‘Legacy of Light’
BY: Dr Imtiyaz Rasool Ganai
“The beloved Prophet Muhammad (BPUH) has said that the scholars are the inheritors of knowledge of Imbiya, the noblest creation of Allah in the whole Universe. The scholars who do not confine their knowledge to themselves, act as torch-bearers for all those who desire to quench their thirst with the knowledge with which they, undeniably, not only chisel-up themselves but they at the same time carry forward the legacy of Imbiya to help others to inculcate the same…”
Thus opens the book ‘The Legacy of Light’ which is written in an academic genre. It gives us an insight on academic journey of the author Manzoor Akash, a prolific writer and acclaimed columnist. The author has embodied the role of a teacher, parents, society and peer groups for ones enlightenment and endeavors in life. Dr. Ghulam Qadir Lone, a prominent personality of Rafiabad who has written the foreword of this recent publication, gives the gist of the book to the readers in the very inception. While furling the pages of ‘The Legacy of Light’, reminiscences of the good old days return and make one feel nostalgic because the book describes the childhood days of school and the freedom when one had no desire to hanker after material pursuits. Those memorable days of childhood when a lunch break was not lesser than a festive occasion seem to have left indelible imprints upon the gray-matter of the author. Then holidays after continuous schooling were so joyful because during holidays students would take excitement and get busy with games which allured them much.
In the opening pages of the book role of teacher and his status in the society has been portrayed to enable and enlighten the present day teachers to find their roots in their profession which is so sacred. Although the present day role-models are equipped fully with modern technologies, yet, author in this book believes that they have much to learn from the teachers then. In this non-fiction book, throughout the pages, it seems how a student grows academically in the vicinity of school surrounded by hardworking and dedicated teachers. Today, when we seem to be outfitted with everything but that essence which used to revolve around teachers and students, seem to be missing somewhere. That transaction seems to be thrown into the background now. The author no doubt apparently seems to be overpowered by sweet memories of his academic journey yet in close inspection the book clearly reflects teacher-taught relationship. Those days students used to learn zealously from their teachers which today seem a bit avoided.
Since the author belongs to a very humble family, he has empathized the struggle of common students in rural areas. In this book, he has boldly demonstrated hope, pessimism and fear during elementary level of schooling. The students take on different subjects and come across various subject teachers to excel themselves. The author has also shed light on the pedagogical approach, attitude and even aptitude of his teachers been faced by him. A range of authors teachers, right from Primary level up to University has been delineated which clearly reflects the dedication of teachers towards their profession. He has not confined it to only inspirational teachers but made a mention of all such teachers irrespective of their competencies and contribution in the field of education. For successful teachers, he has fervently come to the conclusion; charismatic teaching needs simplicity, hardworking and abundant knowledge of the subject. Though these are the bench-marks, however contemporary teachers have to face plethora of challenges which are yet to be redressed.
The book also reveals the practical-facts of educational opportunities at various stages. At page no. 31, the author has shed light on the training requirements for instincts, emotions and ideals within and without classes from schools. He recounts the struggle of bygone days under the title ‘The Souvenirs of Yore’ where he gives fantastic glimpse of colleges days for man making because here on this stage, students get inspired and try to put in their best for achieving perfection and confidence to makes strides for real life.
On the impact and influence of peers on ones life during studies, author has clearly revealed it enough significant. He believes it a magnanimous help-factor in order to set future goals of life. It is undoubtedly loyal friendship which help one to ease off the anxiety level and straight puts on up on the road of success and competency. The harmonious development and group dynamics indeed make students to touch the pinnacles of success in ones life.
In the concluding pages of the book, author has paid tribute to his inspirations that are his favorite mentors who stood with him all along the academic journey. Although, he has not made direct contrast and comparison like other contemporary writers do yet there is scope to outline the difference from present and past educational systems. He has not directly touched the current Pedagogies and the previous ones but he has so easily outpoured the content for the readers to draw their own conclusions too. He believes no legacy as rich as teaching with zeal, honesty and dedication. According to him, the greatest legacy one can pass on to future generations is not money or other material things accumulated in ones life, but rather a legacy of character and faith. Author is of the opinion that teachers positively impact the lives of their students in their classrooms. Whenever they add value to other peoples lives, they are unknowingly leaving footprints on the sands of time that live on even after they are no more.
This book is a very interesting edition on academics not only for students and teachers but for others as well. It describes how students are unpredictable and how teachers can do wonders intentionally and un-intentionally. A decade back, our education system in Kashmir was different. However, present education system has much to learn from it to be reformed. No doubt the system demands modern cutting-edge techniques to compete at global level yet this book, limelights certain things which the present system of education is in dire need of.
(Dr. Imtiyaz Rasool, JRF/NET, is batch 2019 Research Scholar from Dept. of Education, University, of Kashmir is presently teaches at GHSS, Dangiwacha)