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A touching moment at AG Teachers College

He was a student, then a teacher at AG Teachers college in the 1950's. Jagdish Dave' was a simple young man, his sole possession, a bicycle. He met Vanleela in the early 50's and they both fell in love, from different castes and socio-economic backgrounds - that's for another post - yet they fell in love. They both attended AG Teachers college. In 1959 Jagdish was one of two that year in the whole of India to be awarded a Fullbright scholarship to go to a foreign land where he received his M.A. and his first Ph.D. at the University of Chicago. When the principal of AG Teachers college learned about his leaving, he asked Jagdish to write an anthem for the college.


When we visited AG Teachers college in Ahmedabad, we arrived unannounced. Promptly at 8 AM, the students gathered in the assembly and wondered "who are these people" and who is this 93 year old man sitting amongst us. They sang the anthem as they always do everyday. The principal then introduced us and Jagdish and they learned that the man sitting in their midst wrote that anthem. We all had tears in our eyes as Jagdish shared his and Vanleela's story with the students.


Here is the anthem translated in English:



Teja panthana yatri

Ame tej panthana yatri


We are Pilgrims of light

Pilgrims of light!


Prabhatni komal angulia

Urtantri zankari

Naval ragane naval rahane

ujvaltana prarthi.

Teja panthana yatri, ame teja panthana yatri!


Delicate fingers of the dawn are striking the chord of our heart

Aspiring, blazing new trails,

creating new melodies.

Hearts overflowing with sparkling light,

We are moving

the pilgrims of light!


Surya chandra ne gagan rashmini

tejal dhara jhili’

dahartini dhulina kana kana

ghumanara chir yatri!

Teja panthana yatri, ame teja panthana yatri!


Luminous light shimmering from the sun and the moon,

awakens light within us.

With heads touching the sky

and feet planted in the ground,

we are on our way bowing to our Mother Earth.


Teja Panthana Yatri

J P Dave


Jagdish with the future teachers at AG Teachers College


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