Need of hour is long term solution
After a gap of few months, the issue of non-payment of salaries to teacher working
under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan(SSA) keeps on surfacing in the local media. The Arunachal
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Teachers’ Association (AASSATA) today claimed that SSA teachers
have not been paid salaries since October last year. AASSATA has threatened to launch
democratic movement if their pending salary is not released at the earliest. This
is really appalling to hear considering the fact that in September last year itself
state government took the decision to release state matching share under SSA.
At that time Arunachal government had released Rs 28.93 crore as the state's share
against various centrally sponsored schemes (CSS) under health and education sector.
This includes Rs 2363.80 lakh under SSA, Rs 343.21 lakh under RMSA, Rs. 124.00 lakh
under NRHM, Rs 42.75 lakh under RUSA and Rs 19.10 lakh under AYUSH. This should have
taken care of the salary issue. State government is well aware of the problems being
faced by the SSA teachers. The non-release of salary on time is great injustice to
the teaching community. In many schools especially in the interior areas, it is SSA
teachers who are running the schools. If the teachers are not paid on time, they
will definitely get demoralized. This will affect their teaching ability and harm
the future of young students. State government should find a lasting solution to
this issue. Whenever AASSATA threatens of agitation, government somehow finds a
short term solution and after that forgets about it. They should avoid this tactic
and get serious about solving the salary issue which has been bogging SSA teachers
Deluge of casteism
The “educated” Indians who gloat over Hyderabad’s “modernity” by citing its luxury
shopping malls, multiplexes and IT Sector; the “nationalist” Indians who zealously
beat the trumpet of India’s “elitism” by advertising the “conquer” of Mars orbit
should hang their “proud” heads in shame by witnessing the tragic suicide of the
innocent Rohith Vemula — another victim of the philistine caste system grandly flourishing
in this “great” country since centuries! After all casteism is one of the “greatest”
“glorious tradition” of India! We should never forsake our roots and legacy!
Apart from the amending the definition of “progress” which gets wrongly equated with
launch of satellites, clicking of selfies or construction of high-end apartment complex
for the super-rich; the society should also try to appreciate the real significance
of education. Mere earning of degree does not necessarily make a person educated.
And one can also become truly educated without completing school education, attending
college or pursuing higher education. There exist innumerable “educated” persons
in the society who are racist, casteist, communal and intolerant to the utmost, get
engaged in “honour” killings, regard the fairer sex as “inferior” to the menfolk
or superstitious. The think-tank of all terrorist organizations consist of “educated”
persons possessing respectable degrees from prestigious institutions.
In all reputed engineering, medical and management institutions of the country (that
includes IITs, IIMs, AIIMS); along with the “best” brains who are the “future” of
this country, even professors and readers taunt the poor students who belong to certain
castes or tribes and go all-out to humiliate them and indirectly leading them to
take the extreme step of committing suicide. In this pathetic context, what better
can be expected from the students who get “guided” by their teachers!
Thus the tragic end of Vemula, though highly unfortunate, arrives hardly as a surprise.
Less said about the philistine mentality of ragging among the “jewels” of the student
community the better! On the other hand many “uneducated” and illiterate are learned
enough to regard the whole human race as one by rising over narrow boundaries of
race religion caste or colour, reside at the furthest distance from communalism or
pledge to donate their bodies after death for medical cause. That person is truly
educated who value human rights, remain humble and courteous, know the difference
between right and wrong and also practically practice it in daily life. This is the
very reason why many degree-holders used to seek advice of a certain degree-less
Ramakrishna Paramahansa or follow the philosophical path of another certificate-less
Mere earning of university degree;career-based education hardly serves the moral
fabric of the society or enlightens one’s mindset and viewpoint because it can often
be earned by merely memorizing the answers of the questions as suggested by the professor
or tutor and “inspires” the students to become successful professionals so as to
make loads of money by hook or by crook. None other than the casteism professed by
the “highly educated” teachers and “bright” students itself is proof enough that
just bagging of university degree is neither the path of enlightenment nor the be-all
and end-all of life.
And last but not the least. The zealous cry of “My India is Great”(that too in the
“national language” — the status of which is recognized neither by the Constitution
nor the judiciary!) will not automatically transform the country to a “Mahaan” nation.
The “patriotic” Indians, who constantly utter the shrill rhetoric of India’s “liberal”
credentials and “glory” and accuse the Australians of being “racist” following any
assault on a person in Sydney/Melbourne who co-incidentally happens to be an Indian,
should at first look inwards and engage in a bit of introspection.
