you that there are no ‘extra-classes’—special lectures—expert
talks—and the like for the benefit of students? You
are terribly mistaken! We have these in plenty! Floods
The lesser the influence the louder the talk!!
History can give but a glimpse of the World—past and
present—the former to a greater degree than the latter!
Teachers in this branch of education can and do deliver
lucid lectures—but is that enough? No! Say some, in
the fond belief that they are making historical pronouncements.
“Students! You are here to study—remember that!” these
self-appointed instructors thunder forth; “You are the
future citizens—the architects of tomorrow—the wealth
in the nation’s womb—and you are not to dabble in matters
other than educational and certainly should refrain
from political activities in general, and pernicious
political activities in particular". All and sundry
are offering such a menu to the students.
Students ought to the disciplined—Parents and Teachers
alike are to take particular care in this respect is
the burden of the song of these sermonisers.
Beware of the Bacteria, says one!
Weed out the Virus, says another!
Root out the disease, says the third!
And all the while the students sit there with stoic
calmness—wondering perhaps, why these good men are wasting
their energy in fighting shadows and lamp posts as the
famous Don Quixote is said to have done!!
All these good men when they talk about discipline and
the like are thinking about the strange attitude shown
by the students today towards the Ruling Party. Unlike
Pandit Nehru who boldly confessed that the youths especially
the students are today far removed from the Congress—these
men scold the students in a roundabout way—and what
they mean when they tell the students to be disciplined
is only this—support us, rally around us, canvass votes
for us, become the Drummer-boys once more!! Afraid to
mouth such plain words, they beat about the bush, shed
a tear or two and say, "Ah! These are bad days!
Very bad days!"
Look at the lack of discipline in the student community!
These children, who ought to be sitting at the feet
of their masters, learning the rudiments of everything,
are today shouting slogans, marching in battalions.
They even demand political justice, redress of social
evils, economic emancipation etc!
"Are there not elders enough and are they not energetic
enough to demand Devikulam and Peermedu? Look at these
teenagers marching along with placards in their hands,
demanding these areas for the Tamils!
"Know we not that this State should be termed as
"These students parade before the public, just
for that. And did they succeed? No! How could they—when
grown-ups like ourselves have failed!! And when we are
able to bear this shame and ignominy, why not these
youngsters!!" thus they seem to argue.
None of these notables, would care to or dare talk about
such subjects as political morality, loyalty to principles,—certainly
they would not have taken the trouble of explaining
to the students, political terms such as Turn-coat—job
hunting—Careerism etc. etc
These men seem to think that such knowledge can be had
from anywhere—but not this one—Discipline—and it is
ordained, they think, that those in office should offer
this sermon—for who else can do that ? And what else
can these men in power do?
Make hay while the sun shines! And they are making heaps
Not only are these Hon’bles sermonising to the students
but also to the teachers!
“Your duty is to teach—in the class rooms and not to
poke your nose in politics!” —say they. And why? They
are told that members of the teaching profession are
beginning to show an unsympathetic attitude towards
those in power just because they find too much of cant
and hypocrisy there. Probably they 'because of the patriotic
fervour, think that the ruling party is heading towards
a crash, leading the country into a crisis! And because
they know, the history of the rise and fall of empires
and kingdoms of parties and personalities, they regret
that such a state of affairs exists here and now! And
how could they keep silent when symptoms are so clear?
So, they— some of them—do issue notes of warning—and
most of them have lost the warmth that they once had
for the ruling party.
“So it has come to that, hey!” mutter the bosses in
the ruling party—“and if that is so, here take this
and this and this” they add—and begin sermonising.
Many of those who are today the guiding men, in the
State and Central Governments, were in their student
days firebrands!! So they themselves say, when in a
reminicent mood! So-and-So was a student leader—organised
a College-wide Hartal—was debarred from attending the
exams—was expelled from the college—was engaged in issuing
cyclostyle copies of certain banned book—etc—etc.
Do we not hear stories of this sort—and were they not
sold to the public and the student community, as National
Do not mistake the calmness that you find on the face
of this Hon’ble minister; beneath that there are embers.
