Monday, 11 March 2013

The college of knowledge

I never paid any attention to its beauty, structure or aesthetics when I first went inside the building three years ago to check out the journalism department in Osmania University. It was after I enrolled in my BCJ course that I realised what a colossal structure the Arts college was. I just stood outside gazing for minutes when I got a good look at it. It still stands tall today, like it did when it was built almost 100 years ago, and it stands to make one hell of a structure as well.

I was really enchanted by it then, and I still am. Every time I enter it, I smile, for it is the place that taught me everything I needed to learn about life. It's walls still reverberate with the knowledge it holds; perhaps not about academics, but about the other things we need to learn about life. Of all the things I discussed and learnt about with people as a studdent, the most important thing the the Arts college taught me was politics; which is what runs in its blood and veins.

Granted it was the same politics that has ruined its academics over decades and as a result the knowledge imparted in classrooms has diluted. However, what I've come across in the form of students is a zest for their beliefs. Whether it is right-wing or left-wing, many of the people I came across enabled me to understand the need for an ideology or at least why they have one. I understood why a student from a district is ready to put his life before Telanagana, and why he doesn't mind throwing stones at the police in spite of knowing he may be maimed. I got a closer look at the people of Telangana, and was able to introspect as to how generation after generation never gave up the dream to attain a separate state.

Maybe right now there are people who side with groups just because they belong to certain castes, but there are lot of people who know what they are fighting for. Yes, fighting. Even as life goes on in the city, and as people just live their lives, there are those who work to the bone everyday for their beliefs. Hundreds in OU believe strongly that Telangana will be a reality. And not just students, even the teachers smile when they remember their own struggle they took up as students decades ago. It's a legacy to the battle which has never faded, and for as long as there is such passion, it will never fade away.

My dear friend Krishank, a student leader and my classmate with whom I studied,  is whom I should thank, for giving me a good insight into politics as a student. I don't hate politics anymore thanks to him, the Arts college and OU now.I remember him replying with 'this is politics' for almost every question I used to ask him. I laughed about it then, cursing OU's politics, which I detested completely when I was studying. But now I've come to understand it's just a manifestation of how human beings think, and it's not something one can simply evade.

Caste politics and ideological differences is what the Arts college taught me best. Till I joined OU, I never even knew much about reservations. Later on I got to know about sub-castes and what not. And even after three years I am still learning. Every time I step into my college I'm ready to learn something new. The majestic corridors still have an enigma which only those who studied there will understand. I do wish I would have studied more, but I don't see it as any sort of loss.

There are new flags and banners of new groups which are spread across the campus ow, and most of them are simply pretentious. Many students in the Arts college are there simply to make use of the hostels in OU, and all they know is to burn effigies everyday. I don't know what's going to happen in the future, but what I know is that the Arts college is one place which I will never forget.

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