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Yesteryear teachers were highly venerated

By AJIT PATOWARY
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GUWAHATI, April 19 � About 70 years back in Guwahati, teachers were highly venerated persons in society, akin to demi-gods. In those days, the teachers� words worked like unquestionable sermons for their students. Even the guardians treated the teachers of their children/wards as their own teachers, despite some of the teachers being junior to them (guardians).

This was the affirmation made by noted writer Kumudeswar Hazarika, while speaking to this correspondent. He said that after completion of his student career about 60 years back in 1957, he still recalls the memories of his association with his teachers with love and respect. However, none of them is alive now, he said.

Among his teachers, Hazarika named the teachers of his primary school. In the 1920s, St Mary�s School, now St Mary�s Higher Secondary School, was established. Till the end part of the 1930s, this school was not able to attract students.

�I still remember two Italian Sisters visiting the families of our locality every year, imploring for students. My maternal grandfather admitted my two elder sisters to this school. My mother requested him to admit me too, to this school. But he refused, saying that he would admit me to the Chenikuthi Primary School. His logic was that, Chenikuthi Primary School, with the late Chandi Dev Sarma as its headmaster, was a much better school to begin one�s student career,� Hazarika said.

The Late Chandi Dev Sarma had received the President�s Best Teacher Award after Independence, he said.

Hazarika joined the MCME School in 1945 as a student. There he met the late Bharat Sarma, who dedicated his life to teaching. It seemed to be absurd for many people that the late Bharat Sarma used to take coaching classes after the regular classes were over.

The late Sarma used to send the students to their homes for refreshment and then ask them to return to the school with hurricane lamps, along with their textbooks and exercise books, for the coaching classes. But he did not charge a single paisa for the coaching classes. MCME School had no power connection then. The late Sarma was a soft-spoken, kind-hearted person, who seldom punished the students, Hazarika said.

The late Kameswar Sarma was also a very good teacher of the MCME School. But he was an ardent believer in the adage � chekonir agot vidya � knowledge comes through the cane.

At the Cotton Collegiate Boys� High School, Hazarika met a galaxy of leading teachers like Dutta Dev Goswami, Kumud Chandra Bordoloi, Santi Ram Das (a mathematics wizard and author of several mathematics textbooks) and Surendra Mohan Das (the author of Tolstoyor Sadhu), all of whom have already passed away.

Later, Surendra Mohan Das used to teach English to Hazarika and his classmates at the Cotton College.

At the Cotton Collegiate High School, Hazarika also met the late Surendranath Das and the late Krishna Dutta Hazarika, popularly known as Kartik Sir. Both Surendranath Das and Krishna Dutta Hazarika later joined the Gauhati University. While the late Das became the director of sports and youth welfare of the university, the late Hazarika rose to the post of assistant controller of examinations of the university.

The Collegiate teachers were led by the late Annaram Barooah, one of the strict disciplinarian headmasters and a leading social activist of the State of his time. He was a dreaded man inside the school campus and a friend of the students beyond the school boundary.

At the Kamrup Academy, which Hazarika joined in 1952 as a Class-X student, he met the late Golap Choudhury, a man of versatile calibre, as their headmaster. The late Binod Lal Barooah, who taught English at the school, was also a teacher to be well remembered.

At the Cotton College, Hazarika met many celebrated teachers like Sahityacharyya Atul Chandra Hazarika, Upendra Chandra Lekharu, Pandit Giridhar Sarma, Prof Abdul Jalil, Prof Ashraf Ali and Prof Hiranya Chandra Bhuyan. Hazarika also met some other famous headmasters of his time like Narendra Chandra Sarma of the Sonaram High School and Pulin Bihari Ghosh of the Bengali Boys� High School, who commanded respect and awe from their students.

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Yesteryear teachers were highly venerated

GUWAHATI, April 19 � About 70 years back in Guwahati, teachers were highly venerated persons in society, akin to demi-gods. In those days, the teachers� words worked like unquestionable sermons for their students. Even the guardians treated the teachers of their children/wards as their own teachers, despite some of the teachers being junior to them (guardians).

This was the affirmation made by noted writer Kumudeswar Hazarika, while speaking to this correspondent. He said that after completion of his student career about 60 years back in 1957, he still recalls the memories of his association with his teachers with love and respect. However, none of them is alive now, he said.

Among his teachers, Hazarika named the teachers of his primary school. In the 1920s, St Mary�s School, now St Mary�s Higher Secondary School, was established. Till the end part of the 1930s, this school was not able to attract students.

�I still remember two Italian Sisters visiting the families of our locality every year, imploring for students. My maternal grandfather admitted my two elder sisters to this school. My mother requested him to admit me too, to this school. But he refused, saying that he would admit me to the Chenikuthi Primary School. His logic was that, Chenikuthi Primary School, with the late Chandi Dev Sarma as its headmaster, was a much better school to begin one�s student career,� Hazarika said.

The Late Chandi Dev Sarma had received the President�s Best Teacher Award after Independence, he said.

Hazarika joined the MCME School in 1945 as a student. There he met the late Bharat Sarma, who dedicated his life to teaching. It seemed to be absurd for many people that the late Bharat Sarma used to take coaching classes after the regular classes were over.

The late Sarma used to send the students to their homes for refreshment and then ask them to return to the school with hurricane lamps, along with their textbooks and exercise books, for the coaching classes. But he did not charge a single paisa for the coaching classes. MCME School had no power connection then. The late Sarma was a soft-spoken, kind-hearted person, who seldom punished the students, Hazarika said.

The late Kameswar Sarma was also a very good teacher of the MCME School. But he was an ardent believer in the adage � chekonir agot vidya � knowledge comes through the cane.

At the Cotton Collegiate Boys� High School, Hazarika met a galaxy of leading teachers like Dutta Dev Goswami, Kumud Chandra Bordoloi, Santi Ram Das (a mathematics wizard and author of several mathematics textbooks) and Surendra Mohan Das (the author of Tolstoyor Sadhu), all of whom have already passed away.

Later, Surendra Mohan Das used to teach English to Hazarika and his classmates at the Cotton College.

At the Cotton Collegiate High School, Hazarika also met the late Surendranath Das and the late Krishna Dutta Hazarika, popularly known as Kartik Sir. Both Surendranath Das and Krishna Dutta Hazarika later joined the Gauhati University. While the late Das became the director of sports and youth welfare of the university, the late Hazarika rose to the post of assistant controller of examinations of the university.

The Collegiate teachers were led by the late Annaram Barooah, one of the strict disciplinarian headmasters and a leading social activist of the State of his time. He was a dreaded man inside the school campus and a friend of the students beyond the school boundary.

At the Kamrup Academy, which Hazarika joined in 1952 as a Class-X student, he met the late Golap Choudhury, a man of versatile calibre, as their headmaster. The late Binod Lal Barooah, who taught English at the school, was also a teacher to be well remembered.

At the Cotton College, Hazarika met many celebrated teachers like Sahityacharyya Atul Chandra Hazarika, Upendra Chandra Lekharu, Pandit Giridhar Sarma, Prof Abdul Jalil, Prof Ashraf Ali and Prof Hiranya Chandra Bhuyan. Hazarika also met some other famous headmasters of his time like Narendra Chandra Sarma of the Sonaram High School and Pulin Bihari Ghosh of the Bengali Boys� High School, who commanded respect and awe from their students.