With the deluge of casteism, communalism and regionalism plaguing throughout the
length and breadth of this “modern” country; Indians undoubtedly nurture one of the
largest racist societies in the world. It is high time all the culprits, who dare
to practice casteism directly/indirectly through words or deeds, should be awarded
exemplary punishment so that others do not dare to indulge in it. The Who’s Who of
the country’s education sphere should necessarily provide stress to value-based
learning in schools immediately so that education attains its real significance
ie the enlightenment of the dark Indian mindset and the ultimate truth of equality
of humanity gets permanently embedded in the psyche of the students who form the
future of the nation.
Animal rights and the hypocrites
Continuous abuse of animals in religious and cultural festivals has been a topic
seriously debated in the media in recent days. The discussion got warmer as Jallikattu
of Tamilnadu has been stopped by the Apex Court citing sadistic human enjoyment involved
in it. Up to some extend it is true and we need to check the impact of such practices
in a changing world. In fact animals should also enjoy equal living rights on the
planet as that of human beings. Therefore, the topic discussed in the Readers’ Forum
(January 19) on “Continuous animal abuse for cultural and religious practices” needs
to be stretched further.
Since from time immemorial, animals have been a part of the civilization of the humankind.
There has been no dispute with regard to this. Man had used animals in his farming
works. He discovered how to plough and variety of animals became instrumental in
it. As the days of civilization changed with changing times, animals were partners
in his warfare. They became active in wars and the depictions of such wars are plenty
in epics. Thousands of them were brutally killed in the Warfield. The human races
have always dominated animals and (mis)used them for their socioeconomic welfare.
Therefore, the animal kingdom has always been associated with man’s social life.
India has always been a country which considered animals with great respect and also
worshipped them. The pictures of gods and goddesses leave behind this great message
of greater coexistence with animals. Animals such as elephant, snake, bull, cow,
eagle, rat etc can be seen in those pictures. Even temples dedicated to rats, bulls,
snakes and spiders can be seen in India.
It seems the writer is totally unaware of the devotional aspects of festivals like
Jallikattu. It is not only a fun filled thrilling game but it also has certain devotional
element in it. The bull involved in the game is devotedly worshipped, well fed and
decorated before it is brought to the field. It is just a sporting event in which
no brutality is involved.
It seems the writer is totally unaware of the use of animals in temple festivals
and rituals in South India. I suggest him to visit any South Indian temple where
animals are used and see if any brutality is done on them. Elephants are used to
carry the symbol of the presiding deity of the temple all over the area in a devoted
manner and the animal is also worshipped with great reverence. But outcries against
brutality on animals have never been heard anywhere when animals are butchered to
decorate the dining tables. Again, we become seasonal hypocrites and shed crocodile
tears. But who will help those animals from reaching the dining tables in the form
of chopped and fried delicacies. Vegetarianism is a topic often seriously discussed
about, but millions of animals and birds are killed every day to satisfy the human
tongue. It is a fact that we have temples and there are religious practices in which
animals are still sacrificed. But we should stop preaching holistic social living
while the governments allocate licenses for new butcher shops.
Engaging animals in South Indian temples especially in Kerala is not at all superstitious.
The world famous Trissur Pooram in Kerala, where a large number of elephants are
decorated and brought for a procession is always seen with great adoration. The famous
Guruvayoor Krishna Temple feeds more than seventy elephants in its campus. The elephants
are very well taken care of by the temple management with great socio-religious importance.
Millions of animals are killed during different religious festivals across the country
by the followers of different religions. But animal sacrifice in temples has totally
been banned in South Indian states, especially in Kerala. We need to discuss about
animal rights but why we shy away from the realities. Brutality in the name of taste,
festivals or religion all must be stopped. But it cannot be one-sided.
Feed the tigers on time
This is in response to the article ‘Tourism value estimated for biological park’
published in your news daily.
I’m very glad to know that over 70000 tourists visited the Biological Park, Itanagar
during 2014-15 and about 24 lakhs earned as revenue. But my question is that, were
the 70000 tourists satisfied after visiting the Biological Park? May be the answer
Two weeks back, I’ve visited the zoo with two of my friends, one from Gujarat and
other from Andhra Pradesh.
There we saw the tigers and they were very thin.
After watching the tiger, one of my friends asked me whether the tigers were fed.
And I asked the same question to one of the guards. But his answer was hard to agree
So, my request is to the concern authorities are that please look into this matter
seriously and feed the animals nicely and timely so that they are healthy.
Tana P Tagru