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Location: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

Monday, January 02, 2006

Breaking a myth...

...yes, and a myth created possibly a few years ago right in front of my eyes, a myth that I propagated myself.

Yesterday, Dharampalji (the Gandhian Historian, almost an octogenarian, who I had the pleasure to meet at Gandhi Ashram, Sewagram) came here to IIIT for about 20-day stay.
I went to receive him at the Airport and as we were coming back to the campus, he started asking a number of questions.

One of the questions which I emphatically answered was this:
aapka Institute ka naam pehla Indian Institute thaa aur ab International Institute hain - kyaa hai is baat ka wajah? (Translates to: Why is it that your Institute's name which was earlier Indian Institute has changed to 'International Institute'?)
Okay, so I, told him the legendary story which some of my seniors' told me quite some time ago when I was in my first year.

The story is this: "When IIIT wanted to go for requesting the Deemed University status - the Govt. has said that unless SC/ST reservations are allowed for in your Institute - we can let you have the 'Indian' tag.

But our Institute elders who were staunchly against reservations decided - what if we were not Indian - we are International in our appeal and plan for a global reach - so let's name it 'International' and they stuck to the policy of 'NO reservations'


This was a story which had a great appeal to me as well. I am not sure of the Govt. norms but definitely having seen the way the Govt. of India has acted towards Reservations for SCs/STs and Minorities (?!) I had a special respect for the elders in our campus developed out of this.

Now Dharampalji asked this question about 'International' name to our Director right in front of me. And he also told the wonderful story that I told him.
Here's what I heard from the horse's mouth:
No, no,no... even if we had reservations for the SCs and STs we could not have the 'Indian' name for the Institute. When the Deemed University question arose, the Govt. of India questioned us how we named it 'Indian Institute' when it was not the Govt. of India but the Govt. of Andhra Pradesh which decided on establishing the Institute? And so they said you cannot be called 'Indian' any more. That was when we changed it to 'International' - (turning to me) - "actually there are a lots of things which spread rapidly through rumours which are not true"

I still strongly feel that the earlier reservation linking to the name change had a wonderful romantic appeal.

This time around the Myth was more romantic than the truth.

5 Comments:

Blogger KoPoS said...

ok. count me in as one of the links in this propagation chain. however, does sc/st 'too' play a part or not at all?

Monday, January 02, 2006 4:33:00 PM  
Blogger mythalez said...

I was told the actual story n not the myth :-s ...

Monday, January 02, 2006 4:49:00 PM  
Blogger agastyabhrata said...

kopos

Welcome to my blog. Interesting SC/ST DO NOT play a part :)

'myth'alez

probably they foresaw that you would be creating many 'myth's in the future. And decided it's better he be given some original input :D

Monday, January 02, 2006 6:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Imanpreet said...

Hey! I heard a similar story at IIIT-B. Albeit, I had heard the other story as well, somehow as you mention, I just liked the SC/ST version. Which I then further propogated ;-)

Monday, January 02, 2006 10:17:00 PM  
Blogger Anurag Singh Rana said...

I even put the "myth" on my website. I wonder whether I should change it or not..

http://students.iiit.ac.in/~anurag_rana/acads.php

Saturday, January 07, 2006 11:50:00 AM  

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