Because Meander can not publish it…

I do not blame them for that – I understand. But here it goes.

(All the characters, places, posts and events mentioned in this story are fictitious and any resemblance to anyone living or dead is purely coincidental)

Should Meander Publish It?

Once upon a time the editors of the students’ magazine of an institute got this article. They were wondering whether to publish it. Can you help?


When I look back at these four years of my stay here, it was a pleasant stay. Life has simply been nice and I keep talking of the nice experiences all the time, but here I am going to recount a really bad, the worst one, I have had here. And forgive me for my political incorrectness and no attempts of hiding people’s identity, because I can not help it. I started writing several times earlier, but in an attempt to incorporate these things, ended up in creating an incomprehensible mess.

Nevertheless, I must start with some clarifications. The article might tend to say things against a particular group. Again that can not be helped because in reality circumstances had been like that. What I do not intend to convey, however, is any permanent judgment on the nature of the group. I am only recounting a behaviour from them in that particular situation. This point is a subtle one and I hope readers understand this before proceeding.

The final push to write this out came from the information that there were 50 entries in the first round of Megabucks this year. To put it in the right perspective, I need to tell you that with the scaling up of Megabucks in 2002 over 100 entries were received. The following year process began pretty late; still over 80 entries had come and this time it was given in the hands of “experts” to get 50 entries!

Forced me to recount the drama the selection of Megabucks and Business Club coordinators has gone through and which had finally grown ridiculous and insulting to the extent that I had withdrawn my nomination (oh yes, yes! The political reason was ‘health concerns’, I concede).

I can not forget the ridiculous stand taken by my MBA friends as well as our honourable General Secretary, Science and Technology, where they would have any Tom, Dick Harry as the Megabucks coordinator, but not me. Again, to give you a glimpse, one of the persons they had agreed to, had to back off later from even being in Megabucks Team for some academic/administrative reasons. And why not me? Because MBAs would not work with me. If I am the coordinator no one from 2nd year MBA would work and they would not bring first yearites either. Hundreds of reasons were cited. My nature, my in-capability to build a team and God knows what not! When I could counter almost all the charges the “Brahmashtra” was our General Secretary, Science and Technology’s statement that he can’t take a decision favouring me because of his post. Did he believe other proposed candidates were better than me? No! But he would not want to appear “UG favouring”. The only condition on which I could become the coordinator is if I share the post with an MBA. And why on earth? I know moderates of the world would not consider it quite right a thing to do, but I did consider it an insult and did not accept it (It was not just a personal insult, bigger issues were involved as I will state later.). Even if I should have kept personal philosophies aside, where would such an unhealthy tradition end? Why one coordinator from B. Tech. and MBA each, why not one from M. Tech., one from Ph.D., one from M. Des. as well? In fact why not have 30 (approximate number of senators) people as Megabucks coordinators, each representing 100 students! Where and why do you draw a boundary once you start this game?

The group even had the support of earlier Megabucks coordinator. His last moment shift had surprised me badly. What sudden enlightenment he has had about me in the last days of his stay? “Do you really think Megabucks is going to suffer, if MBAs back out?”, I asked. “No, but…”

It was a big “BUT” on everyone’s lips and it took me sometime to uncover it.

“See, their concern is genuine. It involves working and going out at odd hours.” is similar to what the ex-coordinator told me.

“But you know I can do it and I have done it in past.”

“Does not matter how brave you are, being a girl you will be a burden on the other person.”

What was I supposed to do? I should have tried to understand, right? Society does not change overnight, right? I should have compromised.

I am sorry, I could not and I did not. I tried not to make an issue out of it. I thought that if the present General Secretary, Science and Technology sees me working for Business Club for sometime, his opinions might change. It did not. Meetings and meetings and meetings! I refused to attend any more.

You can blame me for not taking it to the senate then and cribbing about it now. I do not know how much clarification about several issues should I give here. For now, take my words, all those had valid reasons. In any case the convener knew about it. Even if you do not believe me, even if I failed to take certain steps in time, the original issue still remains.

Lectures of Business Club (Biz101) were never held after I left, despite the fact that the first one was received extremely well. Several things were not done, which should have been done. Fine! My MBA friends wanted only Megabucks – it was me who emphasized all through that the Business Club and Megabucks are interdependent- but then this is what they have done to Megabucks. 50 ENTRIES IN FIRST ROUND!!

Do not give me figures of what you raised from sponsors and whom are you going to invite for the conference. Megabucks did these things well even when the market was down. This is the boom time when even the ailing Antaragni and Techkriti have revived! Further, they are only secondary gimmicks, even if necessary. Where are the entrepreneurs? WHERE ARE THE PARTICIPANTS?

But more than any of these things, I want to ask what did the team do, the team which I could not have formed being a girl? Where is the manhood I did not possess?

I believe, at least some of you recall “Being a Girl”, an article in Meander, which had come last year. Let me publicly accept that I was the author. I was told that it had received widespread praises. Why? Because I had dared to take the responsibility that lied on girls of the society for their status. I did not ask for a reservation from your side, but does that eliminate the need of reciprocity from your side? I did not want what I did not deserve just because I am a girl, but can I please get what I deserve and not denied of that just because I am a girl? (For the uninitiated, please read the article “Being a Girl” in last year’s Meander. You can write to me for a soft copy.)

