Teacher’s Day 2021: How has the teacher-disciple relationship changed with the changing times?

Teacher’s Day Special, Exclusive: India is an unmatched land of Guru-Shishya tradition. From ancient times till now, the Guru-disciples have set many examples here. However, there has been a lot of change in the society and culture then and now. It certainly has had an impact on the relationship between the guru and the disciples as well. Talking to News18 on how much has changed in the relationship between Guru and disciple, former Delhi University professor Rajendra Gautam said, ‘I started teaching in 1974. Since then there has been a lot of change in the spirit of the relationship between the Guru and the disciple. However, this does not mean that today there is a famine of good teachers and disciples. Even today the situation is more or less the same as it was before. Yes, in today’s time, education is career-oriented. Selfishness has become supreme in personal life. Today, a student is not developing through his contemplation, but his personality shines through his career. In today’s time, parents also have the same hope that their child should earn employment-oriented education.

‘Earlier there was a wrong practice of beating’
Professor Rajendra Gautam says, ‘Another big difference between then and now was that then parents completely handed over their children to the teachers. Today’s environment is the opposite. Even if children get a little scolding, the parents themselves become aggressive against the teachers. However, earlier there was a very wrong practice of beating. In this practice, many teachers used to behave cruelly with the students, but it should not be that the teachers should give full freedom to the students to be arrogant. In fact it is so today. Today any teacher can only see the arrogance or deformity of the students, cannot say anything to them.’

Disobedience towards teachers has increased
Professor Gautam says that today the disobedience towards teachers has increased. The reason for this is the deviation from both sides. Subjectiveness has become the main goal in a materialistic society. The feeling of disobedience is not only towards the teachers but also within the family. He says, ‘Disobedience even among loved ones has come down to a very low level. On the other hand, teachers are also responsible for this. I have never faced any problem of disobedience in my 42 years of teaching work.

Internet reduced the importance of teachers
Professor Gautam said that sometimes the teacher is considered irrelevant. A different kind of feeling arises in the mind of the student. The Internet has also made this work worse. If what students read through the Internet does not match with what the teacher says, then they understand that the teacher is not aware of it. He said, ‘I am telling an interesting example of this. Once a student from Poland came to study in my university. He had to introduce his classmate. He said my friend is such. Its length is two verses. However, it was not her fault in this. Actually, he had searched the Hindi equivalent of meter from the Internet, in which there was also a synonym of meter.

The purpose for which Teacher’s Day is celebrated, can it be fulfilled?

Professor Gautam says that Teacher’s Day should be a reminder, in which we can review ourselves. It should not be celebrated just for greetings. We need to learn from the ideal of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. Then there is the benefit of celebrating this day.

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