I meant to highlight the fact that youth energy needs to be channelized by narrating the incident. Unfortunately importance is being given to use of cell phones in the college premises. Now that the question has cropped up let me clarify.
Our college bans USE of cell phones not bringing them. In the college they can always use it with permission in case of emergency and once out of campus no one goes checking whether they are using or misusing it. Most of our students belong to middle class homes and students cannot afford to spend money on unnecessary phone calls and we trust them to use it prudently. I agree that just because of a few over smart ones all students are being punished but can it be helped? Doesn't it always happen that way?
We are aware that girls like S.....N.... are quite capable of looking after themselves. We are more worried about the innocent ones who may be influenced by their peers who may mislead them. I do not have any conclusive evidence to prove my point but in a recent program conducted for teachers on World AIDS day it was pointed out that college girls clad in burkhas regardless of their religious affiliation regularly met boys at a crossroad near the YMCA office and sped off in two wheelers to a nearby park. They are doing this during college hours and one need not be a Perry Mason to understand that their families are unaware of their activities. The use of electricity to charge their phones is not as objectionable as the fact that they seem to own cell phones unknown to their parents. If it were not so why would they charge the phone as soon as they arrived? The next question is who is providing them with mobile phones and why? Are the smarter ones being used to trap other vulnerable girls? These are concerns that bother me as a teacher. I quote the kid who says
The teachers/lecturers are threatened by the cell phone usage, be it the rapid advancement that the teachers are not able to keep up or the wealth associated with it.
He further adds-
What exactly do you achieve by banning these things? a sense of superiority?It is neither. It is just a genuine concern for those innocent girls in their teens or early twenties who have been a part of my working life.
A certain amount of discipline needs to be imposed on students in our effort to prepare them for life. Schools do not allow boys to sport a beard or grow their hair. Girls are expected to plait their hair or tie it up. They are made to wear uniforms so that the poorer ones may not feel inferior just because they don’t wear designer wear. A boy or girl does not become more or less intelligent on account of his hairstyle. But rules are laid down and no one objects. An undergrad is only a year or two older. He/she needs to be gradually initiated into adulthood and a little discipline will not harm them and teachers are not their enemies. On the day of the interview I stayed back with the placement in charge till 7 in the evening and we left only after the last girl left college. We arranged for them to go in groups and requested the few guardians who had come over to escort the girls who lived in their neighborhood. We were accountable for all 22 of them. They are likely to take up jobs in a year or two but we still felt responsible for their safety. Yet Pratap says that
‘Teachers in India cannot handle the responsibility.’
When my son was young the rule was that he had to come home by seven in the evening. If he did not turn up I went downstairs to fetch him home. He hated it then but I went all the same. He appreciates it now.
When my daughters were young it was understood that they could not stay out after dark but when later when my older daughter got a job in a metro I trusted her to look after herself. Once values are imbibed and boundaries are drawn our duty is done and they can decide and discriminate be they children or students. Till then we have to keep a watch on them however unpopular our stand. After all is that not part of life?