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Happy Teachers Day

If education is central to progress, teachers cant remain peripheral to society. In


the ancient times in India, the Rishis( teacher scholars) taught students in their ashrams, wrote
philosophical treatises (scriptures) and advised the kings on state craft (Rajdharma), and
admonish in case of violation. The teachers were revered and the profession has a great and
honourable tradition, extending from the dawn of history until recent times. Intellectual
independence is a prerequisite to the proper fulfilment of the teachers roles, since it is his
business to instil knowledge and reasonableness into public discourse. In antiquity he
performed this function unhampered except by spasmodic interventions by tyrants or mobs. It
is also true that they were often punished for their subversive doctrines. Socrates was put to
death and Plato is said to have been put into prison. But than a teacher would be more
anxious to survive in his books than in the flesh. Teaching, to him, was a process which
transcended any formula and went on all times, and it could not be distinguished, in the final
analysis, from being taught. By the end of life he had become so wise that he was able to
learn from the young.

Significantly, the post-industrial society offers more than the wherewithal for a large secular
intelligentsia. The same affluence which permits extraordinary consumer indulgence
contributes to a liberal expression with regard to sexual, artistic and political by according it a
measure of openness, in which the faculty as a part of intellectual stratum have operated, and
the social needs they satisfy. The intellectual community, of which faculty are a part, is
inherently questioning and critical. Many writers such as Veblen, Schumpeter, and CP Snow
have pointed out that inherent in the obligation to create , to innovate, has been the tendency
to reject the status quo, to oppose the existing or the old as philistine, often inviting the
charge of radical and seditious social thought. .

But with the advent of the ideology of globalisation, liberalisation and privatisation the
teacher who had performed the functions of socialisation, innovation and applied researcher
has changed: any teacher in the post liberalisation world who allows himself to be inspired by
the ideals of his worthy predecessors is likely to be made sharply aware that it is not his job
to teach what he thinks fit, but to instil such beliefs and prejudices as are thought useful by
his employers or the powers that be. The intellectuals, including teachers, who were
unanimous in their distaste for business civilisation, are now required to endorse and promote
it. The Teacher has now been consigned to the dust bin. He has now been rechristened and
resurrected in his new avatar as service provider and his students clients. The Teacher is
dead. Long live the Service Provider.