The visit of the General and Mrs. P. P. Kumar Amanglam to Colvin Taluqdar’s College was a unique occasion in the life of the college, repeated but once in the history of this institution. If gave us ample ground to feel honored, happy, and satisfied. Honored, for it was a visit of V. I. P., happy because we got an opportunity to meet and mix with a great personality and satisfied, because it was a grand success.
As it was a very important function, preparations started in right earnest immediately after the General had kindly consented to preside over the first Academic function. The following week was one of the feverish and constant activity on the part of the members of the staff and the students alike. Even in this situation, studies continued normally for the non-participants while part-time for those who were engaged. Meanwhile, everybody was looking forward curiously and inquisitively to welcoming the national hero.
Day, time and place-February 11, 1967, dawned clear and the weather remained bright and sunny. The Shamianas’ flew gently and the leaves and flowers danced gaily in the gentle and soft breeze, while the college compound presented a colorful and cheerful look. As the time drew near, the seats gradually started filling up as the people started coming. And with a festive spirit pervading, the scene had a gala look.
As the clock struck 2-30, a shining black limousine brought a gay General and his smiling wife. He was received by the Principal and later he look the salute and inspected a smart Guard of Honor presented by the N. C. C. Cadets. Then he went round the stalls of the numerous co curricular activities of the college. He was deeply impressed by the work of the industrious students and earnestness of their aptitude. His queries were many to which he received prompt and suitable answers. Having been introduced to the members of the teaching staff, he and Mrs. Kumar amangalam took the gold and silver seats on the stage a setting reviving memories of the days of the glory of the Taluqdars.
The actual function
Mr. Kashyap spoke first and made a brief survey of the life, work and progress of Calvin College in the past 103 years of its existence. It was a speech full of scholarly phrases and sparkling with wit and humor and spotlighting on the various aspects of the character of the college. He welcomed General and Mrs. Kumara mangalam with the following words’ We welcome you, Sir, by virtue of your rank as holder of the highest honor and responsibility that goes with your office, a Chief of the Army Staff. But more than that, we welcome you in your person, for we have in you such a combination of qualities and experience that as Principal of this college. I can hold you up as a model to my boys for them to emulate, rise to your lofty stature, both physically and intellectually. (I am afraid with my Napoleonic height, cannot present that example.) Your great interest in the field of horsemanship and cricket-particularly your membership of M. C. C. would set many a young boys to look up to you with admiration. Your last Sunday’s performance of scoring all the 4 goals against the Delhi Polo Club was hailed by one and all at this college-more so as it came on the eve of your visit to us. We are conscious of your great responsibilities for the defense of your motherland and we are proud to see that your shoulders are broad enough to accept the challenge. We are grateful to Mrs. Kumara managlam who has very kindly accompanied you, Sir, to let us see the great force that makes a great General greater still.
He also spoke of the excellent results, in both internal as well as examinations, that the college has produced. But he added that, “Parents and the general public continue to judge us by our results but we are mindful of the fact that this not be the all and the end of education.” Referring to the sports activities he added, “In the field of games and sports our boys fought well and believed in Baron Coutbrin the important thing in games is not to win but to take part. Our boys have not only played the game in the spirit of it, but also brought laurels to themselves and to the college which they represent.” In short, he threw light all the subjects concerning the college, such as cultural activities, educational trips, enrollment pressure etc. and in a light jovial manner expressed his sincere wish that, “When history of these times is written by the coming generation it will echo that future battles of this country are won on the play-fields of Colvin in the manner which the great Public School at Eton (where you have had your schooling) is proverbially talked about.”
General Kumara mangalam gave a brief and instructive reply He emphasis to theed importance of character building, selfless service to the motherland, discipline, spirit of team work and adventure-mindedness. These were outlined as the essential qualities that should be developed among youths of this country to make them ideal citizens of tomorrow.
The V. LP’s speech
The Army Chief said that undue emphasis was laid on academic qualifications. No doubt, they have their intrinsic values and degrees & diplomas are must in the field to Technology and Science, but what matters much more for a boy than a distinguished academic career, is how he comes off as a having a good sportsman, a shining individual in civic and public life, how he trained himself to live a co-operative and a selfless life, and finally, how he developed to become a man of character. He was glad that the cottage was taking great interest in games, sports and all round education on the basis of the principles mentioned above.
Referring to his performance of scoring 4 goals in the Polo match, for which he was praised by Mr. Kashyap in his welcome address, he said that it was not due to him but his team mates who unselfishly passed him the ball near the goal mouth because he was in a better position. “It is in these that one learns to be unselfish, learns to co-operate with other and learns that the show-off of one individual in a team does not held to attain victory. Sports and games therefore, help us to become civic minded and show civic discipline.” He urged young students to mend their physique and health so that they might become physically fit and alert in life. He also laid stress on the need for acquiring the initiative to learn the art of improvisation and spirit of resoluteness and determination.
General Kumaramangalam expressed his sincere faith in the youth of the nation. “It is more often that we, elders do not give enough thought to the building of character and do not set good examples to the young ones. We have the tendency to think once the child or young man leaves the class room lecture we have done our duty, and that the boy need not be guided any further guidance particularly in the uses of leisure hours.”
“We are all part of a great country and it is essential we make ourselves worthy of our heritage and enhance her greatness. This can only be done by those who are unselfish and selfless in their work, expect no rewards other than0 the pride that they have served the country to the best of their ability and done it well.”
The President’s speech
Mr. B. B. Sanwal, the Commissioner and the President of the College Managing Committee, thanked the chief guest in a grateful speech, spotlighting the contribution that the Taluqdars of Oudh had made to the education and progress of the State through the Colvin Taluqdar’s College and other institutions with which they had been associated.
Mrs. Kumaramangalam distributed the prizes. The prize winners were the merit-scholars of the High School and Intermediate examination of 1965 and those who reached the top in their respective classes in the internal examinations. The other prize-wieners were those who distinguished themselves in the recent Festival of Plays’. There was a cultural programme after the interval during which the important guest had tea at Mr. Kashyap’s residence. It was a short display, consisting of dramas, dances, speeches, mono acts and extracts from Teacher’s Day Function, and was watched by a capacity crowd.
The function on the whole, was a gala success and we are proud to say that before leaving, General Kumaramangalam left behind an offer to help whenever it was sought and required.
In the end, to quote the Pioneer’s special representative. “It was like a cool green island in a storm-tossed sea. Outside all was unrest, hot air and election speeches, but inside the Colvin Taluqdars, with its green carpeted lawns a tradition of discipline, team work in game and scholarly achievement extending over a 100 years, it was another world.”