Remembering an educationist

Kanwal Singh
As Iqbal rightly said:
“Ye Jo Ustad Haute Hain,
Haqeeqat Main Yahi Qaum Kii Buniyaad Haute Hain,
Yahi Rakhte Hain Shehre Ilm Kii Har Raah Ko Raushan,
Humhe Manzil Par Pahuncha Kar Yeh Kitne Shaad Haute Hain”.
On 18th September 2019, the field of Academics lost a great Educationist and a Professor in Chemistry, Prof. S. Karan Singh. His Academic life and Career spanning over a period of 35 years is nothing less than an inspiration. His departure has left a void so deep that it can never be filled.
“Bichda Kuch Is Ada Se Ki Rut Hi Badal Gai,
Ik Shakhs Saare Shahr Ko Viran Kar Gaya”.
Prof.S. Karan Singh in his three decades long teaching career taught in some of the most remote schools of the state. As a teacher he was totally dedicated towards his job and tried his level best to bring Quality Education to the students living in the far flung areas. With a Masters in Chemistry he was known for a different teaching methodology whereby he taught one of the most difficult subjects i.e. Chemistry in the most easiest manner.
A great Sportsman of his times, Prof. S. Karan Singh also represented J&K and Jammu University in the field of Wrestling & Kabaddi in National and University Games.
Prof.S. Karan Singh started his teaching career as a teacher in a school located at one of the most remote places near Poonch i.e Hadi Malot. Despite all the difficulties and lack of transportation he used to reach school every day and he made a point that his extra effort will help the children living in far flung areas in attaining a better education. After serving for few years, Prof.S. Karan Singh was transferred to another remote School located in Serri Khwaja, Poonch. His teaching career is a classical example of how to utilise time more efficiently. When promoted as a Lecturer he used to teach Chemistry on regular basis in two Higher Secondary Schools in Surankote. After being promoted as Senior Professor, S. Karan Singh taught Chemistry in Science College, Jammu University for a period of seven years and in Women’s College, Kashmir University for a period of six years. In his entire teaching career he was the student’s favorite. Many students from Kashmir remember him as someone who was humble, dedicated and a Professor with great sense of humor. He inculcated a different tactics in teaching the most difficult subject in the field of academics. Under his guidance many students qualified the prestigious KAS, UPSC and UGC-Net Examinations. His own teacher S. Tirlok Singh Tara (Retd Principal) recalls Prof.S. Karan Singh as a man of literary genius and a student whose intellect and maturity was way ahead of his times. Prof.S. Karan Singh had a solution for every problem and taught his students to face every difficulty in life with a smile. While in Poonch he used to give extra classes to students and never bothered about fees. He considered failures in life as an essential building block for success. He used to say; “If you don’t fail in life you will never realise the importance of hard work”. One such serving KPS officer credits his success to Prof. S. Karan Singh. For his colleagues and faculty members he was a dear friend. This is the only reason that today, the faculty and students of both the colleges are in mourning and deep shock.
“Death comes to all, but great achievements build a monument which shall endure until the sun grows cold”.
Besides his immense contribution in the field of academics, Prof.S. Karan Singh also played a pivotal role in overall welfare of the Youth of Poonch City. He helped in establishing the “Youth Welfare Vocational Centre’ and was also the member of the welfare committee.
Prof.S. Karan Singh was also honoured by J&K Police in Poonch for his instrumental role and contribution in building up of a Statue in the memory of Late D.S.P. S. Manjit Singh, who sacrificed his life while fighting the terrorists.
The examination centres in far flung areas of Poonch and Meandher used to face the problem of mass copying and cheating. But Prof.S. Karan Singh as a Superintendent played an important role in putting a check and control over this menace. For this very reason many candiates who failed in their academic examination later on went to qualify the prestigious KAS and KPS examination. They all credit their success to their Teacher, S. Karan Singh, as He taught them a very important lesson in life; “There is no Substitute to Hard work”.
Besides a Professor in Chemistry, his literary knowledge was simply brilliant and his command over languages like Urdu was unmatched. His personality was multilingual and he had indepth knowledge of Persian and Urdu literatures. He was so fond of Urdu Poetry that his last writings in his notepad included rough notes on his lectures and few handwritten Nazms and Sher in Urdu. Every line of one such Nazm had a profound meaning. It says:
“Jis Baat Kii Koi Baat Nahi, Us Baat Kii Baatein Hauti Hain,
Jis Baat Kii Baatein Hauti Hain, Us Baat Kii Koi Baat Nahi Hauti”.
In the end it’s not the years in your life that counts, it’s the life in your years. Every man’s life ends the same way but it’s the contribution towards society that matters. Prof. S. Karan Singh was a great teacher and a noble being. His untimely demise has shattered and devastated the entire society, his students and his dear friends. At one point when the society is mourning the death of this great personality we should also draw inspiration from his personal and academic life. Death is inevitable. Those who have born will die one day. As Shri Guru Granth Sahab Ji Maharaj Guides us in the following two verses:
“Why should I come into the world again?
Coming and Going is by his command.
Realizing his Hukam, I shall merge in him”.
“With whom should I become friends, All the world shall pass away”.