There is no denying the fact that India’s struggle against the colonial rule is the only reason behind its geographic and demographic unification. We must acknowledge that the colonial British rulers took the first step toward the growth of modern education in Assam where the common Assamese people played an unmatched role in the expansion of education throughout the state. The people of Assam and the rest of the nation were aware of the special contribution that modern education made to enable people from all walks of life to keep up with the times and participate fully in a democratic system of government.

Realizing that modern education is essential for the full development of all societal segments, equality, and justice is therefore fundamental. As a result, in addition to the government’s efforts, Assamese commoners never stopped trying to start schools and universities in their local communities. While many made a financial contribution, donated land, etc. to support such initiatives, others gave up all of their personal ambitions and began teaching for free or at a meager salary. People raised money by selling paddy, coconuts, bamboo, cane, and other items and donated funds to build schools and colleges. As a result, the majority of Assam’s educational institutions were set up at the imitative of the “community.”

The ordinary people of Assam demonstrated in the 19th century that it is possible to create substantial public institutions via collective effort, hope, and desire, and such cooperative efforts are still being made throughout the state. Following India’s independence, the government adopted the principle of “supporting universal education” and felt it was their duty to provincialize these educational institutions in order to acknowledge the collective efforts. In addition to acknowledging the contribution of the “community” to the advancement of modern education, the ruling dispersions indirectly encouraged the general populace to maintain such admirable efforts by provincializing the educational institutions founded by the communities.

The architects of modern India were fully aware that, in contrast to the public or private sectors, the “community” could have the greatest impact on the growth and extension of universal education in a backward, economically disadvantaged nation like India. As a result, the government accorded the educational institutions created by the “community” the utmost respect and recognition. For a very long time, the Assam government has not allowed this widespread excitement for the creation of educational institutions to wane, and it has actively promoted the opening of new schools and their provincialization wherever it is possible.

In 2016, then Finance Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sharma presenting the first budget of the BJP-led government in Assam had revealed in the Assembly, “Education is not a department for our government, and it is not a constituency of schools or colleges. Education is a social welfare. Education is a tool to awaken and instill in the minds of students the values ??of ‘integrated humanism’ that I mentioned earlier. The famous educationist and philosopher Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan said – ‘Manav ka danav hona uchki har he / manav ka mahamanav hona uchka chamatkar he / manushya ka manav hona uchki jeet hai’. The Government wants to play a helpful and holistic role in transforming every person into a human being. In this regard, I am pleased to announce that this year’s Budget seeks to move away from the unfortunate tendency of the past to give ‘gifts’ to private beneficiaries in the name of development and proposed to place some other plans. ”

Regarding provincialisation of educational intuitions, he stated, “The party’s vision document that had been published before the Assembly promised that the present government would reopen the provincialisation of schools in the state. We are committed to keeping this promise. Similarly, we are uncompromising on quality education. We are strongly against wasting public money by mortgaging the development of the state.”

Therefore, we urged the BJP-led Assam government to not shut down any public schools, which are a crucial component of the state’s public life and were built with the support of all its citizens. If such educational facilities are shut down, the children of the economically underprivileged and socially backward strata will be in danger and eventually denied of accessing education. The process of closing schools in a state like Assam will be a significant barrier to the growth of universal education at a time when the globe is unveiling the largest budget for that purpose. Most importantly, the public’s desire to create institutions for social cohesion that is motivated by shared aspirations will gradually disappear.

Kishor Kumar Kalita

Kishor Kumar Kalita is a commentator based in Guwahati and can be reached at kishorassam@gmail.com