As Mysureans were getting ready to usher in another glorious year, it was with great sadness we learnt about the passing away of Dr Siddharthachary, another unsung hero of Mysuru.
Mysureans should rightfully honour him for his multifaceted talents and contributions as India’s ambassador, his ever overflowing love for Sanskrit, his enormous erudition as a scholar, etc. However, the biggest contribution future generations will remember is his gift with his wife, Andal Siddharthachary, Acharya Vidya Kula to Mysuru. When just about every school in Mysuru had been hankering over producing students to get ranks, Dr Siddharthachary was more interested to expose his students to “true education” to ignite their critical thinking, to love their society and the nation by getting involved, and above all to ask questions. In today’s education scenario, students have lost the skill of asking questions. Our rote-oriented examination-driven education is forcing students just to reproduce answers and gives no scope for creative thinking. Acharya Vidyakula was an exception to this general rule because of Dr Siddharthachary’s vision.
I had the privilege of visiting Acharya Vidya School several times and was awed by Dr Siddarthachary’s dedication to his students even at the ripe age when most people of his age spend time quietly at home. He was always preparing for his lectures or giving tuition to special students.
Last time I visited his school was when Mysureans were busy protesting the vandalisation of Chamundi. Though Sidhharthachary was in poor health, he came to the school to participate in an event to promote environmental protection. His students were staging a street play to register their protest against the construction of multi-level parking and shops in Chamundi. He did not want to miss the event.
I hope someone will write a book about his contribution to educational sector of Mysuru soon so that young students will appreciate real education. It will be a fitting tribute to his contribution to Mysuru, if our city fathers can name some well known circle or street after him for future generation to learn from his love for Sanskrit and True Education.