Monday, September 05, 2005

College, good ole college....

I noticed that the Times in Mumbai carried a four-column article on the current Anil Wilson versus Bishop Masih fight today. When the Mumbai edition starts carrying the news, I assumed it must be big, or well it could because good old Dr W has tons of friends among the babalog of NDTV, who have become strident Dr W defenders. Now, while Dr W was a bit of a tight-ass at times - I remember the time I was summoned to his office for failing to attend morning assembly, he was a decent principal.
And despite me referring to him sometimes (again because of his often tight-ass attitude) as 'Anal' for refusing to allow TV crews inside college (unless they were BBC or CNN crews) punishing a couple because the girl was sitting on a guys lap, suspending people for smoking cigarettes and so on and so forth, he was nice to me in 1998 when he gave me a room in Residence. And since 1998 he also was a great guy to talk to when I bumped into him leaving the side entrance of Muk East more often than I would like.
Yes, there are cases of him being a bit over-the-top, for example in my third year I was assumed to a part of a large drug ring. This led to a rather unfortunate series of events which eventually led to the Dean telling my father that I did Smack. Which I did not. OK, so I was a pothead and the era of 1997-2000 when people used to smoke up and drink in Rez at the drop of a hat has passed by and Dr W has done a lot of things that have changed college for better or worse, including getting in women to Rez, the walls around college, all sorts of special after-hours programs etc etc. Many people, especially students from my fathers generation (though, in all honesty both my father and my step-father, both extremely senior journalists and old boys from the class of 1975 have no issues with him) think that Dr W has ruined the charcter of St Stephen's College because he was never a student here himself. Which has even led to a few altercations at the old boys lunch in December, when Wilson tried to stop some drunken old boys from drinking more. I don't know what to make of this issue, I'm quite agnostic about this, but true things in SSC have changed.
I spent three years of my life in St Stephen's College. How I got admission there is a bit of a cloudy issue, as many other people who got into that college know. But, that said, I did meet all crieria - I was two percent above the cut-off even. True, my father was an illustrious old student, but that said, when younger brother never made the cut-off and no attempt was made to try to get him into college. You make the cut-off you might get admission depending on how much pull you bring to bear. I was cocky, and on the night before my interview was very sure that I would get admission (back-up was BA Econ at Kirori Mal) and my interview went like clockwork, I even had a nice conversation about God of Small Things. But, because you miss the cut-off and your father decides to donate a few lakhs to the Church of North India (CNI) should not be a reason for admission. Despite being a benificiary of the cloudy admission procedure, I believe that this problem would never have arisen if SSC made its admission procedure more transparent. Because end of the day at Stephen's almost everybody was someone important's son or daughter and almost everyone came from a top-notch school. No-one came from any shady Delhi school which advertised its toppers in the newspapers, everybody was from the 'good' schools.
The Times story today.
Now, the signature campaign story is another issue. Should some teachers give up their jobs signing a clearly offensive letter to save someone else's job? Plain and simple answer, no. While I support Wilson to an extent (mainly because he allowed me to sit for my third year exam despite 20 per cent attendance in third year, and no I never begged, my name was never on that dreaded list, maybe it was because of the four-column picture I got in ToI for winning a quiz) I would dearly love to see if Dr Tankha or Dr Upinder Singh have anything to say on the matter. Keep in mind, anything these two teachers say, and they are extremely intelligent people and two teachers I still respect immensely, despite not being taught by them, anything they say will be seen as the word of a higher authority.
Anyway, if you are a Stephanian young or old, please do leave your comments on the issue. Oh, and by the way Gaurav Banerjee's 'Vishvast' sources on Star News and Bhaiyyan, Mohan and Khim Singh. The grapevine has been activated, lets get the inside scoop out.
On another note, I had a great chilled out weekend, and it seems that Fernando has already sewn up the drivers title.


Yohan said...

There era of smoking up continues in Rez, let me assure you. I was there from 2001 to 2004. DTC retired, Ayde (the pol sci teacher who looks like a walrus) became the Dean, and it was as if the Neocons had taken over.

And let me tell you...Willie is as shady as the Bishops. I have it from a well-respected former chaplain, that the man is not worth as much as the chair he sits (sat?) on.

This same priest said in 2003 that the Archbishop had bought 5 new cars in five consecutive years.

I got in through the Christian quota, I suppose (but I was well over the cut-off!), bu I think the time has come for reform. No one should think they're untouchable.

K said...

While I agree that era of ganja-ry will be as long as there is a Rez, but I will refrain from spouting my opinions on Ayde. Because they shall not be pretty. DTC for all his faults was a sweetheart a bridge between the wild seventies, debauch eighties and insane nineties. Yes, DTC got me into enough trouble as did (of all people) KRC.
I am not saying that Willie is a saint, I know the man is shady, and the fact that he is playing matyr over here is even more ironic. Yet, what I am pointing out is that the man was nice to me.
Is that a reason for him to stay? I don't think so. He has had fifteen years and he should move on now, but if his moving on means mad-cap Christian fundamentalists (like this Bishop Masih) come to power, I would rather he stays.
It is a choice between the devil and the deep blue sea.