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Friday, February 10, 2012

Very sad incident of Teacher stabbed to death in classroom

A famous quip attributed to P.G. Wodehouse’s  is  caning “stingeth like a serpent and biteth like the adder” -    “Spare the rod and spoil the child” is a well known adage which means that children will only flourish if chastised, physically or otherwise, for any wrongdoing.

Not sure how many of us read and reacted to the news item of the principal of La Martiniere for Boys, Calcutta and three others  were to be produced in front of the court on charges of abetment of suicide.  A class 8 student committed suicide allegedly after being physically assaulted by a teacher.  The boy’s father filed an FIR against the principal and teachers of La Martiniere alleging extreme violence; the teachers and principal were  arrested under the Juvenile Justice Act.  Section 305 of the IPC, which deals with abetment of suicide of a minor, was slapped on them.

There was a very sad incident of a student stabbing to death his teacher inside the classroom; there was also the news of college students on a rampage…………. These are not isolated incidents and you find such incidents quite often in any paper.  Students are growing intolerant and violent.  Few years back the Supreme Court of India banned corporal punishment.  In olden days, when we were at school, we used to fear teachers.  Slapping, caning, hits with duster, hits on the head were all but common.  Late comers would be caned, would be made to stand in hot sun or kneel down in class.  Standing up on the bench was almost a daily incident ! –all that was not for putting fear in to the minds of students but more for disciplining them, which was to their good.   One will have to accept that such corporal punishments did provide an immediate response of discipline and it preceded more severe disciplinary measures like being sent to home to report with parents, suspension, dismissal and the like. 

All those are news of past.  Now a days, teachers cannot hit their wards.. they cannot even admonish the wrong-doers.. for all this are the students good and disciplined  ?  -  In earlier days, no parent would dare ask the class teacher or Head Master any questions ; now a days, teachers bear the  brunt  of the most of the wrong-doing of students..

It was with extreme anguish  I read the news of the death of a teacher in a city school – stabbed by a student.  The reports state that 15 year old boy was carrying a knife for 3 days after the teacher had made adverse remarks on his studies to his parents.  On the ill-fated day, when the teacher was alone in the classroom, the mongrel of boy stabbed his Hindi teacher in the neck, abdomen, and chest.  A pre-medidated cold blooded murder sending shockwaves everytime you read of this.  The 41 year old teacher  Mrs Uma Maheswari of St Mary’s Anglo-Indian Higher Secondary School on Armenian Street in Parry’s Corner, bled to death.  What a gory end ?  It was to be a free period and the teacher had offered to take a special class for those students  with Hindi as the second language. The boy went to the classroom with the knife before the other students reached there, and attacked and killed her. 

One of the protesting teachers was quoted as remarking  “Now-a-days, parents only listen to their children’s version of the story and yell at the teacher. They don’t bother to find the truth from the teachers,” – which is largely true.   Esplanade police registered a case under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code and took the boy in custody. He was produced before the juvenile magistrate court in Kellys and was later taken to a juvenile home.

People now would spring with defence that the student could have been too stressed, a loner or was under turmoil, is a juvenile and more……. But no amount of explanation is going to bring back the teacher, who did nothing wrong.  A teacher is expected to make the students understand and evaluate them on what they have learnt or what they ought to. 

Many a parents in their day to day work pressure, do not even know which standard their children are studying, leave alone monitoring their activities and observing them.  How many spend quality time with their children speaking to them on normal happenings daily ? but when a student is chastised by the school teacher, most would immediately try to find fault with the teacher, the school, the peer pressure, the system, the society……… everything else is wrong – only I am correct is increasingly the mood.

Inside the city, there regularly have been hooliganism in the name of ‘bus day’.  Only recently Presidency College witnessed bloodbath in an enmity between two group of students divided by bus route !!  The Madras High Court had made harsh observations on bus day culture which puts immense hardship on common passengers.  Despite all this, hundreds of students of Pachaiyappas college on Ponamallee High Road went on rampage when denied permission to celebrate bus day.  As they kept pelting stones on vehicles outside, police  had to enter the campus and disperse the mob.  Two MTC Buses, a police vehicle and a private car were damaged. Many Police personnel and a couple of bus drivers suffered injuries in the violent incident.  This is the third instance of violence related to ‘bus day in the city this month after incidents involving students of Government Arts College, Nandanam and those of New College.

When will all this mindless violence end ? – how long would the unruly gangs in the garb of students be allowed to hold ransom public peace and damage private property and public buses.  It is time perpetrators are brought to book under strong sections and those abetting them are also penalized. 

The student community as also the parents have to learn values of life and the need for respecting others, especially those involved in inculcating discipline.  Without good teachers, there would be no good learners and the society would not be good.  Teachers have to counsel and be friendly to students but the admonishment is never to be seen as a punishment…..

With regards – S. Sampathkumar


  1. It is gruesome and pathetic. Aasans (those who impart knowledge) are to be respected and if the Society has no respect for them, it will only wither........ Kumar

  2. Education is no longer considered a noble profession. Institutions are run by politicians for making money. It is the infrastructure and comfort that matter. Rich become richer, making those insitutions richer beyond a point. You can expect only such things from these crooks.. Bala

  3. My heart bleeds for the teacher, her kids, her spouse and those to whom this loss is irreparable - all others would only debate : Ramani

  4. Very sad indeed. Govt should take some action - Gupta

  5. REad today's paper - some worse development - Manimala