Respecting Teachers: Lahore’s Last Statue Standing?

Posted on December 21, 2006
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Architecture, Education, Society
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Adil Najam

Our friend Darwaish posted this picture at Metroblog Lahore claiming that it is the very last statue of a human figure standing at its original location in Lahore (outside the ‘old campus’ of Punjab Univeristy).

I have no reason at all to doubt his claim and am fairly sure that he is, in fact, right. But I wanted to check with our readers if this is indeed so. Do you know of other statues; in Lahore or elsewhere?

(I recall that discussion on an earlier post about a Gandhi statue outside the Sindh High Court that now stands in the Indian High Commission; and someone on Lahore Metroblog hinted that now there are many new statues all over the major cities – mostly of Ronald MacDonald and Col. Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken!).

This statue, by the way, is of Prof. Alfred Woolner who was a long-serving professor of Sanskrit, as well as vice-chancellor of Punjab University between 1928 and 1936.

Being in the same profession as Mr. Woolner, I am intrigued by this picture at many levels. For example, it is ironic that the statue of a professor has been vandalized by what seems to be a student organization of some sort. Whatever this may or may not tell us about the state of statues in Pakistan, it also says a lot about the respect that professors once held in our society and now do not.

Only yesterday, Mast Qalandar was writing in these columns about Islamia College Peshawar and the discussion led to a conversation on the contribution of Prof. Hubert Michael Close, one of the College’s remarkable professors. We have, of course, also been talking recently of cheating professors at Punjab Univeristy. One wonders if there are still professors in our colleges and Universities who are revered as Prof. Woolner here, or Prof. Close at Islamia College, were.

I have a tayya (uncle) who alway very proudly, and rightly proudly, tells me that his teachers were Sufi Tabassum and Faiz Ahmad Faiz. I know there are still many who should be revered and who excel at the craft and art of teaching. Yet, do we as a society even think that teachers are worthy of respect? And, can a society that does not respect teachers, even be considered respectable?

19 responses to “Respecting Teachers: Lahore’s Last Statue Standing?”

  1. […] Najam’s post on Lahore and its only statue made extremely nostalgic. I am however, excited as I will be there […]

  2. Adnan says:

    I would say that teachers in our society or in any other society of the world do not really get the respect they deserve from their students,but thats only until the student has not left the school or college etc. as soon as they leave their comfortable student life and head towards their not so welcoming “Practical life” they begin to realise the the importance of a teacher,a father or anyone else who has supported them in any way.I am very sure that,when it was made,no student of that time had any thing to do with this statue of a great teacher.Its just that nobody cares for anything as long as they are spoon fed.
    I wont start a “dars ” or something cuz im not an Alim,but at least i know this much that their are many other ways to comemorate someone great,why do have to stick to statues which very strongly prohibited in our religion.Respect is not a meterial thing

  3. Debashish Mitra says:

    The tales of my maternal great grandfather (who was Graduate from Lahore University), Vajpayee bus trip to Lahore, Cricket Matches and the play ‘Jinne Lahore Nai Vekhya’ made me excited to see & roam Lahore city. Being a Delhiite, 15 years back had an opportunity to meet Pakistan (Jr) Hockey team near Connaught Place. They said that Lahore is much like Delhi. Very rich in its culture & traditions. Indeed so as it appears from the picture. I definitely look forward to see this charming city at some point of time. May God keep our relations at the best.

  4. Rafay Kashmiri says:

    Ustaad ki Izzat !!!

    @ Teacher’s respect was the first victim of Educational
    disaster the left has brought to Pakistani Eudcational
    Institutions, the only autonom “idaarah” in Pakistan.

    I stand witness that my respect for all my teachers
    Muslims, Hindus, Catholics, Parsis men & women
    was and is without any distinction or difference,
    Allah bless them all, I have debts towards all of them.

    Ustani Wiqar-un-nisa’a who taught me reading and
    understanding Quran-e-Karim in Urdu/Arabic from
    day one till Khatam-alQuran, she transmitted Lukhnowi
    Urdu and Paan (Allah Bakhshay) to me as well.

    Sir Mirza Abdel Hameed Baig Pricipal & English
    Mrs Maryam Farooqui Head-mistress & English
    Mrs. De Sousza English Litrature & poetry
    Mrs. Kharrass Piano teacher
    Sir Shafiullah Subconti History, (my favourite)
    Sir De mello Pak History
    Sir Siraj-uddin Maths (brilliant Ustaad)
    Sir Jaffer Urdu, litrature,poetry
    Miss. Nusrat Musique
    Mrs. Noorbi Appa Urdu Drama
    Sir Alam Econimics
    Sir Hussaini Sports
    Appa Badrunnisa P.T
    Sir Hassan Adil Politcial Science
    Sir Manohar Lal
    Chaudhri Accounts Book-keeping
    Sir Mukkaram Ali
    Khan Sherwani political History of subconti

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