22 July 2010

Debate, anyone?

Debating Club - A club whose mere existence I didn't like in my first year at CIT.

Two reasons:

a) I was a really bad stage artist and despite my English being something above sub-standard, once I got on the stage, I'd freeze.

Aah, I still remember that beautiful day at school after I completed my Higher Secondary exams. One would think that one cannot possibly get embarrassed after passing out of the school, especially when one is a topper (gloat, gloat). But then, I was at the school assembly once like that, and the Principal introduced me to the school and asked me to talk to the school...

I still remember that beautiful, fateful 'I... I... bah... I...' day. Faint. Sigh. It was so iconic that some teachers still remember me by that.

b) Such events increase(d) the competitor in me - something I so want to avoid. I am a very ferocious competitor and a very bad loser.. with a very low temper. A lot of you would think that I am just the opposite, because that's what I try to be, for my own good.

So, when I was forced to attend the Debating club events initially, I was like WTH. I remember my senior JP dragging me (genuine thanks for that) and a bunch of my room mates to the 'Mock press' event a few days into college.

We ended up getting all three prizes. Munish was Kamal hassan, for crying out loud!

I didn't know that I wasn't that bad. The curiosity in me took me to another event, in which I got the first prize this time. Quest came, and I got four prizes in the four good events I attended for fun. Whatay! (Muni was again my team mate in the two-per-team events - What's the good word, eh? Funtastic event!)

I got into the debating club after the selections in second year, though it was a slightly doubt-filled selection - given better speakers were left out. In any case, I attended a lot of events and tried to improve the way I spoke on stage. From a time when I'd be paralysed in front of a crowd  to a time when I wasn't that bad or self-conscious a speaker, the journey was urm...let's say, eventful.

The fourth year came, and I wanted the Debating Club to focus on juniors who were like me - scared shitless at the sight of a microphone or totally not confident about their English. The focus, then, was more on the elite - people who were already good having a gala time thumping the heads of the supposed weaklings on the walls repeatedly at every event. While I was lucky to be forced into it in my first year, many others weren't. Karthik tried what he could as the secretary in my final year, but the image didn't change much, or so I felt. I grew to hate a lot of such events that scared the not-so-strong from speaking up.

My idea is that such clubs should focus on the weak students - and try to bring them to the level of others, which the club at CIT is slowly but steadily orienting itself towards (hopefully). There are very few poor speakers here - I don't say we're all Martin Luther Kings.

So, here I am, in a college with the best speakers in the country - and there is a debating society that keeps interviews and selects the best of them, conducts events for the elite, by the elite and of the elite, and does such you-know stuff. Why am I writing this, by the way? We have an inter-section Turncoat event today (continuously speaking, switching 'for' and 'against' for the given topic at some kind of a signal) - where the best of each section fight for glory (and championship points - Go C!) - and it got me thinking.

My Question is "What's the point in having events such as Turncoat?"

All I am seeing in this is the generation of a bunch of Arnabs, who would keep asking questions and debating, regardless of the knowledge level or relevancy level. I don't even find these events to be fun - except for the odd joke, unlike the good old debates, quizzes or sports. Some might say this is about 'networking' or 'getting famous'. Whatever.

Share your views, people. Do you think there's a point? Do you find Turncoat or competitive-GDs (as against the collaborative group-case-solving ones) or JAMs interesting? Why are these the most widely held events (such GDs are even held for selection into a huge number of B_schools - thankfully not mine!), when they're the most pointless?

- The debate is On -

PS: Also ur feedback on the design change.


  1. 1. Clubs are elitist because the members are. If you are/were part of an elitist club so are you. (However bad you feel about it).

    2. Turncoat is fun. (full stop)

    3. Be the change you want, start a club for the frightened speakers.

    4. I agree with Ivan. (Please write a story)

    5. Read and let read. (amshuman.blogspot.com)

  2. 1. Define elite.

    2. Good. One vote for. One against, so far.

    3. Aah, but I can't start clubs here. Wait, let me check. By the way, I tried to make LC that way at CIT. Unfortunately, the juniors didn't want it :)

    4. Point noted. Boy, B stands for Boring.

    5. Okay.

  3. ya, I remember that event..'what's the good word'. it was gud :)
    For layout design - I think the font size is too small to read da.

  4. @muni

    Yea. Defending champs till date :)

  5. Ipo font size ok?

  6. ya.. its better now :)

  7. Well cant miss commenting on this can I? Well as you said tried our best... I would leave it at that... criticism welcome though from the rest who watched it from outside, what we were trying to do...
    And theme is good...
    better than the annoying black bg in ur old one...

  8. Annoying, was it?

    Why didn't u tell me back then?

  9. used to JAM a lot back in school.. loved it ... coz it's all nonsense :) I think it's just about the fun part of it .. not anything intellectual or elitist IMHO.. but na, i was never good at debates, tight corner and turncoat.. but I need to agree I loved (still love) watching such events..