Tuesday, March 19, 2013

And they declared an indefinite closure!

For all the school students in higher secondary level, they have a fantasy about their college life! I was not an exception to it when I was in that stage! No studies, no books, no classes, bunks, cultural, ragging, freedom, leadership and strike! All the above except one have been a part of one's college life for centuries. Strike?! How or since when does this strike become a part of college life?

Fortunately or unfortunately, the films (especially, the Tamil counterparts!) which have college life as their main theme bring in strike as if a college life without a strike is incomplete! Announce strike for anything and everything you can! No election in college, strike! One student prohibited for writing exams, strike! No proper food in mess, strike! No facilities in college, strike! Scandal against an authority, strike!

And then, there will be four or five guys walking in heavy splash of rain around a corner with umbrellas protecting their skin while students will be shouting slogans getting wet! These guys will use a mike or whatever you call to maintain discipline! "Please call off your strike and go back to your classes else strict action will be taken! A group of student representatives can meet us and give your complaints and we shall look at it!" The students will not give up! They will shout without any amplifier but at the same pitch of that authority guy! "No, unless you fulfill our demands, we are not leaving this place!" Then suddenly, one can notice 3 or 4 vans full of police personnel entering the campus! One naughty guy in the crowd will do something eventually leading to charge!

Police will arrest students and now those four guys (Still in umbrellas though the rain has stopped) will support these students and announce "AN INDEFINITE CLOSURE" till a decision is made! The reopening date will be announced and there will be classes again! What is the result? A long period of holidays for students! Demands fulfilled! etc., etc.,

What this has to do with the current scenario? I too had that and I saw one yesterday! LTTE and SriLankan Government! Will our Government be just and stand against SriLanka President for its war and mass murders in 2009-10? Will Manmohan Singh announce Rajapakshe as a War Criminal? This has been the question nagging very few minds since the war. But now this is the question in every mind after the public witnessed that innocent face of Balachandran Prabhakaran! And that innocent face has provoked millions of people all around the world what thousands of decaying bodies did not! They are the Tamils and there is no surprise that Tamil Nadu people are much more agitated than others.

There started protests! Students form a major group of social society who react to the situations and so they joined the protests. Arts and science college students started this and 8 are on hunger strike. And yesterday my college, CEG (Anna University) witnessed a large number of students gathering in support of the Tamils in SriLanka!

Image: Harikrishna Raghuraman

Around 10 A.M. in the morning, I noticed a very few number of students sitting in front of our prestigious Red Building! A mere 100! But that replicated within afternoon. Around noon, there were 300-400 students and the multiplication continued. Around 2 P.M. around 1000 sat for strike! Police personnel (more than 15 vehicles and hundred police men and women) who have been outside the campus since Friday expecting a situation like this entered the campus! Press people started visiting the campus for the news and the number kept on increasing! The Dean and the VC requested the students to call off their strike but the students did not give in!

And this news spread like a wild fire! Many Engineering colleges had the same situation around afternoon and there came the cinematic announcement! Indefinite Closure for all the engineering colleges! I don’t wish to take a stand here! But I love their cause if it is a real social affection which made them sit under the hot sun! I loved their spirit and their patriotism, their broad-minded nature! I too went in and stood there for some time supporting those suffered and suffering people in our neighbouring country! But I left the campus after some time and the strike is still going on! 

But this caused some undesired results! The hostel students were asked to vacate their rooms immediately! Boys before 8 P.M. yesterday night and Girls before 9 A.M. today morning! And all the major travel points, Central, Egmore, and CMBT witnessed a whole crowd of students starting to their home towns! Many students didn't get tickets and didn't have a place to spend their nights! One of my friends was in the same situation and I called him to my place for the night! Fortunately, he a got a bus ticket and safely ended up his place! Some headed to their relatives and acquaintances in and around Chennai!

And now I am at home typing this! I am not enjoying this holiday because this is not another festival or rain holiday! This is not even a holiday but a closure due to some justified cause! I have a request to all those who didn't participate in the protest today like me. This is a holiday, I know! But not a holiday to enjoy but a holiday to think in retrospect and in prospect! Give your voice for people like us who are suffering there!


