Since I was little, I was always taught, whether at school or at home, that to be able to become something in life, you need to master or excel in a particular domain of your interest. Whether it was a particular stream, language, sport or art, the key to not just be successful but to be the best in the field I chose, was to:
Have a little more than just a ‘fair’ idea about interested field.
Have proper education and attain experience in the said field.
Be the best possible candidate for it.
These are the basic commandments of common sense. But when it comes to our modern civilizations, the age old sayings is as appropriate as can be, “common sense is not so common”, especially in the recent case of making a decision in appointing dignitaries that created an outrage among students and then, the controversy leaving questions still unfolded.
The government’s decision to appoint Chetan Chauhan as the head of India’s premier fashion institute, National Institute of Fashion Technology, was naturally met with plenty of criticism. The opposition parties had their share of fun and mocking. But this wasn’t just another case of political disagreement, but more of common sense being beaten to the ground.
Chetan Chauhan is a former Indian Cricketer who played forty test matches for India.
With no experience, formal education and authenticity in the field of fashion, no one can understand why such a decision was made. Chetan Chauhan himself made a statement saying, “Preference is given to people in the party”.
This statement comes as no surprise to us, given the fact that this is how things work in our country based on the sole principle, that is, ‘the Party above all.’
But the proposed naivety behind such appointments still baffles us. A man who is a cricketer is heading our country’s premier fashion institute becomes a curious case of nostalgia, remember the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan for the chair of FTII, and the followed controversy and rage on it for months still demand ‘fair clarifications’.
And we all know, how Pahlaj Nihalani is contributing to the censorship more than to the art of bollywood. Beep it!
India is famous around the world for its skilled professionals. India produces the best of world’s chefs, engineers, models, actors, business administrators, athletes and yet when it comes to our domestic appointments, we have to look at untrained, unskilled and even uneducated people. Are we really willing to look up to them?
When we have some of the best fashion designers in the country, like Manish Malhotra, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Rina Dhaka, Anamika Khanna making us proud around the world then why do we need an ex-cricketer to head a renowned fashion institute?
Why is politics so intricately transfixed in the educational institutions of the country, that a place of learning which teaches senses loses its integrity and motto?
What can an ex-cricketer who has already claimed to contribute only 20% of his time to the institute, since his business and DDCA appointments take up the rest of his time, do for the institute and its students? What is the future of such an institute which boasts of alumni as renowned as Prabal Gurung, now that it’s stuck in political disasters?
If this is how things work in the country, then what are we preaching to our kids? It isn’t necessary to be the best (driving yet to be) at what we do but to rather be with a party with the best possible access to avenues and appointments.
Is this really the future we’re headed to? How will NIFT remain any better than those private universities we see on our way out of the city, usually headed by businessmen trying to evade tax and make some more money?
And, to justify the note, you just cannot say that just because ‘you dress well’, you have a ‘valid point’ just like that.
The debate continues but,
Are we ever going to be answered?
Crafted with brevity for select stories to make certain you see what others don't; sent every Friday
Two exclusive fortnightly newsletters, sent on Saturday alternately
a) Reel and Real with Rony Patra
b) Mixer with Ayush Garg