Please also read the comments. As always, what something seems like at first glance may not be the whole story.
Ravikanth told me about this new ‘rule’ that had appeared in a note on the Tapti hostel notice board. Seemingly issued by the warden of Tapti hostel, NS Narayanaswamy* from the Computer Science department at IITM, this piece of wardenial fiat (erm, wardenical?) has to be seen to be believed. So, courtesy a student of Tapti hostel, here’s a photograph of the notice:[notice]
If the rest of the ‘Attention:- Residents of Tapti Hostel’ notice is silly enough, the one that takes the cake reads:
f) Between 9 am and 4 pm, with the exception of lunch hour 12-1pm, if you are found in your room sleeping in a healthy condition, you will be reported to your Faculty Adviser/ Guide/ HoD/ Dean. Your parents will be informed and your presence in the hostel during the daytime [sic] will invite scrutiny.
I also have a picture of page-2, containing the signature of the warden, of this piece of paper that belongs at the bottom of a heap of vomit induced by all the booze, tobacco and drugs the warden is so intent on eradicating. If you are from IITM, and want to verify that this is indeed from the warden of Tapti, you could walk to Tapti and look at the notice yourself.
I am willing to presume that this is merely a misguided attempt at helping students. The combination, however, of self-righteousness, megalomania, hypocrisy and sheer stupidity that has to have gone into this notice is staggering. What is the warden going to do? Walk around the hostel collecting soiled underwear? If he is, could he please deposit the lot in the washing machine at the end of the corridor? They need a wash.
I’d also like to hear how the warden thinks that the conversation with the FA/Guide/HoD/Dean might go.
‘Mr. Dean Academic Courses, I found this student sleeping in his room at 10 am. I want the strictest action initiated against him.’
Here’s a list of possible responses:
1) ‘How could he? Did god give him two hands and two legs to work or to sleep?’
2) ‘Absolutely. Throw him out of the hostel, out of the institute… Oh, wait. Did you say ‘sleeping’ or ‘murdering’?’
3) ‘Don’t you have that class to teach?’
4) ‘Seriously, dude? Get a life.’[hr]
* I have written about this to the warden of Tapti hostel. Here’s the text of the email:
Dear Professor Narayanaswamy,
I am an alumnus of IIT Madras from the Aerospace Engg batch of 2010. Hello. I wish to address this to the warden of Tapti hostel. The webpage for Tapti hostel lists you as warden and says you started your term in July 2010. I hope I have not mistaken you for somebody else.
A notice that was issued by your office and put up on the Tapti Hostel notice board was brought to my attention. I hope, perhaps unreasonably, that it was drawn up by one of your subordinates and that you signed it without really reading it.
I say that because the alternative is saddening. One hears stories about college administrators going overboard with their enforcement of ‘discipline’ in colleges in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. I have always trusted that IITM will not descend into the kind of moral policing that is characteristic of being hit on the head one too many time. Perhaps I shouldn’t.
I see from your webpage that you’ve been a student yourself less than a decade ago. I fail to understand how one can go from that to issuing diktats requiring students to not be asleep, under threat of disciplinary action, past a certain hour.
I write a (somewhat popular) weblog. I’ve written about this notice and what I think about it on the blog. Because it is a blog, the language is perhaps more strident than what I’ve used in this missive. If you do read what I’ve written, I ask that you ignore the language for the message; and that you kindly take this preposterous notice issued by your office down.