A Proud Teacher

Editor,

Apropos the news report captioned “Teachers Day” (ST September 8, 2018), as a concerned teacher, I am shocked to read that the profession of teaching is degraded by someone who has forgotten he was once educated by a teacher.  To state that teaching is a profession that lacks the attributes of nobility, is something that I will always be at variance with. I also fail to understand what the Education Minister means when he says, “teachers are teachers by default and not by choice” and thereby teachers become teachers on failing to get any other job.  Well, I am sure that senseless statement has rooted up anger in his educators; the ones that had taught him to be a rational citizen in this world we live in. I would like to correct the perception here by saying that a teacher is not an ordinary person. Teaching is the noblest among all professions since all professionals have been taught by one or other teacher. I am of the opinion that teaching is a ‘call’. It’s a noble call. Not just a job or a profession. Teachers manage a lot of disparate personalities all under one roof. They maximise the best in people to bring out their greatest strength. They selflessly give their time and energy to care, guide and prepare the next generation of other skilled professionals like doctors, engineers, legislators, lawyers and many more. They are not fulfilling just a duty but a ‘moral duty’ of providing an art of living as well.  Yet under the greatest of challenges and obstacles that teachers face, it’s disheartening to learn that there are still some others that overlook the dedication and commitment they exhibit everyday.

To also say that students of high calibre would never prefer to be teachers is foolish, ridiculous and imprudent! Sir, you would have not made this statement if you remember that there were great people in our country who were also teachers. Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, Dr Radhakrishnan, Swami Vivekananda were some of the finest teachers who made India great and have left evergreen marks in the field of education.  Mark Twain, Albert Einstein, Michelle Obama were the greatest teachers, lecturers and professors in world history.

 There is nothing quite like being a teacher. Even with all the ‘ups and downs’, there is one thing I can clearly state at the end of the day, “I am a teacher and I am proud.” I am proud to have colleagues who inspire me to be a better teacher. I am proud to get to come alongside parents knowing they trust me with their most precious and valuable gift.  I am proud to be in a position where at times I am a mentor for those who need it.  I am proud to be on this journey with my fellow teachers because together we have the priceless opportunity to impact, influence and inspire the future of our world.

 Yours etc,

Phidari Kharlukhi,

Via email

 

Congress revival needs vibrant faces

 Editor,

Sometimes we wonder what makes a leader speak so pejoratively about the country. Still more confusing is that the same leader is projected by the Congress Party as being the fittest in the country to be the prime minister. This time from foreign soil, Germany, Rahul Gandhi has spoken out his mind. With gay abandon he claimed the lack of employment is the cause behind the rise of ISIS. If we analyze such statements meticulously we see that the unprecedented danger looming large for this country is not because of its citizens or indeed its enemies but because of its irresponsible leaders.

Is it not shocking that we tolerate a bunch of leaders all through who, with impunity, trample upon prudence speak with such rashness? Ridiculous ranting is what Rahul Gandhi is good at. How many immature gaffes has he committed in the last one year? One finds it sickening to see Congress party followers defending what Rahul utters every now and again. But then to his party’s sycophants, his each word spoken is worth its weight in gold! Can we assess the damage to the Indian polity when a leader projected as the potential prime minister goes to the extent of connecting youth unemployment with the creation of ISIS? What message does it send out? Will such ideas not “viciously affect” the thought processes of the youth? One wonders how the Constitution allows our political leaders to spew out such dangerous rhetoric which endangers national security. Despite such heights of stupidity, Rahul Gandhi is seems to earn more admirers then critics.

Does this point to the fact that one man’s loss of sense should also transfer to other intellectuals? Or do we love an “individual” from a particular family/ dynasty more than our country? On what ground is an individual more worthy of respect than the country and its constitutional ethos? This is in fact a very ominous trend which this country is witnessing now. True, our Indian polity needs a strong opposition. People do not disagree at all that Congress should play the role of Opposition as this party alone can match its rival the BJP. Sadly, the party has failed to evolve into a robust Opposition and comes down a few rungs each time Rahul Gandhi goes ballistic.

 The party with so few MPs has not yet “acknowledged” that its decline now is because it continues to sing a hymn to one family only. The “conscious” Congress party leaders should get down to brass tacks assess the people’s opinion. They all have been deeply disillusioned by the dynastic politics. This family had sidelined a very learned and seasoned leader, Pranab Mukherjee and later reduced him to a rubber stamp. Are Sachin Pilot, Ashok Gehlot, Jyotiraditya, Scindia, Priya Dutt, less Indian? If BJP can groom Kiren Rijiju why can’t Congress groom the astute leaders of the northeast like Gaurav Gogoi or Vincent Pala or Mukul Sangma? No exaggeration, Sachin Pilot could diplomatically handle the political situation and articulate the party policies far more maturely than the entire Gandhi family put together. Enough is enough. People now anxiously await the REVIVAL of Congress with “vibrant faces,” because we need a strong opposition in the country for a healthy democracy. But its wrong to be the puppets of a dynasty and this will spell doom for this great nation. PM Modi rightly says that service to the country is far more important than service to a family.

Yours etc.,

Salil Gewali,

 Shillong -2