When Father Rex got screwed
People were shouting, abusing, displaying written slangs on white sheets and the crowd was roaring. For the first time in my life, I saw a proper mob of around 500 students and that too in a conservative college where there is nothing called student-power. Crazy bunch of people yelling and the entire populace shouting slogans or slangs (whatever you wanna call) with them. It all started hardly an hour back from then when a small group of 50 people sat protesting in front of the block because Father Rex addressed a girl calling her a ‘prostitute’ in front of her own dad. I did not believe at first. It was all vague and just not making any sense. Why would he call her that? No one can be that stupid, let alone the genius Rex.
Now that I have mentioned the name, I know that I just can’t go on without his proper intro. Two weeks back when the new session started he came as our VP. Like every new VP, the first day he threatened us, we thought he was just being strict. We took it light. The second day, he started suspending people, we thought he was paranoid. We did not take it light. The third day, he started abusing. We took it seriously, but only inside the walls of our classrooms.
Everyone had a problem with him because he had a problem with everything everyone did. He would shout at girls for wearing T shirt accusing them of doing some kind of fashion parade at college. People without ID cards were sent back home immediately. And people with ID cards feared of being caught for one of his random reasons and get suspended. “Why are you 10 minutes late?” “Why are you socializing and creating nonsense?” This ‘socializing’ basically meant guys and girls hanging out together. “Why are you wearing indecent clothes?” “Why are you wearing chappals?” He had a thing with throwing stuff (which I found pretty cool). He was trying to make the aimless Loyola crowd into something more discipline. Being an oxford student and having travelled most part of the world, his experience has taught him how important discipline is and he hoped he could inculcate some in this Loyola crowd. But there was this one problem and perhaps his weakness. He was very mean.
He had verbally abused so many people till now that the numbers of reasons were more than the total number of students in the Inigo block (The building he is in charge of). I can give you one instance. I have a friend who is perhaps the most decent guy mass comm has ever seen. He hardly talks to girls but me and is painfully polite and humble. He was with his uncle one afternoon when they happened to come across Rex. He abused my poor friend calling him an indecent guy who socializes with girls and wastes his time all day long and more. I don’t remember the other things he said. I usually don’t believe what people say, but this guy is definitely an exception. And that made me wonder, what if he really called that girl a prostitute?
In a few days of his arrival and an entire list of inexplicable rules, he was perhaps the most hated, most unpopular and the most feared man Loyola students had ever seen. But when it is Loyola it is not just about the whole college. I hope it doesn’t sound like I am bragging but Mass Communication is like a different college within. Yea, maybe I am bragging but what the hell.
The girl who he abused today was a second year mass comm’er. And there is one thing about this department that no one else has – unity. Most times they don’t make sense, but with a few sensible people leading on the front, all of it just doesn’t tend to look so bad. Our department started it. Few students took the initiative to lead, protest and ‘not’ listen and others who wanted to look important just loitered around repeating what the ‘leaders’ said. Half an hour later the principals tried to bargain with us and with their sweet words asked us to retreat and promised strict action. And ofcourse, none of us bought that.
It was kind of funny though. Few people were really serious and had sullen faces and red eyes. I wondered if they were really that hurt? Of course, I would thrash a man who calls me a prostitute and in front of my dad, I don’t even have to do that. He will so take care of him. Rest of the people were having fun. One guy starts shouting ‘VP down’, ‘VP sucks’ and others follow. Who was doing that? Some guy from other department. We later realized that our mob was twice larger than before. There were reporters reporting and taking quotes. Most of the sound bites were given by students who actually are rowdy in nature. God knows what they may portray the whole scenario as. The Fathers were pissed off but they are non-violent people and so are we. I don’t know what happened next. One moment someone told us that we must go to the VPs office and protest and the next minute around 500 students were gathered in front of the block, yelling at the top of their voices. It was like I was back in one of the AIESEC conferences. Only that this was of feigned anger.
Most people did not know what had happened. This was a chance to get Rex out and also perhaps the only chance ever to have this kind of a fun in Loyola. No one wanted to miss it, especially guys. Suddenly all of the heat inside them was out and macho-ness was stronger than ever. One of the reasons was because no one can spot in the crowd who said what and they definitely can’t suspend everyone. Girls were no silent spectators either but they kept their distance. I guess the other department members were just glad to have no classes which has never been a problem for Mass comm’ers. Most of the time our classes includes watching films and other times it is just fun and a lot of lecturer-leg-pulling. Not proud of it, but can’t do anything about it either.
First the crowd talked like crazy and frenzy. Then it started exaggerating. In another ten minutes, it was just ridiculous. Someone comes and tells that few guys beat up Father Rex outside his office. I had heard they had torn off his cassock but I knew this was just an overrated version of that. Rex had a security of 20 policemen. And students might be burning angry but the wrath of the police scares the shit out of them. And anyways, more than the angry mob, I saw drunken youngsters trying to make an impression. So I guess over estimating anything would be stupid on my part. Oh. Do you wonder what was I doing? Just a silent spectator, but that justifies nothing so I will continue no more of my role.
At the end the management decided to inquire about the whole thing with Rex who had locked himself up in his room. They said they would let us know in a week of what could be done. The resentful mob did not take a word of that. But when the usually lively but today-the-pissed-off John Father said he would be the VP till the inquiry is over, everyone started cheering. I was just curious of who was the one instigating the mob to react to almost anything in the most innocent way possible, because the cheering made absolutely no sense to me. What difference did it make? The protest and all if Rex is not resigning. We all know he is going to come back anyway. But then I guess people were tired and bored of the fun. And also he does deserve an inquiry. The real reason behind the showdown was long gone, the girl was almost forgotten and no one cared about her dad who was a heart patient. It was all something that my friend called a mob psychology. One person says ‘go’ and all follow.
What do I think about it? Nothing… I care only for the girl and Rex. I hope no major trouble comes her way and that the management would learn a lesson that students might be stupid but not vulnerable. Discipline is great and I am glad he came. Even his methods seemed to work. But he has a mean tongue and using that among the youngsters is plain stupidity. As a ‘certified’ wise man, he should have known that…