Sometime during my PG years when the semester system had not yet been introduced, a student-teacher session regarding change in syllabi was held at the old location of the departmental library. People sat in various positions. Vociferous pitches were made by many as to why one text should be removed and another introduced. It was a long session and lively one at that. I watched with much interest and amusement as one after another made his or her presentation. At the end the teachers, especially those who were responsible for the UGC mandated syllabi change (or whatever; let’s not get too technical here) made their remarks. And it was here that Swapan da made a little speech that somehow took the cake for me. I don’t recall the verbatim speech, but it went something like this:
For too long I am hearing the complaint that the studies are not enjoyable. This text is not enjoyable. That Austen is so boring and what not. I think you should realize the fact that we are here in the university not for enjoyment, but for studies and instruction. And whoever gave you the idea that studies have to be enjoyable? Studies requires steadfast devotion and hardwork, hardly enjoyable fare. Please make substantive suggestions as to how the syllabi can be changed for the betterment of the coming batches. How it will help you actually….
Not much was spoken after that.