During the last week, campuses were dominated by discussions on the “special instructions for girls” imposed by a leading engineering college in Chennai. It is a funny and furious dichotomy at the same time. The nation bestows them with the greatest responsibility of exercising their vote as responsible youth but the colleges doesn’t consider them responsible enough. Is the nation erring or the campuses erring in the name of nation building?
A lot of questions are running through my mind. Firstly, don’t we trust them enough? Equally, don’t we trust our teachers enough? We are taking away the fact that a faculty member is the best mentor available on campus. Sadly, no amount of infrastructure will help in character building
Institutions are bent on only one dimensional progress. And that is secure high marks in the university exams which in turn will boost placement prospects and thereby the admission prospects. Whose needs does it serve? Whose soul does it kill in the process? Ask a child not to do something and it will only do more of it. In the formative years, more than the WHAT, HOW we handle the youth matters. Lets recollect the Whale Done philosophy of Dr. Ken Blanchard and its relevance here. Reinforcement of positivity and rewarding for adherence is its crux. If that applies to Blue Whales, it will work more than wonders with humans. People perform better when positive behaviour is rewarded.
What baffles me is a stubbornness that there is no alternative to handling situations except disciplining at all. With changing times, if we do not get imaginative in managing the growth of the next generation, it will only feed unfettered aggression. It is a clear sign of lack of leadership and lack of belief in their own process of managing a co-ed institution. If every institution aspires to be an IIT, they better behave as one. The IITs are never restrictive. The system believes in the maturity and individual drive each student possesses. Remember that one of the best conducted cultural fests is Saarang in IIT Madras. It is students who conduct it with such pomp and glory, without a single untoward incident.
Suppression of freedom will have a later effect in their lives and or careers. It alters the way a youngster looks at people around him, the society and the limiting beliefs. Imagine a future where students present themselves in interviews as “straight from the production line” with little creativity and thought process. We are supposed to create future managers that can think out of the box. Putting them inside a box of conditions remind us of products that are sold that say “Conditions apply”. All that I can say is this is a step backwards! Remember that a car is never driven backwards to reach a destination. The AICTE must step in to govern such campus norms. Set up councils where students can represent their case.
Choosing to exercise power is an act of cowardice and a sign of desperation. What cannot be won by wisdom can never be won by sheer authority and power. The pseudo positive results will only be temporary but the scars will have far reaching ramification. This is not the first time and neither will this be the last. However, the need of the hour is inculcating value and not enforcing them in the name of culture building. Because, where freedom is lost, indiscipline breeds!