Jesus, markets, state, and the silenced dialogue

Dr Jeebanlata Salam *

How then is perfection to be sought? Wherein lies our hope. In education and nothing else”.
Immanuel Kant

Born into a poor landless peasant family, Jesus never attended a formal school, but had full academic authority. Jesus lived in a highly oppressive, and class-conscious Jewish society. In his struggle to build a just and egalitarian world, Jesus lived what he taught with an emphasis on hope for a ‘new day and justice’ and discover the identity of man as being created in the image of God.

Jesus’ pedagogy was heavily relied on parables, with an emancipatory force that proved a fatal attraction among the large downtrodden, and oppressed poor Jewish masses who instantly connected with him. Centuries later, the impact of Jesus’ teachings on grassroots Christians was felt across the globe including the famous Brazilian catholic educationist, Paulo Frère, who mastered the art of Jesus’ concept of praxis—a form of education by practically involving people in developing critical consciousness of their oppressed situation and learning how to leverage change in society by improving their conditions.

In India, education with Christian values began in Kolkata as early as 1830 when the first missionary of the church of Scotland to India, Alexander Duff began opening schools to impart English education. Duff’s educational activities greatly influenced missionaries working in the area for education, more or so because of proselytization.

It’s clear that the Christian missionaries used English education primarily as a vehicle for communicating Biblical teachings with the natives, while educational needs were also served as the ability to read Bible was seen a necessary precursor to worshipping God, in which the tasks of establishing schools and churches were further facilitated when the colonial state permitted them official duties for administration.

During the post-British era, unlike in other parts of India, many missionary schools flourished in Northeast India, especially English medium schools, which played an important role in improving the educational status of the tribal population of Northeast India.

Interestingly, over time, missionary schools began to act as ideal models with a strong impact on producing more private schools charging high fees where children from urban and better off families traditionally attend. Manipur too witnessed the mushrooming growth of private schools, (mostly catholic model) especially during the late 80s while witnessing spiral downfall of state-run schools.

The educational development characterized by weak state vision and strong market; promoting what is private is necessarily good; and what is public is necessarily bad; originated in the 1980s in developed countries beginning from the period of the Thatcher government in Britain and Ronald Reagan in the USA.

Efficiency and cost benefit became the thriving force of market oriented neo-liberal policies, with its core idea is to pass the cost of educational services to clients through user fees, inviting more and more market driven private players to take up the educational role that was traditionally performed by the welfare-state system. The emerging trend is an onslaught on the Education for All agenda.

While it’s a matter of serious public concern that differential access to school facilities accentuates inequities in economic and social opportunities among social groups, there are also marginalized social groups who have no access to schooling opportunity of whatever—public/private. The absence of the trinity—God, markets and state for these social groups is startling.

Herein, I wish to revisit the incidence of state violation of fundamental human rights by denying educational aspirations of Chadong village children. The infamous Mapithel dam construction in and around Chadong village destroyed the Government Junior High School and shunted out of over 1000 students from schooling opportunity.

The state with its alleged failure of providing an alternative learning opportunity directly violated the educational right of these children under the Right to Education Act(RtE) 2009—a Constitutional commitment to promote equity and quality education for all children on a progressive scale.

What’s more, according to the local community, the former government siphoned off a huge amount of Rastriya Madhyamic Shiksha Abhiyan funds meant for improving the school that gradually shrank under the Mapithel dam water. As the school building was completely damaged and inaccessible, older students got shifted to nearby local schools while some children discontinued.

My recent visit to Chadong village noticed that the temporary learning facility for small children is currently provided at a makeshift without teaching-learning material aids. The tribal chief makes every effort to ensure children in the age group of pre-primary and primary level are provided some form of learning as they cannot be re-located.

Not only that these children are small, but their parents cannot send them to boarding schools owing to financial constraints. My interaction with the community leaders also reveals that there is strong aspiration to educating children in their own local social milieu for obvious reasons. The specific community needs, and aspirations are the reference points by which educational plans of the state must direct its action.

