Friday, March 14, 2008

farewell all

was thinking that i will not do this. it would be a repetition of the one i write every year at this time. but what prompted me to write on the same subject was the realization that the students are not the same. a new bunch of students are going to graduate and they need a proper farewell. in fact, they deserve it.
i will start with the students of Thai origin. for starters i am ashamed to admit that except for three i don't known the names of others. but their faces are etched in my mind's eye forever. as foreign students they deserve special treatment. it was not possible to give more time and energy to their unique requirements- it will always be a regret.
the other group that i interacted the least was the one made up of students mostly in the 60s- roll number that is. the onus is obviously on the teacher to draw the students out of their shells. this was again something that didn't happen. why is it that the background of the person matters so much for even us teachers to warm up to students?
Rahul j, tarun, ajay, rahul m... make up another group (may not be a cohesive one) that was hard to crack. again i take responsibility that it was not possible to draw this group into the mainstream of the class activities.
come to think of it now, very few are left of the class who i did relate to and interacted with- big regret. ali, sheetal, shivraj, sumantra... were, due to different reasons, accessible and thus the class to me is represented through and by them.
finally, all the best to each and everyone of you- the journalism batch of 08. may you all do well in life. take care.

Monday, March 10, 2008

force multiplier

thought that u.r. ananthamurthy's speech was inspirational. not that he said anything new- it was the way he put it, with examples. i have been thinking of the same issues he put forth before the audience today at Christ College. i have been debating the pros and cons of the various controversial issues he touched upon. no i don't have the answers to them, yet. but it really takes guts and conviction to say the things he said in a public forum. i may think along the same lines but have very little strength to go public with them. take for example the divisive politics played by BJP (sometimes you wonder whether any political party is blameless), especially in the state of Gujarat- what succeeds in one state may be replicated in others. of course, one cannot but take the name of Raj Thackeray in the same breath. he is rewriting the script perfected by his uncle, the ever famous Bal. Regionalism, language politics and communal politics to name a few have surfaced time and again in this ancient land. it has its success in the short term. in the long run it leaves a trail of hatred and ample scope for future reprisals. As ananthamurthy said, it is through intellectual opposition that these forces can be defeated. where do i sign up?