Archive for August, 2018

Letter to my son’s class teacher

August 15, 2018

A photograph of my son (2012)

Dear Sir,

I wish you a very happy Independence Day.

I’m writing this to you to tell about an incident my son told me this morning while getting ready for school. It may seem a trivial matter to some, but I think it’s a grave concern and I should inform you about it.

Yesterday, during some class, the teacher asked “Who (which country) is celebrating their Independence Day today?” She was talking about simultaneous freedom of two countries: India and Pakistan. But it happened that as she was talking about Pakistan, some students pointed towards one of your students Parvez and said “Madam, aaj Parvez ka Independence Day hai.. wo Pakistan se hai..” From what I know from my son, the teacher replied, “haa re, tum Pakistan se ho?” The kid bit his tongue and kept silence.

I’m shocked to hear about such an incident happening in our class. I told my kid that this country is as much of Muslims as it’s of any other Indians. Incidentally, I was listening to the song “apni aazaadi ko hum hargiz mita sakte nahi..” I told him about this song: it’s written by Shakil Badayuni, music by Naushad, sung by Mohd. Rafi, filmed of Dilip Kumar – all of them Muslims.

This is not the first time he told me about such bullying of Parvez. Many a times, other kids ask him to go Pakistan.

Kids are kids, sir. They learn from what’s happening around them. It’s our responsibility to identify the problem and correct the course. I’m sure such incidents happen away from your gaze and they are almost never brought to your attention. Yesterday’s incident was a perfect occasion to talk about it and get the kids sensitised about the topic. Things can’t be washed out just by hiding them. I’m afraid – if such incidents are happening at our school where all teachers are well-trained in children psychology, I cannot imagine situation of private schools that run on poorly trained teachers.

I’m a parent to one kid. You are a parent figure to hundreds of them. I’m sure you can educate the kids in a better way than any of us. I request you to please find some occasion, talk to the kids, and sensitise them towards the issue.

I’m especially concerned about the poor kid Parvez. My son, also previously, had told me about some behavioral changes in the kid. Sometimes, he gets aggressive and replies with “हाँ, हूँ मैं पाकिस्तान से..” Please provide him special attention. The kid has done nothing to suffer this kind of bullying.

I hope you’d understand my concern and would excuse me for overstepping into your area of expertise.

Yours faithfully,

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