Fathers need to be more friendly towards their children more so when they attain the age of sixteen, famous Indian teacher-turned politician Chanakya, (4th Century BC) known for his diplomacy and knowledge on worldly affairs, is attributed to have said.
Chanakya very rightly pointed out that "fondle a son until he is five years of age, and use the stick for another ten years, but when he has reached his sixteenth year, treat him as your beloved friend."
Greek philosopher Aristotle, had yet another thing in his mind. He believed "those who educate the children are more to be honored than their parents because these give them life only but those the art of living well".
In ancient India, education was perfect and complete because of sacred and selfless personal relationship between the teacher and the taught which we are tremendously lacking in recent times. Today, the whole educational world is surcharged with gross and violent indiscipline manifesting through the various forms of students’ unrest etc. To avoid this unwelcome tendency in the field of education, we must evoke heartily this high ideal of teacher-pupil relationship which prevailed in the ancient world.
The pious and selfless relationship between a teacher and his pupil has always been one of the main features/contours of olden times more especially of the Indian culture.
In Indian concept, a teacher is the spiritual and intellectual father of the taught. Without the help of the teacher no education is possible. He is regarded as the 'Guru' - a great friend, a philosopher, and the guide. His relation with his disciple was social and spiritual. Nowhere in this world was the implication of this statement been better implemented than in Ancient India. A development of the relation between the teacher/Guru and the pupil was the exaltation of the teacher to such an extent of reverence that the Guru was worshipped by his pupil. The pupil felt genuine bhakti/devotion for the 'Guru'. In fact, the disciple was taught to worship his guru as God.
Guru gobind dou khade, kaake lagoon paay,
Balihari guru aapne gobind diyo batay. - Saint Kabir
(Guru and God both are standing before me, whom should I bow first? All glory be unto the Guru, who unfolded for me the path of God!)
It won’t be out of context here to take stock of parent-children relationship objectively.
Parents, too, owe much to reform, supervise and monitor the day-to-day working of their children from time to time. Leaving everything to the school and school teachers is not fair enough. Parents need to involve themselves actively to watch the daily progress of their school going children. Unfortunately, that is not happening. Whatever time parents have at their disposal is consumed by newspapers, television, and other recreations. As a result, the younger generation hardly gets any opportunity to share ideas with their elders or to enter into a meaningful discussion.
Similarly, this idea is gaining ground among enlightened parents, too, that by and large modern education is meant only to get better jobs. Consequently, the students' minds are obsessed with the idea of better jobs and dreams for higher social status. It is, therefore, the duty of the parents, too, to take active interest in the day-to-day progress of their children both in and outside the institution and apprise them of the real meaning of education.
Obviously, the meaning of real education is to cultivate good habits in the students, promote and preserve high moral values in their minds, and finally inspire them to show love, empathy, and respect for others.
Dr. Shiben Krishen Raina
Currently in Ajman (UAE)
Member, Hindi Salahkar Samiti,
Ministry of Law & Justice (Govt. of India)
Senior Fellow, Ministry of Culture (Govt. of India)
Dr. Raina's mini bio can be read here: