There is no age bar for learning, said Ishwar Singh, MLA of Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) from Guhla assembly segment of Kaithal district, who appeared in MA first year exams at the age of 72.
The former Rajya Sabha MP and two times MLA is doing his master’s in political science from the distance learning centre of the Kurukshetra University.
The exams were conducted online as per the UGC guidelines and Ishwar appeared in his last paper on Saturday.
“I remained a teacher, MLA, MP and member of National Commission for Scheduled Castes, but appearing in the exams has made me very happy because I am still a student,” he said.
Revealing his source of inspiration to resume his studies, he said, “After teaching for eight years, I joined politics and was elected from Guhla in 1977 on the Janta Party ticket, and in 1978, I was appointed as the chairman of the Haryana education board. But I resigned from the post as I felt that my educational qualification was not enough to deserve that position and decided to resume my studies,” the MLA added.
Ishwar, who completed most of the higher studies after being elected as MLA, has also done MA in public administration and history. Despite his hectic schedule and routine engagements, he decided to continue his studies as he did his at graduation at the age of 37, LLB at 42, and is doing his third MA now at 72 years old.
Recalling his struggle for education in his younger days, he said, “I had to travel more than 15km from my village, Jadhola in Kaithal, to Pehowa to attend school. There was no electricity and we studied under the light of earthen lamps.”
“But time has changed now. Education is more accessible these days. I wrote my exams online while sitting in my office,” he said, adding that he utilised the Covid-19 lockdown period for his studies and is expecting a good result.
Ishwar also wants to spread awareness about the importance of education among the people. “I never attended college as I was not a regular student, but I never failed in any exam. I proved that we can continue our studies even if we have a busy life,” he said.
Having a long political career, he remained associated with the Congress party for almost 40 years and was considered a close aide of former chief minister late Bhajan Lal. But during the last assembly election in 2019, he joined the JJP and got elected from the Guhla (reserved) assembly seat.