Losers, Inc

Update: this is the link that triggered the following tirade: http://www.telegraphindia.com/1070910/asp/bengal/story_8298531.asp

We proudly celebrated our Teachers' Day on September 5th. Speeches were held; some fat-ass minister came and inaugrated the occasion by lighting a lamp or two. I'm pretty sure, wherever you were, you had elaborate ceremonies. You showed off your lifelong gratitude to your 'teacher'-s by presenting them bouquets and feeding them a few samosas and Pepsi. Our honourable President, Ms Pratibha Patil, also presented the National Teachers' Award to a select few teachers. Oh, lest I forget, it was "for their lifelong contributions to the nation". Only, in her case, instead of cold samosas and Pepsi, she handed over a few certificates and there was a ceremony for an hour or so. The rest, as they say, is history.

The grand message of the ceremony was, "You lousy teachers... you have been teaching all your life but you still haven't learned your own lesson! Lets see if we can drive the point home". While the ceremony was on, everything had been picture-perfect. Meeting the Prime Minister was a very pleasant occasion. The President of the nation came off the stage to greet a physically handicapped Sidhnath Verma. Ahh the picture-perfect kodak moment... imagine the example set before a million cameras! But off the record, between you and me, we've been milking these poor old cows --- who cares about them anyway? When you need to load them into buses, herd them together: "Jaldi karo warna hotel khud aana", and the cattle will hurry into the buses braying and bleeting. Poor old suckers --- they will find a way to come and get their certificate. "Give me enough medals and I can win you any war", Napolean had said. The fine print on the official agenda was, "Give me enough certificates and I will get you enough sheep, err ... I meant teachers". Isn't it enough that we arranged for their accomodation? Who bothers taking care of them for the rest of the time anyway? "100 dial karke complain kar le. Dekhta hoon kya ukhad lega...". Roughly translated, what the greatest democracy in the world meant to say to these poor old sods was, "So long, suckers... now stay happy with that certificate!!".

You keep reading everywhere about people deciding about their return to India after their stint in the US, and whether it relates to their gender. A more fundamental question is, does India really want you back? Even after 37 years of service, the system doesn't really want to honour you, it is all a show-off. You have been a loser to have chosen that career for yourself while you were young. These ceremonies are just a reminder about the terrible mistake you did when you were all charged up and wanted to serve the nation and blah blah blah yada yada yada. Sigh, the childish emotions of the youth --- they want to change the country! Haha, you flunkeys and turkeys and also-rans... you actually thought that they had realized the "noble" work you had been doing? You bummers, What they had realized in reality was that the time was ripe to rub salt into the wound! You actually inspired a few more losers like yourself and made a few fresh additions to the sheep-barn, didn't you? Hahaha... well, we all thank you on behalf of a billion people: we've had good entertainment for the hour which was the crowning moment of your careers. We'll find another fresh batch next year. Till then, keep working and teaching, losers!


  1. Why the anger and vehemence?

    It's true that India doesn't exactly honour its achievers, but I am a firm believer that no good deed goes unrewarded. Everything happens in its own good time.

    Besides teaching has become less a noble profession and more about money and politics. Education in general has become politicized.

    What do you expect?

  2. Hmm... It's true that this country doesn't really honour the good deeds. But it doesn't mean that you should call the teachers as losers, does it? It is the problem with our political and social system that we are suffering, and calling the victims by the name losers doesn't really improve it..

  3. Hmmm...gotta agree with Hari n Harish...the current problem of beaurocracy in our country is too notorious. Blaming the teachers for choosing their professions, for that, is lame.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. waste of time.. waste of space in ur blog.. waste of emotions!
    chill dude.. nothin s gonna change!!

  6. I think Sudipta was being satiric in tone when he called them "losers" but the article still feels very vehement and strongly written.

  7. Well, some teachers do make big bucks in India - comparable to the stock market driven salaries of software engineers, sometimes more. Try talking to someone teaching Physics at FIITJEE, or the owner of Chadda Tuition Center in Subhash Nagar.

  8. Why so much anger? Its so unlike you. What caused this? ANYWAY TRUE TEACHERS DON'T NEED RECOGNITION in any form from Government. They are recognized by their students till they live? NO. I read somewhere,"A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops." Socrates,Plato,Confucius,Kautilaya and countless and nameless like them don't need piece of paper from any President.

  9. Hari, I agree with what you say. But the few chosen people for the award were not accorded the respect they deserved: they were rather insulted. That is what caused my outburst.

    Harish, thanks for your anger. I just hope you had understood the people towards whom it was directed.

