By Bobo Khuraijam
Good that the ordeal is over. The strike called by our esteemed Oja(s) has finally come to an end. Though not in full, a large chunk of their demands is agreed to be
fulfilled. Hats off to our teachers! They have proved of what united struggle is all about. We are indeed proud of them. Truly, we have no words left in our barren
faculty to describe the spirit of their movement and the grandeur of their triumph. What an example they have set. We are afraid if our sincere words are taken for
flattery. God forbid that. We are also on familiar terms with the fact that there have been numerous instances of movements which are worth recalling from the pages of
history. The recent movement is deemed fit to be engraved as one, for posterity sake. And may we also add, this could be not only for posterity but for the present
times as well. The strike could be called a low key affair if one looks it from a slightly different angle. Mindless cynics would take it as just another spark of
protest from a miniscule section of employees. Well, it may be a low key affair if one measures it with the yardstick of ‘street intensity’. By ‘street intensity’ we
mean the conventional protest on the street; a few tyres burned, a few wind shields broken, a few rounds of tear gas and mock bombs; and at times section one hundred
and forty-four and ultimately curfew. Yes, we definitely agree that protest in the street has all together got a different denotation, as far as pressing demand
against authority with thick skin is concern. Would it not be like asking for a Hip-Hop dance from a classical Khamba-Thoibi jagoi performance if we expect street
aggression from our teachers? Two, the protest may be a spark from a section of government employees. But at the same time we at the Leipung would assert that the
voice of protest is from a very different kind. They are none other than our respected Oja who rocks the cradle of our civilization. Their cause is the cause of the
civilization. Three cheers to them. Besides, here are a few things, we hope, our Oja would kindly stand up- Stand up together in the same spirit and energy which they
have exhibited recently.
AT THE ENTRY: let us start from the entry. We believe that our oja(s), the government employed ones, who are drawing, and going to draw a good amount of salary much
more times than their counterparts in the private schools will stand up on one vital aspect. As we are convinced from your recent show of intellect and exuberance, the
conviction you stand by, the prowess of your reasoning, the strength of your uprightness, that you all have become teachers by your choice. It is not that you landed
into the profession of teaching by mistake while looking for any available government job. It is apparent that you have not got the job by wanom-chaknom. We are sure
you have not made anyone richer by a few thousands or lakhs in the course of getting your job. To maintain the sanctity of your profession and for the sake of the
pupils, we hope, you will stand against all forms of manipulations and mendaciousness at the time of recruiting ‘teaching employees’ by the authorities. Your vigil
will thwart the kind of elements which could defile the noble profession. Being a conscience keeper, we hope, you would unquestionably stand against it. To be lucid,
we expect to hear your voice of sanity vis-à-vis the recent drama of primary teachers’ recruitment. Though it has become a clownish affair, we long to hear from you.
We know, you would hate to degrade your own clan.
FOR EXTRA MILE: people tend to choose vehicle brands. Millions of rupees are spent on research and ultimately for advertisement by car companies. The kind of
endorsement screams smoothly to our senses. That we should buy this or that car for they give better mileage or better fuel efficiency. Some of them even sing a
benevolent tune of eco-friendliness. They try to educate us on things we have already known. But at the end of the day, their annual turn over is their solitary
concern. We hope, our teachers would not venture into such commercial adventurism. Like their counterparts in the private sector they would not indulge into apple
polishing of oneself. Some over-indulgent road side hoarding of private educational institutes are a crude example. They scream to our consciousness with a caring
face. We assume, you would not open educational clinic to earn extra income. Till date we haven’t seen any government employed teacher opening tuition shops. If any of
that kind sprouts up, we hope, the band of our teachers would stop it. This would prevent students, especially from lower income families, into becoming a mere
consumer of paid education. Is it true that some of our teachers have become contractors? The gossip mongers have reported to us. We understand that most of the
government educational institutions, leaving a few, have become a haunted place. For most of the time the campuses are crowded with emptiness. This should not be a
serious concern. As soon as people get to know that you are going to get salary of six pay commission, they will undeniably enroll their children to government
institutions. Let it be, if they do not, they are going to miss the priceless gift of studying under your banyan tree with full of wisdom.
POSTAL SERVICE: has been good as usual in our land. So is the posting of our teachers. Not a single government employed teacher has filed a case against their
colleague for posting. None of them have made any of the lawyers richer by a few thousands. We hope, our sloganeering teachers, who have spiritedly fought for their
rights would never stand in a courtroom face to face just because of posting. In the same vein, none of our teachers have made any Angam-Athou richer for the sake of
posting. Our teachers love their place of posting anyway. We find some of them being posted for eternity within the five kilometer radius for eternity- A true example
of allegiance and fidelity. Some of them have served their entire period of service in the hills. Just because of the simple fact that they do not loiter in and around
the secretariat building. By anticipating all these from you, we hope, we are not asking too much. You have proved of what you are. We only expect you to stand by it.
FOOTNOTE: our sportspersons have done it again. The state bagged the most number of medals from all of the state in the National games. With the kind of population and
the infrastructural facilities the state players have done wonders. Leipung Ningthou calls it, “ thik nembana thaa laamba, aduga hek aga porakpa”.