Posts Tagged ‘hyderabad’

“If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin”.

Hyderabad today is an embodiment of well-heeled city in terms of its representation in mainstream media. The rapid growth phase since last decade has placed Hyderabad among the apical cities of India .Hyderabad as technological and knowledge hub has made its mark both nationally and internationally. With all these accomplishments, this historical city of Nawab’s has also a very gloomy side to it. The city is partitioned on nomenclature basis into two major areas named as old city and new city. As the name is titled on the concept of time, old city part of it tells a story of exploitation and stands out in sharp contrast to the new city. While the information technology and biotechnology boom has brought people from different parts of the country, it is local residents of old city who are unable to get benefited from their native city’s acclaimed potential.
It was in month of July when I got an opportunity to Visit rural areas of Hi-tech Hyderabad. The NGO at present I am working with Naandi Foundation endowed me with documenting the activities of the workshop, conducted in three different areas. Naandi Foundation works with Government of Andhra Pradesh to reach the children in public schools in order to ensure them learn. By virtuousness of its Ensuring Children Learn (ECL) Program, 64,250 government schoolchildren in 450 schools across 11 Mandals in Hyderabad are catered with basic amenities while pursuing their education. A 4 days workshop to serve this purpose was conducted by ECL Hyderabad in Charminar, Dayanandagar and Vijayanagar Colony. The primary intention of the program was to train the community activists (CA’s) and making them understand the theory of engaging with the children. Charminar, being the celebrated place fascinated me more than the other two centers. I was thankfully allowed to exercise my choice for documenting processes at workshop conducted in Urdu ghar ( Home of urdu) near Asra Hospital, Charminar. The Streets surrounding Urdu Ghar were installed with numerous pan Shops and Tea stalls. The overwhelming response of people to tobacco consumption make these pan shops the places of eminent importance. The so-called exposed section of the locality conglomerate several times a day to discuss day to day to problems of the world on these pan shops. The street corners had turned brownish red as the pan and tobacco chewers regard these corners as enviable spots for spitting. This chaotic Milieu of Charminar gives an impression of alien in the wonderland for the people who know Hyderabad from Indian Newspapers. The distance of 5 km from new city to old city is an incommensurable transition that any one can rarely find in other parts of the world.
Old City of Hyderabad especially Charminar is inhabited by Muslim majority who widely have Urdu as medium of their instruction. In this inherent part of Hyderabad education is in lamentable shape. The state machinery is unable to deliver goods in old city of Hyderabad. The area has plethora of schools and genuine number of schoolchildren, despite all these positives, nothing is commendable. The unconcerned politics,bureaucratic structures and negligence of people has deeply contaminated primary education status in poverty stricken old city. While some criticize callous attitude of the government towards old city, while as others criticizing negligence of parental care, no one is ready to take the initiative to handle the system and face the ground realities. Numerous discourses used to happen in the form of seminars, conferences but all these intellectual discourses on changing the scenario have modicum or no effect on the practical grounds. In this sense the initiative taken by Naandi Foundation with the help of government is laudable. To meet the ground realities, Naandi Foundation with the help of Government of Andhra Pradesh has taken the initiative to meet these ground realities in order to bridge the gap.
My visit to three schools in highly backward areas near Charminar gave me an opportunity to personally engage with parents, children and school teachers. My first visit was to Tabela Donger (TD) Singh Govt. High School (Urdu Medium) in Hafez Babanagar established in 2002 by Govt. of Andhra Pradesh Social Welfare Department. Naandi runs one of its many academic Support Centers (ASC’s) in T.D School. The area is inhabited by a whopping population of approximately 1 lakh people. This prominent and colossal School has only able to attract 749 children, (443 girls,306 boys), having teacher to student ratio as 1:40 ( Teacher:student). The school from outside give a very good impression with its well constructed building. On the day of visit it was merely 50% of children present in the school. While speaking to Head master of the School M.A Jabar, for the reason of the low attendance.
Mr. Jabar remarks
“Attendance has remained a major problem in this school as the parents prefer their children to attend various ceremonies in homes rather than school.”
While Mr. Jabar believes that it is the negligence of the parents due to which the condition in the schools is so much deplorable. While this being a perspective of headmaster, I had no option than to meet some parents of the children whether they really accept the blame. My first talk was with Nazima Begum’s ( 5th standard student) father, as in this part of the world you are always your fathers child than mothers. Nazima’s father Mohd. Hussain was a mechanic, who’s work is to repair motor bikes in the nearby area. Here I was clueless whether really to blame Hussain Saab, who takes it all to meet his both ends meal. How can be a mechanic, being himself overburdened with other family responsibilities with no knowledge of education held responsible for his child’s studies. At least his child has got the chance to make it to 5th standard, the old father had never been able to get a chance to visit a school, else than some introduction to some deeny- taleem (religious knowledge). It is the whole structures that are to blamed for this distressing condition. Naandi has adopted Nanhi Kali program by the virtue of which it tracks the girls annually in order to ensure them at least to qualify 10 th class. In India out of 10 girls admitted in primary schools it is only 3 girls who make it to 10 th standard. One can imagine the fate of girls in this area where men are of paramount importance.
Now the School teachers are planning for door to door campaign to force parents to send their children to school. My visit to other schools was of similar experience with only slight increase in the intensity of problems faced by the children in poorly managed schools.
During the workshop the conducted in Urdu Ghar Community Activists (CA’s) were said to solve worksheets for the children and identify complexities in the worksheets that are later provided to children. The Community Activists (CA’s) with the guidance of Academic Resource Coordinators (ARC’s) tried to demystify every complexness in the worksheets for the Children. In schools a specific focus is on low performance children, who are often alienated in the classroom thereby resulting their “drop out” at an early stage. Such children are identified during the base line assessment conducted in all schools where Academic Support Centers (ASC’s) are being set up by Naandi Foundation. The majority of the children under this program are from subaltern families. The parents of most of the children are daily wage laborers for whom it becomes difficult to guide their children.
Hyderabad claimed to be the Cyber-City has huge task before it to be the among the vanguard cities of the India and off course of the world. The self centered vested interests need to be exposed and work for education of Muslim students and protect and improve the Government schools in the city is needed to be done. Development is a contested term lets give it a meaning in the form of fighting for educational development in the city.

