Every individual starts life with certain capabilities to survive in the world. There being cut-throat competition, the individual faces hurdles in finding his/her rightful place. The author intends to dwell upon how talent has been curbed in a couple of instance so that it serves as a lesson for what should not be done. Few examples have been drawn on to make us think.
Annapurna Devi is a renowned Sitar player who had to give up her career because her husband- the accomplished world famous Pandit Ravi Shankar did not like her getting more applause from audience than him. She is on record having said- "Panditji (Shankar) was not happy, as I received more appreciation than he did from both the audience and the critics whenever we performed together in the 1950s". She had to choose saving her marriage over a successful career in Music.
What a loss to music lovers ! Her agony was further compounded by the fact that her marriage crumbled because of indiscretions of Pandit Ravi Shankar. Both Annapurna and Ravi Shankar were disciple of Annapurna’s father, the legendary sarod maestro Allauddin.
Now of 88 years she has opened her pain to the world. Among her disciples are Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, Pandit Nityanand Haldipur, Ustad Aashish Khan, Pandit Basant Kabra, Pandit Pradeep Barot and Pandit Suresh Vyas.
Many of Allauddin's students, whose lessons remained incomplete following his death, had no one to look up to but Annapurna. Following the death of her father, Annapurna completed his unfinished task by giving lessons to his students ,who included Ustad Bahadur Khan, Ustad Aashish Khan and Pandit Nikhil Banerjee.
Pandit Ravi Shankar did a great dis-service to music lovers by curbing his wife’s talent.
The story of Dronacharya, Eklavya and Arjun from Mahabharat is well known in India. In short- Eklavya approached legendary teacher Dronacharya for lessons in warfare. Dronacharya refused to give lessons to Eklavya. Thereafter Eklavya made a clay image of Dronacharya and practised in front of this image. At a later stage upon learning of Eklavya’s expertise, Guru Dronacharya asked for his right thumb as Gurudakshina (wages for a teacher given by the disciple). He did this to protect his favourite Arjun- so that no one could beat Arjun.
Dronacharya exhibited favouritism by nipping in the bud any competitor for Arjuna.
Every year in India we celebrate Teacher’s day. Dronacharya is a classic example of what a teacher should not be.
This is a classic example of talent being curbed in a deliberate manner.
Dedication of Teachers
Mr Azim Premji , famous businessman and Chancellor of Azim Premji University has recently remarked that 20 % of the teachers are not sincere. One hopes this opinion is based on some study and not some unverified premise of business community to which Mr Premji belongs.
Yes, the teachers have had their problems. Till fifteen years back, school teachers were not well paid. That has improved now.
Education is a serious business and determines a nation’s future. The politicians should not be allowed to play with it. Recently we had a case of a son conferring Doctorate on his father. Yes, Chief Minister of UP Mr Akhilesh Yadav gave a Doctorate to his father Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav !
My humble submission- careful thought should go into the whole process of education.
Yes, teachers have a very important role, but they cannot take their position for granted.
Deliberate or systemic curbing of merit results in national loss like what is called brain drain. Our country can ill afford this loss,