I’m two days late in posting on Teacher’s day. These two days were spent in shock. Well, usually, it would not be unusual to expect something of this nature from petty politics that imitates the utterly useless theatrics of Indian Soaps more than Indian families do. Yet, I was quite surprised that our nation can politicize even a day that honors, as Dr. Radhakrishnan said, “some of the best minds of the country.”
To be nameless or be named
Shameless will never be ashamed
As their grapevine’s political noose
Tightens around important news
It is difficult to be proud of a nation, that, on a day where it should be celebrating the unsung heroes of the nation, is busy arguing on the nuances of a name change. All God have various names, each symbol has a multiple connotations, every religion has different interpretations and a child often has shortened derivatives of his name. And you are rebelling against a simple name change?
It is difficult to be proud of a nation, that, on a day where it should be working on reviving the honor in being a teacher, is busy perpetuating hypocrisy. When Independence day can be called Swantantra Divas and Republic day Gantantra Divas, why is it a problem when Teacher’s Day is dubbed Guru Utsav? Why do we not see any hard-core, political, territorial linguist argue whether or not the government is imposing Sanskrit on all States or that Sanskrit influenced all Indian languages? In fact, what is wrong in translating a name to a language that belongs to our country and has a long, rich and proud heritage from one that was ‘imposed’ by those who colonized us?
It is difficult to be proud of a nation, that, on a day where it should focus on improving the quality and accessibility of education, is busy creating a controversy regarding something as trivial as a ‘name change’. Yes, India has increased its focus on education in the past years. It is trying to spread the awareness among masses regarding the long-term individual and national importance of education. But, when we look at the bigger picture, we see our failings too – the lack of access in many rural areas, the deplorable quality of infrastructure, the persisting child labor and the degradation of respect in the teaching career. In fact, while the schools strive to make teachers feel unburdened and special on this day, what does the government do to? It looks at the littlest picture and decides to politicize it by changing the name; though it would have been harmless had it not become an instrument for the opposition to protest and capitalize on.
But then, I’ve decided to be the bigger person and let go of this mockery, and do the best I can; pay an honest heartfelt tribute to all my teachers throughout my school, and now my university, life:
There is a hunger in our bellies and a thirst in our throats
Every time that you fill ‘em up, a burning emptiness bloats
And you, like those hardened warriors, stand tall and proud;
Custodians of knowledge; you shine like a beacon in the crowd
Heartily we salute your struggle to mold the future generation
Educating the youth comes not without its trials and tribulations
Ruing every deadline we are wont to curse and cry, but later
Savoring every moment with you we wonder how time flies by
Dear mentors, dear siblings, dear friends – you are all in one,
Articulating your desire that with wide eyes we’d run; run, run and run,
Yes, through a world where we’d make your pride burn bright like the sun