Taking the community along requires building dialogue of hope, trust, possibilities, and constant reaffirming. Without this dialogue, community aspirations for long term goals cannot be addressed. The dilly-dally state response to educational demands of Chadong villagers reinforces social injustice—the common corollaries of which include inequality, marginalization, and alienation that may result in unwanted consequences.

Because educational deprivation to the young generation, especially from marginalized communities is more dangerous than the deprivation of other basic social securities as meeting these challenges in sustainable ways cannot be irreversible, if not accompanied by the inputs of quality education.

The prolonged state failure in providing a functional school for the community indicates non-committal in translating educational rights of children provided by the Constitution. RtE Act is a fundamental right by inserting Article21-A as derived from Article 21. Hence, denying educational aspiration amounts to state violation of children’s fundamental right to life.

The fundamental idea is, everyone ought to receive education as a matter of right, and free of cost, not merely by chance or charity. Educational services cannot be abandoned to the arbitrariness of God, and markets or private individuals.

The democratic state alone, has the sole responsibility to fulfil its Constitutional duty in ensuring all children enjoy educational right by translating its Constitutional commitments and legislation into action.

* Dr Jeebanlata Salam wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is at the National Institute of Advanced studies, IISc Campus, Bangalore
and can be reached at at jeebanlata90(AT)gmail(DOT)com / jeebanlata(AT)nias(DOT)res(DOT)in
This article was posted on January 19, 2021.

* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.

