Friday, 29 May 2020

Missing The Essential Teacher

Updated: March 23, 2013 11:37 am

The national Capital Delhi is now the crime capital of the world. The news of the kidnapped siblings, whose mutilated bodies were found near Pragati Maidan on February 27, was another shock. Manseej (7) and Yashvi (5), were kidnapped from their school in East Delhi’s Mandawali and then brutally butchered. Their bodies were thrown in a desolate spot near the Pragati Maidan Metro station. As usual, the Police was initially clueless, but the gruesome nature of the crime stirred them from their somnolence and the accused were soon nabbed. When the modus operandi was revealed, it was a horrific account of a meaningless crime which is a portrayal of the mindset of the youth today. The accused Amit Singh (22), Shivam Gupta (19), and Pankaj Kashyap (19) and Abhishek who is still absconding, hatched a plot to kidnap the children for extracting ransom.

It was not just another homicide; it was the killing of innocence, trust, faith and belief. The two children had trusted their abductors, expecting to be taken home, to their smiles and hugs of their parents. What they got instead must have been the cruelty of these young men, even their fear and endearments must have had no effect on these monsters. No one, even God cannot convince us why the innocent are punished. Akhir, bachche dil ke sache hote hain. The monster uncles, one of whom is still free, must have been inhuman to commit this heartless deed.

The age of the accused kidnappers suggests the hardheartedness and unfeelingness that has besotted the modern youth of India. This is a sad reminder of the upbringing and societal collapse afflicting the nation. This cannot be seen as an isolated case, the sheer cold-bloodedness of the recent crimes that have been committed against the two vulnerable classes, i.e. the children and women, is a grim reminder of the uneffectiveness of the laws and its enforcement and the need for judicial reforms. The chase for a materialistic mirage, of earning big and easy money, the lure for life on the fast track, are all eroding the basic tenets of Indian society.

Sadly, Chacha Nehru, who is the national icon for children, is not around. He would have shed tears on knowing of the inhuman crimes that are being committed against them. The Congress, which is governing in Delhi and the Centre, should take note of the rising trend. The nation should stop celebrating Children’s Day, till it completely checks rapes and murders of school children. Every day we come to know of students who have been raped and molested by their teachers. This is a pan-Indian phenomenon, from the elite schools to the municipal schools, the Kanya ashrams in tribal areas of Odisha to the juvenile delinquent homes across the country.

In higher education, the professors are exploiting the girl students by demanding favours of the sexual kind. There have been cases where teachers have married their students, breaking age-old traditional and sacred bond of the guru-shiksakh parampara. Strangely, these cases have been accepted and in some cases even glorified.

The moral police amongst us are missing and a threatening phase is clearly in sight. Aping western culture, modern parents want their young boys to earn money at a voting age of 18, because they have spent huge amount on their education. Actions that hasten us to our goal are considered noble and good, while actions that deter us are considered sinful. According to Vedanta, this is the primary question, after answering which the questions of right and wrong resolve themselves into larger vision. The choice is yours, whether we need a rich, tech-savvy western society or a Prabudha Bharat (intellect India), where every young mind is enlightened for a Developed Bharat.

Post the Delhi gang-rape in 2012, we saw a spontaneous rising against lawlessness in our country. The moot point is that we need to follow our old and traditional moral laws, which are perhaps the single most important set of laws, which will bring harmony. It is disharmony that disturbs the conscience, setting up violent reactions in the mind of the seeker. In our Upanishads, we find declarations that self-knowledge is denied to one who has not first turned away from wickedness, who is not tranquil and subdued, and whose mind is not at peace. So, we should ensure that each one of us should practise the fundamental values that are capable of making man healthier to face the world outside, even if riddled with endless tragedies.

The fundamental principles of all the religions are one and same, though the language and the emphasis are different. Our great ancestors and religious masters have always used ingenious efforts and have revived the philosophical and religious values, which effectively put a check on the deterioration of Indian culture. Now, because of the increase in cultural pollution, there is a marked increase in barbarity and immorality in our country and its philosophy is misinterpreted, leading to utter confusion and chaos. The time has come to rethink about strengthening our education system, and one should follow Swami Vivekananda, who pointed out: “It is only when we have restored our sunken millions to human dignity and worth that we can claim to be men; till then we shall have to treat ourselves as candidate to that high estate.” He gave emphasis on education, and also on religion, as the training to equip us to claim and to realise that high estate.

Deepak Kumar Rath

Deepak Kumar Rath

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