Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Story That Shut Down Scholars' Avenue

The Scholars' Avenue team got more than what they bargained for, with their October 5 issue. Their cover story was about the pathetic state of IIT Kharagpur's hospital for students - remarkably fair and objective, it had the views of all the stakeholders - the institute administration, hospital administration, doctors, and students.

The institute responded to this like you'd expect the North Korean secret police would - it ordered gymkhana to shut down Scholars' Avenue immediately, and take down the Scholars' Avenue blog (used to be at http://scholarsavenue.blogspot.com); The entire Scholars' Avenue team was theratened with disciplinary action - and the irony is, senior members of the institute administration who are now involved in this crackdown actually gave some of the honest and candid views that were published in the article.

Issue no. 6 also had a small feature on the disruption of classes in the recent All-India strike - it had couple of photos of the mob squatting outside the institute gates, under the cliche of a heading "Painting the campus Red". No-one gave it a second thought; when the administrators alleged that Scholars' Avenue was publishing "political statements", nobody could get what they meant.

The fiasco actually started because Scholars' Avenue newspaper was stuck on the institute noticeboards (something they have been doing for every issue). The argument was that visitors to the institute would get a bad impression about it - fair enough. If this was communicated to the Scholars' Avenue team they would have taken it down immediately - instead the administration decided to kill the concept of a student newspaper completely.

Incidentally, one wonders what happens to this image-building when one of the various employees' associations takes out a strike, putting up banners and posters in front of the institute. At least the Scholars' Avenue was in small print, and used pretty mild language.

Is it that life-endangering apathy in the only hospital for students is less important than 50th anniversary gold coins for mess workers (and for lining pockets across HMC)? Or is it that IIT students, wary of turning their institute into another government "strike-engineering" college, avoid voicing their demands?

There can be no two opinions about this.

The consequences of the Scholars' Avenue chaos has been widespread - thanks to the "pointy-haired men" having a field day of it. This assortment of professors, who happen to be the most rabidly suspicious of students, used this incident to reopen one of their pet issues - with devastating results for the student community. More on this in my next post.

Bad decisions have become a way of life for the IIT administration.

18 Comments:

Blogger Vämp!rë said...

wtf is this...can u tell me dude

25 October, 2005 07:29  
Blogger MODIfied said...

I am really sad to know this, this is a barbaric attitude by the institute and we must oppose it in an organised manner. I am ready to join hands with any1 attempting to raise voice against this autocracy and tyranny. What are your editors doing?? sleeping in their cosy beds?? This is the time for action and show the mettle of your pen to prove your might to those sitting at the top.

25 October, 2005 07:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My advice to u all .try not to fall ill if u do then for god's sake don't admit urself into b.c roy.
reason:- 2 days back my friend had a fever.he got admitted into b.c.roy .intially they thought it was a dengu or malaria.yesterday he had a stomach ache.n he was rushed to kolkata as doctors diagonsed that there's a problem in his appendix.
really b.c.roy is in a pathetic state.

25 October, 2005 07:37  
Anonymous haraami said...

Maaa Chudaa ... Dosa ki Gaand main ghusega kya?

25 October, 2005 07:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is simply ridiculous,the attitude shown by the administration is barbaric(even that sounds mild enough i think).Instead of taking steps to improve the hospital,they are trying to curb all the student activities.Really unfortunate.i agree with modified.Now is the time to rise up against such tyranny, a time to fite for freedom of expression

25 October, 2005 07:42  
Anonymous sadistic_ninja said...

Very nice .... Khitiz guys deserve it ... mofos trying to cut down efforts for a decent X games .... Gud work DOSA ..i'll b pleased if DOSA scraps whole khitiz

25 October, 2005 07:48  
Blogger Acroyali said...

i'm just waiting for a go-ahead, before i put up a post on my blog in suport of this. being a part of schol ave i refuse to go down without a shout. thanx for the post!

25 October, 2005 07:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such steps stem from the fact that those at the helm at times take such autocratic measures and get away with it.They are mentally bankrupt to the extent that they instead of taking corrective measures & reintrospection ,find hushing up the matter easier.for a change this time they should not be allowed to get away with it. It's high time we assert ourselves & have a say in issues related to us

25 October, 2005 08:09  
Anonymous Shubho said...

This is sad.
-Shubhadeep Roy,
Batch of 2005

25 October, 2005 08:19  
Blogger Mann said...

well 'i hate...' i don't see anywhere him mentioning that this made severs down.....

or i missed that part ?

28 October, 2005 12:19  
Blogger arvin said...

there'll be another post about that... stay tuned.

29 October, 2005 00:56  
Blogger Subash said...

feel relly proud to find such brave and bold people in kgp, Nice post... but I fear the authorities here and their knee-jerk reactions, as they are not 1/1000 time as bold as you...

--Subash

30 October, 2005 23:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Arvin,

Please contact me

I would like to follow up with the IIT authorities with all this (if true).
The incident you have decribed, if true, is extremely unfortunate. I would like to see Scholars Avenue back up and running.

Regards,
Joyjit

03 November, 2005 11:37  
Blogger Sunny said...

Thanks for this post dude...

You've said everything ... I got nothing to add except the single sentiment that crosses my mind time and again...'wtf'

All I assure you is... we'll be back...

06 November, 2005 04:58  
Blogger >|' ; '| said...

totally unfair, i agree.

strike-engineering govt college ehh...*that hurt*

06 November, 2005 05:00  
Blogger arvin said...

@acroyali and sunny: really really looking forward to your return... and i hope you can do that with your head held high, without compromising on what made you so great in the first place.

@poison: umm... sorry... not meant to hurt anyone's feelings. in fact the dialogue is copied from someone who was talking about bengal engineering colleges, but you have to be real, it does apply to CET too much of the time. Of course, its a tragedy, but it doesn't detract from how great most of the students are... i would know wouldn't i?

06 November, 2005 06:09  
Blogger >|' ; '| said...

its ok...the only education thats imparted non stop is that of strikes and more strikes.... :-)

06 November, 2005 19:39  
Blogger Aditya said...

it is a complete wtf
we will be BACK

07 November, 2005 09:34  

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