‘INDIA a COUNTRY for ALL’- Activist Teesta Setalvad at St Aloysius Decennial
Irrespective of Caste, Creed or Religion, INDIA is a COUNTRY for ALL. Caste, Creed, and Religion should not determine a citizenship of an individual. India is threatened by forces fostering fear, festering hatred and attacking reason. Discarding all the differences and breaking all the bondage, let the minds be free to visualize a society free of evils, ills, hatred, jealousy, greed, lust, pride etc. which are all ill effects of humans’ adverse thinking arising out of bad collateral thoughts and behaviour. It’s about time that we all raise our voices and speak against injustice, Violence, and whenever indignity is propagated. Let’s speak out peacefully against them, and make India a better Nation” – Ms Teesta Setalvad- Human Rights Activist, Educationist, Journalist and Secretary of Citizens for Justice and Peace, during Decennial College Day celebration of St Aloysius Institute of Education (SAIE)-Mangaluru held on 24 October at St Aloysius High school Hall.
Mangaluru: Quoting APJ Abdul Kalam’s words, “If a country is to be corruption free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three key societal members who can make a difference. They are the father, the mother and the teacher. Teaching is a very noble profession that shapes the character, caliber, and future of an individual. If the people remember you as a good teacher, that will be the biggest honour for you”- these words of wisdom indeed befit the prospective teachers of St Aloysius Institute of Education- mangaluru, who will emerge out of this prestigious institution and bring a change in the society and Country.
Education is one of the building blocks of society. Educated individuals tend to be happier and healthier, and study after study has found that an educated populace leads to a stronger economy. So what’s behind all these educational benefits? Teachers. And one renowned institution which is moulding and training students to be Responsible, Dedicated and Committed Teachers to make a difference in our World-is St Aloysius Institute of Education established on 2006-07. This premier institute has been promoting effective teaching through educating its students to gain the tools that provide them a lifetime of success and achievement-thereby making the students capable of imparting skills and knowledge to learners. The skills of effective teaching, leadership, communication, well rounded knowledge of the subjects and continuous search for the promotion of ideas and practices in teaching has enabled the students of SAIE to be bold and successful. And on 24 October 2017 the management, the staff and the students of SAIE celebrated the Tenth Year (Decennial) of existence of their Institute through a colorful ceremony in pomp and exuberance.
Prior to the formal celebration, the dignitaries for the occasion were led from the Institution gate to the Hall by the school band in attendance. The programme began with a prayer song, followed by a welcome dance and the Decennial Song-“An Ode of Love” (composed by Fr Nelson D’souza SJ) rendered by the students of SAIE. The welcome address was delivered by Fr Eric Mathias Sj-the Director of SAIE, followed by the annual report in an audio-video presentation done by Dr Ms Farita Veigas – Principal of SAIE (who was referred as “Kittur Rani Chennamma” by Fr Eric Mathias in welcome address). The dignitaries on the dais were- Chief guest-Ms Ms Teesta Setalvad- Human Rights Activist, Educationist, Journalist and Secretary of Citizens for Justice and Peace; Fr Dionysius Vaz Sj who presided; joined by Fr Eric Mathias Sj-Director; Dr Farita Veigas-Principal; Ms Delna Lobo- Vice Principal; Santhosh Furtado- Staff Coordinator/Convener of the programme; and Ms Minora Peres- Student President- all at SAIE.
Addressing the audience, chief guest Ms Teesta Setalvad said, “One book that our Country-India has and lives by, is the ‘Constitution of India’. But sadly none of our politicians are going by this Book, instead they are doing their own things, making their own laws and rules, spreading their own ideology, thereby creating injustice to the nation and its citizens. There are people who are threatening the citizens and taking over the country. Nobody wants to follow the Constitution. Then what’s the point in having a Constitution, if some forces and Netas are abusing it? In 1947 we got freedom after our forefathers and citizens fought for nearly 300 years. A Constitution was formed, which spoke of Equality, Justice, Ideologies and fraternity. Irrespective of caste, creed and religion, India is a Country for all. Caste, Creed, and Religion should not determine a citizenship of an individual”
“India is threatened by forces fostering fear, festering hatred and attacking reason. Discarding all the differences and breaking all the bondage, let the minds be free to visualize a society free of evils, ills, hatred, jealousy, greed, lust, pride etc. which are all ill effects of humans’ adverse thinking arising out of bad collateral thoughts and behaviour. Citizens have been threatened very badly, and are not allowed to ask any question pertaining to the present system, equality and injustice. On January 30, 1948, the father of Our Nation- Mahatma Gandhi was killed, and today some people admire this killer. Recently journalist Gauri Lankesh was shot dead, even others like Govind Pansare, Narendra Dabholkar and Prof Kalburgi. So here we are even after 70 years of Independence, citizens who question hierarchy, raise voices against injustice, inequality, discrimination against poor, hatred against minorities etc, are being threatened or killed. Sad to note that Our Country which belongs to EVERYONE, irrespective of caste, Creed and Religion has gone back to a deep or seemingly bottomless chasm.” added Setalvad.
