But in the right direction?
At a time when trade wars and terrorism fill headlines, one could say that the propagation of the Mahatma’s principles has never been more important. The SLC seems to have understood this as they have made considerable efforts to get students involved in Gandhi Jayanti this year.
The celebrations which had events from 27th September till 2nd October were marked by unusually high amounts of effort by the SLC to get students to take part in activities.
The SLC arranged 2 talks on the 28th by Prof. Nand Kishore Acharya, a Sangeet Natak Academy award winner and Prof.Sujit Sinha, who has a Phd from Princeton.
Other than these talks, SLC, almost a month before Gandhi Jayanti, offered financial support and other incentives to clubs who would conduct events around the event. Although the SLC might not have got the response they expected, this did encourage some clubs. The Astronomy club conducted a writing contest on astronomy, during which 5 people submitted their articles despite getting only a couple of days. The quiz club conducted a quiz on the life of Mahatma Gandhi, the prelims of which was attended by 25 people. However, both the debate club’s and the quiz club’s events that were to be held on the 28th were cancelled due to preceding talks taking more time than expected.
Faculty also asked UG1 students to attend the talks instead of the HV class that would’ve taken place the morning after. Even though this meant that the auditorium was full, UG1 was not as interested as one may have liked, with a large majority of the backbenchers playing mobile games during the talks. Also, the students got only 1 attendance despite attending the talks for 4 and a half hours, 3 times the duration of the usual HV class.
Every year Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday, which is a national holiday goes to waste as neither does anyone want to follow his ideals nor the values that he teach, is perceived as just another holiday.
In this context,even though SLC’s efforts have been commendable, whether forced participation was necessary is worth pondering over.