The Cheshire Cat : The Senate Agenda

Cheshire Cat was a humour publication in IIT Kanpur, launched in 1976 by a bunch of comic journalism enthusiasts, led by Mahadevan Ramesh. Some of the people who have been associated with the Cheshire Cat in the past include – Deepak Khanna, Mahadevan Ramesh, K. S. Balaji, David Thomas, P. R. Reddy, M. Vedhanayagam, K. Surinder Lal, Ajai Banerjee, A. P. Mukherjee, Satish Kaul, Sunil Gupta, Girish Pande and Probir D Satish Kaul, Sunil Gupta, Girish Pande and Probir Dutt.

Disclaimer: We do not intend to mock or humiliate anyone within or without any faculty or student administrative bodies. However, we do not guarantee that any similarity with any statement ever made in the Senate is purely coincidental.

Welcome to the strange world of the Senate, where black is white and white is black; where right is wrong and wrong is right; where confusion runs riot and obfuscators have a field day; where anything under the sun may be discussed as long as it is irrelevant; where censure motions and allegations are hurled about as freely as the darts in the pandal; where much heat is generated but no light. The political skirmishes fought here between the fiercely bearded, intensely bespectacled left wing intellectuals in their khadi kurtas and the loud-voiced, close-cropped rightist goons encased in their khakhi pantaloons is a treat to watch.

The role of  the Senate can best be summed up in this quotation by Bertrand Russel: ‘My conception of hell is a large, dimly lit conference room, where .the damned sit around a table. The chain rises and says “Well, now that this point is settled, we shall proceed to the next item on the agenda”. The devil rises and says “With regard to the last item, I express my reservations about your clarification.” And so it goes on till eternity.

All these years, the senators have served the community selflessly and thanklessly, by passing resolutions and preparing demand charters etc. to improve the general welfare. Should they decide to improve their own welfare, they might prepare a demand charter similar to this:

THE SENATORS’ CHARTER OF DEMANDS:

1. The senators must be considered above suspicion and must be held in the highest esteem throughout the land.

2. The director must refrain from displaying temper tantrums. Not more than one resignation per month will be tolerated.

3. The senators should be doled out a special ‘No work’ and a monthly allowance.

4. The dogs in the campus should cease copulating henceforth.

5. Arrangements should be made to publish the senate proceedings in the ‘Pioneer’, along with live coverage on IIT TV.

6. There should be total de-centralisation in all departments and in all spheres. We could begin with ‘De-central workshop’, ‘Health de-centre’ and Kanpur de-central railway station. Each senator should be permitted to set his own exams.

7. All people should speak the truth. The cold war between the USA and the USSR should cease immediately. (Apparently they have accomplished this.)

8. Senate meeting should be held once a week; at the Bunty’s, with booze on the house.

9. In view of the erratic transportation facilities, a tempo should be made available for the exclusive use of the senators. This should be parked permanently in front of the Director’s home.

THESE DEMANDS ARE ABSOLUTELY NON-NEGOTIABLE AND SHOULD BE  ACCEPTED IN TOTO WITHIN TWENTY-FOUR HOURS, FAILING WHICH THE  SENATE RESERVES THE RIGHT TO TAKE THEM BACK.