We had the opportunity to interview Jyotika Teckchandani , in regards with the publication of her new ebook Handbook of Political Science and International Relations (Subject- International Relations and Political Science)
It took us about a week to get to her, owing to her busy schedule and yet we would love to admit that she was kind enough to dig some time for us. She agreed to answering our questions and we were nothing less than excited, because she is the first academician with whom we got the chance to interact. We have been following her articles on various websites, since the past month or two and it did take some courage in order to approach her for the interview. We were ecstatic when she replied to us. So without any further ado, let’s get to the interaction with her.
BP:With those high educational qualifications adorning your resume, the readers would definitely be interested in knowing what inspired you to pursue higher studies?
DJT: The love for my subject (International Relations and Political Science). I find them really interesting because they deal with the daily lives of people. The textbooks provided me with material that I craved for. So, I never thought that I was studying, I was experiencing lives.
BP: Were you always interested in studies, I mean as a child? What did Jyotika Teckchandani aspire to be, when she was a kid?
DJT:As a kid, I was never really interested in studies (which kid is, anyway). All I wanted to do was to play. One of my favorite pastimes was to dress up and act like a teacher. I would imagine arbitrary children and find myself lecturing them for hours. However, never did I foresee entering the teaching profession.
BP: When did you get your first writing opportunity and how did you get it?
DJT: My literary aspirations began when I was pursuing my PhD. In addition to that, I had to compulsorily write research papers, which I enjoyed immensely. From that point on, I got the clarity that, writing was what I wanted to do. My first article was published in March 2014.
BP:What are the things that you love to do, apart from writing?
DJT: I am a shopaholic. I have an undying love for dance. I love to spend time with my family and I make it a point to catch up with friends. I also love reading, so that makes up for a good number of things that I usually do when I am not writing
BP:An author, a teacher and still passionate about dance, how do you manage your passion and profession?
DJT: I feel we need to be strict with ourselves in order to maintain a healthy work life balance every day. After a hectic day of work, I find dancing as a means to unwind myself and recharge my batteries for the next day. No matter how busy I am, always make it a point to attend my dance class.
BP: Is writing , a thing that you do daily? If not, do you follow any specific writing ritual in order to get the words flowing?
DJT: Not really!
I write whenever I feel like doing so, and don’t follow any fixed regime. Normally I try to squeeze some writing time after work a couple of nights during the week, but the majority of my writing takes place on the weekends. There are days when I go without writing. I write at unequal intervals so that I can keep pace with my schedule.
BP: You have published three books of your own, State and Women in Islamic Republic of Iran, Islam and Gender Politics in Iran and Handbook of Political Science and International Relations. So what has changed between the publication of your first book and the third?
DJT: I feel I have become more relaxed and confident about myself and what I write. The pressure of “being judged” is no longer present. I am in a comfortable space where I can express my choice and views.
BP:What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
DJT: Have a cup of green tea. On a more serious note, I practice Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism and start my day by chanting Nam Myo ho Renge Kyo!
BP: Your third book is a textbook for the purpose of providing insight for students. How long did it take to write the book? How tiring was the drill, seeing the topics that you have already mastered , from the point of view of a beginner and then writing something that would be easy for your students to grasp?
DJT: It took me five months to write the book. Well, it was in no way dull or tiring. In fact, the idea of presenting the subject that I love the most, in easy and understandable format to the beginners was exciting.
I genuinely want the beginners to appreciate the beauty of this subject and relate to it rather than feeling intimidated. It is this desire that kept me going.
BP: The current generation of tech-savvy youngsters face the issue of not being able to concentrate on their studies, do you have any advice for them?
DJT: Success is no accident, it requires tremendous hard work, focus and perseverance to achieve your goals. Knowledge is a dynamic area and keeps on expanding at frightening pace. We have no choice but to be students,lifelong.
The only advice I have for them is to believe in their unique potential, set their goals and never give up. If you persevere, you will prevail.
BP:We come across a good number of wise people who say that education is just a degree, a person can be a lot more than that by facing life, what do you think about it ?
DJT: I kind of agree with this statement. While education does provide us knowledge; it’s the application of knowledge that helps achieve success. Facing life and its myriad challenges gives one wisdom, strength, perseverance, courage and discerning eye which textbooks cannot.
BP:India has a faulty education system where theoretical learning is given more importance over application. It is also believed that our education system focuses more on what a student can remember over what a student knows. Do you feel the same way?
DJT: Rote learning still plagues our system. Our current system fails to incorporate application based learning, and does not encourage creativity. We need to inculcate skills that will be relevant 10-20 years from now.
Things like learning, unlearning & relearning, self awareness; collaborative thinking, social intelligence, and dealing with pressure need to be taught.
BP: What are the plans that you have for your future?
DJT: I would like to write more and more books and articles so that it can help the students pursuing the subject. I would eventually pursue my Post Doctoral studies on the condition of women in war stricken areas.
And that’s a wrap!
We are really grateful to Dr Jyotika Teckchandani for the time that she spared for the interview, it really means a lot to us. And Thank you dear reader , for reading till the end. We appreciate your time as well.
Interviewed By- Banaja Prakashini
Find Dr Jyotika Teckchandani’s books on Amazon.
About Dr Jyotika Teckchandani-
Jyotika Teckchandani did her B.A. (Hons.) in Political Science from Sri Venkateswara College and M.A. in Political Science from Lady Shri Ram College, both affiliated to University of Delhi.
She received her M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees from the Centre of West Asian Studies, JMI, New Delhi. She is the author of the book “ Islam and Gender Politics in Iran” and “State and Women in Islamic Republic of Iran: Khomeini Era(1979-89)” and recently released Handbook of Political Science and International relations.
Dr. Jyotika Teckchandani has contributed to a number of articles in academic journals of repute and newspapers including Indian Journal of Secularism, Journal of West Asian Studies, Quest International Multidisciplinary Research Journal, International Education and Research Journal , Journal of Social Science and Humanities Research, International Journal of Advanced Research, The Pioneer, The Quint, Hardnews, India Samvaad etc.