KOCHI: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday said that the higher education sector should be independent and rooted in democratic values and the unrest in the higher education institutions across the country show that there is lack of these values. He said this while inaugurating the silver jubilee celebrations of Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit at Kalady. "Humanities and language get second-class treatment while the thrust of the Central education policy is on creating citizens who are suitable for market economy," Mr Vijayan said.
The Chief Minister also said that the number of Sanskrit scholars is dwindling. "The need of the hour is to translate Sanskrit works into Malayalam. There is a tendency among foreign scholars to understand the knowledge in Sanskrit and then present it here as their own. It is for the universities to correct this and ensure that it is our knowledge," he said. He also reminded the progressive forces that they need not reject Sanskrit language as a whole. "There is no need to identify Sanskrit with Brahminism. Vyasan and Valmiki, who wrote epics in Sanskrit, were not Brahmins. Sanskrit language and works are part of common culture and society and everyone has a right over it. If we denounce that knowledge then we will be promoting the interests of communalists," Mr Vijayan said.
He also said that universities should be stages to express and promote different opinions. Single stream will repress thoughts and imagination of youngsters. Such tendencies arose in Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, Film and Television Institute in Pune and Jadhavpur Univeristy in Kolakata. Kanahya Kumar and Rohit Vemula fought them. When religion interferes in knowledge realms, new thoughts won't sprout. The Chief Minister exhorted universities to augment quality of study and research. He also said that all teaching vacancies in the Sanskrit University will be filled soon. The Vice-Chancellor Dr Dharmaraj Adat said on the occasion that employees of the university will set apart a day's salary for victims of cyclone Ockhi. Roji M. John, MLA, former MP P. Rajeev, former vice-chancellors of the university R. Ramachandran Nair, Dr N.P. Unni, K.N. Panikkar, K.S. Radhakrishnan, J. Prasad and M.C. Dileep Kumar also attended the function.