Fine for Modi to do Masters at 33, Anandiben Patel’s son PhD at 46 but not Kanhaiya doing PhD at 29


Roshan Shah

As per media reports, Professor Subodh Malakar, Kanhaiya Kumar’s PhD supervisor has been getting many hate mails.

“But I am not disturbed over such hate mails and abusive messages. I feel proud of my brilliant student, who has made me proud. Kanhaiya has become the victim of the greater conspiracy of the RSS and BJP,” says Malakar, who himself comes from a landless family of Bihar’s Khagaria district. Malakar belongs to ‘panchpania’ caste (mali).

Many have even taken a dig on Kanhaiya Kumar’s presence on JNU campus at the age of 29. Kanhaiya Kumar is a student who completed his M.Phil in 2013 on Senegal and is currently pursuing PhD with his subject being the Post Apartheid South Africa.

Many may not know that the Ph.D stands for ‘Doctor of Philosophy’ and it is in general a broader term not necessarily related to subject ‘Philosophy’.

It is the highest academic degree awarded by universities. To get a Ph.D degree one must come up with original idea and do extensive research on the same under supervision of subject matter expert. There is no age limit when one can do Ph.D.

Kanhaiya Kumar, a month ago, was just an obscure student from poor family trying to finish his Ph.D. He also has a view point and affinity towards a particular ideology like many others do on university campuses up and down the country.

BJP, Congress, AAP, JDU, SP and other political parties too have their own ideologies. In Kanhaiya’s case, he is a student of the JNU.

One questions that’s been raised time and again is that how he could still study in JNU at the age of 29?

I would like to ask the same critics to kindly look at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s affidavit.

Modi, as per his affidavit, did his Bachelors at age of 28 and Masters at age of 33. Both of these are unverified and RTI activists have failed to get any reply on his education credentials.

Even the PMO once had removed Narendra Modi’s degree from their website some time after the AAP leader Jitendra Tomar’s arrest.

Whoever is questioning Kanhaiya’s decision to continue with his study even at 29 must first see the requirements to do Ph.D.

Nothing else should matter if the students has complied with the necessary requirements and he/she is attending his/her classes. That is all that matters. And if they still need food for thought, have them figure out how Anandiben Patel’s son Swetank Patel g0t his Ph.D degree at age of 46 and this too without going to college full time.

Roshan Shah is an Ahmedabad-based activist. The views expressed here the author’s own and doesn’t subscribe to them.

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