Taken for Granted

Earlier last month, there was a request made by freshies in my college about a mathematics test being postponed by a week so that it doesn’t fall right after the diwali hols. It was scheduled on Monday following the diwali weekend. Even before the request letter signed by freshies read the mathematics department, the authorities turned the request down (as far as I have been informed). In my opinion, the request was quite a legitimate one. After all, diwali is the most celebrated and biggest festival in the country. If students want to have a good time, I don’t understand their problem. I’m sure that no American or English Universities schedule their tests right after Christmas. The holiday season is what it is supposed to be – Holidays. What is annoying is the fact that it is the same authorities who complain about brain drain later at a different occasion. How the hell can’t such a simple request be fulfilled? If the “brain” is not even allowed to enjoy what rest of country takes for granted, you can’t blame them for trying to get out of this place.It is not an isolated incident that I am complaining about. We have had Industrial Design test to write on Gandhi Jayanthi. We have been forced to write Engineering Drawing Exams right after sweating it out on Fitting Workshop for four hours. There was one lab in which the in-charge wouldn’t let us switch on the fan or open the windows (it was close to 40oC) because it would affect our readings. None of us could see how though, it was a completely enclosed system.

There are always those Profs who demand respect rather than command it. Somehow the “Indian culture” put a teacher on a pedestal. From what elders have told me, “They ought to be respected, no questions asked.” Such a respect is not advised to any other profession. That leaves a little wonder why there isn’t any dignity of labour in our country. A ‘level’ of a cobbler, for instance, will remain low forever because no one ever asks anyone to respect them. But a teacher, oh no, they have to be respected. I may be grossly wrong here, but from what I see, over the ages Brahmins have been teachers and are always respected simply because they are teachers. After thousand of years, we cannot wonder how the whole social (caste) hierarchy came into existence. We are not taught to respect anyone on how well they do their job but on what they do, no matter how miserable they perform their job. Why isn’t it clear to some teachers that students are going to respect them provided they teach well, and not just because they are teachers?

Over my stay in school, every year I have seen some teachers who tried be “forgiving” to students on their birthdays. They tell them, “I am letting you go because it’s your birthday, otherwise ….” Come on! It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the birthday is effectively ruined. Thankfully, I have never been at the receiving end of this, but some of my friends were. Let me not get started on beating (read physical torture) that some of the teachers in my school were “famous” for. Also, every one of us would have been victim of imposition sometime or the other during elementary schooling.

My friends have their exams in Bangalore starting the day after Christmas. Perhaps, the authorities find Christmas and New Year parties against Indian Culture. Whatever the reason, these people (like Mathematics dept.) have forfeited their right to talk against brain-drain as such people are driving cause for brain-drain to begin with.

And yes, before I forget, lemme tell you that Pizza and other delivery people cannot come into our campus. It is not that they cause nuisance in the campus, there are tones of other vehicles coming in and going out everyday but because it’s a residential zone. There is a gate through which the bikes don’t have go through the residential zone, and can reach all the hostels. But even that is a big deal for authorities here to allow them to come in. This issue, hopefully, will be resolved soon.

Please note that I am not saying many teacher, Profs and authorities are that way. In fact, I respect, in the true sense of the word, almost all teacher who have taught me, not out of compulsion but because they do a good job. There are those few who, unfortunately, make life difficult for us when all it takes is a little effort to make it simpler. And I don’t respect such people no matter what their profession is.

To end on a positive note, our Mathematics Prof had absolutely no problem in postponing the test for a week. All it took was an oral request. 🙂

9 Replies to “Taken for Granted”

  1. I had once planned a mass exam bunk. I think it was in third sem. Unfortunately, not everyone was too keen on doing it.

  2. I seriously fail to understand one thing. How can having exams after holidays lead to brain drain?
    Do u mean to say that if a law were to be passed to ensure that no exams were conducted immediately after holidays, brain drain would stop? You being in IIT, should be knowing better. Brain drain is happening because there are no good PG institutes in India, not because students feel revenge towards India for scheduling exams just after holidays.

