Friday, July 3, 2015

Hollow storms

Over a hundred years have stood witness to the men and women who enter this institution and leave with something not explained by words. That something makes them special in this world. They can see what is not seen by many, do what most are ashamed to do and when needed plunge themselves into service with all that they can muster.

This institution stands on something solid, on a bond which surpasses any seen today. My college stands on the foundation of family. That very bond which made the Godfather powerful and gave rise to the Rothschild name makes this college special. As all families we have a head in the Principal, elders in our Professors and siblings in our friends. All said and done we know each other inside out and stand by each other in the face of adversity.

Over the past year my college has been in the eye of a storm of media coverage. Trust me when I say that this storm is of malicious making.Three years I spent in the college. I am the kind of person who attended college on Sundays and from 0600 to 1700 hrs. Most of this time was spent in classes but some was spent with family. Eating, playing, discussing and in general simply enjoying the security of this house. I know just about everyone in college and can say that a lot of people are more than just the casual acquaintance.

It is my general practice to avoid popular news channels. This stems from my experience of seeing them running after headlines and providing very little news about what actually matters. Imagine my surprise when I saw the slandering articles against my Principal in the newspaper on one of my visits to the library. The man I had recently written a thankful letter to, was shown to be a complete fraud. Like I had been taught in college, I tried to verify these facts for myself before reading further. The facts came out fine but during the digging came up other things. The other things which gave solidity of character and intent to my Principal were suspiciously left out of the articles and news coverage. I became suspicious of the news papers.

Next came the all famous magazine string of articles in the newspapers. The Principal was under attack once again. I was in the middle of my studies and so like most of my friends discussed the matter as a side issue. The matter was settled and the media simply did not lose a chance to gather up and throw muck into the college name. It did not matter to us as we were inside the college and knew it better than most reporters who came to college, talked to a few people and the next morn had their respective papers claiming that St. Stephen's had been 'rocked' by some thing or another.

When I was a child I used to think of a newspaper as a medium of truth. Now I understand that the truth is different for a lot of people. Hence opinions may differ. What I completely refuse to accept is that in a population like India, with as many newspapers as hair on my head, I have not heard of one newspaper which favors my college. Nothing else is needed to know that something aligns these papers together against my college. What that might be I do not know. What I will do is believe in what I have seen with my eyes and heard with my ears.

I choose to believe in my Principal, in my college and in the family that accepted me and which is seconded by none other than my blood relatives. I choose to believe that the media is a headline churning economic monster which has chosen to attack my college simply because of the name it bears. A decision soaked in monetary gain or some other cold reason along the same lines. Like street hooligans wanting to gain fame by challenging a champion the news tries to break the spirit of my college. Like the champion we shall respond, not by accepting the challenge, but by politely asking them to work their way up the ranks before they challenge us.

This college gave me my life. It gave me purpose and for that I shall defend it to the last breath in my body.