Thursday, 12 January 2012

We don’t need no education!!

Today is a very important day, not only for me, not only for the “me-too” intellectual Bengalis, but for the entire world. Today, 12th January 2012, is the birth day of one of the greatest ambassadors of global peace, humanity and social justice – Swami Vivekananda (aka: Narendranath Dutta, before taking sainthood). On 12th January 1863, this great soul had arrived with an unparalleled vision, knowledge and wisdom and at a very young age of just 39 years, left this mortal world.

I would have gone on to write a lot more about Swamiji, but not today; maybe, some other day. But before I proceed with the context of today’s post, I want my students, friends and every other person, who follow my blog to internalize the following quote by Swamiji: We are responsible for what we are, and whatever we wish ourselves to be, we have the power to make ourselves. If what we are now has been the result of our own past actions, it certainly follows that whatever we wish to be in future can be produced by our present actions; so we have to know how to act.

Today I am ferocious with anger, with disgust, with hatred. Today I feel ashamed and embarrassed to call myself a teacher, a guide, a mentor. Today, I feel that my service to this society is of no use. You may wonder why I write all these. It’s all because I feel that teachers have lost all the respect that they once had, in the eyes of the students. One need not go far in citing examples, although thousands of them can be traced from all across the world – but the last place that one would have found this would have been the intellectual capital of IndiaBengal.

Over the past few months, rather days, there have been back to back incidents of college principals, teachers and other academic staffs in Bengal being ‘gheraoed’, man-handled and even ‘slapped.’ All these, for some petty demands put across by the students, which the management or the authorities have justifiably denied. The Minister of Education, Sri Bratya Basu, supposedly among the new breed of Bengali intellectuals nurtured by the current state Chief Minister, has been quoted in the largest selling Bengali daily as, “These are small little incidents by young kids” – giving away a message to the real young kids, those who attend school in the 10th or 12th standard to go and slap the maths teacher in class, if he feels the teacher has not given him marks as per his expectations or whatever. Kudos, sir!!
If only I could have quoted Mark Antony -
I come to bury a teacher, not praise him;
The evil that students do lives after them,

Honorable Minister of Education
(West Bengal) - Sri Bratya Basu
The good is oft interred with their bones
So let it be with Education... 
The noble Bratya  Hath told you teacher was a puppet in his hands:  
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,  
And grievously hath the teachers answered it ... 
Here, under leave of Bratya and the students,   
(For Bratya is an honourable man;  
So are they all; all honourable men)    
The Left, true to all claims, from the media to the neo-intellectuals, had started the decay in the educational system. There have been unjustified appointments and even complete power was vested in the student unions at the different colleges and institutions, But, one can hardly recall such ‘regular and intensive media coverage’ provided to such horrific issues like man-handling or physical abuse of teachers and principals by students. More importantly, what makes me (and probably many others) sit up and take a note is that, one of the biggest media groups of the country and by far the largest in Bengal, which had played a pivotal role in the success of the present political regime to acquire power and overthrow the left, has not left no stone unturned in condemning the issue. I personally congratulate the newspaper to highlight these news, that would have otherwise been broomed under the sheets, had it not the conviction of what is right and what is wrong.
Principal of Rampurhat College collapses
after being detained by students for
over 2 hours
Another interesting thing worth noticing is that, referring back to the same Bengali daily (dt. 12th Jan 2012), the right hand bottom section of the cover page of this newspaper is an advertisement of the current government’s recent industrial achievements, with a body caption – West Bengal in Top Gear!!! And in the same page at the top reads the headline – “Students threaten aggressively, Principal faints”. Who are the drivers of a country’s future – rather a society’s future? The generations of young minds who are ignited to think and nurtured to act purposefully. And from where do we get these young generations? Of course from the schools, the colleges and other institutions of higher education – that is, they are the students, who are trained to make a better future. And do we believe these students are capable of achieving this? Need I speak more?

Hon'ble Chief Minister of West Bengal
She has her agenda very clear!!!
When Rome was burning, Nero, the Emperor, was busy playing the violin. As Bengal burns under the prejudices of a fast decaying academic system (thanks to moral support provided by the Minister of Education), the Chief Minister is busy creating network to increase her networth. What the Gandhi family achieved in over 4 decades, she needs to achieve within the next 4.5 years… so, forget about rules, regulations, education, healthcare, policing, time is too short and a lot need to be achieved and gained. By garlanding a picture of Rabindranath Tagore or Swami Vivekanada or spending time with a bunch of nincompoops, who pose to be the flagbearers of Bengali intelligentsia, you do not achieve anything finally. Yes, of course at the cost of other things, the family members (brothers and now nephew – Abhishek) would soon have a lot to usurp.

Before I end, I would once again reiterate what I started with, the quote by Swamiji - We are responsible for what we are, and whatever we wish ourselves to be, we have the power to make ourselves. If what we are now has been the result of our own past actions, it certainly follows that whatever we wish to be in future can be produced by our present actions; so we have to know how to act.

1 comment:

JD@Myopic Visionary said...

Yes sir, you are absolutely right in your views. I would thank you for sharing your valuable opinion on the recent development.
We are so called intellectual Bengali used to claim, "What Bengal thinks today, India thinks tomorrow". It sounds like funny in recent time. Our intellectual property is be driven by immature political leaders. I feel bad because the way our CM defines to rule such an intellectual group of people. I afraid how long the bongs will be confined with the blind circle. When Gujratis make sure to go through the book written by Swami Vivekananda in schools & colleges, Bengal CM declares the holiday on the 150th Birthday to pay respect towards him. The man who believes "Karmojog', bengalis did enjoy the day dream being asleep without doing nothing......