[Letters] A fundamental right in democracy to join politicsDear Editor,
Your Oct. 15 editorial “Dangerous mix” motivated me to comment and congratulate you as an outside academic spectator from India.
There is merit in the demand for the fraternity of Korean Federation of Teachers’ Association as it has logic, rationale and substance. They have a fundamental right in the democratic scene of Korea to join politics.
Being Convener, Intellectual Cell of Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee (a part and parcel of the Indian National Congress with its government in India with Dr. Manmohan Singh as its Prime Minister and who is also basically a teacher), I wholeheartedly support the genuine demand of the fraternity of teachers at all levels in South Korea.
I honestly believe that teachers have a very responsible role in shaping the policies in a country like Korea. There are many teachers and academics who have made their presence felt in the democratic set-up of any nation.
The repercussions, as pointed out in your editorial, are going to strengthen the standards of politics as well as education and not deteriorate by being wrongly perceived by many of us.
It is the educated class, such as teachers, who debate and discuss the national issues without fear or favor. Let them be given the opportunity to prove their worth and potential in politics which has been made otherwise a dirty game by criminals of various cadres around the world.
The politicians of concave-lens leadership divide people on nonissues. Politicians must have convex-lens leadership to unite people at large for strengthening democracy which needs political reforms even to increase the voting rate in elections at all levels.
I believe that the quality of standards in education is deteriorating because of the commercialization of education and because of spiritual bankruptcy among teachers.
Their participation in politics can improve the quality of politics along with the support of the students who also have a right for participation in active politics.
After all, teaching is a profession of honest people who are practically human engineers who shape the generations, and not just the students in the classroom.
To feel their presence in politics there is a strong case for changing the law of 2004, which bans the teaching fraternity of Korea from participating in politics.
Let them support the presidential and legislative members without prejudice of any kind in the name of quality education.
The purpose of a balanced education, free of ideological influences which keep teachers away from politics, is not maintainable before the actions and words take place.
A law, to really be a law in the strictest sense, requires the participation of a community of teachers who are responsible, honest ,hard working and fit for the healthy democratic traditions in a country like Korea.
Dr. M. M. Goel, ICCR chair professor of Indian economy, Graduate School of International &
Area Studies Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Seoul
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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