From the desk of Head of the Department
The Memorabilia 2018-19 reminds the sense of an ending. Julian Barnes has rightly said that the sense of an ending is one of the most curious senses. There are ‘senses’ which are very crucial for human beings. The senses like ‘common-sense’ is necessary to understand worldly affairs when our academic sense fails to unlock the enigmatic life. Similarly, ‘civic-sense’ makes us responsible and accountable citizens of the democracy. Likewise, ‘academic-sense’ guides us in using lessons learned in academia at right time and right place. Unlike these senses, political senses is not much valued and talked about. However, for the citizens who are eligible for casting their votes in democracy, this sense is as inevitable as any other. Bertolt Brecht has equated this with literacy and told very boldly that the worst illiterate is the political illiterate. s/he hears nothing, sees nothing, takes no part in political life . . . and does not seem to know that all citizens life depends on political decisions. Among all these senses, it is ‘historical sense’ which makes a huge difference. In T.S. Eliot’s words - the historical sense involves a perception, not only of the pastness of the past, but of its presence. The historical sense will help in better perception of zeitgeist of our time and space. It is this sense which differentiates people from sheople (sheep + people). We, at Department of English, while teaching English studies, makes an attempt to see that students develop these senses and become more sensible towards their personal lives as well as our society.
Coming back to the sense of an ending, the most curious sense of all these high-profile senses. When we get towards the end of two years, when a batch full of students are passing out – some curious feelings engulf and numbs our senses. No! It is not this Keatsian ‘my heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains’ – sort of sense of an ending. It means an end of any likelihood of change in the life. We work very hard and we expect a sort of progressive, positive, and constructive metamorphosis among those with whom we so passionately get involved. At the end of the year, the sense of an ending engulfs.
This Memorabilia 2018-19 is nothing but a sort of pensive of all those wonderful memories. It is like that Time-Turner device made by Ministry of Magic in J K Rowling’s Potter series. It is like the Time Machine of H. G. Wells. Turning pages of this memory-booklet is like unwinding the time in Time-Turner or travelling back in the Time Machine.
All credit for this sort of meticulous record keeping goes to the Documentation Committee. It is really tough task. However, social media like Facebook is helping a lot to them in keeping records. It was always satisfying to read their posts in the happenings with an interesting write-up and a few photos. It is even more satisfying to revisit all those ‘happenings’ in this Memorabilia, again.
When I look back at the quality of students who are passing out, I see that these students were a bit quicker in adapting to technology than the previous batches. These students have surprised me on several occasions. From presenting their work in digital form to working on online surveys, or preparing certificates with mail-merge feature, or collecting data, or working in collaboration, or even this Memorabilia itself . . . . With almost professional precision, they used assistive technology. I hope the digital skills they have acquired and honed are going to be very vital in their future career and life.
Another unique feature perceived in this batch was their courage and confidence to speak-up and voice their happiness as well as angst and anxiety. Many of them wrote and some even published good poems, short stories, social media posts and blogs.
This was the batch on which we worked very hard to improve their English language. Not that these students were very poor in English language. They possessed normal English language skills which is common with all other batches. However, this time we were able to spare time for remedial classes, answer-writing workshops and academic writing workshops. In a way, this batch is fortunate to have many sessions of improving academic English writing skills. Some of them have learned it and displayed the improvement in their writings also.
It is a tradition that most of the activities are carried out by students of the Department. They are divided in various committees and those willing to lead become natural leaders. Every year, apart from regular co-curricular activities, some unique activities are also planned by these committee members. This year,
- · the Library committee planned a visit of Barton Library. This library is historically very important site for all book lovers,
- · the ICT committee organised workshop for P.G. students of all departments and exposed them to basic digital tools. The entire workshop was conducted by senior students and even the resource persons were members of ICT committee,
- · the Film Screening committee organised watching Hindi film Uri – The Surgical Strike in the cinema theatre,
- · the Art and Creativity committee organised various competitions on the occasion of Guru Purnima and made digital display of short stories, paintings, poems, photographs and rangoli and winners were selected by online public voting system,
- · the Celebration committee celebrated International Day of Yoga at Department, the credit of maximum participation in Sports and Adventure activities goes to the Sports and Recreation committee,
- · the Gardening committee carried out projects to support Swacch Bharat / Clean India campaign,
- · the Daily Schedule committee organised some very courageous debates on challenging issues like Pulwama Terror Attack, Adultery Act section 497 of IPC, LGBT Act section 377 of IPC.