Teaching is a very noble profession that shapes the character, caliber, and future of an individual. If the people remember me as a good teacher, that will be the biggest honour for me.
- A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, a scientist-turned-statesman, was the 11th president of India. Despite being an accomplished scientist he preferred to be called as a ‘teacher’. Such is the profound impact of the word ‘teacher’. And why not? Everyone respects a teacher and in our society they are placed and regarded high by the commoners. This is not because they teach people about life and career rather teachers are valued because they are expected to live a life of ideals and teach others the same way of life as well. However if a teacher deviates from that noble path, he/she should not be followed at all.
Well, in this century rampant accusations of sexual harassment against teachers often force us to rethink about the humane status of those teachers who cross their limits and do something unexpected (such as sexually harassing a student). Let me clarify this by citing an example.
It was 15 February, 2017. Dr. Md. Abdul Halim Pramanik, a teacher of the Theatre Department of Jagannath University, called one of his female students to his room. Upon entering his room he started asking the student different things. At one stage he behaved wildly with her. All of a sudden he held her from back side and groped her. She tried hard to free herself from his clutch but failed. Only after the teacher sensed that someone was coming towards the room, he set her free but did not stop there. He threatened the female student to hush it up.
Later on, the victim filed a complaint with the university administration. Initially, the ‘Sexual Harassment Prevention Cell’ of the university investigated the teacher and then the university decided to let off Prof Pramanik with a rebuke and a two-year delay in promotions. However students protested against such ‘silly punishment’ for a grave offense. In the face of mass protests the university authorities later announced fresh inquiry into the charges of sexual harassment of female students by that teacher.
Well, such allegation of sexual harassment by teacher has become quite common in our country, especially at the college and university level. This is really staggering, as the very thought of pestering by a teacher shivers us, let alone the real incident.
There is no denying the fact that teachers are part and parcel of any society as their role in society is both significant and valuable. Teachers are the people who educate the youths of a society who in turn become the leaders. That’s why teachers should set examples that could be followed by others, not such ones that are detestable.