Wednesday, August 17th, 2022 17:13:22

The Teacher’s Day Emotions

By Ashok Pandey
Updated: September 8, 2020 10:51 am

Teacher’s day, September 5, conjures up many emotions in me. First, of course, I loved my teachers, and they loved me. Second, I became a teacher myself, and the teacher-taught relationship continues until today. This is a beautiful relationship, an opportunity to learn together, grow together and shine together. This relationship has no quarrels, no animosities. I often assert that the teacher’s love for her students is unconditional, non-discriminative and non-diminishing. Not many people have questioned my assertion.

But, the most profound emotion that impacts me always is for a very different reason altogether. Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan gave away the National Teacher’s Day award to my teacher Late Shri SK Yadav. The image of my teacher, mounting an elephant, decorated in art and glittering cloth is very vivid even after many decades later. He climbed the elephant. Loud sounds of dhol, nagara, jhal, all traditional musical instruments greeted him. He reached the railway station for his onward journey to Delhi, to receive the award. The image stuck with me as an inspiration, pride and aspiration. By his blessings and God’s grace, I was privileged to receive the same award by the hands of the President Shri Pranav Mukharji, whom the country lost recently. That’s the power of influence of a teacher. What more one can ask for in life than a wish fulfilled in such a historical manner?

Dr Radhakrishnan said, “Our opportunities are great, but let me warn you that when power strips ability, we will fall upon evil days. We should, therefore, develop competence and ability that will help us to utilize the opportunities open to us”. Teachers, therefore, should be the best minds. The job of an educator is born out of moral beliefs and ethical practices aligned with the fabric of India and societal sanctions. Teachers have a significant role to play in clearing the bottlenecks in the pipelines of India’s excellent progress.

The government of India recently announced the National education Policy 2020, rightly according to the teacher’s prime importance in achieving the national objectives. The teacher’s role in liberating the students from ignorance, in lifting them out of melancholy to joy and in wiping out anxieties to bring contentment is indisputable. The end product of education, Dr Radhakrishnan said, is to produce a free, creative person who can battle against historical circumstances and adversities of nature. This, in a nutshell, defines the purpose of education. The young men and women imbued with quality education should take upon themselves to fight the social inequalities, injustices and atrocities. Education has served its mandate.

But for that we need a long pipeline of prospective teachers energized to make a change. The success and sustainability of any society is a function of equity and excellence for everybody. Parentage, wealth and status in the community should not determine educational access. The teacher’s day is a day of gratitude, but it should also be a reminder that no child should be denied to have a teacher in her life.

 

By Ashok Pandey

(The author is a former teacher, Principal based in Delhi/NCR.)

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