Riots in 10th Block

Messy Hostel room
Upturned Mess! Who is responsible?
Messy Hostel room
Upturned Mess! Who is responsible?

The sessionals in MIT arrive like a shower of unexpected, unwelcome rains, sending anyone without an umbrella into his/her hostel room, where a 3-4 day process of crafting a make-do umbrella begins.

 On the night of 8th September, day two of the sessionals, at about 2100 hrs, when the preparation for the next day’s exam and the rain outside were both at peak, the light in 10th block vanished unexpectedly for about two hours. I say unexpectedly, because in my 26 month stay in the MIT hostels, I have seen very little power cut and that too only short ones.

Supposedly the second largest bloc in Asia, 10th block easily houses more than 400 students. What started as a few shouted abuses here and there and a few slogans, gradually snowballed into a gathering of students in the common lobby areas on each floor. Their combined distress flooded the gates of their reason and all hell broke loose. Window panes and door glasses were broken, tables, chairs were thrown down into the main lobby from above. To give them company were thrown the dustbins from each floor.  Also, articles were set aflame and thrown below. It is rightly said “Man is civilized. Men are not.”

This frenzy stopped after half an hour, when the Campus Patrol arrived with the Chief Warden. The latter’s entry was like that of a prison warden’s into a jail whose inmates have broken out of their cells to create ruckus. Upon seeing the jailor, all the convicts ran back into their cells.

Now I strongly believe that all problems of a nation result from the education of its youth. A nation is after all, nothing but its people. Each human born, including me, has a level of stupidity in him and when a mob comes together, this stupidity only multiplies. Could any amount of vandalism hastened the repair of the blown off phase?

The role of a doctor, his utmost duty, is to medically cure another human being. Likewise, it is the Engineer’s duty to technically cure the problems of humanity. None of the “Engineers” were found suggesting temporary ways of lighting. They were however adding to the problems. Is there any use of giving engineering exams, if one is failing in the very basic duties of an engineer?

I must at this point stress that this vandalism was done by a section of the 10th block population and not the majority who were merely bystanders. But I, a part of the ‘innocent’ majority, find myself to be equally at fault with the vandals. Even though I saw these mini-riots, I did nothing to stop them. The vandals gave in to stupidity and succumbed to fear, and so did I.

That night was pitch black, both inside and outside.


Sushant Ghildyal


  1. It is important to respect other people’s property as they might have
    scrimp and save to buy that particular item and it is vandalised, how
    would they feel?Well,all I know is that Iwill feel angry and hatred will
    build up in my body for that vandaliser.

  2. Vandalism is about destroying someone’s precious property or the environment.
    Do you know that littering is considered vandalising as well?
    Vandalism isn’t cool, so to all the vandalisers out there: STOP VANDALISING!

  3. I know the feeling.. i was one of the bystanders too.. It was disgusting when people were damaging hostel property and shouting ‘Mera Bharath Mahaan’ at the same time.

    I did the same thing you did. Nothing. Once the riots started, I locked myself in my room and slept off. What could we have done anyway? If people had tried to speak up, there was a good possibility of them being lynched.

    “Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups” was the quote that came to mind that day.

      • No offence meant, Dr. Vishaal, but it’s easy for people to say that after it has happened. If the campus patrol or hostel warden had called the police, it would have been okay. 
        But if a resident of the hostel had called the police, there would be the possibility of severe repercussions for the caller..

  4. There’s no right or wrong here I think. For a student having an exam the next day, there are many more important things to worry about than basic things like having one lamp and a fan working.

    Seriously, nights before exams are stressful. And not just that, there are so many other frustrations that keep silently crushing you on the inside. If you don’t know what frustrations I’m talking about, then you’re really lucky you don’t have them!
    Things like this that happen are just a vent out for anyone. It’s like you’re frustrated and walking down the road, and then you see an empty bottle of glass. You WILL break it; not because it solves any material purpose, but a psychological one you could say. Frustrations need vents.Honestly, one lamp and one fan in those clostrophobic 10th block rooms. Is that too much to ask for?
    P.s. Just to be clear, I’m not justifying what has happened, but what happened isn’t totally un-understandable.

