Reading Marilynne Robinson as reply to T Mohandas Pai’s argument against JNU
GN Bureau | March 9, 2016
T Mohandas Pai, a respectable corporate leader, represents a wider audience when he targets JNU students and their misguided idealism for misusing taxpayers’ money.
Then, of course, there is another viewpoint, many have highlighted the vacuity of Pai’s arguments on social media and elsewhere. Furthering this debate – on using “taxpayers’ money”, here is a fresh essay from Pulitzer-winning author and teacher Marilynne Robinson. Since even president Obama too recently turned to her for some wisdom, we too can benefit from her views on the same matter:
Click here for the essay published in the Harper’s magazine.
Here are some points relevant to the Indian debate:
* There has been a fundamental shift in American consciousness. The Citizen has become the Taxpayer. In consequence of this shift, public assets have become public burdens. These personae, Citizen and Taxpayer, are both the creations of political rhetoric. (It now requires an unusual degree of historical awareness to know that both politics and rhetoric were once honorable things.)
* It can be said, however, that whenever the Taxpayer is invoked as the protagonist in the public drama, a stalwart defender of his own, and a past and potential martyr to a culture of dependency and governmental overreach, we need not look for generosity, imagination, wit, poetry, or eloquence. We certainly need not look for the humanism Tocqueville saw as the moving force behind democracy.
* The Citizen had a country, a community, children and grandchildren, even — a word we no longer hear — posterity. The Taxpayer has a 401(k).
* From the perspective of many today, the great public universities (and many of them are very great) are like beached vessels of unknown origin and intention, decked out preposterously with relics and treasures that are ripe for looting, insofar as they would find a market, or condemned to neglect and decay, insofar as their cash value is not obvious to the most stringent calculation.
After Chandigarh, Puducherry and Dadra & Nagar Haveli, the government is now looking at subsidy transfer scheme for Public Distribution System (PDS) in Ranchi through a pilot project. But, there is a crucial difference between the Ranchi project and the initiative alrea
Much before the National Investigating Agency (NIA) had arrested seven Hurriyat leaders on Sunday in connection with the funding of terror activities in Kashmir, the agency had unearthed a racket involving undervaluation of the goods coming from the Pakistan occupied Kashmir for trade in Jammu and Kashmir
“The key to India’s success is its diversity,” said Ram Nath Kovind after being sworn-in as president at the Central Hall of parliament on Tuesday. “Our diversity is the core that makes us so unique. In this land we find a mix of states and regions,
The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has signed an agreement with Uttarakhand government and Uttarakhand Civil Aviation Development Authority (UCADA) to develop the civil aviation sector in the state. The agreement is aimed to identify relevant factors influencing the deve
Union minister of state for power, coal, new and renewable energy and mines, Piyush Goyal was present at the signing of power purchase agreements (PPAs) for purchase of 1050 MW of wind power under the ministry of new and renewable energy’s (MNRE) first wind auction scheme.
Government projects typically suffer from time overrun and cost overrun. There appears to be no project management discipline, and extension of time and escalation of cost rarely attract the kind of serious attention they should. There is no system of fixation of accountability for these substantial deviat