She further said, ” Quoting Dr Ambedkar where he said, “We must stand on our own feet and fight as best as we can for our rights. So carry on your agitation and organize your forces. Power and prestige will come to you through struggle”. It’s about time that we all raise our voices and speak against injustice, Violence, and whenever indignity is propagated. Let’s speak out peacefully against them, and make India a better Nation. These prospective teachers of this prestigious institution should promote and start inculcating the true values of the Constitution to students, and also to the society. There are many other issues that are haunting our Nation and not followed as per the Constitution. Teachers should follow up on these issues, and the students the original values of the constitution.”
While concluding her speech, Ms Teesta Setalvad said, ” Today the administration and police are bowing their heads under those pressure of a negative kind that are trying to break down the rule of law. In the meantime, peace loving people like me and you who are not looking forward for any kind of hate and violence, are forced to remain in silence. But why should we remain quite. We need to question this hatred and communal disharmony. We need to ask- Don’t we have Fundamental Rights? The Rights of Equality; Rights to Freedom of Faith; Right to live without discrimination; Therefore, let us all unite including the Teachers, as one, and fight for ONE NATION FOR ALL”. Let us educate the society. Let us take a strong stand and become the torch bearers of the society in this regard. It is time that we all unite and look forward for a better nation with freedom for all, that we got 70 years ago”
Also speaking on the occasion, Rector of St Aloysius Institutions Fr Dionysius Vaz said, “Like Ms Teesta Setalvad said that our Constitution has been abused by some forces and politicians, it is absolutely true. Look at the large numbers of Dalits in India who are still even after India got Independence. Is is the constitution all about? Dalits are being tortured and killed for unwanted silly reasons- people are not allowing them to come up in life. Being one of the largest Democratic country in the World, we need to concentrate on sensitive issues like these. We need to go by the Book of Indian Constitution, which has values that will lead to a peaceful life. I also urge that teachers should take their profession to the rural areas too, so that all masses are reached and get education, and not just render their services in the Cities.”
” We need to look for toleration and harmony. We need people who search for truth. And for a real Democracy we need to follow the ‘one person, one vote, and one value policy. It will stress on, political equality, where everyone in the country irrespective of the caste, colour, gender, creed and income earned is allowed to vote for his own representative, i.e., the choice and opportunity is available to all the citizens on an equal basis without any discrimination on the basis of gender, caste, colour, etc. The policy of one person, one vote, and one value should be followed in a democracy” added Fr Vaz Sj.
Ms Teesta Setalvad was felicitated by Rector Fr Vaz, Director Fr Mathias of SAIE along with other dignitaries, followed by felicitations of Rank holder students and the faculty of the college. Two former Directors of SAIE namely Fr Leo Pereira Sj (Founder Director), who served for four years, and Fr Michael John Sj, who served for three years were also felicitated. For their dedicated and committed service at SAIE, seven staff namely Dr Farita Veigas (Principal); Ms Delna Lobo (Vice Principal); Jerome D’souza, Ms sandhya, Saritha Rodrigues, Josna (all Lecturers) and Yathish (Librarian) were also felicitated on the occasion. The vote of thanks was proposed by Ms Minora Peres, and the ceremony was professionally compered by Fr Johnson Sequeira and Miss Bianca Santos, students of SAIE.
The formal function concluded with a Choral (Musical) performance comprising of three songs conducted by Fr Amith D’souza Sj and sung by SAIE students; and a mesmerizing dance drama named ” Swathanthrada Rekkegalu (Kannada)” (Wings of Freedom) well presented by the students of SAIE. Ending this report with the lyrics from the Decennial Song -“An Ode of Love” composed by Fr Nelson D’souza :
“Ten years of fruitful toil
Now do we celebrate.
Spending in teaching soil
Now we commemorate.
Lucet et Ardet (motto of St Aloysius Institutions)
Blessings we hail
Striving to mould
Inspire and share.
With teachers kind hearted
Nurtured we all are with
Knowledge wisdom prudence
Grant Dazzling performance
Each day rejoicing be
Spark ignited for all
Saint Aloysius B.Ed
Our dear home forever.”
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