By Asma Anjum Khan
#Classroom #Education #Slap #Thappad #Aurangzeb #TipuSultan
That child getting slapped turning into a pulp woke me up again.
I know, wake up to sleep again.
But while I was in a briefly awakened state, that scene literally broke me, like many of you might have shattered, seeing it and might have even cried.
I did for sure.
All the Aurangzebs and the Tipu Sultans were being slapped in that class.
We no longer need to talk about the high GDP of the Aurangzabean times and the scientific bent of mind of a Tipu who fought with the eternal enemy British , until his last breath… because this is a post truth world.
We do not and should not care for the truth.
“The truth has no defence against a fool determined to believe a lie,” that famed Mogul of English literature has said.
I mean Mark Twain.
I wonder how did Twain get to know about Mrs. Tripta Tyagi?
What a name! Looks like made up of all tyag and no yog.
America to UP? Did a corridor exist at the time when Twain bamboozled it?
In a Post –Truth world, anything and everything comes under the category of the,’Likely’.
It has happened, or it can happen. What is the difference?
Rather in the parts of the world we stay, (not live? Mind you?! ), are more better concerned with what has not happened but insist over that it has happened; even though every tom, dick and harry and every other rational being knows what has happened. That is , really real happened.
But, Hence you find posters of people from the eras and ethos of history embracing nay stabbing each other lovingly or so it seems on the platforms reserved for public consumption on particular times of the year.
This helps us in studying of history in an amicable way. All communes watch these templates together, love or fight together.
The region we stay in has history crushed to a fine powder and stuffed this fine into every nook and corner of the region and holes of our heads.
This is what we call schadenfreude. No, perhaps wait.
Wait the classroom I studied in called it something else…
Call it what you want. It is Likely
Comes under Likely.
You read any page of history here, you may find a little writhing piece of crippling history and a model for creating new history of new India not in our institutions but on our streets.
Today we write, rewrite and revise Street History or History on the streets.
It is affordable. Streets I mean, and history happens to be beyond affordable. Come, squeeze, turn it around, nothing shall happen to you. All that happens will happen to that damn cursed history.)
Everything, what is Likely has either already happened or might happen soon.
Nothing to ever write home about.
But what would Aurangzeb Alamgir would write home about Tripta Tyagi class room?
He would be shell shocked for sure and perhaps he would be shell shocked with his mind numbing influence even 300 years or so after.
What could he do? Apart from stitching his two rupee topis.
He would be confused ( delusional, may be?) , unable to fathom how much respect or say notoriety he got accumulated despite being away from the capital Delhi for not one or two but 37 years!
Perhaps Ms Tripta would not stop at the slaps and may ( will!) call for a sword fight with the last glorious emperor of India.
Thanks to Tripta ( ji) Our heritage and our historical wars would end in a class room.
Aurangzeb and Tipu Sultan being slapped trashed mauled and victorious howls by all the classmates present an essential picture from the New India. Perhaps , a representative picture.
We hate them because we want to hate them.
Just like that.
What positive Likelihoods would you want to see in our Minority/Majority class rooms?
In fact, our classrooms have the power to turn into our temples of harmony.
What with students of each hue and color and gender existing there?
Where else would you find such gathering to address to?
Yeah yeah, no dil jigar ki baat, but simple practical steps to loosen the poisonous threads of hatred conjoining our souls.
If you do it , then likely might transform to happened.
The harmony happened
And it does happen.
It will happen again.
It can happen. Again.
Let’s stop doing hara-kiri by blasting our angers on air or making memes on issues that have shaken us to the core and broken our backs from 1857 to 1947 up to now and forever.
Let’s stop laughing and stop making memes wherever possible.
Some issues need our serious attention.
Let’s create a generation of youngsters who object to and refuse slapping their classmate.
Let’s have Student Exchange programmes within our schools and colleges.
And even Teacher Exchanges can happen.
These exchanges can extend over a week and damn it, believe me, when you come in touch with ( not the slap wala touch) but a connection amongst humans.
Human to human; it feels serene, it feels beautiful.
It is not just about going to gorge sheerkhurmas and biryanis on Eids and laddus and chaklis on Deepawalis, it runs beyond that level.
It is the every day connection.
Hey ! I lost my pen, may I borrow yours?
May I have your notes for a relook into the 3rd chapter?
This teacher ..Ahem…cough ,cough…is so strict. Was she a jailor in her last birth?
Junaid claims and laughs aloud.
Oh, so these ‘people’ too talk about rebirths. Arjun analyses.
My mom has made this aalu ka paratha…Sidra announces;
Oh, I love it soo much, a Kaveri beams.
You can have it all if you so like, another beaming girl Muskan smiles adding , but you have to give us all your batata vadas and dhoklas you bring on Thursdays next week.
Oh, for sure! squeals Kaveri.
I didn’t know, you too loved these goodies.
Yes, I do, Muskan confesses.
If India is a classroom then let’s refuse to hold hands with teachers like Tripta and more so , let’s refuse, totally refuse to slap, each other.
“Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.”
― Richard Shaull, Pedagogy of the Oppressed