    • Your analogy holds no ground here. You’re talking of breaking an empty bottle lying on the ground, which is basically trash and has little or no value. The damage done in the hostel was to property belonging to Manipal University.

      Frustration is no excuse for damaging property belonging to other people. If they are so frustrated, why don’t they damage their own property instead of other’s? Surely, that would provide enough venting as well? 

      We’re talking of the future engineers of our country here, the ones who are going to be building the next generation of infrastructure. Surely, people should be able to maintain some modicum of self control? If you were a client and suppose you gave an unreasonable demand to an engineer you hired, would you prefer he explained to you logically and calmly why your demands can’t be met? Or would you say it is understandable if he picked up a cricket bat and started beating you with it to “vent his frustration” because of your unreasonable demand?

    • There’s never a right and there is never a wrong. There are only standards that humans have created, called laws, which more often than not, do lead to happier living.

      The same fire that melts butter, also hardens clay. Hence the fire of circumstance is not to be blamed for a man’s anger, for some may melt and some may harden. The deeper psychological point I wish to convey is, that a person’s anger is his/her own responsibility. It is upto him to discard it in a way that does harm neither to him, nor to anyone/anything around him.

      If Mr. A is walking down the road in frustration, he WILL break it, only if he has a tiny amount of emotional quotient. Emotions are part of reality and we must learn to efficiently deal with them.

      P.S. I’m glad that you’re not justifying the events. 🙂
      I never said that the events were un-understandable. I merely expressed sorrow over the reality that this understanding exposed.

  5. before commenting on students…..check out how the administration put some rules that are unacceptable for example……”students are not allowed to bring outside food into hostel”…..this is not some elementary school hostel or jail infact they allow that in jail….so both the students and faculty have to compromise in some issues….and DR.vishal bhat was talking about arresting students…”they are not criminals”.these petty things happens sometimes…and someone said “these are the future engineers of india” yes we are the future engineers of india and we know our part what to do….I AM SORRY IF THIS HURTS ANYONE 

    • I agree that the “not bringing outside food into hostel” rule was stupid.. But, no one bothered to reinforce that rule. What WAS reinforced was not allowing vehicles to deliver food upto the hostel gates, which is pretty okay and not a problem.

      Second, the technical fault that happened was not because of the hostel administration, ergo, there was no need to vandalize hostel property. No offence, but let me ask you something. Would you have felt that it was something “petty” if the rioters broke down your door and destroyed, say, your laptop or your cell phone? Or even if they destroyed any of your text books? Would you be so supportive of them?

    • It is important to respect other people’s property as they might have scrimp and save to buy that particular item and it is vandalised, how would they feel? Well,all I know is that will feel very angry. It is my property and I will surely call the police to punish the offender!

    • 1.) I am part of the community that you have referred to as ‘students’. Hence I am not playing a blame game.
      2.)If one finds the rules of administration to be unacceptable then one should convey that message to the administrators. Unless there feedback, there can be no improvement. I agree that the rule you mention is illogical, but by breaking more dustbins/windows, I only increase the chances of the administration not listening to me and hence not revoking the rule.
      3.) I’m not hurt by your comments but I really appreciate your regard for our feelings. However, I’m afraid that one day, you(who knew his part and what had to be done) might become an administrator and your subordinates(the ones who know their part and what to do) might barge into your office and break some stuff, because they are unhappy with some new company law/policy and want a ‘compromise’.
      I hope that day never comes.

  6. before being an engineer they are human being and when any person is in anger he can’t control himself and it is an ovious nature.You can take example if government not do his job well then why r u angry on them…why not u calm and take a long breathe and leave all those things.So please dont tell that engineer should not angry on anyone after all first they are human being who can express there anger because of power cut on that stressful night 

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