I received a call from Sumanjee . We were colleagues in the department of Botany of DAV College, Siwan. It is about twenty three years ago that I retired. Sumanjee followed me nearly ten years later. I learnt from him that presently there is no teacher in our department Similar is the fate of several other departments and colleges of the university.
I am restless since then. A feeling of disillusionment has gripped me. I knew that things are not as they should have been. Still I was shocked at this information, because it was juxtaposed with knowledge from newsmedia that Bihar government is estabilishing three new universities in the state even though there is paucity of teachers. I am struggling to understand the rationale of this model of development.
I am thrown in a nostalgic state of mind. Department oThe department was permitted to start M.Sc. teaching in the year 1984 with the rider that it has to be undertaken within the existing resources. Extra grants for teachers, laboratory, and library would not be made available. We were excited. It was an honour. It was a challenge as well as a lifetime opportunity. We grabbed the opportunity. Coincidently my personal conflicts did not disturb me effectively. I could devote myself. Now looking back I find that for me it was a liberating experience in true sense. I learnt that I did not know the subject I taught. It was such a compensatory opportunity. I learnt and shared my information with students in the class eagerly. They were responsive. Every class became a joyfilled experience. We talked of feedback. We talked of mean, mode and average. I learnt that life and living have different dimensions. I earned a vision; the vision that enabled Arjuna to see cosmos in Shree Krishna’s mouth. I was nowassured within myself that I command acceptance of my students.
During that period I chanced to visit a close relative, who was a student at the school of Life Sciences in JNU. We visited a laboratory of the department in late evening where experiments were in progress. It was a thrilling experience. Students were working with instruments that I had seen as pictures only in books. And I was a teacher of P.G. students! A deception is being played with students at Siwan and other places of equivalent status. They would get the same degrees, though they would be hollow, without content. They would not be equal to them.
Today Sumanjee’s call revived the old simmering wound. I made a call to Ravindra. He is also a retired teacher of our college. Prior to that he was our student. Ravindra is a senior member and office bearer of RSS besides being an active and enlightened retired teacher. He too was very much concerned. He told me that many more departments in our college and other colleges too are eithe without teacher or understaffed. He further added that Vice Chancellor has authoriised the principals of the colleges to appoint retired teachers on conditions. I could not be satisfied. Knowledge is accumulating at a very fast rate. These can be conveyed to students only by fresh minds, and not by retired indifferent ones. Therefore posts of teachers must be filled regularly on a prority basis. I impressed upon Ravindra the relevance of an awareness movement in the state. It appears like a conspiracy that number of universities is increasing regularly while access of students to teachers, library, laboratory, books and instruments is denied. Community keeps on groping in darkness to find answers to its problems