Saturday, November 29, 2014

DU 51 (Education and Knowledge 18)

Chaitanya SarthakI appeared for the first interview in 1982 in DU and published my first and as yet best research paper in 1987 that has been referred to by few scholars and authors including EMS Namboodaripad. I accidentally got this job in 1995. You have provoked to write things that I didn't want, as it would be quite biographical. I managed my life and familial responsibilities with 2 daughters studying in English schools, from intellectual labor market if you have will to live with dignity without begging, stealing or kneeling, your pride becomes your strength and you sail through all the odds, physical discomforts do not matter. Retrospecting, I feel proud of myself that I managed, not withstanding publication of 5-6 research papers excluding units for IGNOU and some other unpaid works like dramatization of couple of good novels and verse-to-verse translation of a difficult play -- Moliere's Misanthrope. Therefore had I to get a job on my own I would have got it much earlier. I had always been quite satisfied with my interviews. Necessay skills are having a Godfather with religious devotion to him. I bacame an authentic atheist at 17. If there is no God, how can be a Godfather. I did not conduct myself well(रंग-ढंग ठीक नहीं किया). I am citing 2 examples: There was a VC in DU for 4 years whom I had first name term with him and he was fond of obliging people, but the thirsty has to go to well. I met him in his last days to complaint against a corrupt Academic mafia, who happened to be the Head of Pol.Sc and Dean. VC's reaction was, "आपको नौकरीचाहिए न मिलजायेगी), अभी मैंने उन्हें डीन बनायाहै........". मैंने कहा, "नौकरी चाहिए होती तो आपके tenure की शुरुआत में नआता? जयराम जी की. I next met him in his funeral. A revolutionary academic mafia, a good teacher though, had he been honest, would have been a widely respected intellectual, who was motive force in conspiracy to dislodge me from the job in 1990 that I had got in 1989 accidentally, invited me for a coffee at his residence in the campus. Before we begin to climb the stairs, he asked me, "When you have your next interview". I said, "prof .... मुझे जिन चाँद चीज़ों से शख्त नफ़रत है, उनमें एकहै, On the one hand you conspire to dislodge me from the job and......." He said how can I...", I said, "well how can you.... bye bye" and went back without coffee to meet him next in one of our meetings after his retirement. In 1988 I got an offered job of Academic Associate after writing few and translating few units for them. In 1989 there was a policy decision to do away with the Academic Associate cadre to transform them into lecturers. I had taught as Guest in Hindu for some time and the then teacher-in-charge, known to be a serious academic of his time. had told me that he was "over impressed with my teaching and totality of the conduct in the college." I always wanted to be a teacher only and there is no teaching without class room. In 1989, I got a temporary job in Hindu owing to the clash of interests of the left and right dons whose wards were 2nd and 3rd respectively in the panel. My contemporaries in IGNOU became professors by 2003-04. No lamenting, one must not regret one's well thought decisions.though I would have ben, I thiunk, to to better things, had I got a job bit early. But you cant have everything. If some one asks me reason " बेवकूफों के सींग पूंछ नहीं होते....." हां हां. I am not good in technicalities of the rules regulation, that post should not have been advertised as it was a leave vacancy appointment through "properly" constituted selection committee that I came to know only after it was no use of knowing. The father of the 2nd in the panel in 1989 was the Head in 1990. I was told by the Director Social Sciences, IGNOU that my post is reserved for a talented son of a very big man in July 1990 predicting the result of the interview to be held in December 1990, who eventually revealed the source of the interview to be the revolutionary academic don mentioned above. Extreme radical dons and extreme rightist dons patched up their differences and arrived at the professorial solidarity. If the daughter goes for the interview the father cant go as the head. So the revolutionary don convinced the rightist don to persuade his daughter, 2nd in the panel previous year, not to appear in the interview with an agreement of her being "absorbed" next time. That she was. My interview lasted for 50 minutes. I knew the result so there was nothing to lose. Any one interrupting in my reply, would be told, "excuse me let me complete. He, the Head, told the selection committee that I had threatened him to kill. I was told this by the Principal. When I went to gently ask him, "महामहिम ............ जी, कब मैंने आपको धमकी दिया था? ......... " and he was sweating in December. Why I am saying its not on my own. In the duration between losing and re-getting, I did not add anything to my academic qualification, rather being cut of from academics except for writing/editing few IGNOU units. I did not add anything in the list of academic publications. More than one coincidences collided and ha ha Ish Mishra became. eventually, not only temperamentally but professionally too a teacher. I know Political Science teachers of various seniority levels through meetings in the interviews for almost one-and-a-half decades. I plan to write anthology of my interviews in DU and other Universities, but at the moment priorities are different. there were legends about me, many original, nothing to do with reality. A popular perception among the candidates was that I use गाली-गलौच in the interviews. I will give just 2 examples, an old lady, the T-I-C began the interview, "What is your age?".(तब आज की तरह सठियाने के करीबनहीं, ३०के करीब था) "you can see it from my CV, but why are yiou asking this question? Do you think with advancing age one's intellectual capacities go down?" In the same interview the Principal advised me to do a BEd and make a career in school teaching. I told him, "Excuse me Mr., what ever you are, I have not come here to seek you advice on career prospects, and I strongly detest unsought advice. You have found me eligible for being called for a post of lecturer in Political Science and hence ask me questions accordingly." And the interview was over. There are other interesting stories about this interview. Some other time. In another interview, the then head, mentioned above, (not the father head) asked me , "Why did you do your MA from JNU?" I asked him a counter question, "why are you asking this question, do you think, its crime to do one's MA from JNU? If you think so I strongly disagree with you. More over, despite all the generation set in in the post 1983 period, it is the best campus in the country, as far as the democratic academic culture is concerned." He must have not heard the term before. The interview was over. There are so many other stories like this. Now you would agree with med that question is not why I got the job late, but how could I get it at all.

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