Monday, May 30, 2011

A New Way to Debate

The Literary Section in IIT Roorkee is a small, rather unknown group that has torn itself into two pieces, both of which are doing rather well with or without each other. Welcome to the world of debates and quizzes at IITR.

One one side is the Quiz Group. It holds about one quiz a month and also some special quizzes, apart from a "big one" at Cogni. Honestly, I can never understand the point of a quiz because all you need is raw data and the ability to remember it. But what does that data amount to? How is it of use to anybody? Has anybody who has been amazing at quizzes ever done anything for the world? I attended one quiz and I had my answers. Quizzing was not what I was looking for.

The Parliamentary Debating Group is the smaller of the two but holds a debate at least once a week on average. It's very difficult to get into without contacts and puts up just one open-house in the entire academic year. The seniors would insist that the two groups are the same and that Lit is united - but in my year, that's not true. But anyway, I hardly care for Lit unity. The first reason I joined the PD Group is because it was my proficiency and I wanted a decent grade. I liked debating but it was not something that I could live without. The future of Lit is hardly my concern.

Parliamentary Debating is a lot of fun. Serious issues (mostly) combined with strict rules and guidelines create a high-stakes situation in each debate. Sometimes, you know you've lost before you even start; sometimes, you know you've won right after you finish speaking; but most of the time, it goes down to the wire and what the adjudicators say has to be backed by sound logic. This is the system on which democracy is built and here we take some facts and convert them into meaningful results.

Sadly, it's extremely unpopular. The PD Group keeps losing more and more people and we end up having to call people and literally beg them to come and help us meet quorum. It's a sad thing but the PD Group has brought it upon itself by refusing to advertise a little. Anyway, I've participated in almost all the debates but did not go for some competition to another institute (which the Quiz Group does not do altogether). Because of MUN, I couldn't even participate in what was called Vox Populi this year.

But Lit has served me well. Suddenly, I had a reputation. I don't think I'mparticularly good but then I still have a reputation that I'm an awesome guy at debating (I have no idea how!). That has helped in MUN and in many other, smaller, ways. My association with Lit will continue until I leave the institute (unlike Kj, which I will have to leave after third year) and I will definitely attend some off-campus event or the other. Who knows, I might even give the quizzes another try?

1 comment:

Murty said...

Don't ask how I got here, but you've gotta be kidding me if you thought the "Quiz group" doesn't go out to other institutes altogether!