pushing back on power trips
People from other parts of the world may find it revealing to learn about the authoritarian cultures1 2 within some higher education institutions in India. My previous blog post highlighted my experience from 2008.
Here’s an incident I recall.
I was casually talking with my female friend on campus one day when the principal suddenly approached us. My friend, sensing trouble, quickly left the scene. But I stood my ground, determined not to be intimidated.
The principal launched a verbal tirade, ready to find fault with anything we did. However, I maintained my composure and did not change my demeanor. I stared at him directly, head held high, politely but firmly signaling I would not be bullied.
Clearly, he was on a power trip, deriving satisfaction from micromanaging and humiliating students. But I refused to give him the reaction he sought. Thankfully, he had no grounds to penalize me and eventually fled in frustration.
I’m thankful I stood up to the principal’s nonsense and didn’t back down from asserting my dignity. It was a proud moment, but it also reminded me why I needed to continue pushing back against overbearing rules that cross lines of human decency.
r/Chennai, Why aren't many people vocal about the atrocities of Engineering colleges in Tamilnadu?↩
r/India, Tamil Nadu’s gender prisons: Engineering colleges with medieval mindsets.↩