    Shayon, again, you missed the point.

    Janum, long time no see! A lot will change, I'm sure... we can do it!

    Hari, thanks for pointing it out --- yes it was satiric and unfortunately a lot of people here missed the point.

    Harshdeep, that FIITJEE teacher doesn't exactly get a national Teachers' award, does he? That is what the big thing is all about.

    Alka, it just feels so bad that someone be disregarded and insulted the way these people were --- you need to read the article I've linked to to know that. But you're right: these great men don't need papers from the President: but I am appalled at the hypocrisy of the whole occasion, thats all!

  10. Wow where did that come from? That sounds like me talking...wha...when...


  11. long time no see! -- thought enough of tragedies happenin around! ;)
    lot will change -- ATB!

  12. TRUE TEACHERS DON'T NEED RECOGNITION in any form from Government. They are recognized by their students till they live? NO. I read somewhere,"A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops." Socrates,Plato,Confucius,Kautilaya and countless and nameless like them don't need piece of paper from any President.

    That says it all.

  13. ouch!!!that is sad...frustration justified. actually thats the state of human life minus the respect and its not only with teachers..:(.
    btw, sorry for the previous post comment i was hurriedly trying to put one..:) and boom a typo.

  14. Sky, hope you've read the article by now --- will update the post.


    Raman, well, if only...

    Pallavi, oh no worries about the previous comment --- stuff happens. :)

  15. What hurt me most are the comments on the disabled. I have a bit of stammering and I have seen people in India laughing at it behind my back, if not on the front. I love the way disabled people are respected in the society here in US. What we need is not just the economic boom frm the outsourcing and the budding software Industry, we need a change in perception, the least we can do is to exchange respect.

  16. My mother is a teacher and this is one profession I wanted to get into. But she was dead against that. For she has seen many days when their salaries would just not arrive! Then the thing with promotions....
    Of course this holds true for many or even most professions. But still...here we have seen it from close....

  17. I remember Teachers Day when I was still a young 'un. It's probably the only day that we get to behave because it's their special day LOL! I do admit though... that I think being a teacher is noble and difficult work and that people don't appreciate them much...

  18. Sudipto

    This is not about society's attitude about teachers, it is about Sarkari attitude, made a little worse by the Dilli culture.

  19. Maverick, yes, respect and a lot more. But there must at least be someone at the top who doesn't add insult to injury.

    Varsha, welcome onboard! Yes this can hurt a lot when it happens to someone close. So much for a government which wants to create literacy.

    Princess, yes, appreciation is a different factor. But insulting the best of the lot is an offence.

    TV, isn't the sarkaar a smaller representation of the society itself? If most people in the country begin to show respect and courtesy to these teachers, do you think that the 'sarkaari' babus will be able to get away with attitudes like these?

  20. All pumped up bhai... :)
    Sadly the word GURU has lost its meaning;today teaching is noting but a commercialized arena... its all about minting money--if u r a hit, that is.
    With the things that are as of now, all this will only grow...

    Nice topic though :)

  21. Varun, yes, sadly that definition has changed a little. But nothing warrants the kind of insult these people had to face.

  22. hiiiii sudipta,
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  23. Swaminathan, welcome to my blog and to blogging. I will put a link to your web page from my compilation of links on the GRE post. Generally, I include people on my list of blogs that I read only after I've followed them and read their blogs for some time.

  24. hey sudipta,
    ur post made an interesting read..
    and i agree itsn't a very rewarding profession and the current situation is pretty pathetic.

    i guess im kinda biased with both my parents being teachers - n my dad's teaching even now:)
    ill tell u sthg that i believe has been a gud motivation for my dad - i think some others have also mentioned this.

    everytime an old student(more than 10-15 yrs after finishing school) comes and greets him in school and tells him that he is the best teacher he has ever had - that makes his day.. money/recognition aren't exactly permanent.. but the respect/regard that an old student has for a teacher never dies..

  25. Passion, yes... it kind-a hit home with me as well. My mother is a teacher. :) And welcome onboard, of course!

  26. My mother spent all her working years as a teacher and when in a moment of frsutration I'd asked her "what did all these year give you?", she calmly replied- In the imes I grew up, career meant something that we do to feel fulfilled. Not merely successful. It got me thinking. I know you were being ironical in calling them losers, but it hurts to read it.

  27. Vishwapriya, welcome to the blog!

    I know that it hurts, because my mother is also a teacher. I was hurt, and hurt big time to read all this. Thanks for dropping by.


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