Ah! What a terror he was while in College—you don’t
know!—one hears such talks.
And certainly, it was because some of the teachers,
and students in greater number, evinced keen interest
in live political issues that the county was able to
mobilise, so much of energetic political acumen and
Deploring the state of education in the State, West
Bengal’s Chief Minister. Dr. Roy said that teachers
should teach instead of engaging themselves in politics!
Dr. B.C. Roy was himself once a part-time teacher of
Medicine!! The Chief Minister of Uttar pradesh, Dr.
Sampurnanand was a teacher-drafted on to polities later!!
And what about the Vice-President Dr. Radhakrishnan?
But, now, all of them offer the sermon— "Do not
take interest in polities"—and by that they mean—anti-Congress
But, the students as well as the scholars who coach
them up, can never remain stony and unsympathetic, when
all around them they find so much of bungling and mal—administration.
When noble principles are thrown to the winds and nefarious
deeds become the order of the day, when shibboleths
are put on the market for sale, and when stones are
given for those who beg for the bred, how can they remain
unconcerned and silent? Oh! No! It is an insult to the
student community itself—to expect them to remain calm,
when politics is being corrupted, policies are prostituted
and unscrupulous men bathe in the blood of the poor,
as it were.
Have not they been taught, when oppression assumes an
ugly shape, the intelligentsia cannot remain outside
the ring—allowing the people to be exploited and their
hopes extinguished? When hopes are belied, love turns
into hatred —and sweet was the hope that the Congress
as a national organisation gave to the people, especially
the youths—rosy the picture they painted about the future,
and now, on finding that roaring lions have become the
lap-dogs of imperialists and capitalists—the youths
and particularly the students are fed up with the regime,
and are raising their voice against the atrocities!
How can sermons make them turn a deaf ear, to the groans
of the poor and down-trodden! May be it is a minister
of state who is making the pronouncement— but of what
avail? When tyranny walks, naked and unabashed,the youths
of any country, unless they are Nazified cannot remain
idle and unconcerned. To falsify their hopes, to bungle
in the handling of the country’s affairs, to unleash
all the evils of a bad administration— and then to approach
the students with a sermon on order and discipline,
is to throw the babe out of the window, and scold it
when it screams!!
The louder the sermon, the lesser becomes its effect
—because the students find that this sermonising is
part of the game, in which those in power are engaged—to
get on the saddle, hold tightly the bridle and take
to the paths of pleasure and profit.
Dr. Mohamad Hatta, ex-Vice President of the Indonesian
Republic, is not sermonising like the Congress leaders
here and his address to the students last week, is sparkling
with truth—and we with pleasure, reproduce parts of
his scholarly address—not so much for the benefit of
the students, but for the benefit of those presons who
are on the pulpit to offer these unsalable sermons!!
We hasten to add that we are not against discipline—
nobody in his senses would advocate a lack of it—we
are against the art of discipline just to hoodwink the
public, and to screen away the dirty politics in which
dignitaries are involved.
There ought to be discipline and we with pleasure and
pardonable pride can say, that our students—of Tamil
Nadu especially—do not lack this virtue and in fact
they have even learnt to bear the burden which the elders
Asking them to be disciplined is calling them names,
and nothing short of it. But who knows not the reason
why these sermons are being loaded.
The youths—and particularly the students—refuse today
to munch whatever is given in the name of nationalism—they
are engaged in the delightful though difficult task
of defending democracy, in its purest and richest form.
And the students of Tamil Nadu, find today that there
is a special mission for them and they are one with
the D.M.K. in this mission
Sermons are the weakest of the weapons, in the armoury
of those who want to cut asunder the bond of friendship,
between the D.M.K. and the student community.
The louder the sermon, the bond of friendship and those
who sermonise will learn this bitter truth by and by.
Was it not Shakespeare who wrote.
“The patient dies while the physician sleeps;
The orphan pines while the oppression feeds;
Justice is feasting while the widow weeps;
Avarice is sporting while infection breeds.”
“And sermons are heard while sacrilege is reared” he
might have added.
But, the poet was not as unfortunate as we are—he was
dead and gone, before such despots arose.