Toda September 5 is the Teachers Day which is observed on the birthday of the former President of India Sarvapalli Radhkrishnan. The day is dedicated to the teachers keeping in with the lofty tradition of “Acharya Devo Bhav”. I feel like writing on this day almost regularly as I hold my teachers in high esteem and still keep in contact with some of them.
I had my primary education in the community run school at Bootan Mandi, Jalandhar which was make shift arrangement in the Gurudawara. I will be failing in my duty if I don’t mention the name of Seth Khushi Ram who was the Head of the informal managing committee of the school. He did a good work in providing the basic educational facilities in and around Bootan Mandi. I pay my tributes to Seth Khushi Ram and his associates on the Teachers Day. I will mention about a teacher whose ever smiling face is deeply ingrained in my memory. She was Sheila Behanji of a nearby mohalla Abadpura. As I recall she almost a family member of ours and many more like me and participated in our “Dukh & Sukh” apart from teaching us in the school. In the long summer holidays, we even used to go to her home for additional lessons. She was a homely lady of dignity. I vividly remember that her husband was working in the Indian army. Today, my heart goes to Sheila Behnji.
I graduated to the Sain Dass High School in Basti Nau which was considered a good school in the area at that time. Headmaster Baldev Raj was a much respected personality in the area and was a good educational manager. I recall that his deputy was Dawarka Sass, a saintly figure. Apart teaching English he was engaged in imparting moral and spiritual knowledge. I must admit that whatever little English I know today it is primarily because of Master Dawarka Dass and Master K.K. Khullar. I realized this much later when I used their notes in my college days. My humble tributes to my teachers at the Sain Dass School
After high school, I joined DAV College in 1966 and graduated (BA) in 1970. I was a mediocre. My main interest, as one of the subjects, was Political Science. I was much ahead of my contemporaries in general awareness which I think remained my one of the assets throughout my service in the IFS and daily life. I will like to remember today Principal BS Behl. He was not my teacher as such but his administrative skills, to make DAV College one of the premier educational institutions in north India, impressed me a lot. As I mentioned in one of my blogs earlier, Prof. KC Mahendru and Prof. KK Ghai are two of my teachers of Political Science who contributed a great deal in shaping my personality and career. I have no claims to be brilliant student but my own interest in political science and general awareness, without even they knowing, made them dear to me. It is my good fortune that, due to a kind gesture of my friend Ram Lal Kainth who reintroduced me to both Prof Mahendru and Prof Ghai, I am in touch with them even after my retirement from diplomatic career in IFS. Both them are leading a retired but still active life in Jalandhar. My all the best wishes to Prof. KC Mahendru and Prof. KK Ghai for their good health and further success and prosperity in the years to come.
SALUTE TO THE TEACHERS OF INDIA