President's Message

‘Contemplation’ is Imperative for Our Success

The Year, 2017 has brought with itself a new set of challenges for me. I am humbled to have received the honorary Padma Shri award by the Government of India and extend this privilege to all my colleagues of DAV CMC and the entire DAV Family. This award is a culmination of your constant support and worthy commitment to our collective cause. I am grateful to the Government of India for recognising DAV’s contribution in the field of Education and giving us a major boost to continue working for the upliftment of society along the guiding principles of Maharishi Dayanand and our other eminent founding forefathers. Why I call 2017 a year of new challenges is precisely because of the honours it has brought for the entire DAV family. It is a proud moment for all of us, yes, but it is also a moment of contemplation.

Looking back at the history of education one would find a gradual shift of emphasis from teaching to learning. Though the two processes are symbiotic in nature, the importance each of them has received has been varied. First we had teaching classrooms and now with the incoming of new technological tools and Internet, we have advanced learning classrooms. However, the picture still remains incomplete.

Maharishi Swami Dayanand used to lay particular emphasis on human beings becoming ‘manansheel’, that is, contemplative. Consider humans and animals, in many ways, they both are quite similar. They both live in groups and families, undertake activities to satisfy their hunger, exhibit feelings of love, hatred, fear, etc., and they both struggle to adapt to change. However, the one major difference which draws a thick line between the two is – Reason. Man was born with reason, the ability to think and contemplate. If we all start following the same routine of work, eat, sleep and repeat then we are no different from the animals. Hence, to keep our human agency alive and useful, we must contemplate. We should indulge in deep reflection and purposeful thinking.

How does one then make the contemplation ‘purposeful’? For that, we need to advance from the current learning classrooms to ‘thinking’ classrooms. Both teachers and students should reach for the ideas lying beyond the realms of textbooks. The young minds should be pushed to think of ways in which they can reform the society, invent solutions for the many problems we face today and constantly orient their curriculum towards the benefit of the larger mankind. Only when our students become capable of thinking on their own and thinking for others, will we as educators truly succeed.

Contemplation is an art. We all are born to think and no moment passes by when a thought does not cross our minds. However, it is up to us to channelise our thinking power in the direction of optimism and social work. As students, you must put your learning to good use. Do not just absorb the lessons, add to them, question them and conjure new visions. As teachers, widen the horizons of students’ imaginations and show them all possible directions. Let us make DAV the first organisation to have ‘thinking classrooms’. This is the new challenge for all of us! Let us all exercise our powers of contemplation and change the world in more wonderful ways!

Om Shanti!

Punam Suri