I do not have anything to say to those who have to criticize this article or the author by finding loopholes in the situation or otherwise. Go ahead and do it, if needed, publicly. I am rather immune to such things by now.

If you are one of the persons mentioned in the article and would like to “clarify” things from your side, again go ahead and do it, publicly, if it satisfies you. I would just like to quote someone from the campus itself, “Today nobody is boorish enough to say that he is a chauvinist. Just look at what you are doing.” So, please look at what you did.

And if you understand what I am trying to say, please do not discuss it. Just look inside yourself. If discussions had helped, enough have already taken place. What is important is to cross the barrier of action when you have to take the decision in the position of our General Secretary, Science and Technology and probably the ex-coordinator.

If you are happy with 50 entries in Megabucks so long as the reins are in the secure and brave hands of men, please call up Mr. Vajpayee and tell him that the country needs to grow at 16% and not 8% since you would not let half the population contribute positively.

Last bit of disclaimer: This article is not intended to serve anyone’s political purpose or for that matter to harm anyone in politics. If it happens, I do not take any moral responsibility for that, but would request the readers not to use it in that fashion. The article is not meant to crib for the post I resigned from either. That is small in comparison to the principles and philosophies of life. In the hope that it would stimulate the right chord in your mind, heart and soul.

EPILOGUE

The history is written. There is nothing I can do to blame the new General Secretary, Science and Technology. He has a legacy to face and shall not be able to correct what went wrong almost a year back. No one amongst the UGs is even thinking about Megabucks now. So, there is no option but to let MBAs run it, but there are two things I would like you think upon (again to reiterate, this should not be used against General Secretary Science and Technology, if he has to take the decision; he actually has little choice. It might not always be possible to correct history, but there is no harm in learning from it):

  • What are they thinking? They want Megabucks to become an institute festival so that it can get funds from Gymkhana! Anyone who would be attached to the history and purpose of Megabucks would consider this rather insulting. In 2002 when all the festivals were literally bleeding financially, Megabucks went in profits! Further if a “Business Plan and Entrepreneurship Competition” can not generate sponsorship, who else will? This is really ridiculous. Even if they continue with the existing sponsors, they should have enough funds to continue Megabucks at the current level. Not that Megabucks does not have seed funds either. The interest amount of the corpus fund given by Pioneer Batch of our institute is always there as seed fund. So, the current senate should put at least this much responsibility on the “Megabucks Organizing Team” that they generate their sponsorship and not try to bag a piece of any Gumkhana Funds. If Megabucks has the ambitions to expand, it should have the guts to get more sponsorship. But with this pathetic level of participation (50 teams!) and still pathetic ratio of finalists vs. number of original participants (12/50 – compare that to 8/over 100 in 2002), it would be better if they concentrate on increasing the level of participation rather than adding some glamourous features.
  • Has the motivation amongst MBAs for Megabucks fallen from skies, which UGs particularly lack? For heavens sake no. UGs were no less enthusiastic about Business Club and Megabucks than MBAs, if the composition of list of interested people that was made when I was there is anything to go by, which was never used afterwards! No one was there to groom the UGs. MBAs were groomed like hell, of course. In any case, all the MBAs come with a technical background and hence the first year MBA, which is mainly involved, has no advantage over UGs in matters like Megabucks. So, I must say that this (that they are MBAs) should be the last consideration in giving them any preference for Megabucks over UGs. Both of them are as good or as bad.
  • But history is written anyway. One year and the tables were turned. Another year and nobody would even remember that the tables were turned. Congratulations to my MBA friends – getting Megabucks and leaving Business Club out was what they wanted, this is what they got – thanks to one chauvinist General Secretary, Science and Technology and one chauvinist ex-coordinator!

    In a faint hope that the new organizing team would consider Megabucks something more than an MBA power symbol!

    We have a brilliant future…

    This entry was posted in Cribbings, IITK, Imported from Old Blog, Thoughts by Jaya. Bookmark the permalink.

    About Jaya

    Jaya Jha is an entrepreneur, a techie, a writer and a poet. She was born and brought up in various towns of Bihar and Jharkhand. A graduate of IIT Kanpur and IIM Lucknow, she realized early on that the corporate world was not her cup of tea. In 2008, she started Pothi.com, one of the first print-on-demand publishing platform in India. She currently lives in Bangalore and divides her time between writing and working on her company's latest product InstaScribe (http://instascribe.com) with a vision to make it the best e-book creation tool. Blog: https://jayajha.wordpress.com Twitter: @jayajha Facebook: http://facebook.com/MovingOnTheBook

    One thought on “Because Meander can not publish it…

    1. As a man, the cases where women are favored are more readily visible. Therefore, it is always invaluable to see the cases where it works the other way round as it helps us get a better perspective about the frustration faced by women. It is really shocking that someone could essentially tell you that you could not get the post because of being a woman.

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