The Brilliant Leader called upon the School to “Create Excellent Minds Linked to the Reality of India”
By Jaskiran Chopra
DEHRADUN, Aug 24: When the sad news of the passing away of former union finance minister and BJP stalwart Arun Jaitley came in today, one’s mind went back to a beautiful autumn evening in the Doon valley. It was October and the renowned Doon School was celebrating its 81st Founder’s Day. Jaitley was the Chief Guest on the occasion. The atmosphere was charged with enthusiasm and excitement among the old and new students of the school, as they awaited Jaitley’s arrival at the Rose Bowl, where the speeches were to be made. Soon enough, he was there-dressed smartly in a black Jodhpuri (Bandh Gala) –the focus of all eyes.
He made an inspirational speech, focusing on the fact that in today’s India there was a “huge space at the top for people who had unconventional ideas and who thought differently”. He called upon the youngsters to “break new ground” and “not to follow the conventional path”.
The energetic and dynamic leader also said that the struggle for excellence had become far more difficult today. ”Standards of excellence are far higher now”.
Jaitley called upon The Doon School to face the challenge of creating excellent minds, which are linked to the reality of India and which do not intellectually cut themselves off from the challenges the country faced.
He said that many educational institutions in the country were faced with this challenge today. “Excellence helps the larger public good and gives us people with new ideas ,minds which lead the society”, he added. He said that the school should think whether it is producing “only the elite” or also these kinds of excellent minds. He called upon the students to take advantage of having passed out of this school and get on “to the fast track as fast as possible to reach destinations of high quality.” His speech mesmerized the large, select audience and brought to the fore his sharp intellect, his wonderful oratorical skill and his balanced thoughts.
He said that if he looked ten or twenty years ahead , he could see that the network of educational institutions coming up in the country was going to throw up a great resource not just nationally but also globally. “I also believe that in the coming years, the condition of rural India, especially tribals, must be addressed and improved.”
The minister said that India had become too competitive and thus students found it tough to get admissions in colleges and other institutions tough even when they had good marks. He said that the large number of private institutions of higher education coming up in the country will turn into quality institutions in the next few years and then, students would get more opportunities of admission.
Jaitley said India had earlier lacked the “killer instinct” but now it was “aspirational and impatient”.
He said educational institutions face many challenges to produce persons who would help the country shine globally. “If the IITs had not done so, India would not have been able to contribute to the digital revolution.”
Concluding his speech, Jaitley said that The Doon School had a great history behind it but “the best is still to come.”
The evening became memorable for all who were part of it. Founder’s day speeches at the Doon School have always been special and relevant, All the chief guests down the years have been great personalities from various walks of life. However, it can be said that Jaitley’s speech was one of the most impressive ever heard at the school. His demise is indeed a great loss to the nation, All those who have been fortunate to have been associated with his life and views can never forget the impact they have made on their minds and hearts.
My deepest respects to Arun Jaitley ji! His words will echo in many young minds for a long time to come.