DUB Speak

The LSR merchandise: for there’s only a thin line between pride, arrogance and ignorance

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

Wearing one’s pride on one’s sleeve is definitely in vogue, and who but our Prime Minister has shown us how it’s done – by wearing a suit with his name for pinstripes. Unfortunately, he drew more grimace than appreciation. College merchandise, like t-shirts, sweatshirts, coffee mugs, of course, is a different story altogether; they are about showing pride and affection for one’s alma mater and not about narcissism. But what if my t-shirt asked you to kneel before me because I come from a certain college?

On having discovered some merchandise designed for Lady Shri Ram College for Women being promoted and sold online (albeit by no official LSR Facebook pages), I had to stop and think whether it was pride that the merchandise displayed, or whether it was arrogance. Before long, I realised that it was plain ignorance. And unfortunately, a large section of the clientele of the e-commerce sites, or even Facebook users, might be under the impression that this might be genuine LSR merchandise and this portrays the college in a very bad light, like a fortress of snobbery.

The first such merchandise that cropped up was a sweatshirt by ‘Jack of All Threads’ being marketed by a Facebook page called ‘LSR Graduate Community’, a fairly new page possibly created for the very purpose of marketing the product in question. The sweatshirt tried to make a bold point with the line ‘I graduated from LSR. To save time, let’s assume that I’m always right’. Not surprisingly, it did find a few takers. But better still, it left quite a few graduates disgruntled; proud graduates who insisted that this was not what the college had taught them.

More recently, ‘Freecultr’, an e-retailer, designed a more provocative ‘Kneel before me, I’m from LSR’ t-shirt. The t-shirt did a poor job at wit; even for snob-value, it was a bad job. IIT-Delhi was also given the same tagline. While I cannot comment on what they might have to say about it, I, for one, am very proud of wearing my regular college t-shirt which reads ‘Some leaders are born women’. I am also proud of the new one which has the powerful lines from Maya Angelou’s Phenomenal Woman.
When I wear these t-shirts, I display a certain pride and commitment for my alma mater, and by no means do I expect someone to kneel before me. Because like someone pointed out, we are not taught to belittle the other and assume that we are always right; that would be downright ignorant.
Just like nobody gave Triple Aces the right to decide what a Kudi LSR di looks and behaves like, e-retailers should refrain from deciding who needs to kneel before whom.

[email protected]; Alankrita is a student of Journalism at Lady Shri Ram College for Women. Technology is one thing that terrifies her and at the helm of a good old newspaper is where she hopes to be one day. Reading, writing and holidaying (not necessarily in that order) are her favourite things to do. If not a journalist, she would be a politician, as goes the trend.

Comments are closed.