With the month marking India’s independence behind us, a lot of questions linger in the air. On one hand, India has become the first country to land a spacecraft on the moon’s south pole, with
Chandrayaan – 3 being declared a success. The sight of many women scientists who worked relentlessly behind the scenes, the products of a public funded symbol of excellence that is ISRO, made all of India proud.
On the other hand, a lot remains the same, even worse in our immediate surroundings. As September rolls in, Teachers Day is celebrated across the country. But the status of the education system, and the wholesome relationship that should be between teachers and students, has lost its sheen in modern India. With a spate of endless suicides in coaching centres like Kota and IITs, cases of caste and gender discrimination across universities, and the increasing contractualization of the formerly revered profession of teaching, what remains to be celebrated on this day? It is the continued attempts of teachers both past and present who keep the respectability and dignity of the noble profession alive. In this special section we have highlighted both historical teachers as well as the current ones, apart from all the unsung teachers in our lives. With teachers being suspended in private institutions like South Asian University, the Intelligence Bureau landing up in Ashoka University, and ad hoc teachers struggling across the country in both schools and higher education, who stands for teachers and their freedom to speak and think?
Apart from this, the past months have seen ceaseless violence in places like Nuh and Gurgaon, as well as climatic destruction and change in North India. Our issue tries to cover these concerns by way of original reports and research. September is also the month when suicide prevention is highlighted. The sanctity of life is vital to the progress of the world. However it is perhaps the most fragile right today, with people being pushed to the brink and often lead to take their own lives. Professionals and therapists offer their suggestions to actively counter the mental health epidemic that particularly affects our youth and vulnerable populations.
As always, Aura solicits your writings, opinions, wishes and criticism. Our readers are welcome to suggest more topical issues for us to investigate and take up in coming issues.