At the time when the world is sending their felicitations and best wishes to Indian star cricketer Virat
Kohli and actress Anushka Sharma on tying their knot in Italy we have an unpleasant story in this part of
the world. Yes, Tariq Ahmad Bhat and Sumaiya Bashir from Arigam in Tral township of Pulwama district
in South Kashmir who both were working as teachers in a private school in Pampore area were sacked
on the day of their wedding. The school principal called both the teachers on their wedding day and
instead conveying them his greetings shocked them with the verbal termination from their jobs.
Their marriage celebration turned into sadness. They were trying to figure out what went wrong. What
made their school principal to dismiss them from their jobs on the day they were expecting of receiving
wishes and blessings from their friends and colleagues. They were in deep shock and sorrow on the day
which is supposed to be the happiest day of anyone’s life. “You cannot imagine how it impacted our
marriage. My mother fainted and the celebrations turned into mourning,” said Tariq.
Tariq Ahmad Bhat who was in complete depression and melancholy went to school a few days later
after his marriage to know why he and his newly-wed bride were sacked from the school. To his utter
surprise he was told that he had sent a wrong message to 2000 students and 200 staff members of the
school by executing a love marriage. He was terminated on the charges that he was in romantic
relationship with Sumaiya before getting married.
As per Tariq, he had got engaged with Sumaiya six months before and the whole school administration
knew about it. Even his wife Sumaiya had hosted a party for his colleagues then. Sumaiya was working in
girls’ wing and Tariq in boys’ wing of the school. The two wings are in separate buildings, and their
teachers and students have no way to interact . If according to school administration they were in
romantic relationship then why didn’t they fired them then and there. Why they waited till the day of
Islam has laid a great emphasis on marriage. Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) has said that among all the
events, the event of Nikkah is the best time and its is my Sunnat (religious obligation) which everyone
should oblige. There is one more tradition which says that anyone who enters into a wedlock protects
his faith (Imaan). Marriage is legal whichever way you look at it and both Tariq and Sumaiya have done
no crime if they tied their knot as per the Islamic traditions and rule of the land.
At the time when heinous crimes are happening at the alarming pace and moral ethics have remained in
books only, a wedlock even if it has happened on the personal choice of the couple is far better than to
elope with the gangster. Even Hazrat Khajida tul Kubra (S.A.) who was the richest women of her time
and was known as ‘Malikatul Arab’ the Queen of Arabia after getting highly impressed with the intellect
and honesty of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) sent marriage proposal to him which he accepted; their
marriage was solemnized by Prophet Mohammed’s guardian uncle Hazrat Abu Talib (A.S.), who read the
marriage sermon and exchanged vows as jurist.
I am not approving an illicit relationship before marriage but Islam has given us every right to marry as
per our liking in accordance with the teachings of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and Holy Quran. Tariq
and Sumaiya are residents of same village so their families might be knowing each other which would
have translated into their marriage. So in all circumstances Tariq and Sumaiya did nothing unlawful
which could have prompted the school authorities to discontinue their services which they were
rendering since many years with dedication and sincerity.
Dear Principal, Tariq was in your school since last five years. He left no stone unturned to perform his
professional duties during that time. If we accept your argument that he was in romantic relationship
then why didn’t you took notice of it at the time of his engagement six months ago. Is it because you
wanted to grab their winter months salaries by sacking them during winter vacations?
Let me share my experience with you. I have worked as teacher in a private school in Srinagar for few
months. It was a great experience to learn the various facets of teaching. I was quite enjoying it until one
day the chairman of the school launched a surgical strike on the teaching staff. In a single day he sacked
10-15 teachers who were there since many years. Everyone was shocked and outraged. They were
crying bitterly along with their favourite students. I was quite perturbed. I tried to probe how he could
have done it with the diligent and hard working staff of the school. Then I came to know it was all
executed to recruit new staff at low pay scale. This is how we treat our nation builders.
We all know private school teachers burn midnight oil to impart quality education to their students and
they deliver in best possible way. Their results speak high all the time. Even government appointed
teachers sent their wards to private institutes keeping in view the top performances fetched by private
schools in present times. But its very tragic that despite doing a great service to the nation they are
mistreated and paid below par.
Private school teachers are paid meagre salaries albeit the school authorities get exorbitant fees from
the parents. Even if a teacher spends large part of his life teaching in private school, there is no job
security. The school administration can terminate him or her as and when they desire. No one can
confront them as there is no mechanism in place for the welfare of private school teachers.
Govt needs to step up and take necessary steps for the prosperity and wellbeing of private school
teachers so that nation builders don’t suffer the ill treatment and humiliation anymore.
–Theauthor is a freelance writer and can be reached at [email protected]