Friday, February 28, 2014

High School and College Bijapur

Except for Government high school, private institutions with or without government aid ran secondary schools. Private schools were on caste lines. BLDE association was a lingayat institution, while PDJ was a Kannada speaking Brahmins’. There was Maratha vidyalaya by and large for Marathi speaking Brahmin boys. Marwadi and gujrati boys and girls were also sent only to this school. Anjuman-e-islam was a Muslim school and since Urdu was medium, only Muslim boys were in that school. There was another high school called Darbar high school, which was named so because it was founded and managed by Darbar family, who were basically pawnbrokers. Lot of families amassed  wealth in this trade, if one can call it a trade. It is primarily based on exploitation. The customers of this trade are poor peasants, parents whose daughters are to be married. They continue to pay interest and ultimately lose whatever they pledged. Usury should be made unlawful. Inspite of films like mother India in 50s, things have not changed in villages even today. The irony is the pawnbrokers also liked the film.

It was June 1956 when my father got me admission in Shri siddheshwar High school, which was considered a very good institution. My four years in the high school were memorable. One reason why my father preferred this school was because he had many Lingayat friends. He did not send me to a Brahmin school because the close association of teachers and students with RSS. Every Sunday every Brahmin boy was seen going to ‘shibir or shakha’ in khaki shorts and white half sleeve shirt, which was a uniform. They used to do exercises and learn to use lathis in the huge playgound of PDJ high school.

I was chosen cultural secretary in my 8th satndard. Thoughout the year in any function, including ‘Gajananotsava’, I was the one to announce or copmpere. Mr. Bagali was the teacher in charge. He was an excellent man. His upper front teeth were dotted with gold, which was an in thing for the affluent. Most of the teachers were from the affluent section of society, Patils. They were not in teaching profession for money, which they had in plenty. It was a vocation for them. I cannot forget teachers like V M Patil, A K Patil, T K Patil, Bagali, Ijeri, Heglyal and Talikoti to name a few. They were good teachers and good human beings. It was Mr, talikoti who trained me for elocution competitions. I used to participate in elocution competitions and debates and always got a prize. When in 10th standard I played lead role in a drama called ‘Kattabomman’, for which I received a prize. Lingayats are good people without religious prejudices. They were very fair in their treatment of students.

English language was introduced only in classVIII and we started with alphabet in the first year of high school. Mr.Ijeri was our English teacher and he was very methodical in teaching grammer.
Monthly fee in class VIII was four and a half rupees, but since I was within the second rank I had to give only half. My parents were so pleased that my mother used to give me the other half as my pocket money. This continued till I comleted X standard.
When I was in 8th standard I joined the school excursion to Aurangabad, which included visits to Ajanta, Ellora caves and Daulatabad, where Aurangzeb lies buried.About 20 boys were escorted by two teachers. One of them was Mr. Nadagouda.

The second excursion was to Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Mount Abu and Bombay.
We reached Jaipur late in the night. We had to stay in a mandir premises. On our arrival at the temple gate, our teacher Mr. Talikoti was asked whether there were any Muslim boys in the group. Not knowing the implication the teacher identified me and another student as Muslims. Both of us were not allowed entry. Two of us had to spend the night at the railway station. But in the morning our teacher smuggled us into the temple.
With Pandit Nehru on 9.11.1958

The above picture in Mount Abu.

 In Delhi we had a friend of our teacher to take us around sight seeing. He was a police Inspector in Delhi and was from the family of Mogalis, who had a readymade garments shop at Bijapur. He refused to take us to Jama Masjid saying there was nothing to see there.

My father shifted residence to Sakhaf Roza, a different locality. I befriended boys, who had no interest in studies. In school I got into irresponsible group and started bunking classes. I also slowly lost interest in studies. This resulted in my getting only second division in SSC, which was a poor show.
I failed in PUC (science). My father felt annoyed. I went for humanities. I did well in college. Took part in symposia, debates, elocution competitions and dramas and received prizes in all the fields. I was very popular in college. In my last year in college I contested election for cultural secretary and won by a large margin of votes. As a secretary I organized many elocution competitions, debates and symposia with the help of Prof. Byakod, who was the patron.
As a teen-ager I read good number of books. Among them two books left a permanent impression on me and they were Joad’s Story of civilization and Russell’s Impact of science on society. I still have those books with me.

Sociology interested me immensely. I became familiar with many things that I did not know. Caste system and Hindu joint family were discussed in depth. Though not prescribed I read authors like Taya Zinkin to know more about the caste system. Subjects like heredity and environment, management of different roles in society and role conflict played in the advancement of society were of immense interest. It was interesting to know how conflict led to accommodation and later assimilation.

There were a few faculty members who did not relish my popularity and achievements. Here I can mantion Prof. Ramachari. I was interested in studying economics but his behaviour made me change to English Literature as my major. He was a Brahmin from old Mysore or Madras state. He lectured without a pause. There were no puntuations. He gave an impression that he had committed his lectures to memory. Any question annoyed him and now I think his annoyance was with himself as he, possibly, was scared of losing the chain of thought. This fear is dominant in people who are not sure of their subject.
There was Prof. Lagali. He was a different kind. He taught Kannada literature. I was not his student but he liked to talk to me and share his feelings about Brahmins. There was Prof. Gokak, HOD in English department of Karnatak University at dharwar. Our College was affiliated to Karnatak University. He had a very hilarious episode to narrate about how Brahmins promoted each other. Prof.Gokak was a Brahmin and a literary man. Prof. Lagali’s episode was that Prof Gokak writes a book and another Brahmin, a Rao, an aspiring writer, writes on Gokak a book ‘Na kanda Gokak’ which means ‘Gokak I saw’, which is highly appreciated by Brahmin media and inspires another Brahmin to write
‘ Gokak, Rao awar drushthi inda’, which means Gokak in Rao’s view. Still another writes on third man’s view of Rao’s Gokak. This is how all those writing on each other get attention and recognition. Prof. Lagali was inimitable. He was in his fiftees but challenge any strong looking boy to lift a stone. He would enjoy looking at the boy stuggling. This old man would lift it. He was a very simple man with a good heart. Another Prof. who has left a deep impression on me was Prof. Sajjan. He was meticulous about his pronounciation. 

1 comment:

SIMHA Narasimha said...

Dear Mr. Bangi Rafi , thank you for the blog . It revived my own memories studying in Bijapur way back in 1976 . I used to go to PDJ High school then and in 1979 I passed out from PDJ Junior College and then went to KREC , Engineering college Surathkal . I always carry memories of Bijapur from these years . Wish You Good health and happiness always