What’s Wrong

‘What’s wrong with you yaar…’

Hello? You know what that reminds me of? Taxi Driver.

Iris: Oh god, are you square.

Travis: Hey, I’m not square. You’re the one that’s square. You’re full of shit, man. What are you talkin’ about? You walk out with those fuckin’ creeps and lowlifes and degenerates out on the street and you sell your, sell your little pussy for nothin’ man. For some lowlife pimp – stands in a hall. I’m, I’m square? You’re the one that’s square, man. I don’t go screw and fuck with a bunch of killers and junkies the way you do. You call that bein’ hip? What world are you from?

And before someone gets the wrong ideas again, the only parallel I’m drawing is the surprised reaction of Robert De Niro. That’s how surprised I am with the reaction of some people. But more on THAT later.

I’m surprised at people asking me why I uploaded those two documents. This is for those who lack to mental capacity to understand, for those who don’t know the background, and for those who have reached the wrong conclusions. You can call it an explanation, a justification, or a rant. Whatever. Your opinion is irrelevant if you read and comprehend what’s written below.

I was very angry, very frustrated on Sunday night. It is very clear to me that what happened at the Talentopia was wrong. It was a poor effort to live up to the legacy of the Talentopia, which I have been closely involved with since October 2005, where I have seen some amazing stuff. March 15 will go down in infamy. Very disorganized and poorly managed. Most of the organizers were running like headless chickens with a single-track mentality: US. US. US. There did not seem to be a lot of concern for the crowd. The event started well over an hour late – 7:45 vs 6:30. Incidentally, not even all of the management team was visible at 6:30, forget about the crowd. Sound checks were made AFTER the event started, not before, which meant that (as in the case of Flam) people spent at least 15 minutes simply waiting for everything to start working. No one seemed to know who was in charge of multimedia until AFTER the event started.

In fairness, the lighting was great and the mics were working properly. No issues with food.

And then the Intezamia incident.

There are several different stories floating around. I wonder how many people tried to get their facts straight and not rely on what people told them. I can vouch for all of these as I was either personally present or have been narrated incidents by others present. Please correct any mistakes.

FACT: The organizers of the Talentopia approached and asked the Intezamia to perform, committed to a slot of the Intezamia’s choosing, and agreed not to ask for auditions.

FACT: The night before the Talentopia, the organizers asked that a certain character be removed from the cast due to alleged misbehavior.

FACT: Before the event began, and even after the event began, the official Master of Ceremonies had Aatank listed on the slot immediately following the second awards and before dinner.

FACT: The patron of the Dramatics society said that objections had been raised to a certain cast member’s involvement and that the play was under scrutiny for obscenities in the script.

FACT: Two offers were made: Either perform without Mr. A or perform at the end of the show. Both were denied.

FACT: The Intezamia agreed that Aatank would not be performed and asked for 5 minutes on stage to explain this to the audience. This request was granted by the patron.

FACT: As to what happened on stage: You can watch the videos, see what everyone said.

FACT: It was claimed by the organizers that there were no issues with the Intezamia performing, only with Mr. A. The organizers claimed that a complaint had been filed against Mr. A.

FACT: No complaint was ever filed.

FACT: It was claimed that a certain lady refused to perform simply because of Mr. A’s actions.

FACT: The lady stated that she could not pinpoint a single person, only a group. This lady did not take any names when asked by the patron, did not want to cancel the play, and questions why Mr. A was singled out and not the group as a whole.

FACT: Aatank was cancelled because a single cast member was asked to leave because of a supposed objection to his presence by a lady.

FACT: The lady did not object to Aatank being performed or any cast member.

What does that tell you? It tells me that the organizers were simply looking for an excuse to get Aatank cancelled. When, later on, the security guards barred the Intezamia from entering the auditorium, this belief was confirmed. That this was just a cheap political move. And that’s what prompted my anger.

Because this was the final straw. Because quite frankly, enough is enough. There’s only so long we can accept shit. Hundreds of members of the audience that day refused to accept shit in the form of biased awards and started booing. I wasn’t a part of it, and the Intezamia only joined in much later. It was a spontaneous reaction by people who were promised fairness. Clearly, those awards did not represent the votes people had placed. I fail to see how people can defend those AND claim moral superiority.

I stand corrected. The BASC has conducted more than one event this year. They have conducted 4 events – the welcome at Arena, the beach party at sandspit, the Annual Dinner, the Springfield Carnival, and the Talentopia.

I believe that represents a very poor return. That’s 5 events from September to March – 7 months, 5 if you make allowances for exams and holidays and stuff. The welcome and beach were well executed. I shall leave the allegations of financial irregularities for now. The Annual Dinner was jointly organized by all three student councils at IBA and was also well done.

