Monday, 29 October 2007

Alsatian in IIT

Last Thursday, former CEC, Mr. T.N. Seshan delivered a talk spanning over an hour at IIT M. After that, he answered questions for nearly an hour. His energy at his age amazed me.

Here are some of his more memorable quotes (in no particular order) from the talk. Many of them are funny. The fun element may not strike one now but Mr. Seshan’s manner of conveying them made the audience burst into peals of laughter.

  1. ‘What do you call yourselves? IIT Chennai or Madras? Still Madras. One of these days, they’ll pass a legislation and make you change your name!’
  2. ‘From just about 20 universities at the time of independence, we now have 300, some deemed, some doomed, some open, some closed!’
  3. ‘There is an age for making love too.’ – when asked by a student that the minimum age for Lok Sabha should be reduced from 25 to 21. No doubt that the question was stupid and the guy kuntry.
  4. ‘In medieval North India, there were many kings. A fought with B, B with C, C with D and D married A’s daughter.’
  5. ‘The Portuguese gave away Bombay as dowry to get their princess married. What an ugly princess she must be! My father-in-law did not even give me two plots of land. But my wife isn’t ugly.’
  6. ‘I’m not referring to any family.’ – after talking about dynastic politics
  7. ‘Some things are best left undefined.’ – when asked if the Constitution clearly defined the roles of the judiciary and legislature especially in the light of recent controversies and a hyperactive judiciary.
  8. ‘Someone remarked that the Calcutta HC has the right to pass an order to make a pilot flying in mid-air stop.’ – on the Indian judiciary
  9. ‘I will not talk about reservation. OC! BC! BBC!’
  10. On Mughal Rule:
    1. ‘Sher Shah built the roads which Mr. Vajpayee now made four lane.’
    2. ‘Akbar wanted integration of Hindus and Muslims. He started Din-I-Ilahi and for integration, started marrying Rajput princesses. By the time he died, Din-I-Ilahi was gone and the princesses widows.’
    3. ‘Aurangzeb was the first Taliban.’
  11. ‘Follow your dharma always. And don’t tell me it’s Hindu.’

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