Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Galaxy -- Was it worth it?

I thought I had left those memories back. But then things keep coming back to hit you and leave you unguarded. I came across this article about Galaxy by Abhishek Verma and suddenly I found myself struggling with the same question, "Is (Was) Galaxy worth it?"

The question will raise many eyebrows including some of my closest friends'. Galaxy has always been treated by those passionate about it as a sacred truth; no one can question the sanctity of the event. I had been passionate about it myself, though I must admit not to such an extent as some of my wing mates. But, it has been close to my heart, especially since I have seen it being scrapped twice and being subjugated to petty student politics and whims and fancies of certain individuals.

Sometimes not being a blind follower helps you to ask questions. And I was fortunate enough to be in such a position. This question has haunted me right from my third year when I was in the team having the passion about the event. I have been on both the sides - in the first year, I did some "labor" work and then in my third year, I was little bit involved in organizing things as well (For reader's record, both the times galaxy got scrapped).

So, the question remains. Was Galaxy worth all the passion, talk, and hype? As a first step, let's see who gained from Galaxy.

Galaxy was never conceived as an event for experimentation, it was always about excellence. So, who got to participate in all the cultural events like debates, skits, drama, music and dance? Those who already knew it! Same 2 debaters, 5-6 excellent dancers, 3-4 actors and 7-8 musicians were motivated to perform throughout the year at every moment possible. Total number of actual performers did not exceed more than 50 out of a hostel of 500 students. So, where is the learning or personality development of an average guy who has done nothing in his school but wants to try out things here? I will discount all those workshops held in the hostel and few individual exceptions. Those were more "fund generator" exercises than anything. No culsecy felt like really organizing those workshops.

So, what were the other arguments for "motivating" people? "You will work 24 hours for 7 days. You will work for the team." blah, blah.....Fine. Acceptable. But, what will I do during that time? Carry bricks, cots, or be one of those "falling walls". Where is the value addition? How will an average guy who does only “labor” feel passionate about the whole event?

What about ideas? Who generated them? Again, few "das" from Hall 1. No contribution from your side for sure.

I don't want to get into political implications of Galaxy. It was always used by Cul Secys as a guard against doing nothing for most of the part of their terms.

In such a scenario, how was Galaxy helping a majority of students? Institute festivals were screwed, all the Gymkhana clubs were inactive, and all the hostel cultural activities were in jeopardy. Who was benefiting from all this?

I have attempted to bring to spotlight the other side of Galaxy. It is not an attempt to disregard the feelings of people from past batches of IIT Kanpur and my batch who have been passionate about Galaxy, who still can "feel" it. In fact, I demand answers of these questions from them...... After all, I haven't seen Galaxy ever!!

5 comments:

Nikhil said...

sometime i will counter most of your points, though I am still all for galaxy, but not religiously.

Abhishek Porwal said...

abe koi kaam nahi hai kya salle jo phir se aise baatein shuru kar di hain....

Neways, I had a mixed feeling about galaxy....At one point I wanted it(deperately) and at other, felt it as a burden....In both cases I had my own reasons/views....

You have attacked Galaxy from every corner....I disagree with some of your points....patricularly...."there were just 50 guys performing"....the reason was that the others never wanted to participate/perform and also because there was always a limit on number of team members in a perticular event....

address some other issues later :)

Mayank said...

Good points. Even though learnt many new things, I think that for most of the part, Galaxy was mostly too much propaganda on behalf of those in the power seat. Maybe we needed an alternative implementation.

Ashutosh Madeshiya said...

In fact, I have very positive opinions regarding Galaxy! I dont know this diminishing culture is how good or bad for IITK junta, but one observation, that I can easily make based on my experience over last years that...as the hall fundas are getting diluted, the individual ambitions have grown up very high and that's definitely not good in the world where team-work is given the biggest count! None the less, a phenomenal decrease in Junior-Senior interaction can be a serious problem for the forthcoming generations @ IITK.

silentEcho said...

hope I will see a full fledged Galaxy before I leave. We have just heard abt it...the anecs n things and saw something with similar name in my first sem but the fifth years then said that it was nothing like Galaxy. What actually happened in Galaxy...something like intraIITK Antaragni?? Plz enlighten me dear seniors.