Academic Excellence and St. Stephen’s College: A response by Thane Richard

KAFILA - 10 years of a common journey

This is a guest post byTHANE RICHARD

I recently read an article in Kafila – more like an angry, reflective rant – written by some students from St. Stephen’s College in Delhi.  To quickly summarize, the piece criticized the draconian views of the Principal of St. Stephen’s College regarding curfews on women’s dormitories and his stymying of his students’ democratic ideals of discussion, protest, and open criticism.  More broadly, though, the article’s writers seemed to be speaking about the larger stagnant institution of Indian higher education, overseen by a class of rigid administrators represented by this sexist and bigoted Principal, as described by the students.  The students’ frustration was palpable in the text and their story felt to me like a perfect example of what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object.  Except Indian students are not an unstoppable force.  Not even close.

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