“I saw the doors of perception open
Through the darkness of oblivion they came,
Tamaso ma jyotira gamaya
Like moths to a flame.
Chrysalis shed, a purpose is sought
To reach or die trying - the flight unto light.
Mrityur ma amritam gamaya
Here comes the sun… it's all right.”
“Once we belong to a world that makes it’s living from wisdom, there is no reason for more wars. The future resides in University Campuses rather than in military camps. The generations to come are entitled to divorcing themselves from the past and building a new future of understanding and solidarity” – Simone Peres.
It has always been so. It is meant to be so. After the beatniks, the hippies in Haight-Ashbury, on the streets of San Francisco, with flowers in their hair. The fire of the anti-Vietnam War protests with its sparks in the University of Berkley. Four thousand doing the love march in the sea of mud at the festival for love, peace and music they called Woodstock. The revolution in Indonesia. The university students shot by the army in Bangladesh. Even the kurta and jeans clad students of JNU and DSE with red flags in their rooms and copies of the Communist Manifesto till 1991 brought the fall of the USSR and George Bush Sr.’s speech on ‘the failed coo of communism’.
They have always believed that the world could be a better place, and they have always fought for that belief. They had a cause. They is no dearth of causes today. Yet there are no ballads to Sacco and Vanzetta – “Rebellion, revolution don’t need dollars, they need this instead… Only silence is shame.”
Here, we dwell in this silence. Imagination sacrificed, we chose not only to overlook the murky waters around us, but also to dive into its depths and cover ourselves with the mud and choke in it. We chose not to fight the system, but become a part of it.
One would think that the premier institutes of the country would be the focal point of such rebellion. Coming from colleges across the country where we have already been desensitised to the lack of student idealism or support for such causes, it is surprising to find that what little idealism we had left is ground to the dust. Of course, it is inevitable that in a management institute of the stature of an IIM, the typical student is least concerned about anything but his own very materialistic motives. The B-school today has become little more than a glorified placement agency. The learning we acquire is seen more as a by-product than the cause for choosing admission in the institute.
Granted that is has always been the Arts colleges and undergraduate institutes that have taken upon themselves to form the undercurrent of social change. All the same, in a country like ours, as we have seen in our own stints in university, the typical college student is to immature and too ineffective in society to go about instituting change. In a non-idealistic but rational approach, we recognise that long-term change can only be brought about through the sustained effort of large organisations and institutions. And we are arguably the leaders of tomorrow’s large organisations. The little effort we d make is more an individual effort than a collective conscious one on the part of the community as a whole. We see this in its starkest form when the committee selection processes prove Bhavishya is nowhere among the most-desirous committees to join on campus. More than anything else, one is left to question whether the material success we yearn for will serve our purpose of mental satisfaction, will it make us truly happy and content individuals. Or is there something more to life to achieve than a hefty bank balance?
The movie is over. Wake up, little Suzy. Take a little time off for self-introspection. Is where you’re headed really where you want to be after you’ve smoked your life away. Before we shrug our shoulders and say ‘ours not to reason why’, we must stop! Stop and think it over. When you look back at your life at the institute and the subsequent years we hope we can even ask ‘Was it really worth it?’ and not ‘What was it?’ Let’s hope we can rest in peace. At the rate we’re going, we won’t.
|Top 5 Things To Spend on|
|Alok||Apparel, clothes, entertainment, food, phone bills|
|Animesh||Casino, Donation to IIML, Ship, Private Aircraft, House on an island|
|Anshul||Ferrari, BMW bike, ManU vs. Arsenal at Old Trafford, a beachside house, donation to CRY|
|Gurpreet||Family, Books, A Farm House, A cancer Hospital, Ship, Another Taj Mahal|
|Siddhartha||A vacation, a Volkswagen, a swimming pool, a water bed, a ticket to fly in space|