How we used to ask for votes back in the day…

By Krishna Janardhan,

Our batch was the first of the newly established 5 year course which was also an accelerated batch and subsequently de-established. But then that is not relevant to our story…

In the third year of the program, I had become Gymkhana General Secretary, Social and Cultural and the next step was to take a shot at becoming Gymkhana VP. But that too is not relevant to our story…

It is considered over ambitious to stand for VP in your pre-final year against an opponent in the final year, but my friends insisted, I complied, and although I lost, it was comforting to know that it was by a smaller margin than normal. But then, that again has nothing to do with this story…

I had a gutsy set of friends led by Bhaskar Sengupta, ably supported by Ranjan Dutta, Ravi Chai, and Punwani who decided that it was time to even the odds and here is an extract from a mail from Bhaskar.

Bhaskar writes…

‘My recollection is a bit sketchy
as it was so long ago. Here is what I remember:

Our Plan was to use the IIT tower
that has an entrance through the library for the election campaign. We got a
poster made, using a long piece of cloth, about 15 feet long and 2 feet wide,
that could be rolled up and hidden under our arm, as we knew it would not be
allowed inside the Library.

Sometime around evening about 9
pm, two of us, I think it may have been Ranjan or Pun with me, went to the
library with the rolled up poster under our arms. We were supposed to deposit
books or any other materials at the door, but we managed to sneak past the
guard and get in safely with the poster. We quickly walked up the stairs of the
tower to the top, unfurled the poster, tied it to a rail, and quietly climbed
own and walked back to the hall (R K Hall).

The poster simply said in bold
letters “VOTE FOR JANARDHAN”

Next morning a few of us had
small smiles on our faces as we cycled to classes at 7 AM as everybody stared
up at the poster dangling from top of the tower.

When we left for lunch at 11 AM,
the poster was gone and it was rumoured that our Director had it removed when
he saw it, considering it a violation of election rules as well as institute
policy. Even a notice was put up declaring the tower out of bounds for students
without special, very special permission, which was never granted after that incident.

The incident was talked about for
a while and then forgotten, but I think Janardhan might have lost by a larger
margin but for this stunt…’

Continuing with our series of alumni stories from IITs, we present you this story from IIT Kharagpur, written by Mr. Krishna Janardhan, alumnus of their 1965 EE batch.

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