Lesson for media: Making an issue out of a non-issue

Lallan Kumar: Lesson for media

Patna: Haste makes waste. And it really turned out to be total waste to make a Gandhian out of an opportunist teacher desperate for his transfer even at the cost of maligning an already bruised system of higher education in Bihar.

Yes, the name to fame for Lallan Kumar, Assistant Professor of Hindi at the Niteshwar College (Muzaffarpur), was his decision to make a spectacle of his offer to return his 23-month salary on the pretext that he did not deserve it as there were no students to teach. Perhaps, nobody knew better than the teacher how much money he had in his bank account before offering a hefty cheque.

In a state where hundreds of students are passing with first division from departments without having a single teacher and where many teachers not having to engage a single class in a year due to their pre-occupation with everything beyond academics, a teacher coming forward to return salary for not having got the opportunity to teach made a great news.

The modern-day “likho-phenko” media grabbed it as the Gospel’s truth without making any effort to do basic fact checking and portrayed him as a self-less teacher trapped in Bihar’s rotten system. Had it been confined to social media or portals, one could have understood the compulsion for sensationalism. But mainstream newspapers and channels also went gaga over it, as they got a prepared meal to enjoy. Nobody tried to even find out the basic things, as the news went viral in a society where hero-worship just requires an excuse and an opportunity.

But lo! As the lid was blown off, Lallan Kumar ended up seeking apology and proceeded on leave, blaming media for all the mess he had landed in. He said that “media distorted facts”. He learnt the ways to work in a system. He sent his apology letter to the registrar after getting it duly forwarded by the principal. Now, the authorities would take a call what to do next with Lallan Kumar, who proceeded on leave as things started getting hotter.

While Lallan Kumar, a young teacher having joined barely three years ago, will require a lot of introspection to do, so is the case with the media. It should not try to jump to any story to make a hero or a monster out of nowhere. Media needs to act responsibly and not get swayed by hearsay or assumptions and not ape to make an issue out of a non-issue.

The larger issue of education in general and higher education in particular remains largely unattended in Bihar, with genuine teachers taking a backseat and having to follow the diktats of street smart colleagues who know the art of climbing up the ladder. The malaise runs much deeper. Lallan Kumar may have had his own interest to serve, but it is a fact the prevailing system, which has become synonymous with corruption by the government’s own admissions, suffocates the good ones. If transfers are made arbitrarily, which is nothing new in Bihar, others developing urge should not be seen as common.

Naturally, with academics taking a back seat, students don’t feel the urge to attend classes and instead land at coaching institutes and tuition, even if it requires coughing up money. Time to do course correction and not get after any individual.

Previous articlePM to open/launch work on ₹16,000cr projects in Deoghar, Patna on Jul 12
Next articleDurgapur, Bardhaman get dedicated Internet exchanges for high speed data


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here