  3. @ deepak – there seems to be a misunderstanding here.. plz read the post again

    @comment

    this system where one is supposed to respect a person just because he holds a certain office is ridiculous. this is seen throughout our society not just in the education system. remember that old guy on the bus. he was a complete jackass but he expected us to respect him because he was older than us[ref – the elbow bumping incident]. if someone wants the others to respect him, then he has to earn it. it cannot be just given to him. also people in the position of power tend to abuse it, but not much can be done about it [ref – rkk the SOB]. this has been going on for quite a while in our society and changing it will require a lot of effort.

    Maro

  4. @deepak

    i am not saying having exams after hols leads to brain drain, there are million other factors to it. If anyone whats to keep the students in the country, he has to keep them happy too. when all it takes is being a bit more polite, i dont understand their problem.

    one major factor why people dont come back to india is corruption and that senirors take you for granted. who would want to come back if he is being bullied around. i am speaking of a larger picture here. these things leave a bad taste. if such incidents dont happen, more people would consider coming back.

    @ashish
    not everyone thinks like you 😉

    @maro
    yup, its not just teacher who demand it. its the entire society.

  5. Yes,I agree with you that we have no dignity of labour.It does not matter how much one earns by doing the job the importance of the job has to be recognised and no one must be thought of as small bcos of what he does.But I am still convinced that teaching is not just another profession.When a 5yr old goes to school I don’t see anything wrong in telling him to respect ur teacher.If we does not respect his teacher how will he learn from him?I heard that the Dean does not allow outside food bcos it is not hygenic,he has no probs with Minar though :-).By the way why did u have to drag this Indian culture into all this?? I am sure having a quiz after Diwali does not do any good to Indian culture.I am sure they have’nt put exams on the day after christmas to safeguard our culrure.I think u sub-conciusly wanted to give “such” people a bashing :-).But here it is out of context.

    S.Manohar

  6. @manohar

    i’m not taking about 5-7 year old children. i am talking about those teacher and prof who demand respect when a student is old enough figure out himself.

    If we does not respect his teacher how will he learn from him?
    actually, when you dont learn anything from him, you dont respect them 😛 its the other way round.

    and i never used “protecting indian culture” anywhere neither did i mean that. i just wanted to say it is sad that authoritites take sadistic pleasure ruining christmas and diwali hols. “indian culture” was in the contest of some people assuming respect to be shown to them no matter what. Not many other cultures have the concept to teachers being supirior to Gods.

  7. wen u put someone on a pedestal u gotta be sure that that person deserves it. else u will end up with a situation where a bunch of morons are up there and all of them demand respect. this should be avoided. the only way to avoid this is by constantly questioning the reason as to why the guy is up there [analogous to process control, if u will – keep checking and reviewing]. blindly placing a person in a position of power esp. as a teacher of 5 yr olds[ the age at which they are the most susceptible to external influence] is risky. you have to be sure that they deserve the position. it does not mean that u ask the children to question their teacher, [cause at that point they wont be capable of doing it] but you have to do it.

    maro

  8. A slightly late comment, but never late then never. This funda about giving respect to a person becasue of his position is good. Some positions show that that person has put some amount of fight to get there. So by default, your first impression must be to respect that. Whether you respect the person or not, comes only after you get to know him. The respect is for the position. He may not deserve the place, but give him a chance to prove himself. For any prof, I do respect him initially, and then depending on how the prof is, my impression of him changes.

  9. sigh! Reminds me of a prof who insisted we stand up every time he entered the class.

    That was the last day I attended the class and was rewarded with a pretty well rounded “U”.

    I guess education really succeeds in the mass production of standard issue adult specimens.

    I guess most of us settle into a uthao aur lagao formula and, I quote from The Alchemy of Desire here, Each time you see a senior you should lift your kurta from the back and bend over. uthao aur lagao. lift and take. And each time you saw a junior you should lift your kurta from the front and go for it. uthao aur lagao. lift and take.

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