Chief Justice of India with staff, classmates and the government officials in his Jammu school
Chief Justice of India with staff, classmates and the government officials in his Jammu school

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In a development that will put state’s Education Ministry under severe pressure to move faster, the Chief Justice of India – Mr Justice Tirath Das Thakur, broke down in the school where he was learnt the basics of his life. With some of his teachers, now in eighties in the attendance, Justice Thakur on Saturday feared that the school, now in dilapidated condition, should not become a shopping complex or a car parking slot.

Presiding over a function in the premises of Central Basic Higher Secondary School, in congested Purani Mandi locality of Jammu, Justice Thakur regretted the library is there but no books and laboratory is there without the flames seen during experimentation. He said even the desks are less strong than they were in his school days.

Interestingly, Justice Thakur skipped visiting the renovated part of the school.

“I am happy as well as astonished on my visit to this school, which has the distinction of producing distinguished personalities”, Justice Thakur told the gathering, later. “I am happy as I have been given the opportunity to meet my teachers and school mates but I am shocked to see the pathetic condition of this one of the oldest schools of Jammu city”.

“While country progressed immensely during the last 50 years, this school paints a gloomy picture and tells a tale of neglect”, he said. “I think condition of this school was better when I was the student. The classrooms were better at that time, the desks were not broken at that time but today the school is in wretched condition”.

Justice Thakur said he strongly doubts if this school will be able to produce any distinguished personality with the kind of infrastructure it has.

“No doubt J&K faced turmoil during the past more than 25 years and the successive Governments faced challenges but there cannot be any compromise on education”, Chief Justice said. “But education is the only means for progress without which no society or State can progress”.

Justice Thakur regretted that “some forces” in “other part of the state” (read Kashmir) were “trying to deprive the youth of education by setting ablaze educational institutions so that they can be lured for anti-national activities while in Jammu the schools have been neglected”.

Chief Justice of India was praiseworthy of his teachers insisting that they played a key role in his making. He mentioned Master Govind Ram who gave him a prize of Rs 100 for the best debate. He talked about Master Mohammad Sharief who taught him Urdu “the language I love and speak with pride and comfort after English”

But he regretted the failure of the school to evolve unlike its products. “My esteemed teachers here will bear me out that it’s condition was far better than what it is today,” Justice Thakur said in chaste Urdu. “The desks were newer and stronger, the classrooms were more comfortable; the library was packed with books and the laboratory with equipment.”


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