Teachers care for their students, doctors think of the wellbeing of their patients, lawyers care for their clients, bureaucrats care for the welfare of common people, engineers strengthen our infrastructure, sweepers make our living and working places clean and hygienic, and our politicians provide us better governments. All these people and many more not mentioned here work to make our living easy and our society a beautiful and better place to live in.
Being a teacher, I think of my society in general and of my students in particular. As winter vacations have been announced in the government colleges of Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir for almost 50 days from 27th day of December 2021, it is high time to provide some sort of homework to our students, so that this vacation can be a bit different and productive for them as well as for the society in the long run.
Dear students, you have stepped into the fountainheads of knowledge from different quarters with varying socio-economic backgrounds. But believe me, the competition for survival is stiff. The more you will go further, the better you will realise it.
At the outset, let me remind you that you are the pillars of society and the future of the nation. How you are going to steer the course of this ship in which not only you but also your family, peers, kin, your institutions and your society is travelling with you depends on how best you think, act and utilise your time. You have to be very careful without wasting even a moment in making your moves and planning your journey.
For winters, let me prescribe some syllabus for you. For those students who are bibliophiles, start with reading some good books on morality and ethics, like “What we owe to each other” (TM Scanlon), “Ethics: The fundamentals” (Julia Driver), “Beyond good and evil” (Friedrich Neitzsche) etc. Those among you who are interested in religious scriptures, try to understand the basic and core principles of Vedas, Holy Bible, Guru Granth Sahib and Holy Quran and start building a habit of living by these basic and essential tenets of life.
A large proportion of students are of philosophic taste. For those intellectual minds, I would say some good books like,“Man’s search for Meaning” (Victor Frankl), “Polity”(Aristotle), “The Argumentative Indian” (Amartya Sen) and “Clash of Civilizations” (Huntington) would make their vacations enjoying and productive.
For motivations in life and for those who love novels, start your vacations with “You can win” (Shiv Khera), “Wings of Fire” (APJ Abdul Kalam), “Train to Pakistan” (Khushwant Singh), “The Fountainhead” (Ayn Rand) and “The Ministry of Utmost Happiness” (Arundhati Roy).
Some students who are more inclined towards virtual learning, they must utilise their time in watching videos on UnAcademy, Mrunal, Study IQ, etc, as per their academic taste. They can also join suitable channels on Telegram which will boost their preparation for competition exams.
It is also not wrong to watch movies or TV shows in your free time, but those must enhance your knowledge and refine your taste. For that you can watch movies like “Gravity”, “The Core”, “Pompeii”, “Avatar”, “Gandhi” and many more, or even watch comedy shows by Charlie Chaplin or Mr Bean etc.
It is obvious that chilly winters for long duration of two to three months are going to create boredom. The students can avoid such situations by building reading habits as well as groom themselves in the best possible ways. But in whatever you do and wherever you go, don’t forget to give time to your family, friends and kinship. These are the agents of your socialisation.
Once we succeed in producing laborious, hard working and morally well equipped individuals, we are going to build a strong base on which we can lay the foundation of a complex and diversified edifice. Not only this, the seeds of ethical, moral and productive social setup can also be sown by inculcating positive and competitive thoughts and ideas in our students, who are the inalienable parts of our future and engines of social change.
—The writer is a columnist and teaches Geography at GDC Kulgam. [email protected]