The Springfield Carnival, on the other hand, was haphazardly organized and extremely hotch potch. If not for the Call concert, it would have been a complete disaster in my opinion. One story about that carnival is that it was just organized because the Charity Carnival was shaping up to be a great event and that Springfield was put together within a week just to pre-empt the Charity Carnival. Another story is that it was a carefully and meticulously planned event, with months of preparation and hard work going into it. I don’t know which story is true. But I do know that the event was mediocre at best without Call.

I have already talked about the Talentopia.

No movie night yet. No beach this semester. No hope of a farewell.

The response will be that the movie night got postponed because of the Charity Carnival, and I’d say rightfully so. What’s funny is that right now the movie night is clashing with my event and Talking Pictures may yet be rescheduled – even though, I obtained approvals and submitted proposals a month ago. So if the movie night doesn’t happen, don’t blame me. Blame those who didn’t bother to plan beforehand. That’s where blame for no beach goes too, by the way. Not having money is not an excuse. The societies are all conducting their events through sponsors. IBA doesn’t pay for everything.

What’s the point of this? Do I have nothing better to do than discuss student politics? Why am I doing this?

Because I ceased being indifferent on Sunday night. Because I wanted to show people that they made the wrong decision while voting back in August. I really didn’t mind before. The winners completely deserved to win the election. But not all of them have done justice to their jobs, not all of them have lived up to their promises. Mr. VP, where have you been all semester? What have you been doing? Mr. VP, why hasn’t anyone seen you working? Why did even the neutral administration take notice of your curious absence and comment on it?

I’m referring to a person in the administration (not faculty) who, back when the IBA Convocation was being organized, commented that the GS was working very hard but the VP was nowhere to be found.

You’ve given us the stones to throw, and we refrained for a long time. Thank you for the actions on Sunday, they sparked us into life.

When I uploaded the photo, I didn’t realize at that time how much the situation would escalate. Maybe I failed to see that it would invite hundreds of comments. And there’s a lot in those comments – from both warring sides – that I don’t agree with.

Abeer was wrong when she said that Aiman and Luqman called me to unite the batch. We had frequent conversations, but the vast majority of those were completely nonpolitical and were personal. Maybe 5 out of 50 calls were political in nature. And that too only during election season.

Onto the debate about this debate…

I believe there’s nothing wrong with having this discussion on a public forum. Because I don’t believe in hiding anything. Agar gand hai to kabhi na kabhi saamne aa hi jaye gi. Chupaane ka koi faida nahin hota. If the truth is dirty, then it will stink, and no matter how much you try to hide it, people will find out because it STINKS.

That’s what these letters are too – the dirty truth. And I uploaded them because I believe that people should see them – that they should be public knowledge – that people should not be deceived. That’s why I’m engaging in this debate – because I’m tired of indifferent acceptance. Someone compared this to national politics – and that someone is right. Our IBA politics IS just as dirty. And there is nothing to be gained from denying that. There is much to be gained from accepting that and trying to fix the problem. In fact, publicly admitting a problem is generally considered to be a sign of maturity. Part of the problem is a lack of transparency. And we need more transparency. That’s what the media does. The media is a tool for disseminating information.

Facebook = media
Information = the letter

It’s a democracy, right? Power is granted to individuals because the majority of the masses votes for them? So then those individuals must be answerable to the masses too, correct?

That’s what this was about.


This was NOT meant to be PERSONAL. There’s a DIFFERENCE between a PROFESSIONAL CRITICISM and a PERSONAL insult. My intention is not to belittle or insult anyone but to stimulate debate that will hopefully bring about a positive change somewhere, in some way. I personally feel that many changes made this year to IBA have been very positive – a better system for selecting managers of societies, empowering those managers, establishing accountability, limiting bureaucratic hurdles, and more. However, more changes need to be made. For example, the horse-trading evident in Letter 2 must stop – and it can only stop if a better system of checks and balances is established. It can only stop when systems are implemented properly. (I don’t think that the system was implemented too well this year.)

I haven’t called anyone names. I haven’t victimized anyone. And so I feel that people who are acting like victims are making a fuss out of it and need to grow up. If you can’t take a few people criticizing you on an online forum, I shudder to think what would happen to you in the real world. Mujhe kisi se dushmani nahin hai. Agar koi is cheez ko bahana bana ke dushmani karna chahta hai, woh uska faisla hai. I did not, and do not, intend to hurt anyone. ‘Nuff said.

As for those who have been doing their best to discredit me – I am secure in the knowledge that I have not done anything intrinsically wrong. My conscience is clear. In any case, I answer to a much higher authority than any of you. So sod off.



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