Notes on the Problem of Indiscipline

Notes on the Problem of Indiscipline
  • 2

Tariq Ahmad Bhat

Discipline, among other things, means behaving in conformity with normative themes. Since humans are social animal, they are bound to abide by social norms; if he or she does so he or she is disciplined but if not, then he or she is otherwise.
The million dollar question is how to make people behave in a desirable manner?
Of course, there are norms attached with every society which are obligatory for its members to follow.
But not all the people behave in congruity with these norms. Consequently, such people attract severe criticism and in some cases punishment as well (depending upon the nature of the violation of a given norm). So, it is imperative for society to train its people in discipline from a young age. Society has entrusted this responsibility to educational institutions. It is here that the child comes in contact with the most important personality called the teacher who influences the child more than anybody else. He or she considers his or her teacher above all and whatever he does or says is followed with closed eyes by him or her. He or she, rather, identifies himself or herself with his teacher.
The role of teacher is, therefore, crucial.
He or she must be a person of great character. Apart from being an inspiring and ideal being, he or she must be well versed in child psychology and be abreast of the techniques of molding the behavior of a child. It is only then our educational institutions will be in a position to produce well disciplined members of society.
Unfortunately, the story is totally different here. The contemporary student has been granted unrestricted freedom by powers that be, which has shaken the authority and dignity of the teacher. The teacher cannot even dare to talk to his student in a loud voice let alone reprimanding in instances of indiscipline and bad behavior. There are many instances of teacher being slapped by students. This fearlessness on the part of the students is due to one sided policies of the government. which ensure accountability of teachers but gives a free hand to students.
There is no denying the fact that self-discipline is permanent and everlasting in nature but, in order to create that rebuking and, sometimes mild punishments, are necessary. Even all the religious scriptures of the world do make mention of hell and heaven to keep the people on the right track; this means fear is very important for regulating the life of an individual. Therefore, the fear of punishments and failures also have their role in making the children disciplined besides the impression that teacher leaves on his students.

—The author is a teacher. He can be reached at: