Amidst the glitter of swanky fashion accessories, toned up accents and an attitude that can set ice on fire, there is something dangerous that has also embraced the student fraternity. Nitin Pahuja explores…

As the new academic sessions start in most colleges of the country, it is time to revisit the relationship between a student and a teacher especially at interaction platforms beyond the school. Aspirations find a platform for expression as the young join these wonderful institutions that have shaped the life of millions. The happy stories of the fantastic college days of almost everyone you know, raises expectations significantly. Straight out of school, it’s the first date with independence that one would like to truly explore.  Right from the liberty of bunking classes and exploring the jazzy markets to the delight of that first day first show movie at the cost of an important but boring seminar, you want to explore it all and do that quickly. Another very important aspect of the change for the students is the relationship with the teachers. It is time to bid goodbye to those dominating teachers of the school and get ready for revenge with the Professors who embrace adjectives like “boring”, “khadoos”, “Chipkuu” more often than not in the campus conversations. Is it just the vindication of a student’s attitude or the ugly reflection of the inherent value system that we as a generation have imbibed? It is time for some introspection.

We represent a civilization that has shown the path of evolution to the world. It is a thing to be proud off at one level however it is just a matter of chance that we do that. We are a lot different than our ancestors and our value system is probably a complete contrast to that of our ancient ethos. Amongst the several casualties that this change has claimed the teacher –student relationship stands in the front row. If you find casualty as an exaggeration, you just need to type ‘Professor Sabharwal murder case’ on google search and you would not take much time realizing the propriety of the expression. Professor Sabharwal’s case is not the only case in point however stands out as the primary testament to the decadence of the relationship between a teacher and a student. As it is evident by prime-a-facie evidence, Professor Sabharwal was murdered by a group of hooligans who needed to commit such a heinous act in order to get heard. Those intellectually deprived souls led by a notorious middle aged man called Vimal Tomar tried to express their freedom by physically assaulting the Professor that led to his death.

While the Mahrashtra court acquitted these losers of all charges, it expressed its great disappointment on the inability of the prosecution to follow the case properly. The court ruling is a glaring statement on the ability of the rich and the powerful to commit the most heinous of crimes and get away. What stands out as a discomforting fact is the lack of courage that we as a society have. The case found many key witnesses turning hostile possibly under pressure of the political clout of the accused. Such cowardly acts should push us to introspect that are we truly the society that can lead a nation like India which is tipped to lead the world into the future. Are we good enough to leverage the demographic dividend that the whole world believes gives us a competitive advantage as the future unravels its mystery? The quest to answer these questions is painful and probably shameful given the compromises that we make in our daily lives on account of avoiding troubles. Troublesome is the ease with which we get ready to compromise on our ethics and values in order to get that short term zing.

While there is no doubt in the fact that students are not the only culprits as far as the state of the matter is concerned and that teaching has transformed into a profession that goes well beyond its ancient definition of mentoring. Teachers have also been accused and found guilty of misconduct especially with their female students. Cases of punitive corporal punishments, incapacitating children both physically and mentally have often been discussed as the primary reason for frustration that builds up in the mind of a student against his/her teachers. With education taking the shape of a full fledged business financial exploitation of students has also dented the credibility and trust of this relationship significantly and it is time that the teacher fraternity realizes that while modern methodology is the key to comprehensive development of the pupil, but it is the ancient ethos and dedication that can help us salvage some respect for this wonderful relation.

Lets not end on a note that says ‘hope’, end it on the thought that ‘we will’ salvage what is ours since eternity. Let us introspect and change all that can help resurrection this bond of knowledge, respect and empowerment.

Leave a Reply