Thursday, September 21, 2006

The System

He asked me if i could,
I told him i would,
but why not now ?

What was missing?
The reason? The urge? The wounds?
Am i afraid to quit?

Yet again he asked me,
yet again I answered I would,
he said, better not.

This world accepts metamorphosis, not changes.

And then she asked if I could,
I answered i would,
But now there was a tear,
of no reason, no fear.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Senators And The Senate House

Today, I thought it would be the most memorable day. The 150th year celebrations were on in the most sought after university in Madras. The " Mother of all universities " was how it was referred to. May be it was a pun intended, Mother, a person who makes us instantly sleep and I guess that’s what the students affiliated to the university do and the so called lecturers catalyze our serotonin levels that induce sleep!

The most anticipated event of today was the talk by our President. But, the President had to anticipate his turn first! The first citizen of the country was the last person to address the gathering! Our president had to endure through 2 hours and 30 mins of Tamil and Tamil Nadu politics before he could rightfully belong to his citizens, WE.

We were a large group of say nearly 700 students from various institutions and we were given a taste of politics and the beautiful Tamil "uraiaadal" of the eminent scholarly and Honorable ministers.

What is the purpose of a language? Is it to communicate or is it to change us into fanatics and never adopt any other language? When I returned from the 18th International Conference of Nobel Laureates, held at Germany, there was a meeting hosted by the Indian Government with the Minister of Science and Technology. A participant in our group started to speak in Hindi. The explanation he gave, " I find that the Germans have advanced in everything because they never speak anything else that their mother tongue. Therefore, we can also advance by speaking only in our mother tongue". Is this a statement of jealousy or ego ? In a country where there are 18 languages, is this a possible way towards development? The ultimate aim is to develop our country. Is there a question of language in this? When English is serving as a cross platform access, why is this ego playing?

Well, the brief introduction about the language war is a preface to the following passage !

The function began with the speech of the current vice chancellor in English. It was good, to the point and apt to the occasion. Then came the first Tamil speaker. Sorry for not remembering his political status. We are in Tamil Nadu and hence Tamil. Ok. But in a occasion like this, where the majority of the participants are scholars and students and some Central Government ministers, why Tamil is my question. Well, he could have completely spoke in Tamil, but there was this beautiful statement in English. " Thanks to the revulsion in IT industry " Revulsion in the IT industry!!!!? Since the purpose of language is to communicate and make understand, you are supposed to understand it as Revolution!

The next minister, " Colleges function in shipt system" . The word shift was changed to Shipt and it just sounded like Shit !

Ok, here comes the first best one. The speech by the Minister of Rural development ( state ). He inaugurated the Digital library and spoke thus ( In Tamil ) : " Libraries are important. All colleges have libraries. Students utilize the library. Students must utilize the library. Since libraries contain many books and hence they can be termed as Book store house. Scholars use the library. The fact that APJ kalam has used the library made him president. Libraries decide the fate of Tamil Nadu." Judge this speech yourself !!

Next came the speech of the man responsible for India in 1 Rupee. The man who gave internet to the farmers, instead of ides towards better crop cultivation. The words in the left are those which he said for those on the right. But since language is only to make understand, we could get the meaning.
Perumukkal : Perumakkal ( Audience )
Alambam : Aarambam ( Beginning )
Palaikegam : Palkalai kazhagam ( University )
pugzhal mundham : pugzhal mandram ( praising committee )
nootuandu vila : noothruaandu vizha ( 100th year )
Paritalum : Paaratinalum ( to praise )
palbadu : paagubadu ( discrimination )

Long live classical Tamil !

Next was the speech by the father of the minister who spoke on the importance of libraries. This function is a educational function. But his speech was full political and " reserved ". Reservation in education ( Mr Arjun Singh was there in this function and he too spoke ) . Haven’t we had a lot on this already?!! This were his concluding words ( in Tamil ) : " Like how Lord Krishna was supportive for Arjuna in the Kuruksethra war, I will support this 'Arjun' singh for the war on reservation policy." The students are supposed to take this easily and that too, spoken in a education university!!! Is there really a value for your degree certificate or your Caste certificate?

Then at last came our President. His speech lacked the fire. I guess he could not fuel his thoughts due to the very high price of fuel here! It was an ordinary speech. Mostly about his school and college day memories. Expectations shattered. We were asked to submit questions that would be answered by him. But the questions were scrutinized and selected and hand picked by someone. The President will read out the name of the selected person and that person will ask the question. These were the questions asked :

* How can we impart technology education in school?
* What is the importance of women empowerment?
* How to make technology education and moral education go hand in hand?
* How can we control environmental pollution?
* Why is India lagging in sports/Olympics despite its population?
* Why isn't news on technology reaching the farmers?
* In spite of rise in technology, why are medicine prices high in India?
* Why is not India conducting Nano technology research?

All these were hand picked admist questions about the Indian development, the fiscal nature, the current issues, the rocket failures, the reservation, the future of pure science, question on commerce and current scenarios and the response of Indian government to the recently faced problems. These kind of questions were not allowed to be asked.

The ending was most pathetic. Everyone stood up for the National Anthem. It was played in the tape. The president raised his hands and asked everyone to join in. Imagine how reverberating it would have been if all the 1500 in the auditorium sung? And isn’t it how it should be when it comes to the country? Only 10 sang along. The President, a few students and me.

" INDIA " We are forgetting that its OURS.