In a much acclaimed book called “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!”, by Theodor "Dr. Seuss" Geisel, the Grinch, a horrible being with a heart “two sizes too small” was so upset with the world celebrating Christmas that it decided to ‘steal’ Christmas, by robbing the food for the feasts, all the presents and toys.
The book fundamentally criticised the commercialisation of Christmas and regularly features in top childrens’ books lists.
And now we see our Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, emulating the Grinch as he steals the joy that children would normally have felt on Teachers’ Day.
Teachers’ Day has traditionally been one of the few days in the year when all children look forward to going to school. It’s a day with no classes and no lessons, no home-work to submit, no PT. In many schools, it’s a day when no uniforms are required, so children attend in their ‘party’ clothes. More often than not, there’s a party atmosphere in the school, with snacks and soft drinks to mark the festivities. The teachers, unusually, are in good humour. Many teachers who never seem to smile mark this day with smiles and laughter.
And the best part is that the whole shebang is over in a couple of hours, and off the children go to play cricket (or kabaddi) or ludo or Angry Birds or Candy Crush or whatever it is that they play nowadays.
And our Grinch, Narendra Modi, has ended all of that. Today, school kids across India will have to sit in front of their idiot boxes trying to make sense of the Prime Minister’s speech – which he makes at the ridiculous hour of 3 PM. For many kids, it would be nap time; for many others, it’s time to be out playing. Not today, though, as they will be indoors focusing on the boring words that Modi’s speechwriters will write.
And, once they’re done with listening to the speech, the kids will sit down to complete their Narendra Modi assignments, aided and abetted by their parents or elder siblings or their tuition teachers.
There will be no air of celebration and all thought of teachers will be forgotten, with all the attention focused on the Grinch, Narendra Modi.
This time, Modi’s PR machine has got it wrong – and maybe they will realise this.
In Seuss’ book, by the end of the story, the Grinch realises that there’s more to Christmas than just the holiday and the presents and the celebrations and a reformed Grinch undoes the damage.
Dear Prime Minister, there’s more to Teachers’ Day than you.
Updated Date: Sep 05, 2014 10:40 AM