A good teacher teaches not only Science, Maths and English but is also responsible for enlightening the Soul of his students.
In our time we were taught these values through Moral Science and Ethics but students of today hate abhor didacticism. They understand only what appeals to their mind because they have been trained and conditioned not to give in to heart or emotions.
One of the best examples of such a teacher in the current scenario to my mind is Arvind Gaur the man who started the Asmita Theatre in 1993 to create and present socio-political plays through stage as well as street plays (Nukkad Natak).
A well- known name in the world of theatre, Gaur has been in news recently as some highly successful actors of Bollywood including Kangna Ranaut and Sonan Kapoor have named him as being a major influence in training them and shaping their acting career.
But what is a lesser known fact and to which this writer is an eye-witness is that Arvind Gaur has been one of the major influences behind the anti-corruption movement of Anna Hazare whose whereabouts are not known currently (but that is another matter.
Whether it was Arvind Kejriwal who approached this group for help or it was Gaur’s own commitment to educate people to cleanse the system is a matter of conjecture but the fact remains that many people like me came to know of Anna’s first meeting at Jantar Mantar from pamphlets distributed at the performance of Asmita’s play “Brashtachar.”
This play was enacted by a group of about 40 youngsters dressed in jeans and Kurtas trying to tell people how the political system was hand in glove with the corrupt officials and ministers.
Some of the participants in this play were professionals including the IT sector, lawyers, lecturers and other sections of society.
What brought this motley group together was its commitment to the cause of removing corruption by educating and informing the common man. For this group there was no rain or sunshine.
There were times when the police created problems for them as they performed their nukkad nataks outside metro stations, malls and the university to create a mass-movement till Anna Hazare took over. In fact two of its actors were arrested by Delhi Police after the bomb blast at the High Court. Their only crime was that they had black beards and black costumes. But this did not deter the group’s commitment.
By the time Anna came to lime- light this play had been staged at 2000 venues across the country. In fact this group also staged this play at the Jantar Mantar when Anna Hazare began his agitation for the Lokpal in August 2012. But by then politicians had taken over and that is why we remain where we were.
By: Amitabh Srivastava
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