Recently my teacher told me to ponder on the most trending topic “Intolerance” and formulate an opinion on it. I am not going to write an essay over it but would like to narrate my life incidents where I have been intolerant.
I have always been very critical of the people who exert authority over me. When they toe their line I have shown zero tolerance towards them. My teachers have always faced the wrath of my intolerance. Whenever a teacher would deliberately show favouritism towards his/her favourite student who is not worthy and would shun the worthy I would be the first one to voice out coz I had zero tolerance for such behaviour.
Let me narrate an incident from my 11th standard. It was the year 2007, our class teacher was on leave and the mischievous elements of our class were running wild making lots of noise. Soon after listening to this noise an English teacher came to our class which was an auditorium. Everyone took their seats as fast as possible and their was pin drop silence before the real storm.
The teacher X (in her 40’s) started scolding all of us. She delivered a big lecture where she bombarded us with lot of big English words. Like every other student I kept listening to her scoldings while cursing my mischievous classmates coz of whom even we (who were silently doing their work) have to listen to her scoldings.
Everything was going normal- teacher scolding and we listening. But then before leaving the classroom she uttered one more line which flipped my intolerance switch. She said, “You bloody Indians” and BLAH BLAH. When authority cross their line, I show no mercy. This line was uncalled for. Suddenly, I stood up and shouted at her that it’s fine upto scolding the kids but why use words like bloody Indians. She was perplexed and then I explained her with shaking legs :p that by saying such words to the teenagers she is not changing them for good rather providing them with a base for making them self loathing of their bloody Indian identity.
I have been critical of authority not because I envy their power over the masses but it is their “INFLUENCE” over the masses. Teachers holds the power over their students but most importantly it is their influence on the students which SHAPES THE STUDENT. It is upto the teacher to make her/his student a self loathing person or a confident person… a self loathing Indian or a proud Indian.
In this respect I can’t end this article without mentioning my 9th class teacher Mrs Y( in her mid 30’s). She was new in the school and became my class teacher. If someone has received a lot of criticism from me then she is the one. She would take our Moral Science classes where she would teach us from the Moral Science book. In my 8th standard, my class teacher in Moral Science class used to choose a topic and would encourage us to speak on that topic. It was because of her that today I can express myself in English.
Since I was well aware of the advantages of this way of teaching in Moral Science class so I insisted my 9th standard teacher Mrs Y to conduct such discussions. I was very polite in giving her the suggestion. I was also the class captain. But she didn’t listen and went on conducting boring classes which would yield no result. A day came when the restless students started pleading to her to stop this futile exercise and conduct discussion which would help them to enhance their communication skills. But she was adamant. Looking at her behaviour and the plight of students, my intolerance switch flipped and what followed is the same as with teacher X.
Mrs Y was a very good human being. Thorughout my 9th standard I have shown my intolerance towards her policies which I found went against the welfare of the students/masses.
Some of you might be thinking that how come I know what is good and what is bad? How come I can be right and my teachers wrong? Some might take me as an ugly person who keeps finding faults–good keep thinking 😉—
Mrs. Y is no more in this world and I didn’t get a chance to thank her for letting the young plant grow into a tree. During the end days of my 9th standard, she made the whole class clap for me. She thanked me in front of the whole class for being honest with her, boldly criticising her for her mistakes which she wouldn’t have been able to notice by herself.
—sometimes we need help of a stranger to see our mistakes—
When I met with my accident–I was in 12th standard– Mrs. Y was the first teacher to come and meet me as soon as the school got over along with my classmates. This was the RESPECT that I earned in her eyes—zero buttering, no flattering just plain honesty and bluntness with good intention
In the same way I earned my respect in the eyes of Mrs X. When I went back to school after my recovery, she welcomed me with warmth–zero hatred.
My purpose of writing this article is to tell you people that our INTENTION behind our actions always have the final say. To the western mind, the quote is :-
“Do not judge the words but the action”
But, to the eastern mind the quote is:-
“Judge the intention and not the words and actions”
If actions and words carry good intention then the final result will be good. I have never cared about what people think about me. I am only answerable to my CONSCIENCE. Criticism to the authority having influence on the masses has been my natural instinct. Nobody taught me to do this. With every blow to the clay pot to make it better there is the hand of good intention behind it to save it from breaking.
I carry this same attitude even today. But since my present teacher has told me that it takes a lot of time to build a respectable image among the students I have tried to ignore every act of his which I know would harm him as well as the students. In front of me I see self loathing Indians with zilch clue about their pride. It’s like me going against my conscience. It’s like I have made a compromise– losing my fire— I sit as a dummy in the class curbing my conscience when any such incident happens. You may say that I have grown more tolerant. LOLzz
Going against one’s conscience is a good way to say good bye to your peaceful sleep. For me it’s like deliberately torturing myself. Maybe writing about this will give some relaxation to my conscience as I can’t say weather I will flip my intolerance switch on or not. Let the universe decide.
This one is a lengthy article and if you have made it to the end then I would just tell you one thing– follow your CONSCIENCE, it a lighthouse for a ship stuck in stormy night.
Be intolerant where you need to be but always cross check it with your intention aka ur Conscience.
Stay happy, stay blessed 🙂