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Taj city’s century-plus educational institutions rich in heritage

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Agra: Educational institutions in this Taj city have enriched India’s intellectual legacy. Many may dispute Agra’s claim to modernity, but when it comes to great and grand educational – infrastructure more than a century old – the city’s record remains unchallenged till date.

It’s not just the medical college which started as the Thompson School of Medicine or the Mental Asylum now called Mansik Arogyashala, that came up in the 1850s. Agra boasts of a dozen other educational institutions that have sent out streams of talented people who have promoted the country’s intellectual heritage.

The oldest convent in Asia, started in 1842 by six nuns of the Congregation of Jesus and Mary founded by Claudine Thevnet, continues to groom homemakers with highly cherished traits in great demand in the matrimonial market. St Joseph’s Inter-College in the neighbourhood also boasts of a hoary history. In 1846 was founded the St Peter’s College by the then Agra Archdiocese that had its sway over half of India right from Tibet to the southern end of what is now called Madhya Pradesh.

The Protestants, the Baptists, the Methodists and other denominations too had their own educational institutions, all more than a century old. St John’s degree and Inter Colleges stand tall even today. The magnificent red sand-stoned edifice of St John’s College attracts notice and inspires awe with its imposing look on the MG Road.

In fact, the grandiose and often experimental architectural features of some of these institutions continue to fascinate locals.

“When people from other towns, our relatives visit us, we never fail to take them around to our schools and always the reaction is a wide-open mouth: ‘Oh my god, how much space and what grandeur, something to be really proud of, especially when you compare them with modern-day match-box like structures of schools’,” said Mukta Gupta, a former student of St Patrick’s College, told IANS.

“Educational temples should automatically inspire awe and respect, the right academic ambiance comes from the structures.” A teacher of Baptist College said: “Our class-rooms are big and spacious with high ceilings, big verandahs, long corridors and open spaces all around unlike some of the modern schools which look like kabootarkhanas.”

The St John’s College on Mahatma Gandhi Road is often mistaken by foreigners as the Red Fort.

Then, the Rajput and Maratha-styled Agra College and the spacious RBS College are massive architectural delights. These buildings inculcate a sense of pride in students and connect them with history. It’s little wonder that many of the older students boast to their grandchildren about the grandeur of their alma mater, said ex-St Johnian Sudheir Gupta of Vijay Nagar Colony.

Does the building of an academic institution have any relationship with the quality of output or standards of excellence?

“Oh it does a lot to the confidence of the students, their grooming as healthy and mentally sharp human beings. Schools must have open, neat, well-ventilated classrooms for the healthy development of students,” said Rajan Kishore, an ex-student of St Peter’s College.

The SN Medical College and the RBS College have made notable contributions by sending out competent faculty.

As the mother institution, the RBS Agriculture College provided trained hands for both the Pusa centre of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) in New Delhi and later the Pant Nagar University – both centres of excellence in the sector.

Among others who passed out of RBS are former ICAR head Mangla Rai, Ex-BHU vice chancellor Punjab Singh, Nehru Agricultural University vice chancellor Dhyaan Pal Singh and popular Hindi radio commentator on cricket SVS Chauhan.

Former president Shankar Dayal Sharma, former governor SMH Burney, former foreign secretary S.K. Singh, security chief during Indira Gandhi’s time Ram Krishan Khandelwal, former P&T head Neepesh Talukdar and celebrated British author Reginald Massey, to name a few, are ex-St Johnians.

Both Agra College and St John’s College have the privilege of producing eminent jurists, politicians and professionals.

