Thursday, April 7, 2011

Random Walk - VI

link to part 4: here (relevant for part 6)

link to part 5: here

Tarun got elected as president of student council with overwhelming majority. It came as surprise to nobody. Never before in the history of student council had someone won the election with such huge margin. The overall mood in college was jubilant. Everybody from students to guards was happy. It was perfectly possible that had anyone of them been ask the significance of Tarun as president, they would have either struggled or would have read out his agenda. But Tarun had helped everyone at some point or the other and that was good enough reason. Legally or illegally, morally or immorally; it didn’t matter. He was a friend of public and now he had taken first major step to be their representative in true sense.

Tarun’s agenda was very simple. It had no mention of Tarun’s qualities or reasons why he should be elected. Everybody knew about them secretly. It was agenda devoted completely to students’ welfare, grievance redressal and above all: promise to be representative of ‘student voice.’ The agenda talked about the need of college run by student committees. There was proposal of introduction of committees which didn’t exist till now like PR committee, industry-interface committee and social responsibility committee. Social responsibility committee’s role was explained at length and how it would give a platform to the budding selfless volunteers who want to give back to society. The most controversial of proposal was the introduction of committee which would work with college administration and will have a greater role than currently ascribed to student council. This had caused quite a stir and Tarun’s opposing party had complained against him, claiming that Tarun is making frivolous claims and should not be allowed to mislead students. The claim was rejected, stating that the board has passed resolution to allow greater role of students into administrative activities. Sons of two board members were close friends of Tarun. The current admin-student coordinator resigned. The young lady appointed in his place was relatively inexperienced and was popular among students for all the wrong reasons, but she was in good books of chairman of the board who was a widower. There was no need to question purpose of any committee. PR committee was supposed to bring more awareness among general public about various initiatives of college; industry-interface committee was supposed to bring more job opportunities.

Few days before the election, a social activist had instigated a movement in country by proposing his mode of fighting corruption through a bill. The country was in frenzy and people were supporting the social activist without bothering to understand the bill and possible consequences, like illiterate villagers who run towards a quack who tries to cure the effect and ignore qualified doctor who questions cause. Tarun wasted no time in declaring his support towards the movement and held one-day hunger strike in college. His act received huge media attention.

The day Tarun won election, he returned home early, after few mandatory formalities and a small party. He reached his room and stood watching himself in mirror. He recalled how shy he was and how fellow students used to make fun of him in class 5th. He recalled how his trusted friend had walked away with accolades for the science project which they had presented in a competition, a project which was solely the creation of Tarun. He was in class 7th then. He recalled how he had forced his parents to switch him to a school which was supposed to be bastion of ultra-rich. He himself had provided them with connections to talk about and a letter to be presented to principal. He was in class 8th. He was appointed as head-boy of school in class 9th. The events since that day till today had been as per plan, except the relationship with Sheetal. He saw changes in his own expressions in mirror when he thought of Sheetal. This had not gone according to plan. “Why?” he thought, but shrugged next moment and tried to put that thought out of mind; like he had done, during his initial rise- years when he occasionally questioned himself about his end motive when he was alone. He had stopped questioning himself about such irrelevant questions. He recalled the celebrations when he was elected as President today and the view of city as it appeared when he went to the college roof. “This is my platform”, he had thought.

He felt contempt for those who had immediately sought favours from him, explicitly or implicitly. He scolded himself mockingly and uttered his principle of life: “This is not an age to rule people by force but it is age of ruling people by compassion.” The next two years as president of student council is just the beginning I wanted, he thought, as he sat down to draft list of his candidates for various committees.

to be continued...

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