I am simply an instrument. I don’t know what the design of this nature is, but I thank God for making me what I am today. -Dr. Kiran Bedi, on her achievements.
Over the years, IIT Roorkee has seen many prominent speakers delivering speeches in our hangar-like Convocation Hall. The director, Dr. Pradipta Banerjee’s remark on how this hall had never been that jam-packed, was both apt and clearly indicative of the enthusiasm showed by the IITR junta.
Her talk revolved mostly around the concept of ‘Leadership with Conscience ’. Conscience, as Dr. Bedi explained it, is a person’s ability to discern right from wrong. In a holistic way, she tried to propose a solution to the quintessential problem of lack of moral discipline among the country’s population. She believed that this lack of morality could be attributed to the absence of ethical education.
Citing an example of the chivalry of IAS officer Durga Sakthi Nagpal, Uttar Pradesh, she strongly emphasised the fact that some of very crucial elements of a person’s character like discipline, moral quotient, time management and courage are absent from our education system’s target areas. She also slammed the authorities in-charge of the state of Uttarakhand in light of the recent disaster.
“Someone should go to jail. I won’t name them but the truth is, the whole accident was an administrative failure. A bad failure. If the IAS and IPS officers had been bold enough to rise against the unauthorised and illegal construction on the mountains, a huge number of lives could have been saved”.
Dr. Kiran Bedi’s presence quite easily left an imprint on the listeners’ mind. But it will be more interesting to observe what the institute authorities have to say on the prospect of a new course solely for the purpose of conscience development. Wonder what the humanities department is upto these days?