Learning to be Terse

IIT Roorkee. What the heck are they up to over there?

Posted in Campus, Inanity by Croor Singh on October 31, 2010

Apparently, in what is IIT-Roorkee’s version of Saarang was an event where ‘boys holding lipsticks in their mouth applied them on girls’. Ravikanth brought this to my attention in the comments here. Predictably, the saffron monkeys of the ABVP and the Hindu Jagran Manch have started jumping up and down about this, burning the Dean (I assume the DoSA) of IIT-R in effigy, and threatening to close down IIT-R’s gates if there isn’t any action taken:

“We condemn this incident. We will lock the gates of IIT Roorkee if the management does not take any action in this regard,” AVBP secretary Raj Singh Pundir said.

Not so predictably, however, the state government has ordered an ‘inquiry’ into the matter:

“We will not tolerate any obscenity in our state. We have launched an inquiry in this regard,” Uttarakhand Education Minister Govind Singh Bisht said.

Really, now? I wonder what an ‘inquiry’ into an event at a college festival entails. If this festival is like Saarang, somebody proposes an event, the student heads approve it, the Dean approves it and the event is held. There. That’s an ‘inquiry’ into the matter. Why on Earth does this require orders from the education minister?

This ‘event’, to be sure, is about as tasteless as events at college cultural festivals can get. I should add, before I get thrown in the same bin as the thugs of the saffron brigade, that I have no problem with an event getting men and women, in any combination, to kiss on stage. What I do have a problem with is the intellectual cowardice of dressing it up as something else. Using lipstick for this is perhaps particularly stupid.

These attempts at chikanery – dithering at best, contemptible dishonesty at worst – are to me the reason the goons of the ABVP can get away with threatening to close down an institution set up by an act of parliament. Surely it’s time we learnt our lesson. The right wing is going to cry murder (of ‘Hindu culture’ – whatever that might be) in any case. The least we can do is to hold on to our intellectual honesty and have the courage of our convictions.

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Hat Tip: Ravikanth

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13 Responses

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  1. vinay warrier said, on October 31, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Well said, Croor. Your take on the chicanery here is quite different from other rants on this issue. And yes it is true and conceivable. But the reaction of the media is seriously intolerable. Check this post out: http://www.newsthatmattersnot.com/2010/10/lipstick-competition-at-iit-roorkee.html
    And most importantly, check the comments. The ‘difference’ in opinions. Bah.

  2. anirudh said, on October 31, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    So u want a kissing on stage competition ?instead of “lipsticking” but how does one win that?

  3. Consti said, on October 31, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    Everybody wins.

  4. Croor Singh said, on October 31, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    Go Consti! Considering this is India, if you’ve got a valid entry, you’ve already won.

  5. Manjunath Narayan said, on October 31, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Even the western countries have thought about ban on kissing in public. France have already done it. What Saffroners does or do is not the issue. When we are so democratic this is bound to happen from pro and cons activists. As your point suggest that according to you every one has to be left liberal in democracy. Then be democratic croor. What education minister did was right just to keep those saffroners quiet, he did right by just saying that.

  6. Croor Singh said, on October 31, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    Oh, yes – burning people in effigy, destroying property, threatening to close down an entire college, getting students suspended – all perfectly part of democracy.

    Um. Maybe not.

    The minister has no bloody business keeping anybody quiet. The saffron ruffians are allowed to not like things, and to say they don’t like something. What the minister should be doing is to throw them in jail if they destroy property, or threaten to hurt people. That, unfortunately, he seems to have forgotten to do.

    Oh, and just so nobody else brings up this canard of ‘even the western countries…’, I don’t give a fuck what ‘the’ western countries do. Being christian is a de facto requirement for public office in USA, for example. I say that in spite of the fact that France banned kissing in public to stop the spread of swine flu, and not to pacify a bunch of nuts with an agenda.

  7. strawberrymargaritas said, on October 31, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    @MN: Really? France has? They were all over the place when I was there..
    @Croor: Question is, what is more ridiculous? The political parties’ outcry or the event? :P
    I am actually thankful that our dean has to review all events(doesn’t he..). that will save us from such embarrassment.

  8. Croor Singh said, on October 31, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    Ridiculous isn’t the word I’d use for the actions of the ABVP. ‘Intolerant’ comes to mind. Or perhaps ‘antediluvian’, ‘archaic’, ’19th century’. More importantly, though, ‘unlawful’, ‘illegal’, ‘punishable’ and ‘criminal’.

    The event is indeed ridiculous. I don’t think you need a Dean to tell that the event is stupid. I am not a fan of having to run everything by some Dean, who may or may not be or act like an impartial observer.

  9. Manjunath Narayan said, on November 1, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    @sm: there is no rule or law in this world which has been misused or violated? we cant expect 1:1 guarding citizen allover by police, thats impossible. The lawmakers do what best they could do, they can be vigilant but not 100% possible, so people violate rules.

    @croor: its very easy to write about ABVP and other organization what wrong they do or did by just looking media reports. On ground its not fair to categorize by taking few bad examples. The society has to change, and its not an spontaneous process(i know you are well aware of it). There was an IITian who raped and murdered his girlfriend few month back and 1st time in the history of HAL 30 IITians joined the renowned organization after 63 years, so extrapolating can anyone draw conclusion that IITians are so and so, no we cant and we shouldn’t. Don’t categorize, the law will take its own course, and its a slow process.

  10. Croor Singh said, on November 1, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    The world was running low on cliches. Thank you, I guess.

    The ‘law’ has patently NOT taken the course it was supposed to. Nobody who destroyed property or issued threats was punished. On the other hand, five students have been suspended. And all this has happened lightning fast. ‘Slow process’ indeed.

    So the story thus far is the following: the secretary of the local chapter of the ABVP says that the ABVP will have its goons close down IIT-R if no action is taken. In response, the bunch of mice running IIT-R crap their pants and suspend their own students, and a puppet of an education minister orders an inquiry into this ‘matter’.

    Somehow, I don’t think my calling the ABVP a bunch of ruffians is the worst thing that’s happened in all this.

  11. Manjunath Narayan said, on November 1, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    Given a situation would you lodge a complaint against ABVP for what all they do? you won’t and don’t even dare doing it, till then the situation will be like this in India because court requires proof and nobody dares to talk against them, thats the fact of real India. System change not be writing or saying and that is a slow process. Suspending students was crucial just to keep others quiet. When your political views are left liberal why do you care croor. Its not so easy running a democratic country, unless governing body win the trust of its citizen. Things would turn out good thereafter. Situation on ground level is not as easy as your writing.

  12. Croor Singh said, on November 1, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    Nobody will raise a voice against the stupidity of the ABVP. And because people won’t raise a voice against the ABVP, the country is becoming harder to run.

    Therefore, when somebody does say something on a public forum calling the right-wing’s stupidity stupid, with no hint at hiding his identity, he must be pontificated to and given lessons on democracy.

    I see a flaw in that train of thought. Don’t you?

    I also find it amusing that you assume you know what I would do in some imaginary situation, and make this ‘knowledge’ the basis for the rest of your discourse; the less said about the heft of which discourse, the better.

  13. Manjunath Narayan said, on November 1, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    ha ha i didn’t mean the way you thought. Even i am deadly against them. Since nobody officially fight with them its remains the same. Gotta move the substance not words.


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