Who is a patriot?

Lifestyle By Michelle Bronx |

As per the notification issued by the Directorate of Primary Education and Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board, the students of classes 1-12 in government, grant-in-aid and self-financed schools have to follow the new system. The copies of the notification had already been sent to the district education officials with instructions to implement it from New Year. The decision was taken by State Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, who was inspired by a history teacher named Sandeep Joshi in Jalore district. Joshi was recently recognised by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad for his activities in the education field, which include making his students say ‘Jai Hind’ and ‘Jai Bharat’. As per reports, the minister said that the system had been followed in Gujarat decades back, and there is nothing wrong in taking inspiration from such an initiative.

Earlier, the Rajasthan government kicked up a row by revising contents of textbooks to glorify the Modi government. Patriotism is a feeling that should come naturally. Will implementing the new roll call system nourish patriotism in children? Or does it feel like an illogical move? Intolerance is growing in India in many sectors. Is it spreading to education sector, too?

Intolerance is creeping

Allen Mathews Shibu, student

The national anthem before the start of a movie doesn't bring or nurture any kind of patriotism in moviegoers. It is completely illogical to see difference in response to the roll call.  The growing intolerance will slowly creep into the educational sector. Forcing something on a student proves that purpose of this whole subject isn't served. Textbooks should be prepared with the sole intent to contain knowledge that will educate the students and not for flattering a person in power. Patriotism will grow naturally in the budding youths of India when they see its development towards a better, safer and a tolerant country.

Leave decision to schools

sreelatha nair, blogger

I don’t find anything wrong in the move. It may help imbibe a sense of belongingness among children. The implementation can be left as a choice of respective schools.

I do not find room for intolerance in this matter as long as the purpose gets manipulated. However, it is unjustifiable to use education for political benefits.

The content children are taught has to be unbiased and true. Children should be trained in a way so that they grow capable of choosing their own ideology.

I find Nothing wrong

Ranjani Balachander, parent

There is nothing wrong to be patriotic about our nation since the term ‘Jai Hind’ has no religious connotations; so I think there is nothing wrong with students saying it out loud in class. Saying ‘Jai Hind’ is not the same as praising a religion, it is a slogan used by Indians everywhere in relation to their homeland, saying it in school should not matter. In fact, saying ‘Jai Hind’ might encourage our future generation to be more loyal to their country.

Cannot cultivate Patriotism

Suzy Singh, social thinker

Patriotism cannot be cultivated merely through force of rule; it is the pride one feels for the country as a result of the alignment with its beliefs, purpose, goals, accomplishments and ideologies that stand the test of time, particularly where the rubber hits the ground. When India becomes the dream of every child, where communal tolerance dissolves separate identities, conscious capitalism subjugates corporate and political greed, desh ki dharti is made more precious through value creation in the economy, making the lure and shine of foreign education and jobs dull, then perhaps patriotism will sprout naturally in young hearts. We have a rich heritage of inspired leadership. Let’s be driven by their vision and make our country a flourishing home that every child feels immense gratitude for being born into. Then no rules will be necessary because the words 'Jai Hind' will echo naturally in every heart and they will inspire the whole world to be committed to peace and prosperity.

Diversion from education

Dr Madhu Gupta, lecturer

Schools and education should be spared from political actions and roll call has nothing to do with patriotism. If the move is intended to nurture patriotism, then the kids should be taught discipline first. If this system is implemented, people of other religions may question it as ‘Jai Hind’ is connected to Hinduism. We need to teach students discipline, which is the primary step to patriotism. I would never appreciate this action because it is a diversion from the main purpose of education. We don’t need to teach them different ideologies and make them fundamentalists; teach them moral values and discipline. Think about their innocent minds before implementing something so political. I believe this call system will increase differences among students of all groups. Patriotism can’t be imparted  in one day.

This is not education

Alan Raj, lecturer

This new rule has nothing to do with education. Instead of improving our education system, the authorities are pandering to certain ideologies. Such hegemonic tactics were what people like Hitler used – syllabus that glorified the Aryan race, forcing the public to march while repeatedly playing vitriolic speeches Patriotism is not branding someone who opposes such silly, meaningless directives as ‘anti-national’. Living as a law-abiding citizen in our country, paying taxes, volunteerism, being honest is more than enough to nurture patriotism.

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