Activists of Hindu nationalist Shiv Sena party, in saffron scarves, disrupt a gathering of Muslims protesting against the 1992 destruction of the 16th-century Babri Mosque by Hindu extremists on its anniversary, in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2007. (AP

Activists of Hindu nationalist Shiv Sena party, in saffron scarves, disrupt a gathering of Muslims protesting against the 1992 destruction of the 16th-century Babri Mosque by Hindu extremists on its anniversary, in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2007. (AP

World without war is world without politics, world without politics is world without enmity and world without enmity is without human beings- Carl Schmitt

The ruling student union under ABVP, in University of Hyderabad more or less is taking strand from schmittian philosophy to destabilize the synchronized laden political campus. Since in power, ABVP has taken all forms of mobilization to disseminate the Hindutva ideology in university grounds. In their one year tenure, university has become the limelight in Media’s eyes. News papers like The Hindu and Times of India are covering all the campus related stories in unprecedented manner. Sensibilities are impaired on regular basis. Dalits, Muslims, women related issues are circulating in campus environs as never before. The most significant issues in recent include Suicide (death) of Senthil Kumar, a Dalit student pursuing his PhD, the sexual harassment case against Manydas, sports Secretary of students Union, ABVP and now ABVP’s invitation to Subramaniam Swamy, staunch Hindutva politician as the chief guest in  University cultural programme, Sukoon.

Recently in Sukoon, a major cultural festival Subramaniam Swamy, comical figure in Tamil Nadu politics made anti minority remarks, sparking colossal protests by Students federation of India (SFI), Ambedkar Students association (ASA), Dalit Students union (DSU) and already ghettoized Urdu department students. Now the question that arises is politics of ABVP by inviting Subramaniam Swamy. Subramaniam Swamy always has remained staunch supporter of uniform civil code in India. This ideology of Swamy has always fetched him as paramount spot among his co believers. ABVP, in campus in an ideal sense has tried to prove by inviting Swamy. Swamy opposes religious conversions and considers conversion as violence. But the interesting departure in his argument arises when Swamy considers that if an India Muslim or Christian changes his religion to Hinduism today; he doesn’t regard it as conversion because it is a return to the Hindu fold of those whose ancestors had been forcibly converted.

But Swami here ignores the fact that it’s been Under Hinduism that Dalits or lower castes had been made to suffer since centuries. That is what the case happened with Senthil Kumar, a Dalit PhD scholar, who was compelled to commit suicide. The structures in his Physics department were structured in such a diplomatic Brahmanical way, that poor Senthil was not left with any hope than committing suicide. Here In southern states of India, every thing is determined by caste. Swami indeed takes deep pride in Brahmanism and Kshatriyahood, who had refused to convert. But the question is why is it that all Brahmans and Kshatriyas refused to convert while there was not at least a modicum of resistance from lower castes. Intelligent mind can comprehend the rationale without thinking twice. It is only because there were in Swamian terms Dhimmituded. According to Swami, Dhimmi is Muslim concept. He believes that according to Shariat, non believers should be treated as second class citizens and thus always suppressed. Here lies the fact, that it is his experience with the Hinduism while talking about Islam. It is the approach which had always been shown towards lower castes. So Swami applies same theory to Muslims in India.
Swami exceeds Schmitt, by justifying that Muslims who are ready and declare with pride that their ancestors were Hindus have the space in Hindu India. This is like Bush’s war on terrorism claiming to fight for humanity without having knowledge about humanity. Schmitt doesn’t believe in justification, and always believes in demarcated world of friend and foe. Swami wants to fight fundamentalism without knowing what fundamentalism is all about. He believes that 75% of Muslims in India are non problematic for the nation and can assimilated while it is only rest 25 % who concern him most and are troublesome. If these happen to be the arguments of a person whom you invite for exceptional programme, then obviously confrontation is mandatory.

ABVP, in HCU, despite knowing the fact took the challenge by inviting such a fickle personality. The students were just asking for apology in order to prevent such remarks being made inside the harmony ridden campus in future. The attitude shown by the ABVP was not only awkward but also historical. It was for the first time the seeds of communalism were sown and also defended. ABVP despite admitting the mistake went on defending Swami. Sukoon, which happens to be a cultural festival was used as a tool to enhance the seed of fanaticism, called Hindutva.