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Monday, 23 August 2010

Obscuring the Truth: Good or Bad? (Environmental Courses @ IIT Delhi)

Even as I remember the times of July-November 2009, I cannot forget the course RDL340

I did this course as a part of compulsory Environmental Course which we had to do, and even though a recent RTI filed at IIT has revealed that it was NOT compulsory, I am not regretting.

Among all the talks about sustainable living, Gaia theory (shown in AVATAR!), bamboo housing - there was an intangible element of the course which has left a deep imprint in my heart: In every class the first 5 mins were reserved for meditation. Yes. At the start of the class everyone would close their eyes and meditate for 5 mins. Despite some nonsensical giggle it felt wonderful.

At the start of meditation, my mind would suddenly begin racing in all directions, all sorts of thoughts about life, death and universe would come up in rapid succession - reach a pinnacle and start to fade away. By the end of 5 minutes my mind would become blank like a sea after storm, fresh to concentrate on what I was going to hear next. Felt like being back in Gurkul days!

However, finding out the fact that we were duped into doing environmental courses (for 06, and 07 entry students -enviro courses were NOT COMPULSORY!) felt bad and the first question which came to my mind was: why the world is so busy in obscuring the truth?

Interestingly enough, as I gather from the mail forwarded to me: even the AIC confirmed that it was compulsory doing such courses.

My guess is that we don't have courage to fight for the truth so we find it more convenient to hide it, or twist it ~ it might do more good than bad in select cases, but definitely obscuring truth does not help society achieve utopia!

And accordingly the quote of the weekend is:

"He that would keep a secret, must keep it secret that he has a secret to keep"
- Sir Humphrey, Yes Minister


  1. i hated the course i did too... but still, looking back, no regrets...

  2. I feel cheated! :(
    ranke, the point is not whether you liked the course or not...the point is who gave the authorities the power to deceive us into doing a could have done the course even if it weren't compulsory.
    The authorities may have thought that it was good for students (or good for utilizing the useless staff they have, which is currently sitting idle, by making random courses compulsory), but the point is they held our degrees hostage while they made us do the course as ransom.

  3. Well - true! Completely agree that IIT had no right to do this, and it was particularly painful to people who had to put so much fight to take up a random Enviro course in the last semester! I mean what I don't understand is that they could have made the course compulsory anyways and have told us so - what's the point of keeping it optional and telling us that it's compulsory!

    (p.s. was trying to find a silver lining...)

    Kudos to the RTI anyways...

  4. @Ranka: By obscuring the name of the RTI activist, i guess you stripped off some credit of him..

  5. Reuben tujhe to pata tha :|

  6. @ Vikas: Er, I was not sure if it should be made up public or not...

    The irony is not emphatic... :)