From the Patron

Dear Fellow Stephanians,

This is to thank all of you for the wonderful experience that you made possible last evening. I must say how encouraged I feel on account of the positive energy the meeting generated. I have no doubt at all that this marks the dawn of a new era in the life of our cherished Alma Mater. 

As President Ved Marwah exhorted us at the beginning, let us talk less and do more. Or, let us walk the talk. (But let us talk to each other even as we walk, for talking is the outworking of the love we share. Let us talk about what we do for the College). We now have a somewhat nationally representative Executive, though its 'national' character needs to be enunciated and consolidated a little more. The College is very fortunate in having a President and a Vice President who, apart from distinguishing themselves in serving the nation in key portfolios, are also widely respected authors. I attach special significance to this, as we need to pay attention to the enhancement of the intellectual and academic stature of the College in the days ahead. I intend to do all I can in this respect, both personally and institutionally.  Incidentally, the out-going Vice President, Mr. Probir Sen, too is an exceptionally lucid writer. I have posted his piece on IA on the College website. (All alumni are invited to share their writings with the College and they shall be posted similarly.)

All of you are in the Executive for your proven merit and distinction. We also have a mix of experience and youth, continuity and change. The gender balance is a bit skewed. But we can together address this. Our principal merit is that we love our Alma Mater with our whole heart. That given, everything else is taken care of. 

As most of us realize, and are concerned about, the alumni are, as of today, a trifle fractured. I seek your help and guidance in stitching together the frayed edges of this beautiful and invaluable tapestry. Please reach out! Our bonding and belonging together as Stephanians cannot be compromised for partisan loyalties or clique formations. 

The positivity that pervaded the first meeting of the AEC needs to be consolidated and enlarged. At a time when negativity is threatening to be a national epidemic,  we need to create an alternative ambience. Thank God, it is possible and happening!  

From here on, I shall be recede progressively and expect the Executive to cut the path of its engagement with our Alma Mater. As a textbook on obstetrics states (about the quality of an obstetrician), I must develop the virtue of "sensitive watchfulness and masterly inactivity". I would only submit to all of you that periodic meetings are necessary, especially at this stage, to energize the Executive and to make the College community also feel the reality of the dawning of a new era.

 We are not just an alumni Executive. We are into a silent revolution! We can pioneer the meaningful engagement of an alumni body with its alma mater in benchmarking excellence in higher education. In this process please don't get dispirited by propaganda blitzkrieg, much of which issues from sheer ignorance about the ground realities in College which is being exploited by a handful of people. As General Moshe Dayan of Israel (the famous 6-day war, 1967) used to say, "We let others assume that are duds and prove that we are not!"  The best response to mockery or misrepresentation is fruitfulness. Remember the old poem, "Those who came to scoff, remained to pray!" Why wouldn't it happen in St. Stephen's? But the mockers have to be enabled to "come" to this Mecca of Education which is the challenge before the Executive. From a distance people can only throw stones. And those who wish only to pelt stones will prefer to stay at a distance.; for distance is the very oxygen of psychology of pelting stones. The alumni can transform the stones into flowers. (Else why do a million flowers bloom on the campus of our Alma Mater?) Mercifully this applies always, in every instance, only to a handful of people. The rest are taken for a ride through misrepresentations and terminological inexactitudes.  

Plunging into the developmental throes of the College is now no longer an optional luxury. It is a survival issue for the institution. The Alumni are the hope of the College. In the days ahead, I propose to engage with this issue from an institutional perspective and see how best to write this into the life and policies of the College. I need your help and guidance in this as well. 

All of you are busy people! But only the busy have any time. In the years ahead, you will have to donate your time sacrificially to the College. Time is a function of love. And time is needed from you not merely for attending all Executive meetings but also, beyond that, in transferring the vision we shall develop together to as many of our fellow Stephanians as possible. You can be extremely effective, if you put your heart and soul into it, which i am sure you will not withhold from your Alma Mater. 

Finally, a word of gratitude to those who have accepted gracefully to share the burden of being office bearers. To Shri. Ved Marwah, Dr. S. Y. Quraishi, Bobby Kewalramani, Vijay Chibber and to Rohit Bansal,a big "Thank You". May you have a wonderful and joyful time serving our Alma Mater zealously and fruitfully as I am sure you will. 

I wish to place on record my profound gratitude to Mr. Probir Sen for being the Vice President for a few years and to Mr. Arvind Malhotra for looking after the Alumni Association and Executive for a very, very  long time. I am sure that we will continue to have their help and guidance. 

The College loves you. Ad Dei Gloriam!





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