  • Violence in Manipur 2023-2024 : Timeline
  • Haats (Weekly Markets) of Guwahati
  • Shillong gears up to host Durand Cup
  • Lip care during Monsoon
  • Gaikhangam in his elements, again
  • The death of a Chiru man
  • Anti-Repression Day @ MDU #1 : Gallery
  • You are wrong, but it's okay
  • Growing call for 100-100-100 to end AIDS
  • Pelvis as the body's emotional junk drawer!
  • World Youth Skills Day & our environment
  • Insanity at its worst
  • 55 kms per day on Imphal-Jiri stretch
  • Justice Kotiswar: First among equals
  • Kang Chingba @Govindajee #2 : Gallery
  • Introducing Thang-Ta in school curriculum
  • N Kotiswar - Judge Supreme Court of India
  • Meitei Professors' Invention Patent [Upd]
  • Boeing crisis hits India, air fares to shoot up
  • Scholarship: Rs 4 crore for civil service
  • Out on the streets against extortions
  • Mandate against party-hopping
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #10
  • Bamboo Bio-toilets at Champu Kangpok
  • Decarbonisation for human survival
  • Book Release to promote physical education
  • "ST status for Meetei" @ Langmeidong
  • Condemns the Killing of CRPF Jawan
  • Rahul Ji, let us talk solution
  • Targeting Central security personnel
  • The monster outgrowing its creator
  • Aftermath of Imphal Flooding #2 : Gallery
  • World Plastic Surgery Day 2024
  • A new front of 'power politics' in Nagaland
  • 2nd Meghalaya Pineapple Fest at Delhi
  • Super 20 batch for UPSC 2025 announced
  • Why is PM not meeting Manipur leaders ?
  • Justice to displaced people
  • Imphal Art College Exhibition #1 : Gallery
  • Scholarship for Johnstone Hr Sec given
  • Will #PutPeopleFirst drive HIV response?
  • Open Letter to Amit Shah, Home Minister
  • The Power of Poppy - 39 :: Poem
  • World Population Day 2024
  • Beating of the Retreat #3 : Gallery
  • Liar's lair :: Poem
  • The Richest Man in Imphal
  • Gamcha, the Assamese Scarf
  • Meghalaya Govt launches OTT platform
  • Comprehensive Coverage in NE Telecom
  • Battered and tattered roads
  • Let there be transparency
  • Kanglei Thokpa @ Sagol Kangjei : Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2024 #3: Gallery
  • Historic Premiere: 'Chilli Chicken' at Manipur
  • Effective Unified Command for Resolution
  • Music & Quiz: Drug Abuse amongst youth
  • Visionless and headless DMU
  • When is the right time & situation for PM visit
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #37: Download
  • Inspirations from Scientists of Manipur: Book
  • Manipur crisis: Treat the disease, not symptom
  • 133rd Durand Cup Trophies Flags Off
  • NEET droppers vs freshers
  • Death : Only future to look at ?
  • Mental health of displaced people
  • Aftermath of Imphal Flooding #1 : Gallery
  • When was the last time we smiled ?
  • Appeal to Stop Unbearable Monetary Demand
  • 'Oppenheimer' links with Supreme Science
  • 'Preventing from holding a press conference'
  • Travel tips during Monsoon
  • Look at it via ground reality
  • Making the 'Balak Buddhi' wiser
  • Kang Chingba @Govindajee #1 : Gallery
  • Release Ebo Mili & Stop large dams in ArP
  • Rainforests are the lungs of Earth
  • Education suffering from political interference
  • Inflated bill main vote plank, law dont cut graft
  • From the Lok Sabha to Manipur
  • Third visit of Rahul
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #9
  • International Day of Yoga #1 : Gallery
  • Lord Jagannatha's processional chariot fest
  • World Zoonoses Day 2024
  • PM 'bola' in Parliament
  • Acknowledging the stand of UNC
  • Embracing tree plantation as a new trend
  • 17th N Tombi Equestrian C'ships #2 : Gallery
  • The spirit & the creed of the Olympics
  • Kang Chingba (Rath Yatra) : Book
  • 'Economic blockade: Rumors baseless'
  • The Power of Poppy - 38 :: Poem
  • Balancing children's academic performance
  • Imphal flooded (again) [Jul 3] #2 : Gallery
  • Covid, Ngari, Yu and Loktak
  • Rural people struggling with network problem
  • English certificate courses for BA student
  • 6th July is International Day of Cooperatives
  • Clogging the waterways with plastics
  • Diverting public attention from core issues
  • Manipur Kanba Khongchat #2 : Gallery
  • Gateway of Assam
  • Integrating GIS & EWS for flood management
  • The Dopamine overdose
  • Free workshop on civil service exams
  • Bucket of cold water after a hot shower
  • Breaking the silence
  • Imphal flooded (again) [Jul 3] #1 : Gallery
  • Embracing 'Sharra - Kashar-ot'
  • Drug abuse & illicit trafficking in Manipur
  • Nudity being served to increase followers
  • Record high temperature
  • Bangladesh FM Hasan Mahmud's Riyadh visit
  • Indigenous call for NRC
  • Come home to the electorates
  • Meiteis must unite for survival
  • Flood advisories issued
  • State & District Control Rooms
  • Green Hydrogen for a clean environment
  • Need for an Emergency
