Recently, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights recommended counselling for children participating in the anti-CAA, anti-NRC protests at Shaheen Bagh, Delhi, citing ‘mental trauma’ as a result of ‘rumours and miscommunication’. Not a very long distance from the popular general sentiment of ‘Politics is bad. Students’ duty is to study, not do politics’.
Where do we draw this squeaky clean line between study and politics? Is the choice of staying ‘out’ of politics for future citizens of a nation, a genuine choice at all? After all syllabi do not simply appear out of vacuum. Neither do popular comics openly based on myth-like childhoods of political leaders.
The question then is, can we continue teaching the social sciences from the textbook under the realities of time, syllabi and administration constraints when the winds around us are affecting and reshaping the very concepts whose precise definitions our students get marked on?
We’ve been compiling/curating (some of) the explosion of art that has come into the public domain in response to the socio-political changes that have sparked off a country-wide public discourse on citizenship and democracy through innovative forms of protest. Witty posters, biting references to a history being repeated, brutal groovy rap, digital illustrations of unforgettable verses, and so much more.
Can you use any of these to start conversations inside and outside your circles to talk about these issues? Tell us how it goes! Come across art you think belongs in this gallery? Share with us!