A Friendly advice to College Principals of Valley
There is a narration that prophet Mohammad (saw) advised one of his companion that always stand by your friend no matter whether he/she acts just or unjust. The companion said oh! Prophet I understand that standing by a friend when he act just is good and regardful but how can I stand by him/her when he/she turns unjust and arrogant? It is a sin. The prophet (saw) replied, standing by your friend when he acts unjust or turns arrogant means to stop him from committing arrogance and doing injustice. Taking the lead from narration this write up intends to stop my friends the college principals of valley from arrogance. Hope none of them will take it personal. I also want to make it clear that this write up makes no generalization. One thing more I would like to add for the people who are unmusical to religion that interpret the narration in philosophical terms.
The State of Jammu and Kashmir is divided into two educational zones Jammu and Kashmir division. Jammu division excels Kashmir in many areas and aspects the notable ones are development, education, industry and work culture.
The colleges falling in Jammu divisions are mostly headed by the Jammuties (Principals from Jammu) and colleges falling in Kashmir division are headed by the Kashmiris (Principals from Kashmir). Observations and interactions reveal that there is lot of difference not only in the work culture and function of colleges but in transparency and accountability as well. The thing which is common in the colleges of two divisions is that teachers are mostly engaged on contract bases which is officially termed as academic arrangement in the state. The interaction with the teachers who have worked in the colleges of both divisions bring forth stark difference in the process of selection and work culture of two divisions. Those who worked in both divisions believe that Jammu division is more transparent in the process of selection of teachers. Not only is the work culture in the colleges of the two divisions poles apart from each other; a teacher working on contract bases in Jammu division is treated at par with regular teachers. They are respected more than what they actually deserve, said a teacher of English literature who has worked in the both divisions. While as in Kashmir it is totally reverse. Being a contractual teacher means being an untouchable. Not only are staff rooms separate for contractual teachers but the cups used for tea cannot be exchanged, revealed an Urdu teacher working since last eight years on contract bases in Kashmir division.
Recently, I got a chance to interact with some teachers who have worked in the both divisions. On the one hand their revelation brings forth hardships and psychological trauma they face and on the other hand it speak volumes about the culture of arrogance prevalent in the colleges of Kashmir division. From pick to kick everything is opaque, sighed a teacher. In Jammu division merit of a candidate, vacancies everything is open and a candidate is given choice to opt the college of his/her choice. His / her merit is of worth, while as merit has no value here.
A teacher of political science said, here despite you being meritorious and deserving the Nodal principal thinks he is doing a favour to you while issuing orders of posting.
Majnoon who has been working on academic arrangements since last eight years said that we have been posted 10 days before to government Degree College, Kulgam but principle of the said college did not allow us to join on the grounds that he has not received order from the Nodal Principal. In Jammu division an order copy is handed over to a candidate at the time of posting and next day he/she joins the college, he said. Abrar was looking very annoyed as he had resigned from Jammu college as he got selected here but for ten days he has been roaming from pillar to post as orders were still to reach Kulgam. Next to him was a colleague of mine from Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, he said Fayaz Bai, never think of Kashmir you will just waste your time here. Last year I worked in GDC Kulgam for about three months my salary was released after 7 months with deduction of one month and still I am not able to get an experience certificate from the principal of the college.
A teacher who had recently resigned from Jammu division and joined a college in Kashmir division said, This is my second biggest mistake in my life. Once I refused offer of post doc in United Kingdom and second was resigning at Jammu division. I reached college early in the morning and was the second person among teachers to reach there. Students were just gathering, staff was yet to arrive and principal was still to reach. After some time some students came and guided me to class. I went and conducted the class without marking my attendance as the register would be with the principal who was still nowhere. After finishing class I went to mark the attendance but to my shock the principal had already marked me absent. This was not the first time that I was marked absent while being present.
With folded hands and very humbly I pray to all the college principals of Kashmir valley please shun the culture of arrogance. Ask your non teaching staff to respect teachers not because they are well qualified and higher in status but they are all humans and members of the same family (college).
Lastly, I would suggest them to think over the following famous lines of Iqbal:
1.Tu abhi reh guzar mai hai qaid-e makaam se guzar
Misar o hijaaz se guzar, paarse o sham se guzar
2.Jis ka amal hai be garad, us ki jaza kuch aur hai
Hur o- khyam se guzar, baadh-o- jam se guzar
3.Tera imam be huzoor, teri namaaz be surror
Aisi namaz se guzar, aise imam se guzar
Dr. Fayaz Ahmad Bhat
Deptt of Sociology, Govt Degree College, Banihal J&K
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