(IANS)

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Shoot The Rapist At The Sight

 And which type is contributing more dangerously to the society can easily be measured with our simple plus and minus equation

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This glaring aberration in the world of media is visible as clearly as stars in the darkness of the night.
India is plagued with a disease called Rape. Wikimedia Commons

Salil Gewali

  • India is plagued with a disease called Rape
  • There are no rigorous punishments for rape
  • Rapists openly commit crimes without anny fear

Why the clamour only for the rigorous punishment for rape and other sadistic crimes which have their roots in the mental-degeneration? Apart from the toughest punishment to the perpetrators, let’s go deeper to analyze what could be the possible  “causes”  that push men to commit rape. Why so much mental degeneration that certain individuals can stoop to the gutter being to their status, their position and social values? Well, how to address those issues is certainly a challenge. And that “challenge” certainly calls for a serious brain-storming and a serious self-assessment vise-a vise the environment in which we all are living.

Ranaghat Nun Rape Case
Rape culture in India garnered more spotlight following the Nirbhaya-gang rape, after which the issue has continue to remain a burning topic in the country. Pixabay

True, in the physical world we are highly convinced brag about that healthy environment is a must for our healthy living. Even kids know these days that we can’t breathe well if our surroundings are filled with high levels of  “toxicity”. We have well studied through our academic textbooks that people invite the environmental disaster if they keep on allowing excessive emission of CO2, CO, methane and other dangerous gases into the atmosphere. We have fully acknowledged that each tall and black chimney of the industries and the nozzles of the motor vehicles are here only to mar the beauty of this planet? What kind of damages the toxic gases are doing to our ecosystem are not at all tough job to analyze with modern appliances. Again, a lot amount of books have been published to create the awareness, to inform us about the scientifically tested measures to resolve the environmental concerns.

However, do we have the same amount of literature that pinpoint the “causes” which contribute to turning “males into perverts”? Who else is emitting the “toxic substances” that overpower the inborn sensitivity of the deviant? What are the properties of toxic filth that is polluting the mind-scape of the society? Now we have Donald Trump, the president of the USA, whom many prefer call him a pervert. At this rate, the number perverts are increasing and they have become dangerously ubiquitous. And, all those perverts have brought nightmares to the ill-fated females. We often stage candle march in protest against the rape, but remain blind to the glaring “causes”. Should we still fiddle about and be appreciative of the society that shameless covers itself with the vulgarity — the “toxicity” that might numb the sanity of males? Watch out, dear friends, those perverts have begun to see even “baby girls” as objects of lust!

Please note:  what our sages said:  “What you see that you think, what you think that you do and what you do that become !!!!”

Also Read: Eat Grapes To Ward Off Depression

Again, I would like to draw another similarity with what prompt big people to “rape”/violate the harmony of the Mother Earth. The case is very regularly brought out by the conscious citizens across the country. A senior journalist Patricia Mukhim of Meghalaya has pointedly driven home recently how the “greed for money” has corrupted many leaders who are trying hard to justify the senseless exploitation of the “body” of Mother Earth. Many big shots of big companies struggle to convince the politicians to tweak the laws to grant the permission to perpetually “rape” the country.

In my mind, both are infected with common syndromes! While the one type is interested in the body of the females, the other type has a fetish for the rocky body of the “Mother Earth”. And which type is contributing more dangerously to the society can easily be measured with our simple plus and minus equation.

The rape victims are not getting the justice they deserve.
The rape victims are not getting the justice they deserve.

Let’s assess the issues from another angle, given the advancement of medical science. Till some years back malaria, dengue, cholera, HIV, smallpox were life-taking diseases. But the medical science has pretty successfully eradicated or contained them all. The scientists have correctly identified the causes of those dangerous diseases and recommended the remedial measures. No doubt, that is a very productive achievement. However, why have the modern studies practically failed to “identify the causes”  of the pandemic rise of the horrendous instances of rapes and criminality associated with them? Is it not a strong slap in the face of the modern civilization considering we have not yet spelt out the causes and the characteristic symptoms the  “toxic emitters” who turn decent males into sadists? How long will we endure the depravity which has already strangulated the decency of the society? Should we still wait to work out the tough laws? Should we still hitch to explore for the “causes” and remedial measures? I guess the time is ripe that each morally conscious individual be allowed a shotgun to shoot the “perversion and depravity” of any kind at sight!

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter: @SGewali.