IIM Shillong – Obvious Yet So Oblivious
Eight kilometers of a tiring hike through the woods lead one to a small hut in which an adolescent kid sits equipped with packets of Masala Maggi. While eating one’s serve, the only question that echoes inside every mind is how God can make something that beautiful and keep it preserved from the reach of the commons. The only prayer that fills each heart is to not let humans ruin this beauty at least for as long as that heart beats. This is how you are welcomed in Meghalaya; Home to IIM Shillong.
One of the most obvious yet least talked about topic in our country is the extent of racism that is prevalent in our society. Though this racism is not as vocal or visible as the one we have seen in other parts of the world, it is deeply rooted and widespread. Our delicate society has developed forms of exercising racism. While the elite intellectuals and the educated class relies on the stereotypes based on region, religion, color as softer versions of saying ‘I am better than you’, the remaining lot prefers crude derogatory remarks to let an innocent one know that she/he doesn’t belong there. No one ever acknowledges this discrimination but exercises it in full throttle.
At times in the corner-most column of the middle pages of our national newspapers, incidents of racism towards people of the north-east comes in notice. These Indians, like the rest of us, travel in their own country but all they see are heads turning towards them whichever street they walk through. But what happens when you end up in a land where there are less who look like you? No head turns towards you and no eyebrows get lifted. And you end up wondering If you ever accepted the locals the same way they accept at you?
Amid all the obvious differences, something very similar lies at the core of each human being and this belief strengthens after every new interaction you have with the people of Shillong. Amazing are those moments when you walk through the inner streets and end up hearing jam sessions or when you see little kids playing football barefoot on a slope. We can choose to fight among ourselves about the way we pray, the food we eat, the language we speak, the clothes we wear, or we can fight together against the deadly diseases, the rising unemployment, the threatening pollution, poor education, corruption and what not. With the change in the coordinates, problems remain the same, only the victims change.
That’s the opportunity of introspection which IIM Shillong provides to its students in the two years that she/he spends here. All those obvious issues that one hears around him/her do not remain so oblivious here. No doubt Rome wasn’t built in a day but at least a dialogue begins. At least we remove ourselves from the silent mode to a vibrating one. Also, where else do mornings begin with a rooster’s crowing, clouds flock the campus during the noon and sudden drizzle wash the evenings to pave way for a night full of stars.
PGP 2nd Year