On Teachers’ Day in Manipur editorial
This is in response to Wangkheimayum Bhupendra Singh's article titled "Modi and his Teachers' day in Manipur" (September 6).
Was the speech, addressed to the school students, meant only for the Hindi-speaking children of Bihar to Rajasthan? Or does it imply that to live in India, one will have to speak and understand Hindi? How can the students of a multi-lingual hetreogeneous democratic country be addressed only in the language of a particular linguistic group? It is indeed a matter of utmost shame that the language, which has not been recognised as the "National Language" by the Constitution as well as by the High Court of Gujarat, is being brutally imposed on South-West-East-North East India. What a brilliant specimen of "opening the closed mind" through display of utter disregard to the linguistic sentiments of 60% of the Indian population!
Instead of forcing the students to attend school on a Holiday to hear the speech in the evening hours; the upcoming generation of the country would have been better served if they had been ensured proper educational infrastructure. In wide parts of India, hapless parents are failing to provide basic education to their children due to acute poverty or lack of adequate number of schools in concerned localities. Innumerable students, specially girls, are quitting studies just due to absence of toilets in the premises. Again lack of proper buildings, water and teachers also pose a grave threat to primary education in remote and rural areas. Due to such adversities, countless young children, who are nothing but future of this very nation, are being deprived of education; thereby fragmenting the very foundation of the country. Can a country indeed progress or qualify to be called "modern" if the innocent little souls get deprived of their basic right of being educated and their immense potential get mercilessly nipped in the bud?
Thus the concerned authorities should award due attention towards the much-neglected basic primary education which has simply bypassed the students of poor and rural background. It must be remembered that just like the urban students hailing from rich and middle-class families, the not-so-fortunate folks are also indispensable part of this very nation only and neither Constitutionally nor morally can the little Gods be deprived of their basic right to get educated. Let the noble concept of 'Free and Compulsory Education' for all be promoted from theory and rhetoric to practical reality. India must earn rightful place in committee of nations by ensuring equal rights, honour and dignity to each and every citizen of the country, thereby achieving all-round development of the society as a whole.