“THROW HIM OUT OF THE PALACE!” shouted the emperor, pointing his finger at a poor man. The soldiers rushed toward the man and were about to pounce on him.

“I AM NOT A DOG… STOP WHERE YOU ARE!” thundered the poor man. Seeing daggers in his eyes, the soldiers halted.

Gathering his composure, the man looked at the emperor and repeated, “I am not a dog… I am a teacher. I came to your palace only because our motherland needs your army to fight the tyranny of a foreigner.” Looking straight in the eyes of the emperor, the man added ,”But since you have refused to answer the call of our motherland, I swear that one day I shall destroy your empire!”

The emperor could not stop laughing at the thought of a poor teacher destroying the one of the most powerful empires of the Indian subcontinent.

However, this thought later became a historic fact when Vishnugupta Chanakya, a professor of Economics and Political Science at Takshashila University successfully orchestrated a civil war, which destroyed the powerful Nanda empire of Maghad. Dhanananda, the emperor who had insulted the poor man (Chanakya) was later assassinated on the orders of Chanakya himself.

Although the above story dates to the era of Vardhaman Mahaveer and Gautam Buddha, it is relevant even today. The incident narrated above proved the world that a teacher is not an ordinary being; he can create and destroy world powers. This fact was proved time and again by various scholars, researchers, academic thinkers and even school teachers across the world.

The latest example is that of ex president of India, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam – a professor, an aeronautical engineer and a nuclear scientist who made India into a nuclear power. He was fondly known as the ‘Missile Man’. However, Dr. Kalam, in many of his interviews said that ‘he is a teacher first and everything else later’.

And who can forget the Father of Indian Unrest – Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak? Lokmanya, started his career as a school teacher in Pune and went on to lay the foundation of India’s armed revolution. He inspired and mentored many revolutionaries…. Chaphekar bros., Veer Savarkar and Senapati Bapat were some of the gems of India’s armed struggle that Lokmanya mentored.

Lets us take pride in the fact that the world regards India as the land of teachers and it salutes us for our contributions in various fields ranging from ancient mathematics to modern software industry.

Most societies consider medicine as the most noble professional on this planet. But I rate teaching above the profession of medicine because a student of medicine cannot become a doctor without a proper education from his teachers.

A teacher not just trains but shapes human minds.

Friends, a teacher is the most selfless person, who gives his most valuable asset to his students – knowledge and yet expects nothing much from his student. Every teacher has one simple expectation from his student, “Do well…succeed in life and remember me.”

No matter where we may go, no matter how much money we may earn, no matter how many new people we may meet, we shall always reserve a special place in our hearts for these selfless souls – our teachers.

———-Dedicated to all my teachers.———-

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