Thursday, February 07, 2008

Is this my IIM-L?


Please read this article in BusinessWorld before proceeding....

A man called Machaan

I think many of you many recall about this person. The news of his death was a jolt to me. I felt "Can this happen to an IIMite?" I never felt more insecure in my life.

Then why the hell did I join this college if I was so afraid? I felt that it was just a one-off case and the college must have taken appropriate action against IOCL. Hmmm.... Illusions, illusions, illusions....

What, according to you, must have been the action of an institute, which lost an alumnus to IOCL due IOCLs fault? a) Busted IOCL's arse and made sure it made a good example of it to how that no one can mess around with IIMs and IIM students and make sure that all IIMs ban IOCL forever

b) Continue to maintain cordial relations with IOCL and ensure we continue to get sponsorship for our events from IOCL

(a) must have been the response you have chosen, (b) is the response IIM-L has chosen for the time being. Shocking? No, that’s IIM-L for you.

Why is IIM-L so different? For the matter, all are IIMites supposed to become crorepatis? Do you think there is a KBC being played here for free or what?

The truth couldn't be more bitter my friends - We are as normal as anyone else, on an average. A few of us do make it to the higher echelons in life. The rest of us are just "another IIMites". IIM is just the means and not the end. Life starts after you enter an IIM and does not end at all. IIMites want to get more and more and this drives us more and more. The ones who are the most motivated make it big, the rest remain clueless.

This is the main reason why unity is a must. Alumni help even the lowest of us because they know that all of us have the potential to make it big in life. We just need a push. Some of them do give the much needed push towards success.

If this is how we pay homage to an alumnus of ours, then I only feel pity for IIM-L. What interest does Ms. Anjali Mullatti, an IIM L alumnus and one of the founding members of the Manjunath Shanmugham Trust have in all this anyways? She could have happily lived her life without any hassles. Yet she braved to face the truth. She was aghast at the fact that IIM-L still has a relationship with the Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL). According to her, IOCL has been deliberately obstructive in bringing Manjunath's killers to justice and IOCL officers have, in fact, told her to drop the case (Quoted from an email we received about this issue).

The Council met over this issue and the to-be President of our council remarked after the meeting "If McKinsey had been involved, would we have kicked out McKinsey out of IIM-L and discontinued relations?" When I heard this later, only one thought went through my mind - What the F**k? Dude, we are talking about a dead person for God's sake. Nothing can compensate a human life, nothing at all. Nothing is above a life of a human being. If McKinsey does not protect any of our alumnus, I daresay kick it out too. We are IIM fellas man - we are supposed to be the choosers and not the beggars. And yet, we entertain companies like MindTree which pay us a starting salary of Rs. 6 lakh p.a!!!

The reason, as me and a few of my friends observed - We don't have that kind of quality students in our college to demand huge packages. Only 50-60 students can claim to have the talent needed for a high package (I am definitely not one of them, I assure you).We are slowly turning from choosers to beggars. We publish the highest package proudly - What about the person who still struggles for placements? Why aren't his problems highlighted? Fear of "Brand Dilution"- F**K!! Where the hell is the brand to get diluted anyways? Does having the IIM label make it a great institute? No, it doesn't. The morals and the administration of the institute make it a great institute. Brand IIM needs to be maintained, it doesn't come by just christening it as an "IIM".

This is not just my opinion – Even many of the teachers feel that way. They want to make changes, but the power lies with the Council. I hope the Council takes a concrete action against IOCL and set an example for other IIMs to follow. Nobody can mess around with IIM students, because we are one!!

Coming to the article, look at the views of Raja. He clearly states that the value systems of India have changed. We are now bombarded with so much information that we accept only those appealing to us.

He says beautifully

“'2020 India will be great!' How can they say that when all we have to give our children today is the rot we see on TV and crime like this! Progress does not happen by forecasting techniques, Sir! The mind has to evolve too, and such a mind cannot evolve through higher incomes. We need to teach them about how to set a standard in life. That's what they need for running businesses, Sir - A value standard. Businesses are about people, and people are only about attitudes and values. Nothing else! Take both away and what is left? Only a body! We need to build inner wealth in our students. They can tell a Honda City from an Accord. But can they tell right from wrong? And one student today was telling me, 'I want to become the richest man in the world...' Shouldn't we teach them more about their real wealth?"

And look at what Professor Vyas has to say about being a teacher. Teachers may always feel powerless, as they are just “teachers”. But see this:

Back in his room, Prof. Vyas's colleague said: "How are we to know what to do in situations like this? We are teachers; we deal with texts and students. We don't encounter these issues in our world." Vyas replied: "We don't need words. We need conviction and determination to keep our students on the path of right."

I hope the conviction stays forever. Teachers are the biggest assets in the present era. A good teacher can change lives. A teacher need not be just a classroom teacher – He/She can be anyone among us. You learn from teachers. They teach you.

I don’t want people to think that IIM-L is just another IIM. We are a part of the 6 prestigious IIMs. It is high time the Council takes an action and retains that prestige. As long as we retain relations with IOCL, we cannot retain it. Let's hope the council takes the right decision.

This post is exclusively dedicated to Rajesh Kumar for being the best friend, teacher, supporter and guide I have ever had in my life so far. He was always ready to help and as Metallica said in one of their songs “Nothing else Matters!”


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