Tuesday, December 18, 2007

KTWV 08 Issue 46: Alleged sexual harassment

Two media reports reached me about an alleged sexual harassment of a foreign student in St. Stephen's College.

The Daily Telegraph headline to an article by Charu Sudan Kasturi read only as Stephenians buck trend, speak up, but the one by Puneet Nicholas Yadav in DNA (Daily News Analysis) screamed Molestation of US student brings forth dirty side of DU.

NEW DELHI: The allegation of sexual harassment by a visiting US student against a senior faculty member of the Delhi University’s (DU’s) prestigious St Stephen’s College has once again brought to the fore the grimy side of the elite university with a student strength of about 3 lakh.


So long as the top leadership in the college is stunted by its internal wranglings, it will be impossible to handle such matters with a strong principled hand.

Does anyone wish that the college was still only a male only preserve?

Monday, December 17, 2007

KTWV 08 Issue 45: “St Stephen’s is one of the best colleges...

In an interesting short article today in iExpressIndia.com Back to Campus, Akhil Katyal, a student of St Stephen’s is quoted as saying:

“St Stephen’s is one of the best colleges in Delhi University and after studying here I can see teaching here as a viable career option.”

When I was in college, I do not think any of my lecturers in my main subjects (Physics and Chemistry), other than Maths, were past Stephanians. We had Ranjit Bhatia who returned from his stint in Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar to teach us Maths in our final year. Ranjit was a member of the athletics squad to the Rome Olympics 1960. He ran the 5000 metres and the Marathon.

I am not sure whether Principal Sircar, who also taught Maths, was a Stephanian! I do know his son, Raj, who came back and taught (not me) during my final year was a Stephanian. Raj now lives in Canada.

I do think that having a past student as a teacher would certainly make the bond between teacher and student quite strong. But one has also to remember the phrase "familiarity breeds contempt" and guard against those who are employed. They must appreciate the limits of relationship between staff and student.

A larger gap, as 10 - 15 years, seems more logical, rather than just 3 to 5 years.

Your opinions please!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

KTWV 08 Issue 44: Latest published articles

Posted on ALL our major blogs - my Jacob's Blog, the Oulu CHAFF Blog, the Mumbai Cathedralites Seventh Heaven Blog and the Delhi Stephanians Kooler Talk Blog.

Annikki was Chairperson of The English Club of Oulu almost 2 decades ago. We were also the first Life members of the Club. The Finn-Brits Magazine is the publication of The Federation of Finnish-British Societies under which English Clubs function all around Finland to promote the English Language and the cultures associated with English speakers.

Cover of Autumn 2007 edition.

The magazine decided to do a special feature about Oulu in the Autumn 2007 edition and they asked us for a couple of articles.

The first was an article about the Chamber of Assistance for Finns and Foreigners which was founded by Jacob and a few friends a couple of years ago. The article was authored by the present CHAFF Monitor, Ildikó Hámos-Sohlo, along with Jacob.

The second, a highly controversial one was authored by Annikki and Jacob about the lack of Free Speech in Oulu.

Hope you enjoy them!

KTWV 08 Issue 43: TODAY: Mumbai Unplug / Batti Bandh -- This is how Mumbai will "Unplug"

Posted on my Jacob's Blog, Mumbai Cathedralites Seventh Heaven Blog and Delhi Stephanians.blogspot.com.

I have received this message from many sources and I thought to give it the desired publicity and pray that this is not a "one-off" event but one which will be repeated again and again across the world.

Old Bombay - Apollo Bunder.

This is how Mumbai will "Unplug"

Batti Bandh! Switch off Mumbai
Mumbai Unplug / Batti Bandh tells you how

Mumbai city uses an average of 550 megawatts of electricity on a Saturday between 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm. Let's see how much electricity we consume on December 15 between 7:30 pm -8:30 pm. Unplug tomorrow and vote for a green planet! Switch off and come to enjoy electricity-less entertainment at these locations.

Shaair and Func
Cirkles—Timir and Abhishek (band)

Carter Road
Gullywood (performers)
Dischordian (band)
Concorde (band)
Ideal Drama and Entertainment Academy (IDEA ) enact a Hindi play

Marine Drive
Gullywood (performers)
Anoushka and Friends
Violin Recital
Sophia College carol singers
Something Relevant

NSC/NCC Human Chain – MG Road to Station

For more updates on performances at Gateway, Kala Ghoda, Hard Rock Café and InOrbit Mall visit Mumbai Unplug.com.

