Sunday, June 28, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Sunday, June 21, 2009
The International media has been reporting, with a great degree of ferocity, the recent happenings in the Islamic Republic of Iran, where opposition supporters claim that President Mahmoud Amhedinejad rigged the elections. Iran's complex clerical order has been split by the development, with the Supreme Leader unconditionally extending his support to the victor and other powerful clerics supporting the vanquished. Meanwhile, people in Tehran have taken to the streets, calling for an end to dictatorship and ushering in an era of democracy. The media is severely restricted and riot police are using tear gas. Revolution is around the corner and change will come to Iran.
Or maybe not. The thing about the popular slogan in Iran, 'Death to the Dictator', is that it seems horribly hypocritical! Consider this: Iran is the only country in the world where the Head of State and Government does not have the final say in matters. 30 years ago, the Islamic Revolution led to the Ayatollah being made the Supreme Leader. While he can be removed in theory, the process is so complex and intertwined that it is not possible in practice.
This Supreme Leader can do anything, he can give orders and enjoy extraordinary luxury. He could decide where the country's resources are to be used and could also throw out the entire elected political system. Thus, unlike in a real democracy where representatives are accountable to the people, politicians in Iran are responsible to the Ayatollah. If the Ayatollah declares a candidate as 'the best,' he will win. Don't ask how, he just will.
Today in Iran, people are questioning the President, but nobody is willing to openly question the Ayatollah and indeed, the entire clergy. What sort of democracy is this? A democracy in which women cannot reveal a shard of their hair? Democracy represents the voice of the people, but the current system seems to keep it tied down. Iranians should look at the world - at the United States, France, the UK, Japan, India, Australia etc. - and see what democracy means. It does not mean holding elections, it means giving power to the people. It means that nobody is above the law of the land and only elected representatives have the right to make decisions for the country. Iran does not have such a system, and the current struggle, whether a failure or otherwise, will only leave is there.
Iranians love their country but cannot bear its political system. What Iranians should be asking for is genuine democracy and freedom of the press - even if that includes questioning the clergy and even the Supreme Leader.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Day 3 was supposed to be quite and laid-back. But, what's the use of going to Chennai and not doing something fun? Rajiv Gandhi's memorial at Sriperumbudur was something that I wanted to see but had given up due to the distance. But, since we had so much time (it was 9:00 AM and we had to catch a train only at 6:00 PM), we decided to go for it.
Day 2 was scheduled to start very early: rise and shine at 6:30 AM, get ready to leave by 7:30 AM, reach IIT, Madras by 9:00 AM or earlier. However, what we didn't anticipate was the autos; in Hyderabad, empty autos move around in search of customers. In Chennai, it seems, they hide is pre-selected areas. Which is why it too us a good 20 minutes to get a empty one! As usual, the charge was random: Rs. 120. But we couldn't bargain as we were afraid of being late.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Monday, June 8, 2009
Sunday, June 7, 2009
- Read the counselling brochure thoroughly and understand the merits and demerits of a course and a campus.
- With a pencil (NOT a pen), tick those courses that you would like to take. If you have no general likings towards any of them, tick all of them. However, this is rather unusual. Instead, tick those courses which you found interesting after reading the brochure. If your rank is low, you may 'expand your interests' but don't try to study a course that you have a disliking towards.
- Again, with a PENCIL, tick those IIT campuses (or IT-BHU and ISMU) that you would not mind living in. Take care to see that you can actually travel there on a regular basis and consider the safety and stability of the city. Note that IIT Guwahati is absolutely safe and you are in no greater risk of being killed by a bomb than you are anywhere else in India.
- Take a sheet of paper. Write down the courses you ticked IN DECREASING ORDER OF PREFERENCE. Be very careful while doing this. Consult with your parents and other informed well-wishers (note the emphasis) but let the final list be of your own making. if you can't decide, make several lists and debate the pros and cons of each of them. Create a final list. I don't recommend you do this solely on the basis of the cut-offs.
- Do the same on another sheet of paper for the campuses. However, keep your parents well in the loop for this, because they will ultimately be paying for your trip and will be worried until you reach safely. Also, take the cut-offs into account.
- Finally, choose which of the two lists matters more to you. This will require a great deal of introspection. Ask yourself questions like: can you travel alone (be honest and dump the masochism)?; Are you passionate about a course or do you just want to do your B.Tech?; Do you have relatives in one of the cities in question? etc. Put a '*' on the list that you feel is more important.
- And now, you're ready! If you chose the list of courses, find your course in order of preference in the brochure, then fill in the course codes in your form in order of preference of your campus. For example, if you put ECE as your first choice of course and you would like to study it in Bombay or Chennai in that order, write the code for ECE-Bombay first, the ECE-Chennai and so on. After you finish with ECE, go on to the next course.
If you chose the campus list, go to the column which contains your first preference of campus and fill in the course codes in order of preference of courses. For example, if you gave fist preference to Guwahati and you want ECE or EEE in that order, find the IIT Guwahati column and write the code for ECE-Guwahati in your form first and then the one for EEE-Guwahati. Once Guwahati is done, move on to the next campus.