundamental Right
> to  
> education of equitable quality – a Right that has existed
> in the  
> Constitution since 1950, as declared by the Hon’ble
> Supreme Court  
> through its historic Unnikrishnan Judgment (1993).
> This Act,
> guarantees only conditional and arbitrary free education;
> even this is  
> provided only to a category of children while denying it to
> others;
> shall maintain the prevailing multi-layered school system,
> thereby  
> continuing with education rooted in inequality and
> discrimination;
> envisages sub-standard and inferior quality education for
> almost three- 
> fourths of India’s children, including the dalits,
> tribals, most OBCs  
> and the minorities, and particularly the girls in each of
> these  
> categories, thus failing to provide education of equitable
> quality;
> distorts the universally accepted definition of
> Neighborhood School,  
> thereby authorizing the government to arbitrarily compel
> the poor  
> children to study in inferior quality schools;
> undermines the universally accepted pedagogic role of the
> mother  
> tongue in acquiring knowledge and learning languages other
> than one’s  
> mother tongue, including English;
> misconceives the universally acknowledged concept of
> disability and  
> fails to provide for norms and standards necessary for
> integrating  
> disabled children into regular schools;
> discriminates between the children studying in government
> schools and  
> the private unaided schools in various ways, particularly
> by providing  
> for deployment of the government school teachers for a
> range of non- 
> teaching tasks;
> legitimizes and promotes privatization of school education
> under the  
> pretext of providing free education to the weaker sections
> on 25% of  
> the seats in private schools; this misconceived provision
> would not  
> give any benefit whatsoever to the deprived children even
> in the short  
> term;
> allows for shifting of public funds and other critical
> public  
> resources for privatization and commercialization of
> education, as  
> part of the ‘free market’ policy of Public Private
> Partnership in its  
> various forms, including school vouchers, sale or handing
> over  
> (‘adoption’) of government schools to private parties,
> tax exemptions  
> and subsidies (both direct and hidden);
> does not empower the appropariate government to regulate
> arbitrary fee- 
> hikes by private schools, thus opening the flood gates for
> unabashed  
> profiteering;
> neither guarantees early childhood care and pre-primary
> education nor  
> provides for Right to secondary education viz. from class
> IX to XII,  
> thus disentitling more than 26 crore children of their
> Right to equal  
> opportunities to participate in national economy; and
> enables the State, by not including the financial estimates
> for  
> implementation of the Act in the Financial Memorandum, to
> abdicate its  
> Constitutional obligations for guaranteeing adequate funds
> for school  
> education.
> We are convinced that the implementation of this Act would
> lead to,
> abdication of the State’s Constitutional obligation for
> providing free  
> and compulsory education of equitable quality;
> steady demolition of the government school system, except
> the schools  
> of specified categories (Kendriya Vidyalayas, Navodaya
> Vidyalayas, XI  
> plan’s 6,000 model schools, and similar elite schools of
> the States/UT  
> governments); and
> increase in the pace of unregulated privatization and 
> commercialization of school education.
> We wish to register our dismay also because not one public
> hearing has  
> been held since the drafting of this Act began in November
> 2004 by the  
> CABE’s Committee chaired by Shri Kapil Sibal, the then
> Minister of  
> State for S & T under the previous UPA regime. An
> opportunity for  
> public hearing was also denied even when the Bill was sent
> to the  
> concerned Parliamentary Standing Committee in December
> 2008. Further,  
> our appeal to the Lok Sabha Speaker stood ignored. This
> violation of  
> the democratic traditions of India has resulted in a
> wide-spread  
> feeling of grave injustice in the public mind and rising
> resentment  
> against the Act.
> Finally, you have missed an historical opportunity by not
> designing  
> this Act in the framework of a Common School System based
> on  
> Neighborhood Schools – a system that would be fully
> government-funded  
> but governed democratically in a decentralized manner
> with  
> participation of local bodies and the community,
> particularly the  
> parents. We are sure you know that such a system has been
> practiced  
> successfully in most of the advanced economies of the
> world, including  
> the G-8 countries. In case you had heeded the rising public
> demand for  
> such a system in the country, your government would have
> won immense  
> political goodwill among the masses. We dare suggest that
> it is still  
> not too late. You have enough time under your leadership to
> retract  
> the retrogressive Act and build a new vision of India’s
> education by  
> moving towards the long awaited Common School System based
> on  
> Neighborhood schools. This indeed is the only historical
> option in  
> school education India has.
> Hoping for your decisive intervention in this matter of
> critical  
> importance for the survival of India as a democratic,
> egalitarian,  
> secular and enlightened society,
> Name & Designation
> Organisation
> District and State
> Cc.: Smt. Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson, UPA
> 24, Akbar Road, New Delhi, 110011
>   HYPERLINK "mailto:soniagandhi at sansad.nic.in"
> \t "_blank" soniagandhi at sansad.nic.in
> ,
> Circulated by
> with regards
> Sincerely yours,
> Ramesh Patnaik
> member, secretariat,
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