My dear Pranav,
Vinoba had many fresh ideas about education and teachers. He
presented his idea of Acharyakul at Kahalgram in Bihar on 8th March,
1968. He wanted a special role for teachers. He wanted to have
Acharya-kul to establish the power of the people as opposed to the
power of violence, and distinct from that of law. He wanted teachers
to be pioneers of this non-violent revolution. He wanted education
to be accepted on par with the judiciary with the same kind of
Acharya, according to him, did not mean only teacher. The root of the
word is char; the same root is found in acharan (practice), vicharan (traveling),
vichar (thought, deliberation), sanchar (arduous progress), prachar
(spreading knowledge ). All these meanings contribute to the ideal of
an Acharya. The word Kula means a family. All of us teachers are
members of one family.
Every aspect of the work we mean to do - to commit ourselves to
knowledge; to strive for mental purity; to watch over the development
of our students with affectionate care; to study the problems of
society with a disinterested endeavour to reach agreed conclusions for
the guidance of the public - all of these are part of the task of
establishing the unity of the family that is the family of teachers.
Vinoba said, these are the reasons which led him to choose the name
Acharyakul. Kula is a beautiful word, and it is one of those words
which have links with both Arabic and Sanskrit. It implies 'all' (Kul)
teachers; there is no question of high or law, of great or small.
All teachers are to be equally honoured; all will work together,
those are the conditions of success in the teaching profession.
"The purpose of Acharyakul is not to acquire power; there are other
associations for that. The purpose is to make us teachers more aware
of our duties, and more ready to fulfil them, and so enable us to
regain our rightful place in society. There is so much darkness
around us, how can it be removed? If our surrondings seem dark, it
is because we have no light. Light knows no darkness. (1)"
What is the nature of our (teachers) strength? Is it not in the nature of
light? The light of knowledge, of wisdom, of thought and reflection.
What power in the world can stand before it? When science has made
so much progress, when the intellect has such far-reaching power, it
will be disaster for humanity if the heart remains small. The
problems of today arise from this discrepancy: big brains and small
Intellectual progress is going to continue, and scientific knowledge is
going to expand even further. There is no alternative, if we have to
survive, except to expand our hearts. The world outlook of "Jai Jagat"
is the only fitting one for our generation; for the world is ours,
and we are world citizens, "World-men" (Vishwa - manushah) as the Rg-Veda
called it long ago.
Vinoba's Jai jagat we shall discuss some other time.