Will I return my certificate? 30/11/2015

When I read  recipients of  national awards   have returned their awards (some along with cash received)  to protest ‘growing intolerance in the country ‘, and the government  stifling  their freedom of expression, their act left me thinking. I wondered if  the famous writer  R.K.Narayan, who was the first recipient of the Sahitya Academi award   in English for his novel ‘Guide’ would have followed suit  or must have  thought it wise not to join the rest of the authors  who protested  against increasing intolerance. Talking about institutions I was shocked to find a  prestigious  business school  in Chennai  is shutting down  one of its departments shortly.  Again I am  reminded of my own Alma Mater where I underwent  a part time  post graduate diploma  course in journalism which was started in 1970  along with similar courses in Marketing and Advertising .We were  39 students in all, 34 men(all working)  and five women, all fresh graduates. We had an excellent part time faculty, professional journalists (one of them  qualified from    Columbia  School of Journalism and worked abroad) working for the mainstream newspapers who taught us Reporting, Editing and Writing, the core subjects. Our principal  too was a professional senior journalist  who was strict with a smile. His successor too was very popular with the students and retired after a long association with the college. Subsequently, the college saw a few principals whose stint was very brief and one fine  day due to extraneous reasons the college  closed down   a few years ago.  I take pride  in the fact that  some of the alumni are placed in senior positions in newspaper organizations and  have turned into published authors  of quite a few books which are doing well. (To my knowledge  perhaps  I am the only alumni, belonging to the first batch of students of journalism who has been pursuing  my journey  of 45 years in writing  having published seven books  in different genres ever since I passed out  in 1971).

The  founder of this great institution, a visionary  and a versatile personality  whose objective was  to promote Indian culture  had  also  believed in the saying, it is never too late to learn. With this in mind a part time college was set up which offered  professional post graduate diploma courses for the convenience of working people in most of its centres.  It is heartening to find  that the college continues to run these courses  in  major  cities and towns where it has started with the exception of  Chennai. Here  it started with a bang in 1970 and ended in a whimper a few years ago. I write this with nostalgia and a heavy heart but certainly  I am not going to return my certificates received for  post graduate  diploma in journalism, certificate courses in   Public relations  and  Public speaking (I stood first in both) which I underwent  in this institution because what little success I achieved in my field,  I owe it to the dedicated part time  faculty of the college and  my  loyalty to the institution.



2 thoughts on “Will I return my certificate? 30/11/2015

  1. Professor V Raghavan

    You are right in not returning your certificates. President Pranab Mukherjee advised intellectuals not to return their awards but to fight intolerance by speaking up.

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