Ashfaq Ahmed is one of the greatest personalities Pakistan has ever had. He was a writer, playwright, broadcaster in Pakistan. He has written and published many books in his life time. In his television programs and books one can find a great deal of knowledge and counseling. I am myself a very big fan of Ashfaq Ahmed. I have learnt a lot from him and always consider him to be my teacher.
Ashfaq Ahmed was not just an average writer as you can learn as well as enjoy his books where you can find his lifetime experiences. One of his greatest hits and my most favorite is Zavia. Zavia was a television show in which he would share his lifetime experiences and people would ask him questions and share their problems to learn more about the world. Now, you can also get books which holds complete discussions made in that programs; book is also known as Zavia. In Zavia, Ashfaq Ahmed once shared an experience from his time when he was in capital city of Italy, Rome.
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He was a young professor in Rome University. He shares that one summer day he was coming back home from university. It was sunny afternoon, everyone was home and roads were mostly empty. Finding that no one was around, he took a shortcut on road which violated a traffic law. There appeared a police officer out of nowhere that then fined him. Now this fine was to be submitted at any post office which for some reasons couldn’t be paid by its due date. Now Afshaq Ahmed says that he got a court summon notice on this affronting of law. As he had no other choice, he went to the court though he was very much scared.
There came the judge and Ashfaq Ahmed was called to stand in the balustrade of court. He shared that he had thought of using the unaware foreigner card in his defense. Judge started, you were fined and ordered to pay it to nearest post office, why didn’t you pay it? Do you have any idea how much time and energy you have wasted of police, law and faculty? You should have been aware of that. Judge a bit rough on him as they always are.
Ashfaq Ahmed in his defense used the foreigner excuse and judge said you speak the language finely, what do you do? He then, embarrassingly, told him that he is a teacher, a professor at Rome University and right at the moment happened that really confused Afshaq Ahmed which he couldn’t forget his whole life.
Judge stood up and declaimed that there is a teacher in the court and everyone stood up including the including the faculty, police officers and everyone present. Then entire manner of judge changed. He ordered to bring a chair for Ashfaq Ahmed in the balustrade that he must not stand while we sit as he is a teacher. Then the judge stated in a poetical language:
“Oh respected teacher! Oh teacher who educate the world! Oh most respected man! You are who ordered us of court and justice, and you taught this knowledge, and it is because of you that we stand today where we are. So, we are bound by your command that we check you according the discipline established by court despite we are abashed of it. And we are very sad that we are trailing a teacher, no one is more respected than whom. “
Ashfaq Ahmed says that he himself was very ashamed and nervous of what had started and just wanted to get out of there. I said to do what your law and regulations say and I am here for it.
“It is a very painful occasion for a judge that a teacher be trialed in the balustrade of his court. So, with the extreme of shame, grief and sadness, we are doubling the fine” said the judge.
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Now out of the court balustrade, he was walking out humbled of himself and then a strange thing happens. That judge and all of his faculty and managers started walking behind him saying “A teacher in the court”. They were walking him out and also walked behind out of respect of teacher. He says, he wanted them to go back to their work and did not know what they would after taking him outside but they didn’t go anywhere and walked him to his and stood there until he had started his car and gone away.
Ashfaq Ahmed said that was the he realized that he is a very respect and important person in Italy. He shared that the teachers in Italy are paid almost as much as in Pakistan but in respect they are second to none and are always preferred over any businessman, bureaucrats or judge.
I am myself a teacher and teach classes from matric to Bachelors. I never really had much complaint with the salary but the world here doesn’t really understand what a teacher is. I really hate the fact that though we are the teachers, but the institute owners and parents of students tell us what and how to do. I always asked them one question, “Do you know my work better than me?” I think, I am the teacher and I know how to teach and what to teach.
The day I started teaching a new crowd, I first teach them discipline. I teach them who I am, who they are and what are my rights and duties and what are their rights and duties. This way, they will have value what I say to them and once they realize that the person standing in front of them is not just an employee but a qualified person who is preparing them for the good, who is bringing their scholar and intelligence out; they will automatically start respecting and admiring him.
I often had clashes with my headmaster on just sticking to syllabus and preparing the kids for board exams. But they forget what the purpose of education and exams is. They are just sticking to flow that world has brought upon them. Students are studying so they can get a better job in future as they are never told why they are spending their whole life studying. They are not taught the morals, values and respect of the world. That is why teachers are not very much respected in Pakistan. There is only an artificial customary regard in students for their teachers.