Participative Democracy

January 9, 2009

This post was already published in Youth Unite

Participative Democracy

He was in his third year of college. And since the semester examinations were still one month away, he and his class mates had nothing much to do. Since they had nothing to do, they wanted to do something. But what? There was a brain storming session during the lunch time. And they decided on three things. Since, the interviews and campus placements were just a year away, they wanted training on group discussions, presentations on stage and other personality development related activities. They wanted to be trained at least two hours per week by a professional trainer. Second, they wanted to learn at least one foreign language. German, French and Japanese were short listed. They were ready to stay back after the college hours, and if required pay some extra fees for it too. Third, since all work (!) and no play makes Jack a dull boy, they wanted some empty land near the college to be leveled and made suitable to play cricket.

So, now they had decided on what they wanted to do. But how to get it done was still to be addressed.

“Macha, let us all go to the HOD room together and ask him to take it up with the principal”

“Yes da, they collect so much fees from us, and they should at least do this much”

“But I am telling you, all this is a time waste da. The management is only interested in how much money they get and what percentage of results they are able to achieve. They will not even look into all this”

“Then, let us go to the Chairman directly and talk to him. If he doesn’t meet us, we will go on a strike”

“All you guys will talk now. But when the time comes for action, all of you people will come back to the class rooms if the management doesn’t allow you to take up the semester exams. I know about you guys”

And so, they were not able to come to a consensus on how to get what they wanted. The lunch time banter was forgotten pretty soon.

After a month, while going back from the college in the college bus, a neighboring department HOD was casually enquiring with him on what the students in his department felt about the college. Since he remembered the lunch room banter incident one month back, he told the HOD about the same. Including the three things that they wanted from the management.

“So, did you guys write all this in a piece of paper and put it in the suggestion box?”

“Which suggestion box?”

“Haven’t you seen the suggestion box outside the office?”

“I am not sure”

“How many times do you go to the office?”

“Once in a week….”

“Then you should have noticed it. It is right next to the entrance. Anyway, write it in a piece of paper and drop it there tomorrow”

He told about this to a couple of his classmates, but they advised him not to waste his paper and ink. Still, he dropped it next day without even writing his name and department.

To his surprise, the first two suggestions were implemented the very next semester.

This is a true story.

And if you think the title doesn’t match with the content, think again.


Destination Infinity



  1. Well written, DI! We did have a suggestion box in our campus. But while some of the suggestions got implemented, others did not 😦

  2. Very nice DI 🙂 I liked this one much

  3. Where did this happen!?! I wish there was something similar in our college campus compound too!
    the title did justice to the content. it clearly shows that participation is the key to democracy’s success. if this gets implemented on a bigger scale, every nation would be a happy place if not the best place to live in! 🙂

  4. @Raj: Were we from the same college? 🙂

    @Kanagu: Thanks,

    @Su: In one of those private engineering colleges in Chennai. It could very well happen if we throw out our prejudices and judgements.

    Destination Infinity

  5. […] Participative Democracy […]

  6. […] Participative Democracy […]

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