Time to ring the “right” ghantiyaan (bells)

   Time to ring the “right” ghantiyaan (bells)

Rajkumari Sharma Tankha

For the 25th day in a row, I have to bear with the song Tune maari entriyan to dil main baji ghantiyan from the recent Hindi flick Gunday. Everyday, this song is played to full volume in a school in my neighbourhood, from around 9 in the morning till 2PM when the closes!

Now, I have nothing against the song or the film. In our country we have freedom of expression and filmmakers are free to produce the films they like while lyricists are free to write what they wish to. What shocks me is that the song is being played in full volume at a school. Not just this, children are preparing a dance item on this song for their annual function, the preparation for which is going on in full swing.

At a time when we are battling the menace of eve-teasing and various other crimes against women, what sort of message does a school playing this song send across? What’s the responsibility of a school towards society, more importantly towards its own pupil?  During Janamashtami, the students of this school dance to the tunes of Radha Kaise Na Jale from the film Lagaan.

Whatever happened to our good old folk songs.  Back to the days when I was in school, we used to prepare folk dances for our school functions. And in the process we became aware of our rich heritage and folk lore of different states. Be it inter-house competition, celebration of special days like janamashtami, raksha bandhan, Republic Day or the annual school function, our teachers would dig out our regional folk songs and choreograph these.

These days, be it any event in a school, all the teachers do is get a CD of the popular Hindi Film songs and tell the students to prepare the dance observing the actors. Sadly, the teachers don’t improvise even on the attires for the students. These are also copied verbatim from the film. There is no freshness in the programme and no creativity on the part of teachers. And the less said about the costumes, the better!

The result: a school function is no more a treat, either for the students who participate in it or the parents who are invited to watch it.

Most children in my neighbourhood prefer to stay back at home when the preparation for school annual function starts, than go and enjoy in school like we used to. They don’t feel motivated enough to be a part of it. The other day even my own daughter was telling me that she will not participate in the annual function, rather rest at home.

Do I blame her? With the kind of events prepared in schools, I honestly can’t!


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