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Sun, Sand, Stars and Dreams

The chronicles of a misfit Indian teen

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Is freedom just an illusion?

From the time I entered my junior year of high school, or Year 11, I used to think that college will entail more freedom. I used to dream about all the things I might be able to do, not wear an uniform, get to go for classes of a more relaxed nature, so on and so forth.
However, I joined college in a place that I never dreamed of, and naturally found faults with everything. It is an all-girls college. There were a certain amount of rules, such as a fixed college timing and having to attend all classes. The inability to just leave whenever we felt like. And the rule about clothes: nothing shorter than ankle-length to be worn.

I felt that it was the end of the world and just couldn’t wait for the three years to end so that I could get away from that place to something better.
That was definitely not what I imagined college to be.

However, an issue which has cropped up recently in the city I live in, has got me thinking.
Students of a certain engineering college in Chennai have gone on a protest against the barbaric rules and regulations enforced by the management.

For those who do not know what I am talking about, check this and this out.

Some of those rules are absolute shockers, and will make people wonder, “Is it even a college? Even prison is way better!”

ToDoListCollege

Not only is that list of rules which went viral, extremely sexist, it defeats the entire purpose of college. A few friends in that college told me that not only were there such bizarre rules for girls, there were rules like that for boys as well. For instance, they are not allowed to wear anything other than formals all day, every day, but they are also not allowed to wear branded formals which has the logo displayed on it. Also, the colour black is prohibited on their campus on certain days, because it is a holy colour for them. There have been reports of girl students being verbally and sexually harassed by the so-called guardians of discipline.
Plus, it being an engineering college, with future techies studying there, the ban on all forms of technology seems ridiculous.
The funniest one I have heard till date, a student was fined for “touching the ducks in the pond”.

What is the point of studying in a co-education college if you are not allowed to interact with the opposite sex?

Colleges like these made me believe that my college is way, way better. However, it makes you doubt the entire system. It makes us doubt the point of it all.

Students are protesting, however, the trend will stop only if parents and students collectively shun such colleges. But, the sad fact is that many parents don’t mind sending their children to such colleges, because these colleges guarantee a well-paid job once you graduate. The makes us wonder, when did the rat race for a well-paid job end up in this?
My parents studied in the same country, around 20 to 25 years back. Then, it was different. The rules were not there. Campuses were more liberal and everyone was off exploring their freedom, the feelings of love and heartbreak.
Now, all of those are restricted in a lot of colleges. Students are being denied their basic rights and are treated as something worse than scum.
So, are we actually progressing as the years pass? I think not.
India is a secular, democratic nation, which guarantees respect, freedom and equality for all of its citizens regardless of gender, religion, caste and community.
So, aren’t these students also inclusive of that? Or is freedom just an illusion?

~SunSanStarsAndDreams

So, what do you all think about the issue? What other ridiculous restrictions have you come about in schools/colleges? Do let us know in the comments box below! 🙂

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Are humans losing their ‘humanity’?

So, now almost everyone is announcing that they are still alive, so the end of the world conspiracy was fake.

But, don’t you think that it can even be taken from a different perspective?

I mean, the end of the world does not necessarily mean the end of the physical world, it can also mean the end of humanitarian feelings in humans. It seems that those feelings are rare these days.

In this one week, at first, there was the Newtown shooting. I mean, just how can anyone look at the innocent faces of toddlers and point a gun at them and kill them?

Well, that’s exactly what happened, right?

Then, on Sunday, in Delhi, the capital of India and the so-called ‘safe’ city, a girl and her boyfriend was coming back after a late-night movie show in a bus.

In this public bus, there were around five men, who gang-raped her for almost an hour and then threw her out of the bus, semi-naked and left to die. She is now fighting for her life, with serious damage not only to her sexual organs, but to her intestines as well. But, even if she survives, she’ll be considered a third-class citizen in a country, where even the police blame the women for, apparently, ‘getting herself raped’.

The men were arrested, but only yesterday, almost four days after the crime. This is in a country where a girl was arrested for liking a Facebook comment, within a day.

But, for the animals who raped a young girl, justice seems far.

The power of the people is something everyone seems to have underestimated, but for no longer. Hordes of women began protesting in front of the president’s and the Chief Minister’s house, demanding capital punishment for the perpetrators. The people have jumped into action.

Yet, it leaves us to wonder, will our cities, or rather, the world, ever be safe for women.

And also whether humans are losing their humanity or not.

Student kicked out of UN Climate Change Conference, for being right?

This article was also published on ‘Youth Ki Awaaz’ here

Imagine being stopped from something because you are right but the higher-ups don’t want to accept that you are right.

Imagine being banned from entering a conference just because today’s more powerful people know that you are right and what you are going to speak is surely going to convince everyone.

That pretty much is Anjali’s story.
Miss. Anjali Appadurai is a student of The College of the Atlantic, a small college in Maine. And in 2011, when the United Nations Conference on Climate Change was held in South Africa, she got a chance to speak in front of some of the world’s most powerful people.
She spoke for the youth, the next generation or in her own words, “On behalf of more than half of the world’s population”.

This year too, she got invited to speak at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change held in Doha, Qatar. But, once she reached Doha, Surprise! She was not granted entry into the venue where the conference is being held.

What was the heinous crime that she committed, you might wonder.

Nothing other than speaking for the youth. Speaking for the future. And using the hideous n-word, NOW!

That is what the authorities were unable to digest, because all they are interested in are long term plans. The motto,”Think now, Act later” (maybe when it is too late)

Just imagine the tension and the mental dilemma she might have faced when she came all the way to Middle East just to be told that she was not allowed to participate in the conference. But she has kept her cool and the youth there supporting her have written a polite letter demanding her reinstatement. However, if Anjali is not reinstated, there most certainly will be an effort to mobilize young people around the world to support her.

The youth are on Anjali’s side and it is time that the world realised the power and potential of the youth. The youth dream of changing the world for the better and this is one way of getting it done.

It is time to realise that the youth are the future and the future is NOW!

To hear Anjail Appadurai’s short, yet captivating speech at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change last year, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ko3e6G_7GY4
And to read more about this issue, visit http://www.takingonthegiant.com/2012/11/29/student-challenges-un-delegates-with-courageous-speech-deep-cuts-now-get-it-done/

I think her voice needs to be heard at this year’s conference too. Don’t you?

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