Very few were fortunate enough to attend the convocation ceremony of the universities before India was free as the scope of education was limited and only few could pass graduate or post-graduate classes. But now after India became free, thousands of people are fortunate enough to attend the convocation ceremony and to receive the degree with great honor. There is great relation between education and convocation address. Without convocation education is supposed to be incomplete. In the convocation the graduates and post-graduates along with the doctors are taught to lead honorable life in the world. The tradition of convocation is not present in India only but also in the foreign countries. In a convocation ceremony the graduates and post-graduates who have passed the examination are bestowed with degrees. The students who pass their graduate or post graduate classes are full of enthusiasm and they begin to wait for the convocation of the university from the day of the result. They talk among themselves about the convocation and its address and are puffed up with joy to remember the day of convocation. They feel very proud of the fact that they are certainly above so many students who are not in a position to get the degree in the convocation with them.
The importance of convocation ceremony
This ceremony has a great importance. Its foremost aim is to warm the students before they are going to enter the practical life. At the time of convocation, some very high personality well-educated, renowned and experienced man addresses the students. He teaches them some principles which will prove helpful to them in their real life. They all assemble at one particular place in the university and get the teachings for entering the practical life. Such students are separated from their university fellows and their life is now completely changed. This address which is in true sense a sermon, becomes the precious jewel for the students in their life. Actually university convocation address drags the students from the life of dreams, from the fairyland and puts them in the real world. Digesting the preaching of the convocation address, the students form their life and character in the practical life.
The convocation ceremony in the past
Some people are of the opinion that the tradition of convocation in on India universities has been borrowed from the Western countries of the world. But they are wrong in their opinion. In India, this tradition was present even in the ancient times when the young children used to go to the forest to the ‘Gurus’ to get education. When their education was complete and they had passed their Brahmacharya period of life, Guru used to give them the last sermon at the time of their departure from the ‘Kuts’ or ‘Ashram of the ‘Guru’. These last teachings of the ‘Guru’ were very helpful to them for the all-round progress within real life.
They used to preach, “Dear Brahmacharis, now you are entering your real life which is called ‘Grihastha Jeevan’ where you will have to face many difficulties and problems. So far you were far away from the greed and lust of wealth and love and now you will run after them. You must remember that you will not neglect the religion and will not harm religion in any way. You must bear in mind that you will earn wealth honestly and not sinfully. You shall always be fair in your dealings. You will always respect your mother, father, Guru and elders.” This last teaching was given to them in a special ceremony. The same ceremony these days in the universities is called ‘Convocation ceremony’. In the ancient times it was not merely a formality but is was observed in its true sense of the world ‘Convocation’.
Description of modern convocation ceremony
The convocation ceremony is celebrated with great pomp and show in our university. The university authorities are seen to be busy months ago to arrange the convocation. The building of the university are white washed and painted. The compound of the university is given a new look. Mostly the convocation is observed in a week. This week is called convocation week. Everyday in this week, some special programmes are set. Some special programmes are. Kavi Sammelan,” Mushaira’, ‘Drama’ and ‘Music concerts’ etc. The participants of the convocation are already informed and invited to attend the functions during the convocation week.
I got the chance to see the convocation ceremony of the Lucknow University. So many programmes were set and arranged throughout the week. In the end, the actual main day of the convocation came. A very huge pandal was erected in the convocation ground for this purpose. The students of the university were trained one day before the convocation day, how to take part in it. The chairs were arranged beautifully in a semicircle. The guests and special invites were given special seats at a special place. The girls had their own gallery. The students were present in their best robes. The young beautiful girls in their best and latest modern dress were adding beauty to the ceremony.
Exactly at 4 P. M. the chief guest, who was the Chief Minister of Kashmir came and was greeted by the Vice-Chancellor of the university. First of all those students were honored with degree who got the degree of D. Lit. or Ph. D. They wore red gowns. After this the students of M. A., M, Sc., M. Com., B. A., B Sc. and B. Com, were conferred with the degrees respectively. All such students wore black gowns. They all were very happy. Perhaps this was the most pleasant day for them. They posed as if they were super-human beings. So many students were awarded special prizes and certificates for their special work in their student career.
In the end, Honorable Bakshijee stood up and addressed the scholars present in the convocation. He attached great importance to the students and said that the responsibility of the nation was upon their shoulders. He advised the students to be selfless workers. loyal to the nation, honest and self-sacrificing. He advised them not to do anything which would go against the nation. He asked the degree-holders not to do anything which might disgrace their degree. He talked about the growing indiscipline among the students and scolded the students of their such disgraceful actions. The students were advised to study and not to take part in party politics which wasted their time and energy. He said that if the disease of indiscipline spread throughout the country, the freedom would be in danger. He delivered an enthusiastic lecture and preached the students to serve the motherland with honesty, being kept away from dishonesty and indiscipline. In the end, he thanked all as they heard him patiently and honored him by giving the occasion of addressing them.
The University convocation address was over and left an everlasting impression upon me. Really the graduates and post-graduates of our universities can do a lot for the nation. These graduates and post-graduates become the officers and rule over the nation. If they digest the preaching given to them at the time of convocation, they can do great good to the nation.
This convocation ceremony must be celebrated in such a way that it my prove very useful to the students. Some people are in favour of abolishing this convocation ceremony. I think no greater harm will be done to the students than to abolish convocation ceremony. It must continue. Only some changes in the method of celebration may be permitted.