  1. Even though your friends strike against injustice in Sri Lanka is commendable, you people should also realize that you are among the most wasteful resources of the country.

    You people study engineering and then join "software jobs" (mostly). Then, you become the backbone of the "back office" of the world. Why study engineering for that?

    In the name of "research", most colleges, faculties and students are wasting their time. Lab-records are copied and final year projects are outsourced (bought). Most people memorize the engineering curriculum (mostly from local author books) and pass with "flying colours".

    Engineering colleges have sprouted across the state like bunk-shops.

    Why not strike against these things and do something about the quality of education? But you wont. After all, you want only "software jobs" right? For that sector, even 12-th Fail is over-qualification.

    1. First of all, I would like to thank you for remaining anonymous! That's not what a guy/girl who wish to bring positive changes will think about! Wasteful resources? Haha! Many people like you who are remaining anonymous but trying to provoke all are the wasteful resources of India! There will be a group fighting for a cause, suddenly a guy with an anonymous mask comes and topples the balance condition!

      And I think that you are one class of the people who always wanted to earn money but couldn't and so you are hating the people who could! And sir, you are contradicting yourself! You tell that we are getting software jobs and we dont need engineering for that? And then you say that all of us are wasting time in research!

      An engineer should neither do research nor get jobs! So you want us engineers to go out in exile?! And I am very sorry that you are off the track here! This is not a post about engineering but about a strike! Yeah engineering colleges have sprouted across the country!

      What have you done strike against? you have not done anything and you question us and criticize us! 12th fail is over qualification for software jobs? Then why dint you get it sir?

    2. Respected sir/madam,

      Those software jobs you are talking about might seem mundane and very commonplace to you. But you don't seem to have the slightest idea as to what such jobs are. If you are up against such criminal waste of resources in the name of 'Engineering', why don't you suggest alternate education methodologies? If your idea is good, the education sector will welcome it with warm hands. If rubbish in the name of Engineering was embraced, then your idea should be accepted without a second thought.

      And the point about, qualification to work on that software jobs, that was extremely below the belt. We are poor software engineering aspirants who cannot take such terse comments. It is but sad that you think we software engineers are major constituents of the back office populace. Do you know what our skill set consists of sir/madam? Making sure, websites like this stay online. Making sure, identities of anonymous posters like you stay anonymous and targeted people like me do not come marching at your front door, the moment we find out who we are.

      Do you use a mobile phone sir/madam? These software engineers who read local author books and pass with flying colours are the ones that write the software that you use to post anonymous comments on Software engineers.

      Do you have a vehicle sir/madam? It is we engineers who only want 'software jobs' and are not inclined towards research that design, construct and make that vehicle run so that you can go and buy vegetables for dinner. If all these people wanted were 'software jobs' you would still be walking your kids to school.

      Please refrain from generalizing. I understand that the state of education, especially engineering education is really bad in this country. But it is improving.

      If sitting on a strike is the solution for everything, then no job will ever get done. We are not irrational beings to think using our hind-regions and act how the student mob acts.

      Take care and post many such anonymous comments on internet forums about bad quality of education. May be that will bring about some change. Good day.

    3. Dear Mr. Anonymous, I have a few points for you.

      1. Your generalization is so exaggerated that you went from 0 to 90% wrong about it.
      2. We do not buy final year projects. We earnestly do them. In fact, we look forward to being published and being known in the knowledgeable community that works towards the greater good.
      3. I don't know about other colleges, but the scenario in CEG is different. We DO NOT come under the yet-another-college category.
      4. You have NO idea how miserable your life be without software, I suggest you try living that way.
      5. I think you studied in the yet-another-college that you so mention and have no idea about what we try to do here at AU.
      6. 12th fail is an over-qualification? Please tell me your address so I can send a slipper soaked in cow-dung to your home.
      7. Lastly, what part of your comment makes any relation to this blog-post? My sincere advice - Get a life.

  2. Some holidays are non-holidays and one doesn't feel like that there is a holiday. When we were writing our X exams, Morarji Desai died and our exam was postponed. It was a holiday but a non-holiday since we were tense about our exams. Now there is no connection between the two holidays but still i felt like sharing.

