However, he made some wrong points:
“Why can’t we have a convocation ceremony in simple clothes? With the flowing robe and hat, it’s like being decked up like medieval vicars and popes. This practice started in 13th century Oxford. This attire can be stifling in this season...You can come to the convocation in shirts and trousers. Why the robe? The hat is worn only so that it can be thrown up in the air at the end of the ceremony. Why do you wear a hat if you have to throw it?’’
Throwing the hat is symbolic. We throw a lot of things during religious ceremonies…often as purging. This denotes some sort of freedom. As regards Oxford, we flash such credentials at every given opportunity.
“I’ve still not been able to figure out why we stick to such barbaric colonial relics.’’
Colonial it is, not barbaric. In fact, it strived for a specifically stifling dress code to portray a civilisational mode of pomp and pageantry as opposed to savage crudity. It is ceremonial attire to confer a degree, to accept an achievement into the hall of fame. While we must understand that these clothes do not seem appropriate now, there is the more crucial question about how education itself has become a downgraded and ‘barbaric’.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has announced education for all as a basic need. It is honourable in intent, but where are the questions: why do people drop out? Where are the schools in the interiors? Who sells question papers in the open market prior to exam? How has technology intervened in the cheating process?
Also, what about the farce of honorary doctorates being given to ministers and actors and celebrities?
What after discarding the robes? Some more thinking.
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What is this?
The caption says:
In this handout picture released by The Press Information Bureau on March 31, 2010, Incoming Chief of Army staff General V.K. Singh (R) shakes hands with outgoing Chief General Deepak Kapoor (L) in New Delhi”.
I am surprised. I am not sure about the specifics required, but for a profession that talks about protocol and how mandatory it is, why is the Chief of Staff seated? Isn’t it expected that he should stand up? It is not as though some minion is paying respects to him.
If not as protocol perhaps courtesy?