Kanpur. Hundreds of students of local Imperial College of Engineering (ICE) are protesting against the appointment of Lokesh Pal, an honest lab-assistant who is refusing to “help” students in their practical examinations. Students have threatened to go on a fast unto death in front of ICE Dean’s office if Ganesh Gupta, the old lab-assistant of the Power Electronics lab at ICE for the last eight years was not brought back.
Senior management at ICE took this extreme step last week after they received repeated complaints from lecturers about the unethical ways Ganesh used to adopt to let students cheat in the practical examinations. Ganesh’s sacking was quickly followed by the appointment of Lokesh, who came with very positive recommendations.
Things were going unexpectedly smooth for the new lab-assistant until he turned down a student’s demand to slip in a chit with a circuit diagram on it.
“Would you believe what he told me? Practicals reflect your true understanding of the subject!! I mean who talks like that these days, and who is he?” said Kapil Birbal, a shocked final year student who claims that Lokesh Pal’s ideas were in direct conflict with the noble ideas on which ICE was founded.
Kapil claimed that the “constitution” of ICE didn’t allow any lab-assistant to pass judgments on students.
“Look what it says on page 23; only professors will have the right to assess students,” Kapil showed the constitution of ICE, a copy of which he was given when he took admission four years ago. Kapil has been using that copy to dust off his bed and cupboard till now, but realized its importance once Lokesh rejected his demands.
Following this revelation, students on ICE campus have come together shouting slogans to bring back their old idol cum friend 2G, as they used to call Ganesh Gupta lovingly.
Deepu Chauhan, a third year ICEian recalls Ganesh, “He was more than just a lab-assistant who would shell out resistors and capacitors on demand. He was to us, what VVS Laxman is to Indian cricket team. Why would anyone keep him out?”
“What many forget is how good he was with strategies and counter-strategies. The way he used to take the external examiner out of the lab with some genuine-looking excuse was a work of genius,” adds Deepu, “Lokesh is no match to him. He doesn’t even have popular support.”
While all the lecturers maintain that the sacking of Ganesh, while unfortunate, didn’t in any way deprive the institute of someone who could have brought laurels to the community, students continue to miss 2G, who according to them was a joyful and accommodating guy, who loved to fag, booze, and occasionally eve-tease.
“Eyes! Yeah, he had beautiful eyes. Eyes, which were full of life and hope. I would never forget the way he used to guide me using only his twinkling eyes to the chit having the easiest experiment,” said Abhishek, who once shared the phone number of his female classmate with Ganesh as a “reward” for Ganesh’s helpful ways.
“I know many would remember him for his modesty, others for his gleeful eyes, but what I would remember him for will be his contribution to my good health. Allow me to put things into perspective. On the eve of the practical exam while majority would be resorting to pot smoking and other such measures to ward off tension, I would just relax with the image of him in my mind handing over the cheat sheet secretly. If it was not for him, I would have been an addict. I owe it to the great guy! He is my angel,” said Jamil, who recently started the anti-corruption chapter of ICE to support Anna Hazare.