SRINAGAR, SEPTEMBER 05: In his Teachers’ Day Message, Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha has extended his greetings to the teaching fraternity of Jammu and Kashmir.
Following is the full text of the Lt Governor’s Teachers’ Day Message:
Dear Teachers, Students and Friends,
1. Accept my heartiest greetings on the occasion of Teachers Day. I especially wish to congratulate every teacher in schools, colleges and institutions of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Without you, the society cannot progress an inch on the path of the development.
2. Healthcare and education are the cornerstones of development. A society is judged by its achievements in these two sectors. A Community is considered great or otherwise depending upon its ability to provide health care and education to its most marginalized sections. The providers of healthcare, i.e, Doctors, hold a special status the world over. Our civilization places the providers of education, i.e, Teachers, even a step higher. We revere them as Guru, Acharya or Ustad. They do not merely teach a subject or skill, they guide their students and disciples in a way of life.
गुरुर्देवो महेश्वरः ।
तस्मै श्रीगुरवे नम: ॥
3. Sant Kabir Das placed the teacher even above God in his famous Doha:
“Guru Govind dono khade kaake lagu paaye, Balihari Guru aapno, Govind diyo bataye”
Sant Kabir says, he would first bow is to the Guru and not God, because it is the Guru who showed him the way to God.
4. “Those who educate children well are more to be honored than they who produce them; for these only gave them life, those the art of living well.”
This statement by Aristotle appropriately depicts that the Teacher occupies the most respectable place in society all over the world, who come forward to make the process of education conducive, meaningful and welfarist as per the demand of time and space so that it leads to all round development of the child. That is why our teachers, from primary school days or from college and University years, hold a special place in our hearts.
5. Let me share with you, on a personal note, that my father was a teacher. I am proud to be a Teacher’s son. I remember how his students, when visiting our home or while meeting in the street, would touch his feet and seek blessings. This, of course, is a unique feature of our land; a tradition we are proud of.
6. The whole world has been fighting the Coronavirus pandemic since the beginning of this year. We are immensely grateful to “COVID Warriors” for saving lives and for keeping the normal life going. When we talk of such warriors, however, we usually think of a range of professions on the frontlines and not teachers. But, I know that the teachers here and elsewhere in the world have worked hard so that students do not have to suffer from a gap in education. Amid movement restrictions and other difficulties due to COVID-19, they have continued to teach, with the help of technology. Female teachers, especially, have to juggle many roles in order to ensure that their students do not lag behind on their learning curve. I salute their dedication and commitment to this most honourable profession.
7. We celebrate Teachers’ Day on 5th September to mark the birth anniversary of one of our greatest leaders, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. It is said that when he became the second President of India and his well-wishers wanted to celebrate his birthday, he modestly replied that in spite of his birthday celebrations, it would be his privilege if the day is observed as Teacher’s Day. Dr. Radhakrishnan, as you know, was a world-renowned authority on Indian Philosophy and comparative religion. He taught in Mysore and Kolkata as well as at the University of Oxford and the University of Chicago. From an in-depth study of scriptures of Hinduism and treatises of western philosophy, he found irrefutable confirmation of his world view, which was ADVAIT VEDANTA, or non-duality. ADVAIT VEDANTA, of course, is in resonance with many other traditions, including some from Jammu and Kashmir. Exploring these parallels, Dr. Radhakrishnan was drawn to what is called Perennial Philosophy, which is a confluence of the wisdom of many civilizations.
8.Philosophers are often portrayed as having their heads in clouds, but Dr. Radhakrishnan was no ivory tower intellectual. As Vice-Chancellor ,he also thought of the need to build the foundation of a modern India with the help of Science and Technology.His initiatives in this regard changed countless lives, including mine.He writes in his book,’An Idealistic View of Life’-
“Philosophy is understanding, contemplation, insight, and a philosopher can find no rest until he gains a view or vision of the world of things and persons which will enable him to interpret the manifold experiences as expressive, in some sort, of a purpose.”
9. It was this idealist view of life that inspired him to contribute not only to the world of knowledge but also to society at large. He participated in public life before Independence, and also served the nation as its first Vice President and later as President. But his calling was primarily to teach and impart the age-old wisdom and inspire his students to contribute to nation-building. As a teacher, he was influenced, among others, by the Buddha who envisioned the role of the teacher as a catalyst. Dr. Radhakrishnan notes that the Buddha insisted that each one will learn the lesson for himself. He writes
“The mission of the teacher is to inspire the quest; it is for the pupil to discover the treasure”
10. Personally, I can say that my life is influenced by Dr. Radhakrishnan in a curious way. I studied Civil Engineering at the Institute of Technology of the Banaras Hindu University. Its ambience also inspired me to turn towards social and political activism while I was a student. It so happened that when the great founder of Banaras Hindu University, Madan Mohan Malaviya Ji was looking for a worthy successor, he thought of nobody other than Dr. Radhakrishnan. Dr. Radhakrishnan accepted the invitation and served as Vice-Chancellor of the Banaras Hindu University for a decade. It was during his term that the University founded the college of Technology. Later, it was merged with the IIT.
11. It has been a little over one year since our Union Territory embarked on a new mission, a new path of progress. The Union Government has put peace and prosperity of the people of this land on top priority. This is reflected in a large number of initiatives taken in the last one year. The road ahead is full of opportunities to realise the potential of this region. The coming generations will thank you for laying a new foundation for all-round development. At the risk of repeating myself, I would like to say that this journey cannot be made without teachers; teachers dedicated to the holistic growth of young minds, teachers dedicated to nurturing tomorrow’s Jammu and Kashmir.
12. In this endeavour, I wish you all the best. Once again I congratulate and thank all teachers for their noble mission.