So close, yet…

PhDs of India
3 min readOct 10, 2021

“After finishing my M.Phil in 1989, I was given the opportunity to continue teaching in the same college as a professor. However, there was always a still voice within me that kept pushing me to go further and get a PhD. It so happened that a couple of years later, I got a fellowship from ICSSR that allowed me to pursue one. Not only that, under this fellowship, I had the chance of getting my doctorate and then resuming my teaching. This provided me with job security and was a fruitful scenario for me as well as for my college. Everybody was happy with me getting this coveted fellowship because during those days, we did not have many professors who had a doctoral degree.

I got married while doing my PhD which meant additional personal responsibilities. Although I had a very supportive family, it felt a little overwhelming for me. I decided that the best course of action would be to take a break from my PhD while figuring out my personal life. My college reassured me that I could continue my work as soon as I was ready to come back.

In the meantime, my husband got transferred to Kerala and I decided to resume my work in one of the Universities there. I qualified for the entrance exam there and when I spoke to the people about my research proposal, they seemed to be excited to have me work there.

My field of study was looking at the influence of Marxist ideologies in various educational institutions. The topic was controversial given the political scenario back then and during one of the interviews, when I was asked if I were influenced by any political party, I made it abundantly clear that even if my research topic was political, I was keen to maintain my independence in the kind of work I did. This did not bode well with them. Personally, I was never fully convinced of the Marxist ideology. The entire idea of every revolution being borne out of blood and sacrifice of the radicals was a little extremist for my taste. What followed then was a series of incidents that made me believe that I wouldn’t be able to pursue a PhD there.

I sought permission to complete my PhD in my previous institute; I just had to collect some empirical data to support my statements and write my thesis. My permission was granted, I was close to my retirement age and I thought I could finally defend my thesis there. But things turned worse.

PhDs of India

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