Role Models

Last week the video of Abdul Qayoom Wani, President Jammu and Kashmir Teachers Forum (JKTF), calling himself a Jigardar boasting his lineage and wealth, while using foul language against present director education, left social media in split. There were two types of voices that came out: one against Qayoom’s high-headedness and another justifying his act and language given the “authoritative and non-accommodative nature of the director education”.

But whatever be the case, Qayoom, is a teacher first then a teacher’s association leader or a self-styled crusader. If a teacher like Qayoom, fails to put forward his point in a civilized manner, as desired of him, then how can you expect students or thousand of teachers, who somehow follow him, to do justice with the society they live in.

He has not only degraded the director’s chair by means of his derogatory words, but also set a bad precedence for his followers telling them that there is no room for difference of opinion. Its either I am right or you are wrong. And if you fail to acknowledge then I have right to abuse you!

Interestingly Qayoom, who heads JKTF, and his coterie, who draw their powers by exploiting genuine sentiments of thousands of teachers, have over the years acted as mere pressure groups to get their vested interests fulfilled. All these years, by locking horns with the administration, Qayoom and his followers have failed to get genuine issued faced by the teachers addressed.

There is no denying the fact that teachers in Kashmir are suffering on many fronts, but aren’t they at the same time a blessed lot when compared to their counterparts serving in private schools!

If a private school teacher can do his job sincerely, without getting himself associated with any union or pressure group, in one-fifth of remuneration a teacher in government school draws, why cannot the likes of Qayoom do the same?

What is the need of union if it serves no purpose? What was the last big achievement of this union? Were they able to improve condition of even a single school in rural areas, or press for up-gradation of infrastructure in schools run in far flung areas? The answer is no. These so-called union leaders in fact end up giving administration easy escape route to do nothing at all when it comes to improving the condition of schools across the state. When you ask these officials why they are not doing anything, pat comes the reply that the initiative is hampered by the union.

The question is do we need unions at all, if they serve no purpose for those it claims to represent. Why cannot people like Qayoom just work like ordinary teachers, for which they are paid from the exchequers money. After all being head of a union doesn’t absolve one from dispensing his duties, or does it? If it does, then we soon will have just leaders, or Jagirdars, and no teachers or role models. Do we want that? Answer is, No!

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