After reading about the murder of #DivyaMishra in Etawa and finding one my ex students involved in plotting and killing, I feel responsible and I feel that I failed as a teacher. I could not process this information after getting multiple links and pictures on whats app about his arrest in this case. Couldn’t digest the information for 3 days, and knowing that I did not have a cordial relationship with that student, It makes it more awkward and difficult to write about it. I have been trying not to write, but feel terrible as a teacher.
I failed as a teacher. Knowing that some of your students get involved in multiple notorious activities, You can only counsel them to a limit. You can’t do much about it because they are adults… new age adults, who don’t like teachers or even parents to ‘interfere’ in their lives. The moment you call the parents, things get messed up, as parents often end up accusing colleges for targeting their children or blame other students of their ward’s behavior. ( Read :- Target https://vineetaasthana.wordpress.com/2016/09/15/dear-students-stop-cribbing-stop-playing-victim-stop-misusing-your-newly-found-freedom-stop-wasting-your-parents-hard-earned-money-and-start-focusing-on-what-you-want-to-be-all-t/ ) Institutes are treating students as customers and teachers are expected to behave like customer care executives. Moment you are tough with the students, the institution’s management comes in between.
Now about Akhil, a boy from Begu Sarai comes to NBA institutions with a dream to become a journalist. Bright kid with some unhealthy habits. I got to interact with him in his current affairs class, as I don’t teach first year graduation student, but looking at the notorious young batch; the dean wanted me to interact with them at least once in a week (Thanks to my ‘gabbar’ image) . So I started with taking up current affairs class. Akhil was bright but to find him in the class was rare. After a few counseling and scolding session, he started attending the class and I found a well read and well informed student in him. A student who was ambitious and over confident. Fan of Kanhaiya Kumar and a regular visitor to JNU campus for his news story assignments, Akhil and his friends established their PR with NSUI and Shehla Rashid too. He was in a hurry for everything. From jumping to conclusion on every political discussion in the class to trying everything to be in the good books of any faculty who may help him get a good job. He was ready to do anything.
This was the reason ( Read – Pet to Pupil https://vineetaasthana.wordpress.com/2017/05/23/from-pet-to-pupil/ ) I had a few counseling sessions with him and his friends in the college after repeated incidents and complaints by the faculties. Tried my best to counsel all of them that their working like a “Gang” to please certain people, defaming a known faculty from print Media subject and snatching his credits of assignments is neither professional approach to work in media nor it is healthy for the work environment. This isn’t what they come to Delhi for. It isn’t good to trouble people just to please certain set of people, you are not their pet Gunda but a student. Some of them understood and promised to never repeat such acts. Few of them had less effect as the “adults” knew what they were up to. Declared atheist to abuse only Hinduism and secular as soon someone comes up with other religious practices in group discussion, he was really good with his switching sides. Smart boy, who was proud of “I am what I am ” theory, he knew what he was up to, I still wonder what lead him to plot and kill a woman.
One day, our examination coordinator told me that a girl has written Akhil’s name with blood on the wall of the girls hostel. She wanted me to talk to her as i was the HOD of Mass Communication. We were still thinking how to convey this to the girl, that another information came in from their class teacher and mentor, that Akhil beats his girl friend and he was seen doing the same in the canteen. I inquired, no witness came up, the girl also took U turn. It couldn’t be solved. Still as part of my class I took it up without mentioning the names and the incidents, and requested girls not to tolerate any abuse or exploitation in college as well as industry they are going to be in. It was a good discussion and we talked about the industry and the culture there. These kind of discussions are common in my classes at least once in a month because only teaching is not sufficient, only practicals are not enough, we need to prepare the students about the industry environment too. Akhil was nice enough to patiently listen without any reactions ever. He agreed or not, he would listen with patience and never crossed the line of mutual respect. On one occasion of ‘farewell party in 2017’ I had to literally stand out side the venue at the gate of the club, through out the party only to protect him from getting beaten up by his seniors. Its shocking to see, this timid boy has come a long way.
2017, I left NBA in August, while Akhil was in second year. I taught them News Reporting for a semester. Since then few incidents happened online and I unfriended and blocked him on my social media accounts. With him I also blocked a few of his close friends. When I received the messages on whats app on the night of 18th October that Akhil is the killer in Divya Mishra murder case, I did not react. I did not believe it, in the first place. It took me some time to process this news and write on facebook. I am still sad. It shouldn’t have happened. A boy with Kanhaiya Kumar as his idol shouldn’t go this wrong? As on my facebook post, aryan said “there is no short cut to dreams” I agree to that.
I appeal to all my students, if you ever feel confused or pressurized, don’t jump to any conclusion without consulting your close friends, mentors or people you trust. I request the same to my friends and people around. You are most welcome to share with me. I promise I will not judge you . Please think about your family and parents before getting into this one way road to destruction.