Friday, January 27, 2006


'We the People', hosted by Barkha Dutt is being shot in Chennai this Sunday, 29th Jan. The topic is 'Is Chennai conservative?' If you'd like to participate please mail, with all your contact details and what you do. (This does not guarantee participation since there is an outer limit) Not surprisingly we've got lots of confirmations from people with liberal views. So it will be great if you're actually someone who supports a dress code and conservatism. In case the mail bounces... just mail me. :)


Frank Partisan said...

Part of the college experience is dressing decadently.

I added a link to this blog at mine at

Sheks said...

wish this issue gets focus in Big Fight.we cant tolerate the VC's acts(i'm frm the same campus)

Anonymous said...

Alaphia, me wuz outta town the weekend. Off the net on my own choice. Pls keep us updated on this through your blog.

Planning to land up this week in AU campus in bermudas and sleeveless t-shirt. With my pony-tail let loose I may probably be arrested :-)


Vivek said...

The rules are more to the likes of Taliban rather than progressive university in a democratic country. In my opinion such immensely unpopular rules do not get much milage and will die out soon. This is based on my experience at the same college where we had lots of ridiculous rules during the Kalanidhi era. (around 4 years back)

I have written about it in my blog Read when u find time.

Anonymous said...

I saw the Program yesterday. Conclusion: CHENNAI is the best place to live in INDIA, it has the best of both modern and conservative.

Alaphia Zoyab said...

Hey Renegade,
Thanks for linking to my blog. i did check out yours.

Alaphia Zoyab said...

Hi Sheks,
We did indeed want to have a BIG Fight on this but once again the VC refused. We called him a day after we broke the story about the letter being written to the President and he was simply hopping mad that we could dare to ask him to come to our studio next. We were ready to fly him down to Delhi but the man obviously cannot stomach any criticism of his grand master plan to cleanse the campus. Hope you watched 'We the People'...there were words of comfort there for you.

Alaphia Zoyab said...

Hi Don,

Do land up and take a picture of the VC's expression when he encounters you in bermudas and long hair. Then sell the picture and make lots and lots of money.

Sheks said...

i c!he's proved yet again tht he wont come to terms with any1 who's against him.wish the president infuses some sense into him(provided our letter reaches rashtrapati bhavan) :)

Chennai chatter said...

IS there anyplace we can watch the show online? Would nt mind paying a few bux :)

THe topic seems to be revolving around the Anna Uni VC. Whatever happened to those cops who are keen being a disgrace to the city? I feel thats more important and reflects on the city more than wierd rules by some VC who probably had a deprived childhood..

Anonymous said...

Glad to see there's some attention on the idiocy of the current VC of AU, and focus on the idiocy of some of the cops in Madras.

As an alumni, and with my dad having worked there as prof for many years, I can tell you that the VC post is mostly a political appointment, by the CM's office. The previous record for the worst VC was probably Kalanidhi. He did a lot of stuff for the campus, laid roads etc., but absolutely screwed up on everthing else. The VC's before, and after, Kalanidhi were much better.

The problem with these idiots is that they want to focus attention on irrelevencies, thereby making things like the quality of education unseen. They have such a small mind and no clue on how to make, what is still IMO, one of the best institutions in South India, stay its course, never mind improving it.

There are a few profs who actually love to teach and hate the administration. Too few and far between. What is deperately needed at AU? Can the VC answer this question?

Most people don't know that these days Teaching and Research Assistants conduct most classes. Now this is fine in the US, where grad students are actually the cream of the crop, but here? The guys who join AU after doing GATE are usually from the bottom of the s***-heap. Not that there are no good students among them, just that they are vastly under-qualified to teach the brightest and the best of Tamil Nadu.

Too long a post.. Continue the good work. And while you criticize, try to suggest what needs to be done better. As a journo, that might be hard, but I think it's much better to see constructive suggestions after blistering criticism. But what do I know, I don't watch TV :-D...

Anonymous said...

Not to harp on the AU issue and completely ignoring the equally appalling issue the tamil daily intruding on a private party, but hey ....

Some people have said that the VC is well within his rights to imopse dress code - I would agree with it if he had done it for the right reasons (e.g. eve teasing gone out of hand on campus; incidents of indecent exposure; etc.). But, in his own words on Sun TV, he said he is doing it to preserve "tamizh kalacharam". The last time I checked, the charter of the VC is to promote technical education in the engineering colleges, not preserve tamil culture as he narrowly chooses to interpret it. That's not his job. It is simply an imposition of his personal values on the student body and has nothing to do with advancing their education.

Some others have argued that "if you don't like it go some other college" - Well, first of all, this is a PUBLIC institution, so why should I go somewhere else? Secondly, these rules are applicable to the Technical institutions in the entire state, so not much choice to go elsewhere.

At the end of the day, what rankles is the motivation of the guy - as can be gathered from his own pronouncements in the media. He said on Sun TV that the reason for the Cell Phone ban is to prevent cheating in exams because students have camera phones! If that is the case, then why raid the women's hostel at night - was there an examination going on?

I wonder what he will do if we were to show him college age pictures of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and others clad in shorts and T shirt. It didn't stop them from becoming billionaires.

I can go on, but I will stop here and spare you more of my rants.....

Anonymous said...

Offoh....why the blog is not moving. Busy!!!

VHS said...

Caught up with the show on TV. The panel and audience were more evocative than the ones observed in the special episode, on the same issue, conducted by Sreenivasan Jain...but for the comments by the 'Doctor' from BJP. Wonder what she teaches in the medical college!

rajesh said...

I saw both the programs. Burkha Dutt's and Srinivasan Jain's. If the audience present there represent the city, then Mata Hari represents Meerabhai. Most were from upper class public figures.

Our clothes indicate our intentions. Business men wear suits to tell the clients of their sincerity. The netas prefer their kurtas to symbolize their kinship with the common man. A sex worker will wear an attire that will attract customers.

Fashion industry in the last 100 years has made women's clothing more revealing. Men's garment has remained the same. Ever wondered why? Essentially, women are made to identify themselves with their bodies and not their personalities.

One can understand the basic human trait to seek attention, to be the centre of attraction, etc...but the biological signals that a man gets from a woman "who exercises her freedom to dress" can't be disputed.

Wearing tight jeans and tighter t-shirts will attract second looks from male accountants, ministers, beggars, perverts alike.

So, the question is...are you opposing the ban because 1) it is against the right of an individual to dress as he/she likes. Or 2) it predefines a select list of clothing as 'indecent'?

In any case, is asking for decency in a place of study too much for my generation?

Manasa. K .Kumar said...

hey alaphia
this is manasa ..i met u in mylapore journalism class ...of corz u wont remember me !
but shd tell u grt job ur doing in NDTV !!!
the live news along wid vishnu som is awesumm the way u two co cordinate!

hehe so u take care
manasa kumar
p.s -(check out my blogggggggg!)