(Before I started writing this article, I had a huge debate with a few friends of mine. They doubt that writing is going to help the authorities withdraw the decision. But that is not the point and it never was the intent. This article isn’t supposed to enlighten any person who tries to be a dictator; rather it is to enlighten the ones whom he tries to dictate. It is not about the effect, it is about the awareness of your rights and your ability to stand for those.)
When my father sent me to NIT Rourkela in 2011, little did he know about the possibility of rise of such dictators. 3 years into the college, I realized the harsh fact that I am helpless like the thousand others and I have to suffer till I get out of this place. But the draconian policies off late have surprised me and I keep wondering if the situation is going to get any better.
Has NITR turned into an Orwellian State? Have we forgotten that we are a democracy? Did the authorities in the process of making us hear forget that we can speak too? Such brutal policies and draconian laws are being formulated frequently, but I ask them- For what? What are you trying to prove? I ask myself these questions, in vain though.
Let me take you back in time, to July 2014. First of all drama was the Hall allotments. A zillion policies framed every day, a few by the Chief Warden himself and few by the Wardens on their own. Then causing us inconvenience by pre-allotting the rooms to 2nd and 3rd years on the baseless and doltish principles of “Homogeneity”. And at end, starting the allotment for a few students before the notified date and stating it as an act of convenience for the students. If that was your intent, then why did you take out the policy in the first place? We saw, We accepted, We carried on.
Then was the next bomb. Night canteens are to be closed at the stroke of midnight. Lots of stats and data were presented by Monday Morning in the maiden print issue, just because the Honourable Director agreed to take a look at them and reconsider his decision during a discussion in the HMC. And so he did. He just took a look! But never cared to change it.
And if we are looking at one of the most ludicrous and outrageous policies in the history of NITR, it has to be the recent decision of installing Biometrics system near the entrances of hostels to record every girls’ moves and to ensure that action is taken against them after 4 late entries. We have been screaming for a Biometric system in the mess for the past 2 years, a system to record the number of meals being taken by a student in a semester, so that remaining amount can be refunded to him at the end of the semester. But no, isn’t refunding illegal?
Next was the surprise visit plan of the Dean! In 2014, in a college where people of the age group 18-22 are the major denizens, how on earth did the authorities come up with such an idea? Serious action against those not found studying in their rooms? Isn’t that authoritarian and monopolistic? This might have been thought with the best of intentions, but this certainly is a threat to the welfare of a free and open society. We are in an engineering college, not in an army camp. Is it unfair to ask them to treat us as mature individuals who can take their own decisions?
And now finally, we have found ourselves in a place where we are restricted to use internet. 300MB it is! There are final years who are appearing online tests, there is a son who wants to video chat with his mother, there is this girl who wants to fill up her GRE form, there is this student who can’t understand the intellectual preaching in the class and relies on NPTEL video, there is a guy who has a company coming the next day and wants to prepare for the interviews. What about these people? Have you authorities turned a blind eye towards our needs? Have you taken power for granted? Have you just assumed that we are going to remain silent and carry on with our lives and that too on your terms? We are mature individuals and we demand to be treated that way.
We are at a political juncture where the country is progressing fast towards development or at least is trying to do so desperately under a new leader. Technology is being developed; challenges are being set; innovative initiatives are being encouraged and above all, the hindrances in the path of development are being dealt with a contemporary and positive mind. However, here in NITR we continue to observe this weird trend of dictatorship, directorship and a lackadaisical attitude in dealing with the strange dogmata. If we are doing something firmly here at NITR, it is a united and fast march towards Stone Age. Not because we had got an imposition on internet, but because some have lost wits in deciding what is right for the junta and some have lost the spines to remind the authorities what they deserve. This truly is suicidal attitude for the present batches and even more petrifying for the junior batches. I am not fine with this and I will speak up. Speak up against such policymaking and will continue to do so until I get what is rightfully mine. “Freedom”
P.S. – The usage of the word College instead of institute is intentional, since the factors setting the latter apart from the former have been snatched away from us.
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