03 August, 2021

St Stephen's: Murder In The Cathedral?

Narrow religiosity is contorting the grand ethos of a capital college

Tribhuvan Tiwari
St Stephen's: Murder In The Cathedral?
Somewhere in India, there is a virtual graveyard of once great educational institutions destroyed by the petty vanities of men. The corpses it contains come from all over the country, and bear identities that are secular as well as denominational. Among the residents of this kabristan are the Isabella Thoburn College, Lucknow; Elphinstone College, Mumbai; Queen Mary's College, Chennai; Presidency College, Calcutta; Patna College; the Aligarh Muslim University; and the Banaras Hindu University.

The keeper of this graveyard might soon receive a new body, whose name (and fame) dwarfs all the others. This is St Stephen's College, Delhi. That the applicant has been ailing has been known for some time. Hope lingered that its illness might be reversed. However, news has just come in that the college authorities plan to inject a poison that would, in effect, kill off the patient. When that happens, the corpse would command the largest tombstone in what is already a well-populated graveyard.

St Stephen's College was founded in 1881 by a band...

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