Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The festival controversy

Once upon a time in a land far away called IIT Kanpur there used to be two festivals. Actually the institute celebrated quite a few of these festivals but these two were the special ones in the sense that they were chosen to be clubbed, becoming a part of a controversy threatening to become a Kashmir-like issue.

Let's come to the point. IIT Kanpur is planning to club its Science and Technology Festival, Techkriti and the Business and Entrepreneurship Festival, Megabucks. This is being done because it is felt that the students are spending way too much time in the organization of these festivals and hence their number needs to be reduced. So far so good. Though I do not understand the logic behind the combination of Technology and Business Fests - come on guys, don't tell me that Kharagpur clubbed what-ever and what-ever to create Kshitij. Do you need to emulate the wrong doings of others?

Even if we go ahead with the merger, the next issue that arises is of the name. What should we name the festival - should it be Techkriti or Megabucks or something very different from either of these two names? The honorable Students' Senate at IIT Kanpur went ahead and decided that the new name should be completely different from either of these. If we can't maintain the brand value of both the fests, do we need to lose both of them? We can keep the brand which has more value and is older. When we create a new name, we are starting from absolutely new grounds. Companies and students do look for the brand name of the festival and only IIT Kanpur is not enough. When you talk to companies they talk about Techfest and Kshitij and don't only refer to them by Bombay and Kharagpur.

Some people talked about a new name for the festival so that the departments of Humanities and Management do not feel left out. I give it to you guys. Don't you realize that ultimately we are a Technology institute. Even a split of the numbers would tell you - be it students or faculty or courses. So let's not lose focus. Techkriti has been our mainstay festival and we cannot afford to lose it. Consider the situation when someone asks to change the name of the Cultural Fest, Antaragni because literary events from Alfaaz and movie related Umang events are being conducted in Antaragni. Won't it be hilarious? Similarly it is very very foolish to change the name of Techkriti.

In fact, Megabucks initially started out as a part of Techkriti. Moreover, if we look at the meaning of 'Techkriti', it very well conveys the theme of the new festival as well. 'Tech'-Technology and 'kriti' for creativity, innovation and spirit of creation. This is exactly what we are trying to do in the new festival.

Another interesting aspect to consider is the Golden Jubilee celebrations of IIT Kanpur. In this year when we should be consolidating on our existing festivals and in fact go on to hold them with great pomp and show, we would be scrapping two existing festivals to create one new entity which has never been heard of before. What do I say? Should I even say something?

I can still go on ranting about it. But what's the point. The people in power are like the politicians of the country - taking their own decisions and conviniently ignoring the opinion of the people. In fact, there was a mail sent out in this regard by the President of the Students' Gymkhana which smelt of anger against a particular group of people.

The worst part is that the trouble won't end here. Even if we manage to decide against a name, the actual organization of the festival might turn out to be a battleground. Each side would be trying to get as much space as possible. I would just pray for the festival and hope that God injects some brains into the Students' Senate and help them come up with very clear guidelines for the festival and hope that these guidelines are based on sound logic.

The following part of the post appeared first in the comments. Then I decided to include it in the main post as well.

Talking about the post, Nitin brought about another issue. He said that Techkriti focused not only on technology and science but also on design and other areas promoted by the institute. This was evident by the animation and other design contests organized during the festival.

Another valid point that came up during the discussion was that if the long run was being considered, clubbing entrepreneurship events into Techkriti made more sense and people would come to associate it with the business events as well. If the senate felt that in the longer run people would come to know of the new name, then it would be a much better idea to introduce Megabucks back into Techkriti. In fact, the Bio-Business Plan contest and the Olymbiz could be made a part of Megabucks under Techkriti.

3 comments:

the munator said...

I cannot agree with you more.The name Techkriti had such a uniquely powerful aura in terms of brand value that it actually prompted an alumnus to name his start-up after it.And I completely identify with your feelings about the president's email ,indeed the politician's mindset has a peculiar self-similar,fractal -like property about it,it shows itself at every level from right at the parliament to our very own senate.
And damn,are u not satisfied with the shitloads u will soon earn,u have not spared the opportunity to
monetize ur blog ? :) :)
:P
ravi

abhinav said...

:-) This is an experiment to see if people actually click on the ads and it is failing miserably. Even though I am getting quite a few visitors to my blog, no one is clicking on the ads.

abhinav said...

Talking about the topic of the post, Nitin brought about another issue. He said that Techkriti focused not only on technology and science but also on design and other areas promoted by the institute. This was evident by the animation and other design contests organized during the festival.

Another valid point that came up during the discussion was if long run was being considered, clubbing entrepreneurship events into Techkriti made more sense and people would come to associate it with the business events as well. If the senate felt that in the longer run people would come to know of the new name, then it would be a much better idea to introduce Megabucks back into Techkriti. In fact, the Bio-Business Plan contest and the Olymbiz could be made a part of Megabucks under Techkriti.