Sita does not go to school. This pithy, axiomatic sentence – perhaps born out of someone’s smart idea that the British title Educating Rita could be profitably nativized – is a common refrain in India, often resorted to by experts who throw dismal statistics at the self-obsessed chattering classes in India as a shock tactic.
Well, despite their sustained exertions, it has taken India’s executive and chief legislature six decades of independence to make free education for school-going children the law. The ball, first set rolling by a Supreme Court ruling that elementary education must be made a fundamental right, took 16 years to reach the goal.
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