13th July, 2009, the day which will be remembered as one of intelligent opinions, expressions, insights and empathy, as The Modern School hosted the Frank Anthony All India Inter School Debate Competition, conducted by ISC.
The Modern School Auditorium was a venue for the debate, titled “Can terrorism be justified as the last resort for the oppressed?” And indeed it was a debatable topic, as 10 of the most famous schools from Agra, Allahabad and Lucknow actively participated in the event.
Each of the 10 teams consisted of a pair of students, one for and the other against the motion. So, we had 20 keen competitors, eager to place their points in front of the audiences, including The Modern School senior students.
Even though there were so many participants, each one of them had a distinct justification for the reason why they were in favour of, or against the motion. Being interrogated by the remaining participants after the end of their speech, the speakers emphasized on the reason why terrorists exist, the brutal assault they had once undergone in the past, which made them terrorists. While, the other section of speakers put emphasis on terrorists’ cruel assaults on innocent people.
The contestants had varied view of the terrorism activities happening across the world. Participants had a good experience in the school. The best speaker Ananya Jain from St. Anthony Junior School felt great to be announced as the Best Speaker. She thanked everybody responsible for her success.
Ayushi Shukla of CMS was “privileged by the school’s warmth and generosity”. Gauri Garg from The Modern School was “all excited to be one of the audiences”. Priya Rohtangi from from St. Paul, Agra found the competition to be healthy and supportive. From Girls High School, Allahbad, Saima Khan, loved the library. She said, “it was good to extract information from the guiding source itself.”
Sitting in the audience, we did not know what the outcome of this debate could be, but what we did know is the conviction of the students, the confidence with which they spoke, especially those who uttered for the motion, discovering the other side of the coin too.
And, as the day passed, such speakers won the favour of our judges and the chief guests- Dr. Haider from Lucknow University, and Mr. Chatterjee. Dr.Haider, the chief guest said the “participants were up to the mark”. Mrs. V.Ghosh of St. Patricks Agra “appreciated the generous gesture of the Vice Principle for making them comfortable.”
Anaya Jain from St. Anthony Junior School, Agra won the Best Speaker.
One could say it was a rather “peaceful” and well organized programme on a topic which sends shivers down the spine of the people, and that’s probably the manner in which such a problem should be dealt too, not only at schools, but at a higher level. Undoubtedly one could conclude the entire programme as a peaceful debate on a sensitive topic, sent an important message to all. Each participant was felicitated with the school’s souvenirs.