  • Monsoons beauty
  • Calling out the indifference of Delhi
  • Questioning the silence with a roar
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #8
  • Problem & prospect of floriculture in Manipur
  • WomenLeaders India Fellowship 2024-25
  • Naga Peace Talks and Narasimha Rao
  • Arunachal Minister visits Oil Palm @Godavari
  • Clear cut stand from the Nagas
  • Crisis resolution in 100-day plan ?
  • Great June Uprising @Kekrupat #2 : Gallery
  • Manipur: A battleground of imperial geopolitics
  • Wangkhem Suresh @ Higher Defence Course
  • Shoppers Stop's 1st Store in Dimapur
  • Stop razing rail station, divert 25k Cr to Signal
  • Has Imphal completely lost the plot ?
  • Time to take responsibility
  • Tarpon chaklen katpa @ Andro #3 : Gallery
  • July Calendar for Year 2024 : Tools
  • Letter to Prime Minister of India
  • International Day of Parliamentarism
  • Skill Development Course at Lumshnong
  • The Power of Poppy - 37 :: Poem
  • Radio E-pao: Manipuri Film OST (130+ song)
  • Manipur Kanba Khongchat #1 : Gallery
  • Multiple Openings @ JCRE Solutions
  • Our mass addiction to predicting future
  • Bonsai - A play with another aspect : Review
  • Timely diagnosis to stop misuse of medicines
  • Impactful tool- Instagram marketing strategy
  • Essence of the June 28 rally
  • Birds of the same feather
  • Scientist of Manipur: Satyendra Thoudam
  • Education and the fate of Manipur
  • Centre not mind talking to Kitovi or Alezo
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Nambol
  • Why Bangladesh urge military diplomacy
  • MoU : Assam Don Bosco Univ with Cambridge
  • Understanding beyond the coup
  • Donning the role of LoP
  • Rally @ Jiribam [June 26] : Gallery
  • Umananda Island- World smallest river island
  • Breaking the impasse
  • Fantasies of a sinister childhood
  • Program: developing women entrepreneurship
  • Microlearning is impacting talent acquisition
  • Looking for the way forward
  • The message
  • Moirangthem Robi - Mr Universe India 2022
  • Parthenium Menace in Indo-Myanmar : Book
  • Respect & recognise domestic worker
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Hiyanglam
  • One test not for India
  • Include tomatoes in your skincare routine
  • Raising ST call a notch or two higher
  • United in grief, but...
  • Panthoibi Phijol Hongba @Mandalay : Gallery
  • Open Letter to Hon'ble CM of Manipur
  • Slavery in the machine world
  • 'Either Rio regime delivers or it fails'
  • No need for NEET or NET
  • Walkathon to promote health at Guwahati
  • Paradox of arming & disarming citizens
  • Meaningless statements
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #7
  • You are king of web, then slave
  • A Groundbreaking HIV Prevention Option
  • Board of Studies at Assam Don Bosco
  • Public Services as a career choice
  • Manipur violence and state
  • Last minute cancellation
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #36: Download
  • Saraighat Bridge - An Expedition
  • Meeting with MP Dr Bimol Akoijam
  • Manipur: 11 medal (5 gold) @ Natl Taekwondo
  • Indo-Naga Talks (From 2012) :: Timeline
  • Great June Uprising @Kekrupat #1 : Gallery
  • Ema Panthoibi Phijol Hongba at Mandalay
  • Ibudhou Cheng Hongba #1 : Gallery
  • Ima Keithel flood- May 30 #3 : Gallery
  • Aid to relief camps @ Jiribam : Gallery
  • Bike Rally - Sekmai to Kangla : Gallery
  • Ima Keithel flood- May 30 #2 : Gallery
  • Scientist of Manipur: Laishram Shanta
  • Imphal valley districts flooded #3 : Gallery
  • Ima Keithel flood- May 30 #1 : Gallery
  • Imphal valley districts flooded #2 : Gallery
  • Imphal valley districts flooded #1 : Gallery
  • HSLC (Class X) 2024 : Full Result
  • HSLC 2024 : Important Info & Grading System
  • HSLC 2024 : Pass % : Private Schools
  • HSLC 2024 : Pass % : Aided Schools
  • HSLC 2024 : Pass % : Govt Schools
  • HSLC 2024 : Statistical Abstract
  • HSLC 2024 : Comparative Statement
  • Scientist of Manipur: Jayanta Manoharmayum
  • Scientist of Manipur: Amom Ruhikanta
  • Preserving Thang-Ta :: Rare Photos
  • Malemnganbi Laishram : Science Topper
  • Thokchom Sheityajit : Arts Topper
  • Aiena Naorem : Commerce Topper
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Science Topper
  • HSE 2024 : Subject Pass Percentage
  • HSE 2024 : District Pass Percentage
  • HSE 2024 : Candidates with Highest Marks
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Science Full Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Arts Full Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Commerce Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Arts Topper
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Commerce Topper
  • Nupi Landa Thaunaphabishing : Full Book
  • A ferocious hailstorm @Imphal : Gallery
  • Scientists of Manipur : Ngangkham Nimai
  • GHOST of PEACE :: Download Booklet
  • List of Kings of Manipur: 33 - 1984 AD