As the country celebrates Teachers Day on Saturday, there is a sense of gloom and despondency in Assam, due to incidents of students vandalising schools and assaulting teachers.
"This is a shocking state of affairs to find students punching and kicking teachers inside schools and in one instance vandalising school property," Pabitra Deka, principal of the 175-year-old Cotton Collegiate Higher Secondary School in Assam's main city Guwahati, told IANS.
The past one week in Assam's education scene presents a sordid picture - students of a school in Guwahati thrashed the headmaster black and blue, leaving his face visibly swollen.
"It is a clear case of some of our teachers in the school instigating the students to attack me," said PC Biswas, headmaster of the Lalchand Onkarmall Goenka Hindi High School, still nursing the injury a week after the assault.
Six students of the school were detained by the management for assaulting the headmaster -- but more than 150 students took to the streets and blocked a main thoroughfare demanding the release of their fellow students.
Police later caned the students, but not before they threw stones at the security team.
"The violence was a fallout of a rift between the school management and the teachers with a section of the teachers using the students to attack me," Biswas said.
On Wednesday, students of a Navodaya Vidyalaya in Nalbari in western Assam ransacked the school - damaging computers, desks and benches, the principal's office and teachers' common room.
The incident occurred after a fellow student went missing from the school the previous day.
"We have already reported to the police about the missing student. But the action of the students - they even tried to attack the headmaster and some teachers - is shocking indeed as we selflessly work towards making them disciplined and the future of our society," a teacher of the Navodaya Vidyalaya said.
Then came other incidents of students protesting at a city college in Guwahati after a teacher pulled up a student for not dressing properly - the teacher asked a male student not to expose his chest and to button up his shirt.
"These unprecedented acts of students attacking teachers or vandalising schools and colleges is due to lack of value system in our society and this teen aggression is a result of accumulated frustration," Sangeeta Dutta, a well known psychiatrist, said.
"The age old system of respecting teachers has gone for a big toss. The society at large is responsible for this and even the teachers would have to shoulder the responsibility as the quality and level of teachers have gone down," Sivanath Barman, a noted academic, said.