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India Today

August 20, 2011

(This post was written a few days ago; don’t remember the exact date and so the events described are of the past if they’ve a relevance with respect to time).

This post is quite convoluted and no real order/co-relation exists between the thoughts. They’re mostly random stuff that came to my head. And the title well, I guess it’s relevance will be clear soon. I just felt that it fit the entire scenario that’s all.

I wanna start off with a “controversial” workshop(which charged an outrageous sum for something that can never be learnt in a day!) that was supposed to be organized in our campus till someone[among the few with some brains around here] pointed out that the person who’s been invited to conduct the workshop is a fake(and a very good website does say so too). Of course, I “knew” this somehow but did nothing about it and didn’t pay much attention to it since I knew nothing good will come out by going after rectifying the issue.

But, some others weren’t deterred and took the issue to the upper echleons of the management(the very top I must say) and the workshop was canceled! I wasn’t shocked-again all I said was “I knew this will happen.” like I was some mystic/fortune teller. Now, as I think about it, I am quite confused seeing such conflicting reactions from me!

After this happened, the very same people who brought down this workshop found a blog post in the campus blog, which was started by the same people behind the workshop. It was about the same workshop being conducted in some other college. A comment was left on that post saying it’s a fake, which was of course moderated and removed. I somehow still posted it and even left my email id to see how it goes.

Next day I get a mail from one of the admins(who also is a lecturer in my department). I don’t wish to post any exercepts here at all(of course it was hilarious when he mentioned that my comment was accepted! I replied asking whether it was really accepted and he went on to explain why he couldn’t accept it without understanding I was mocking him. Very sad indeed.). He told me he moderated such a comment a few days ago. He told me that the campus blog is something which several colleges subscribe to and why should we bring negative attention to Amrita through such activities. We should do something constructive with this opportunity and not spread negativity.

Here’s my take on this ridiculous notion.

  1. I’m a student of Amrita, not part of the institution/organizers of the campus blog. How many times in history have we seen that an employee(someone more important than a student) of a company write a blog post and put the disclaimer that views expressed here are that of the author and not the company. Even newspapers do it for editorials! How long would it take for the college to say something like this and distance from the controversy? Very little time.(Of course, I’m honoured to know that I am a very valuable person :P.)
  2. I asked him whether saying out the truth is such a crime? I told him bluntly that it’s a shame that a teacher tells his pupil to not speak out the truth-which is same as lying! He may not have taught me anything but that doesn’t change anything at all-he’s still a professor and I a student.
  3. Where is the notion of free speech? I didn’t abuse anyone or swear or anything that is ethically bad! I just spoke out my opinion!

(I was really pissed and that’s another motivation for this post.)

What cheesed me off very badly was the fact that he wanted me to not say such things because he didn’t want to ruin Amrita’s name and relationship with other colleges. He didn’t even realize that by propagating lies, we’re ruining the very name and relationship! And it’s made even worse by silencing those who want to speak out the truth. In fact, I couldn’t help likening this situation of the Indian government in the following ways:-

  1. India is very soft in it’s dealings-we must not hurt others sentiments. While this is certainly very good, there’s a limit. We must never put “what others think of us” over our own dignity and stuff. That’s the limit. It’s like how the government is spending millions on Kasab to keep him in custody(with 5 star treatment) while people in India suffer! Just kill the guy and get it over with-he’s killed so much people. Do something firm or India will go down in history as being a softie!
  2. I read today that the CBI did a total U turn in the Sohrabuddin “encounter” case and said that the AP government has nothing to do with the issue(to baill out the Congress). I liked how the author pointed out that if the AP police was involved, the Congress will end up as guilty. This is very very bad for them specially when Sonia herself said that his “encounter” was communally motivated and accused Modi of inciting communal violence(I’m not speaking good of Modi-I barely know enough to form an opnion).

These the same to me- I was silenced by my professor just like CBI by government just to save their own face!

I also read that the new movie “Aarakshan” which talks about reservation for the so-called backward classes everywhere-higher education institutions, government offices and more. The percentage of seats has been on the rise and hence the eligible candidates lose out to someone who’s not worth it but there only because he was born into a “low” caste! That’s ridiculous! And how long does it take to get a fake community certificate?! I’ve seen friends much better than me economically using reservation only because they’re too lazy to study and yet want to study in the best institutes, work in best offices etc. I’ve always been a staunch opposer of the whole idea! I study very hard to crack the AIEEE and then my classmate is someone who got some 5,00,000 rank in the same exam! That’s unfair! Change to reservation based on economic status! That’s fair. Few state governments have banned the movie when the Censor Board cleared the movie! It’s sad that the governments use the constitution to their own selfish ends! For everyone’s sake, throw out that old Mandal Commission report and make a new one!

Also, I realized that there’re three kinds of people. And examples for each should be pretty clear.

1. Those who know something is wrong and speak out

2. Those who know something is wrong but choose to ignore

3. Those who know something is wrong but continue to promote it

I find this small incident not very shocking at all-daily we turn a blind eye to the several rules that are broken around us(just look around and you’ll mostly find someone breaking some rule every minute). Similarly, my professor turned a blind eye to the post and asked me to not say “bad things”. The core problem lies in such small problems-uproot them and slowly the effect would reflect in the very top.

But not all hope is lost. Like those who spoke out against this workshop, there’re many out there who’re standing up for what’s right everyday! That’s what I urge everyone to do-stand up for what’s right. Lead people, guide people, educate people-we need leaders today more than anything! There’s more to life than just a desk job. Look around you and you’ll find so much can be done to make this place better for everyone.

I’ve often thought of doing this-cleaning up the country. What better service can be done? But, I’ve my priorities to think of as well and hence I’m trying to make the world a better place in my own way! That’s why I’m always at cross roads!

Oh and I was told in a follow up email by the same faculty, that there weren’t any posts by me in the campus blog and encouraged me to contribute to it. While I agree it was said with a good intention, I would like to point out that I don’t want to associate myself with something that I know promotes lies-I regard it as nothing but a joke. There’re better blogs to read and gain knowledge and perspective from. And also please don’t judge anyone without proper knowlege. I might be exaggerating-I don’t do anything great after all. But, I do my bit to change the world-none can deny that-and that’s not by promoting lies, tricking people etc.

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