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Friday, June 8, 2012

A Proud Moment

Being an Indian Citizen has its perils. There are so few moments of pride. I am sorry to say I did not feel proud when our national anthem was selected as the best in the world by UNICEF. Because it was an internet hoax spread by some jingoistic fool. I did not feel proud when the Taj Mahal was selected as the first among the Seven Wonders of the World. Because it was selected via SMS votes and India has a huge population.

Then as the maggots of the government corruption began to ooze out on practically a daily basis, that was probably the lowest point of national morale. Not only the knowledge that most of the people in political power were corrupted to the core (which was mostly known), but the sheer scale of the scams (CWG, 2G, Coalgate) was a shock to the morale. Sadly, then came the unconstitutional opposition to these scams in the form of a voice to have LOKPAL by certain groups which comprised of people who themselves are corrupted and attention seeking. Youths across the nation started supporting the campaign (they were supporting that in Facebook though) to have a feel of how it was to protest against the regime. Of course they were just trying to emulate the great Bhagat Singh, Sukdev, the Mahatma, SC Bose, etc (having born much late after Indian Independence they missed out on the war for freedom. This was their way of having a new "movement", a "revolution") Who doesn't love a revolution against an oppressing regime? However I did not feel pride in that. As soon as India won the World Cup 2011, everything was forgotten though and people went back to their lives. Not even the unearthing of the huge Coalgate scam could elicit a response from the people who had become numb to corruption. ("Cholche. Cholbe" Zindabad). It wasn't a moment to feel proud. Then the government started to tinker with the secondary education system which they had started doing ever since they came into power after NDA. And by secondary education system, they only saw the ones which actually work, viz. the IITs. Ignoring the rest of them which don't work, they started doing some exceptional work to bring back the proud IITs to the average. Surely not a moment of pride. (Though the proposed system has lots of merits given certain modifications like elimination of the board marks as means of qualification)

Then came this news late on 8th June 2012.

IIT Kanpur defies Kapil Sibal, to conduct its own entrance test

It is not a big news by any means (No one was terrorized, no one was raped, no scam surfaced, no minister was granted bail, Sachin did not score a century, It wasn't an IPL Scandal, it wasn't a Poonam Pandey/ KRK tweet, Aamir Khan did not cry on national television, no Bollywood star was involved in an affair, Mamata Banerjee did not oppose some act, Digvijaya Singh did not open his mouth and Manmohan Singh remained as commentless as ever). But Man! did it feel good. Having studied at an IIT (albeit an IIT which is the first to agree with the MHRD on anything and everything) I will always feel a kinship with any IIT. And this was a moment of pride. The very fact that IITK senate decided to throw dung at the face of Mr. Kapil Sibal ("I am a 60 year old spoiled kid. I want my own toy. Gee, the "IIT" toy looks shiny") lifted my spirits to such high that I immediately started writing this post. Such was the excitement that my abysmal living conditions (extreme heat, humidity, a nearby hornets' nest and some other bothersome pests) bothered me no more. It was such a "Fuck you" moment that I forgot the pain of my childhood hero transforming into a political lackey for the moment. Definitely the way to show the middle finger. Remember it is very difficult to come out of the grip of the government for the IITs (despite them being "autonomous") because most of their funds still come from the government unlike their counterparts in the more developed nations. So it is very difficult to stand up to the government like this. I don't know if IITK is really going to go through this or fold under the pressure of the all-knowing illiterate politicians. But damn if it wasn't a moment to savour, a MOMENT OF PRIDE.



  1. there have been only a few more, TN Seshan showing THE finger to entire political class...Indian Express leaving blank editorial/news space during emergency.., but this one came after a long time. there are still some working spines left in this country of crawlers.