So far, the Marine Drive landmarks, The Hilton Towers and the Air India building, have promised to switch off their façade lights for Batti Bandh. Essar is accommodating Batti Bandh on their Founders' Day conference which happens to be on December 15 too. As a part of their event, they will be switching off lights from 8:30pm-9:30 pm. Bank of Rajasthan will unplug all branches across India for Batti Bandh. Restaurants along Colaba causeway like Café Mondegar, Hard Rock Café and Shiro at Lower Parel have also pledged to "switch off". Perfetti India and Mentos have created an ad campaign centered around Batti Bandh. Students at St. Xavier's College are forming the Batti Bandh logo with candles in their campus.

There will be music bands playing at Carter Road, Marine Drive and Bandstand. At Kalamboli, Panvel and Navi Mumbai Dhol players along with 50-100 rickshawwallas will hold a peace rally. Bombay Catholic Sabha is holding another peace rally from Sahar to the Airport in Andheri. Residents of Raheja Hillside society in Powai are planning an antakshri competition during the Batti Bandh hour. "You don't have to wonder about what to do in the absence of electricity. Have a community hour," says the Batti Bandh team.

Modelled on the Sydney Earth Hour 60 held in March 2007 (that had 2.2 million citizens of the city switch off lights), Mumbai Unplug / Batti Bandh is an initiative taken in order to educate the masses and make them aware of their contribution to the deteriorating environmental conditions of not only Mumbai but India and the world. "Unlike Earth Hour 60, which was initiated by organisations like Leo Burnett and WWF, Mumbai Unplug / Batti Bandh is a citizens' initiative," said Keith.

WWF has also supported the Mumbai Unplug / Batti Bandh initiative. For more information and updates on other performances happening across the city on December 15, visit Mumbai Unplug.com.

Take a stand. Unplug.

For more information, contact:
Keith Menon
Email: info@mumbaiunplug.com
Phone: 9819769933

Rustom Warden
Email: info@mumbaiunplug.com
Phone: +91-9820806355

Neil Quraishy
Email: info@mumbaiunplug.com
Phone: +91-9820353067

Shiladitya Chakraborty
Email: info@mumbaiunplug.com
Phone: +91-9833229449

Web Site: Mumbai Unplug.com
SMS Unplug to 56363

Thank you for all the concerned Mumbaites for sending me this amd I will be there with you in spirit.

I will symbolically UNPLUG here in the Arctic between 16:30 and 17:30 today!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

KTWV 08 Issue 42: Kamalesh responds

Posted on Jacob's Blog and the Kooler Talk Blog for Delhi Stephanians

A couple of weeks ago I sent the congratulations from all of us of the Stephanian era of 1960s to Kamalesh Sharma, High Commissioner of India in the UK, when he was elected to serve as the Secretary General of the Commonwealth.

Today, I had his response:

from Kamalesh Sharma, High Commissioner of India, London
to Jacob Matthan
date 11 Dec 2007 17:03

Dear Sushil,

Thank you for your kind message of felicitations and good wishes. This is greatly appreciated. The assignment with the Commonwealth is one of great responsibility and challenge but I look forward to it with anticipation and enthusiasm.

It is strange to see oneself on Kooler Talk, having been associated with its birth. But I appreciate the efforts that has gone into it and the warmth of sentiment.

Very best regards and happy new year.


Kamalesh had better be careful with all these fake Santa's pumping his hand.

My sleigh-pulling Elk (not reindeer) with me!

There is only one genuine Santa from the Arctic, ME! (As Rudolph, my ELK, will testify!)

Reindeer are too weak to pull my sleigh around the world. Only a set of powerful Elks can do that job!

It is also great to be the one continuing, 47 years on single-handedly, the pioneering work of the original creators of Kooler Talk, which included
Kamalesh, Sarwar Lateef, Peter Philip (Tubby), Prakash Joseph, Sayeed Rizvi, Zaffar Hai, Swaminathan Aiyar, Chinmoy Banerji, Montek Singh Alhuwalia, etc.!

My version of Kooler Talk (Web Version) has out-lasted any other incarnations of this rag!