'Guru Devo Bhava' is a Sanskrit verse used by Indians which demonstrates the nobility of teaching profession and the reverence given to teachers in India. A teacher takes a hand, opens a mind, touches a heart and shapes the future and hence we consider them equal to God. As per statistics teacher's day is celebrated over 86 countries but on different calendar dates. In India, we celebrate teacher's day on September fifth which falls on the birth date of Sri Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, who was the second president of India and a great academic philosopher. But unlike other years, 2014 teacher's day celebrations were more significant in news due to the government circular renaming the day as 'Guru Utsav'.
The chaos created by this new initiative has to be analyzed from two different perspectives, before we arrive on any conclusion. Major political organizations from Tamil Nadu protested against this new reform in a strong voice. They considered it as a trespassing to the native language and culture. These parties ensured that all celebrations of the day were carried out as Teacher's day and not in any other name. As we get into the root cause, we can see that this whole reaction to the circular originated from a fear that the Central Government is trying to forcefully impose Aryan Languages over other state languages. The change suggested was to rename the word 'Teachers day', which is a foreign language and 'Guru Utsav' is a Sanskrit word, a language that serves as origin for many of the Dravidian languages including Tamil. Hence the thought here will be the Central Government has to clarify the renaming of a word or rather it should try to eradicate the fear of forceful cultural interference rising among Indians.
All reforms and initiatives at national level has to be put before the members of the parliament houses prior to the implementation, especially when the change has a scope of hurting the sentiments of any group in India. Such a scrutiny ensures that, elected representatives of the people from all states become a vital part of the governance. Also its gives an opportunity for the government to rule out the possibilities of unnecessary panics and protests created among the masses.
When we analyze the developments happened on 2014 teacher's day celebrations, it is clearly visible that the government failed to ensure participation of people in the new reform and the people failed to understand the change in a wider perspective. Our country faces a large number of issues in educational sector, which has to be resolved on top priority. Every year a large number of our students opt to study abroad, to pursue their dreams. This alarming trend is a clear indication of the inadequate research and higher educational facilities in India. When our human resources are highly rated all over the world for their efficiency and intelligence, India is also getting popular for outdated educational pattern and lack of quality education. Majority of the Indian universities are facing understaff crisis. We don't have enough teachers and professors to cover all major departments and primary education system. Recent analyses reveled that a large division of our teaching fraternity belongs to the 'guest category'. Numerous and tedious procedures for appointment of teachers and inadequate training facilities for teaching staff contributed to the understaff crisis.
In rural India, primary education with basic quality is a distant dream. Infrastructure issues, poor sanitation and non-availability of teachers will be a great challenge before the government. The brand new India, pictured by Indian prime minister in his Independence Day speech will be realized after resolving this major crisis. Ruling parties of all Indian states has to focus their energy and attention in achieving this national goal.
The conclusion is, renaming teacher's day as 'Guru Utsav' will not change anything, or it will address any problem faced by our students and teachers. Identifying the real challenges of our beloved teaching professionals and working together to resolve the issue will add value and meaning to the teacher's day celebrations.