Been almost 7 years since i swapped the sandy beaches of Mangalore for the soviet era concrete jungle that is Chandigarh. The most amazing thing that I soon realised on my return was how much aggressive and negative energy reverberated in the whole of North India. You would cuss at the rate of a few words a minute while just driving around town even though its a better laid out city than Mangalore. But what I noticed immediately was this environment heavy with an air of brazenness and violence. You could not go to night food streets as there were enough hotheads looking to pick up a fight. There were strictly no go areas now that I had previously never heard of in my 18 years in the city. But what struck me most was the local print editions of dailies splashed with gory images detailing silly altercations’ after effects especially on the campuses spread across the city.
I sorely missed the charm and innocence of Mangalore where visiting the desolate Sultan batheri was much-loved pastime. It is in this context that I firmly believe Manipal has gotten it right, keeping the campuses safe and violence free. Manipal and its management have done a great job and should be a model that could be followed elsewhere.
The reasons as they occur to me as simple. Manipal institutions simply outlaw any student political association. It’s a simple step that ensures kids restrict their exposure and experiments with democracy to the harmless Student council. Though sitting on its high table is no mean feat and needs ample maneuvering, it still is much more sane than the ELECTIONs that are unleashed on some of the campuses all across India.
There was always a no-nonsense attitude of the college authorities to any violence or mischief that nipped any trouble right in the bud. Hostel expulsions for late night entries, drunken brawls were swift and decisive. It doesn’t mean Kaprigudda did not have its fair share of booze heavy parties but brawls were unheard of.
We are all lucky to have been able to study in institutions that let you get that well-rounded college experience cutting out the senseless and ugly orgies of violence that are all too common on some campuses.
Maybe its time for administrators to follow the lead.
About the author: Satyam Kapoor is an alumnus of Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, Batch 2003. He is a pediatrician who has completed his Post-graduation from DMC and Hospital, Ludhiana. Happy go lucky, avid reader and a mommys’ favorite Pediatrician is how he would like to describe himself.