Monday, February 15, 2010


It is a double blow. From West to East. Different group and different target. Newschannel started beaming yesterday, 7 p.m. onwards. It is Headline news of today's newspaper. Twenty four Eastern Frontier Rifles jawans are killed less than 100km distance from our IITkgp campus. They were supposed to protect our fronts, border. Have been put there to fight our own people who have taken up armed struggle. How difficult it is for a person who have taken oath to protect his own countryman to fight against that very person. Also the elite, the haves hardly join military. Unlike many other countries military service for youth even for a few years is not must in India. The have-nots are out to protect the haves and bite the bullet. In most of the cases, they are the only bread earner of the family. What happens to the family when a father, a husband, a son is lost? Do we count all these lives? Do we shed tear for them? Do we think that we can and we should also do something? We blame political class, admin. people, intelligence people, policy easy to point fingers at others. Have we ever considered what others think about us, the strong IIT community? Imparting technical education is fine. The best students that our country can offer are coming out of IITs in thousands, year after year spending the prime 4-5 years of their lives in UG, DD, PhD program, little less - 2-3 years for MTech, MS pograms. How much they can contribute to the development of the nation (they are the most capable), united they are a great force, committed they can take development to every far and corner of the country. Have we teachers been able to impart that sense of responsibility? First and foremost, do we find ourselves responsible? We have mandatory two year (1st and 2nd year of UG curriculum) of NCC(National Cadet Corps) and NSS(National Service Scheme) program. Have we ever taken it seriously and committed ourselves? We need a 'Nation First' attitude at least for next 10-15 years. Let the IITs which host the best of the country own the responsibility and lead from the front. Freedom struggle is behind us where we fought against external forces residing in our country. This is a struggle within to see the fruits of the development/freedom reacheing everyone. When I say 'struggle within', I mean both, struggle within the country - struggle within ourselves.
Thanks Ixxxx for your mail and the note received from Axxxx. It is sad that such acts are on the rise. Just now I find in TV that Naxalites have killed more than 16 jawans in a camp at Shilda, not far from KGP. Check Star Ananda and other channels.

I know not much about who are already brainwashed. What I know that who are not yet are to be flooded with positive thoughts, care, development ... so that they can counter negative influences. Can anyone kill people just like that? For some waging war against the country it is just a job. I am talking about foot-soldiers picked up from common people. We have to reach out to them.

The following is what I tried to send to Prof. Nxxxx after today's condolence meet. That time I did not know about the imminent Naxal attack. The post I wrote this morning in my blog can be found in

In grief with all of you

Dear Sir,

You wondered why there is no outpour of anger. How much I welcome that! My only submission is that the fire is to be preserved and translated into action that goes into the making of a Nation. Most of the the times our responses are knee-jerk and ends in rhetoric. Sir, tell us from your vast experience what is needed. Sir, tell us what we can do as an individual as a member of very, very strong IIT community, how to fulfill our quota of service to the nation. The little travel I do, the little exposure I have with communities which is not elite (Rxxxx used the term), one can see a growing division, alienation and that make them a kind of soft target for people who are waging a war against the nation. Besides terror attack, we have many more disturbances within the country that is wiping off hundreds of lives every month for whom there is no support system, could be the only bread-earner of the family...we should condemn that and IIT community may ponder if they have any role to play.

Today we are mourning death of Ankik, because he was one of us. When the news first came, I first checked if our relatives in Pune are OK. We felt a kind of relieved after that. Anguished again when one of the dead was known to me. I asked one of my NSS 1st year UG student friend this morning. He tried to be kind towards me - "Sir, it is human nature." The question is how we can become unselfish, what is our role as teacher-as student-as citizen of this country-as social being-as someone looking for a better career. And time is limited. How to fuse seemingly conflicting goals.

Sir, it would be interesting to receive some suggestions from you. Also your experience might tell us that certain goals are illusory or transient and not worth attempting.

Only to show that we are trying to do something seriously and sincerely and it is not all emotion, I am reproducing some of my posts to NSS googlegroup.

Warm regards

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