The eve of the Teachers’ Day has been painful this year. It is not due to live telecasts and continual media coverage of Indian politicians donning Guru’s mantle. It’s rather due to the cold-blooded killing of a teacher like M M Kalburgi, an Indian scholar of Vachana literature.

Indian President has emphasised the value of democracy in his lecture in a higher secondary class yesterday. Nobody perhaps will disagree. But are we doing enough in our own sphere to encourage democratic thoughts to flourish?

Very little, the answer can be. The fundamental tenets of democratic thoughts are based on our rational outlook. On the other hand, religious traditions have immense impact on our personal and social life. But then some of those may go obsolete or may evolve into newer incarnations to keep up with our new learning and contemporary mindset.

This happens because people participate. This happens because majority prefer. But then you always find a minority of the population who may not agree to the change or to the pace of change. In fact, different beliefs, views and preferences blend into a beautiful spectrum of oneness and harmony.

But there is increasing intolerance within our population. Wrong teachings have gone into us through our Babas, Matas, religious heads, and above all, the funny breed of politicians. They teach us to hate and terrorise, and to behave like tamed ducks. We believe them without questions – without rational enquiries. We believe in their rotten teachings without verification.

Democracy demands that we respect alternate views. It demands that we do not abuse people who disagree to our views. It demands that hostility is not a response to dialogue. Democracy does not allow terror to dominate. It does not allow binding ourselves within the rigid frame of tenuousness. Perhaps this will be the single most important teaching that we can imbibe – on the Teachers’ Day.


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