Interview of Candidate for Cultural Secretary (Boys) - Chandan Kumar

- Khalid Riyaz , Journal Club



Letís start with an introduction. What all clubs and departments have you worked for? Also, youíve been a member of RAF for the past year. How has the experience been and what were the biggest challenges you faced in the past 2 years and how did you deal with them?
I have been an integral part of DOTA, RAF, MEA, Baithak and Movie Club. Other than this I have been a part of BITSMUN OC, Verba Maximus OC, and Publicity Team of Arena 16. In addition, I was a part of Co-Organizer of Miss Diva, Food Fest, Catharsis, and Carnival Zone.
Being a member of RAF was one of the best things which has happened in my life. I was lucky to have been one of the four members from my batch to get inducted into it. We didnít face any Major challenge as such, only some minor glitches like clashing of the inductions in the start, which were solved by the wonderful RAF team. I am proud to say that we successfully conducted all the movie screenings (in auditorium and the all nighí ones), teachersí day, bon voyage 16 and many other activities.

What made you stand for the role of Cultural Secretary specifically? Also, what in your opinion is the role of a Cultural Secretary? How would you describe it in one sentence?
As you can see from my credentials, my activities on campus mostly revolve around the cultural events. I have been helping not only Baithak but also different regional associations in organizing their festivals. From the experience of organizing events and activities for these associations, I have realized that there is a lot of room for improvement in the culture of our campus and I would love to be the harbinger of this good change.

Considering the recent dispute regarding paying 750 Rupees for Pearl, the issue boiled down to people who felt it was not justified that so much is being spent for Cultural activities and the people interested in them. There is a tendency to feel that such focus on these activities is uncalled for when BITS is a technical institute. How would you justify these cultural undertakings and activities to these people?
More than 1600 people paid 750 rupees for our cultural fest. As far as I know, people were fine with contributing 750 Rupees for the cultural activities during the pearl, most of them had a problem with the pro show that was being organized. But from my personal point of view, these pro shows are important because they lure in sponsors and participants. I think generally people like these cultural activities. BITS without doubt is a technical institute, the rate at which ATMOS is growing is obviously greater than the rate at which PEARL is. So, I think the Technical aspects are being covered quite well. But people here have a zeal for photography, dance, painting etc. These activities bring the real self out of them. These activities are what motivated them to come to this premiere institute. Hence, I think there should be a place where we should nurture these activities.

What all changes do you plan to bring in the campus? Your goal to collaborate with outside ventures is good, but how do you plan to achieve this?
There are many changes I would like to bring about, but the major one is regarding publicity. No doubt, DePP people have given their heart and soul for the publicity of our fests, but unfortunately, we see less footfall in pearl in compared to ATMOS and ARENA. To curb this I was thinking about making some ĎSpecialí type of publicity team (I havenít thought of any fancy name, but anyway). This team will get the contacts of various teams who are coming to participate during various fests across the country, whom we could call them during our fest. This would also help DePP as they donít have to waste their time in finding these contacts as we weíll have a quite decent database of these contacts 2 or three months before the fest.

Your point regarding collaboration with RAF to up the morale of the students is not clear. Please elaborate
RAF organizes the Club and department orientations and inadvertently it becomes our responsibility to make sure students are motivated to join the various clubs and departments. To achieve this, we will collaborate with BITS alumni who well explain the freshers how being a part of a club or department has helped them in the long run.

How do you plan to promote the regional associations, considering they donít exactly get the representation clubs and departments get?
It is the general belief of the people of our campus that Regional Associations are just made to perform in Sanskriti. I have a different perspective about this. According to me, various regional associations should mingle and learn about different cultures. This will keep the integrity of BPHC strong. To achieve this, I plan to organize grubs, because we are Indians and we bond over food. Jokes apart, I know some people from northern India who are interested in Bharat Natyam and Carnatic music. If possible we can arrange some mentorship for them also. And as far as the representation is concerned, I will give my best to ensure that their activities are promoted on a larger scale, by helping them in publicity and organization. Also, the new OAT is being constructed which for sure will give an impetus to their development.

Would you like to introduce any new events on our campus?
I have no ideas until now to introduce any new event. We already have enough of them. What I am going to focus on if I become the Cultural Secretary, is to increase the quality of events. Managing them properly, scheduling them, creating a separate publicity for headliner events etc. I am also going to start an online platform for the clubs to showcase their work. In addition, I have an idea of starting a revenue stream for clubs like Shades and Photog by finding a vendor to sell their artworks.

How is your online platform different than BITS media which the other candidate is proposing?
The online platform that I have proposed in my manifesto is basically an extension to the already proposed SU Portal which will basically be committed to documenting everything that all cubs and departments have done and are planning to do in the semester. Sorry but I am not at liberty to comment on manifesto point of any other candidate as it goes against the Election Commission guidelines.

You've mentioned that you will make it easy for people to be aware of various proceedings through organized schedules. One such thing already exists in the form of an Excel sheet sent through mail. How do you plan to expand on this?
Currently, we only make the schedules mentioned in the question for fests. I plan to make such schedules for all events that take place on campus. For instance, there will be a schedule for the inauguration ceremony, not the just the formal part, as a lot of people are interested in knowing what will go on in the event and when it will take place. This will also extend to other cultural events like Lohri, Ganesh Chaturthi, Onam, Pongal etc.

If you could change one thing about the fests, what would it be and how would you accomplish it?
Each fest has distinctive execution process, different publicity process, diverse sponsorship process and so forth. Yet, the one basic thing I might want to change or expand is the scale of our fest INSIDE THE CAMPUS, meaning, inadvertently nearly whole of ATMOS happens around LTC, nearly whole of ARENA happens in SAC, and nearly whole of PEARL happens in auditorium. Hence this time I focused on carnival zone which brought PEARL outside the Academic block which marginally increased its scale. And I will definitely continue to do the same if get elected as the cultural secretary.