In what comes across as an extremely astonishing episode, the website of St. Stephen’s College has on display some rather unusual content. Apparently, a link on the website titled ‘Sacrilege on St Stephen’s College’ has a footage which captures an alumnus of the College flashing the middle finger towards the CCTV camera.
Reportedly, on October 13, Saturday, a group of six alumni, led by Amitabh Pande and Ashish Munna Joshi, came to the College to donate money to the owners of the Rohtas dhaba, recently barred from selling rolls. While strolling on the premises, Pande, in full view of the students, flashed the middle finger towards the CCTV camera installed in the corridor of the Dining Hall.
While Pande, an IAS officer, claimed that the gesture was a sign of protest against the existing culture of terror and that he was shocked to note the presence of CCTV camera outside the Dining Hall, the College Principal Dr. Valson Thampu perceives it as an insult directed towards the institution.
In fact, a note by him accompanying the footage said, “It is a spectacle too disgusting for the eyes of anyone who feels for the College. Even so, after mature reflection, I have decided to post it on the College website, so that all of us can reckon the execrable extent to which some have sunk in their inveterate hatred to the College.”
While talking to DU Beat, Tarinee Awasthi, student of the College, said, “ I think that while the form may have been a tad immature, the issues the alumni were protesting against are somewhat justified. I fail to comprehend the need for CCTV cameras in the College. In fact, it translates into a prison-like surveillance and insistence on unthinking discipline.”
She further added, “By following this sort of practice, it is being assumed that all students are delinquents and must be monitored. Honestly, it is a little offending to be treated as such.”
Another student, who didn’t wish to be named, said, “Even though the causes of protest were valid, they shouldn’t have stooped down to such a level. By doing something like this, you are indirectly posing a question on the values you have imbued from the institution. There are more learned ways to voice one’s opinion. A quintessential Stephanian will never sink to this level. It’s utter shame and nothing else.”
Image credits: Additi Seth