Friday, September 30, 2011

Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar Taught Civility With Incivility

Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was an extremely simple, humble and a civilised human being. Everyone had immense reverence for him. There is an incident of the time when Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was a teacher in a Sanskrit college. Once he went to the President College to meet the English Professor Mr. Caire. When Vidyasagar entered in Professor Caire's cabin then instead of welcoming Vidyasagar, Caire kept sitting on his chair with his legs on the table. Vidyasagar found it extremely repulsive, but he brooked that insult and returned after the requisite discussion.

A few days later Caire came to Vidyasagar's college for some work. When Vidyasagar saw Caire he put his feet with slippers on the table and kept sitting on the chair. He didn't even ask Caire to sit down. Caire gave a written complaint to the secretary of education council Dr Muat about Vidyasagar's behavior. Both Dr Muat and Caire went to Vidyasagar to question him about his misbehavior. Vidyasagar replied, "We Indians learn the European manners from the British. When I went to meet Professor Caire he was sitting in this manner, I assumed it as a European etiquette and followed it. I did not intend to offend him." Hearing this Caire felt ashamed and he apologized to Vidyasagar.

Moral: Many a times in order to teach civility to the uncultured we have to follow the path of "Tit for tat" which is as beneficial as bitter medicine.

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