    Joy always,

    1. Hmmm Yeah Susan! this is definitely a non-holiday because the strike is done for those sufferings in that country! Thank you Susan :)

  3. If the same thing had happened in Japan, Students would have been schools all day long not leaving to home, studying and writing exams.

    What that in India, students choose to do this way?

    Hopefully things would change is my faith.

    1. The people of each country behave in the way which is suitable for their country! In Japan, the government will certainly hear their causes and will take action! Think if the condition is same here, if the people go to work and protest simultaneously, will the government ever think about the cause? Certainly not! The things should change but only as a whole! Only if the individual things change, there will be problem to those individual things :) Thanks Vinod for your comment :)

  4. @Hari: Good article buddy, I loved your reply for that anonymous comment more than your article :)

    1. thanks lawyer :D And yeah that anonymous person made me laugh and so the reply :)

  5. Harikrishna,this is an extremely well-written blogpost. You really tell a great story here. I bet that anonymous guy was just talking about what he/she did when he/she was an engineering student lol.

    Now, let me give my thoughts on this issue. Let me first state that the cause of this protest is a great one. Sri Lanka should be severely reprimanded for their actions against the Tamilians living there. Hell, there are getting away with genocide in Lanka... and that kind of crime is unforgivable. Having said this, there are much more effective ways to protest. Let me bring to light the fact that this isn't a domestic issue, but an international issue. We must treat it as such. Protesting on the streets and chanting out slogans can only take you as far as Sun News and NDTV goes... which is not very far. On Monday, my friend in the IT department was late to his 1st assessment exams by 20 minutes because of the blockage of roads. This is when a protest becomes a public nuisance... and people must realise when street protest is necessary and when it is not. In this case, promoting this cause through social media like facebook, TWITTER (a really good tool for spreading news), online petitions are great ways to capture the attention of people. Today, one uncle (CEG alum) living in the US asked me what was going on. If he doesn't really know what is going on, how are the people in the United Nations in New York going to understand what's going on? This is my only problem with this... we need more outreach. India only has ONE vote in this. If we are doing this just so that India gives their vote, then we are chasing the wrong goal. The goal is to get Sri Lanka punished, and I am all for achieving that.

    God Bless. :)

    1. Thanks for such a big and informative comment Guru :) Leaving that anonymous comment away, let me reply you!

      Yeah, no one can forget or forgive their genocide! They destroyed a whole lot of people there! But it is not that none is getting attention to our protests guru! See the link I am giving at the end of this comment! When students get in the streets, they finish it with a victory! But fortunately or unfortunately that should not become a nuisance to the public! And I heard that four or five gangsters entered our college during this protest today! This is the problem here! And media is always a great thing! And that is why Egypt, Tunisia and Libya revolutions are called Twitter revolutions! Let us wait for the good news! :) Thanks for the comment again!

      The link: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10200738043311715&set=a.1693546976782.94634.1181021391&type=1&theater

  6. This uprising utmost would register and go down in the history as support for a specific cause however would not impact the decision making process of our Central govt's viewpoint on handling SL war crime issues.

    I would agree in just one principle to Anonymous where an uprising in the student community would bring a change in their lives / community at least / first up.

    1. Yeah that is one of the things nagging my mind! This should not go down in the history as "Yet another strike"! And as to the other thing, a student community can bring in a great change in the society! We hope we will! Thank you Charan :)

  7. Read the article and the comments just now. People criticize us if we protest against something, they criticize us if we don't. What do they even expect us to do? :/

    I loved this article, Hari. Yes, this protest is for a very burning issue, for our brothers and sisters who are getting hurt for no fault of theirs in a country. I really hope the Government takes a justified stand against this soon.

    P.S: Loved your diplomatic and smart reply to the Anonymous guy/gal. :)

    1. Atlast you have read this eh? ) First, Thank you for the comment Sowmya :) The people who do both are the people who wanted their lives to be happier but who don't wish to take any step! Yeah, The government should get rid of all the fears and be just and support those Tamils there! And that anonymous, I pity him/her! Thanks again :)


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