Saturday, July 07, 2007

Too Free or Not Too Free?

The Students' Senate of IIT Kanpur has recently drafted a proposal to restrict the usage of LAN on campus. Having been a student of this institute for four years, this proposal irks me a lot. Not only is it retrograde, it is also surprising in the kind of closed minded thinking that is underlying it. I just ranted on the newsgroup about the issue. Here is a copy of the rant.

What makes you think that this kind of system will help people become mature? Will they not remain immature until they actually have a computer and experience computer obsession (I detest the word addiction, computers are not narcotics) firsthand?

Do we wish to produce graduates that need 'implicit systems' (An amusing term! What is implicit about a regulation?) and regulations to guide their lives? What kind of leaders and professionals can we hope to give this world?

I believe that IITians are have earned their reputations by taking up challenges and responsibilities in all fields. If as students they cannot learn to take up responsibility for their own behavior then how will they learn to take up greater responsibilities in life? The only way to learn is to do it.

The next thing the Students' Senate will propose is that the students are not 'mature' enough to handle HEC responsibilities and then, perhaps, to 'govern' themselves through the Students' Senate.

Freedom has been the mainstay of IIT Kanpur student culture since the beginning. We believe in learning by taking responsibilities. The idea is embodied in the whole concept of student governance and by proposing such retrograde moves, the Students' Senate is contradicting the very ideology with which it was constituted.

It has only been through this environment of freedom that IITs have produced leaders in the past. Please let us preserve the culture of freedom.

Counseling and interaction with seniors has worked in the past. I distinctly remember my seniors telling us time and again to be vary of computer obsession and gaming. If I was really concerned about my life then I would listen to them. If I was not, then regulations of this sort cannot really prevent me from spoiling my life. Internet is not the only vice that the world has to offer! As seniors out only responsibility should be to educate our junior and then we should have trust and faith enough in their sensibility to make an informed decision. If you treat people like children, then they will remain children.

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