During my visit to Guwahati each time I take a walk from my family home (Barpetia para) passing Harisava, Gauhati Dairy, Mahamaya to N3 Cotton College administrative building – to revive my cherished old memories. I remember the entire route to my college had a kind of spirit at 8:30am morning class marked by the eager faces of school and college going students and gentle yet brisk rhythm of the movement of some office goers. The noise and bustle of an unorganized shopping area has by now overwhelmed the elegance of the toad to my favourite almamater. Still then this is my favourite route which gives me a memory of my teenage days.
As an Ex-Cottonian, still cherish with profound pride in the innermost depth of our minds the sweet memories of our Cotton College days. We also hold the values that the College symbolizes very close to our hearts. Once a Cottonian, always remains a Cottonian and continues to contribute towards further enhancing the brilliant traditions of the Alma Mater through one’s conscious efforts. Cotton College which has thus become a part of the consciousness of generations of Cottonians, is now 108 years old. We are all product of this college and would like to share with our present younger generation what gives us the sense of belonging to our much much loved College and to our Sikha Guru.
Cotton College union society is the most prestigious organization which not only reflects the interest of the college but expected to be the role model of the future generation of Assam in every aspect of life. In 1963, general election Indra Gogoi took over from late Nripen Goswami the lion voice of student community who has the power to create awareness and the student community of whole guwahati use to come together to his beck and call. He had that much power and authority and can mesmerize by his heart warming speech to gather the student community for any cause of Assam. He used to visit the school and other colleges of guwahati to create the awareness amongst the students. When I joined Cotton College in 1962 he was our General secretary. Today we want that kind of spirit and enthusiasm from our younger generation. We want to see another Nripen Goswami amongst our student community today.
During our student life in Cotton College we were mostly in cultural activities and musical field. We still remember the well-known names and the kind of spirit they have shown. The names like Lalit Shyam, Ramen Choudhury, Dost, Habibur Rahman (Louis) Dilip Barua (Ruby) JP Saikia, Yamini Phukan, Kaushalya Kanaga, Charu Seleng. Yhe sports personality Dr. Arunima Barua, secy at girls common room (the NCC leader of Cotton College) . I have given up the proposal to be a cultural secretary not to contest in support of Akon Barua my class mate (the Retired. Prof. (Eng) of Jay Sagar College, Sibsagar. Dost was music secy in 1964.
In our days teacher student relationship is only for lesson and books. To go to principal room is only for an emergency. Our principal was Nurul Islam Sir.
In the college Mahesh Bhiyan Sir and Upen Sharma (Eng), Hemanta Sharma (Assamese), Narayan Sharma were our adviser organize any cultural event. Students were not interested in politics. We only used to invite Ministers as a chief guest to our function.
Election – We should select those people having such qualities to work for the further development of the college. If there is a controversy then there should be vote.
My sojourn in Guwahati this time I had an opportunity to join the Cotton College Alumni Association general meeting on Sunday, 29 March, 2009. To me it is an emotional occasion for a journey down memory lane to relive once again our memorable day in Cotton College.
But the experience of attending the meeting that day has created a kind of unrest in my mind. As an ex-Cottonian, I have felt the impulse of expressing this fact of my unrest. I know that old-a days can not be revived. Changes would come naturally and the society and particularly younger generation would in their behaviour reflect such changes. But to my mind the changes are far too rapid.
Somehow or other I am prepared to reconcile myself with some such changes. But the whole scenario of that meeting did put me in a state of shock and surprise and spoiled the joy of attending the alumnai meet.
The old order as we all know yields place to the new. Likewise the old alumnai committee should paved the path for the formation of a complete new and fresh committee. The veteran and experienced past office bearers should remain as an advisor or patron for the fresh committee. No matter how good he or she was they should give way for the new and fresh people.
That is where confusion starts. That day we have seen a kind of conflict of interest in the process of forming a new committee . I have felt that just for the sake of the glorious tradition of Cotton College the overlapping of unexpected activities should have avoided. General public and students community as a whole are much more interested to see some fresh worker in the prestigious committee.
The whole process ought to have taken place most amicably. My shock and anguish have prompted me to write these lines. Because such a kind of degeneration is beyond my wildest expectation. We expect from Cotton College a kind of excellence of the global standard.
What we can do – The new Alumnai Association should liase with the alumnai of Cotton College in the globe. We will try to organize visit from various Universities in UK to our College. Cambridge and Oxford university regularly visits Indian universities.
Last year the VC of Cambridge University, Prof. Alison Richard and group of people from Cambridge University came to India to meet the Alumnai Society of India. St. Xavier in Kolkata organize their visit to Kolkata. When I spoke to Dr. Siddhartha Ghosh (Programme Director for Cambridge-India Partnership Programme) from Cambridge university who were leading this group to Kolkata to meet. Last year alumnai of Cambridge University, I was told they might consider to arrange such a visit to Gauhati University in future provided they have the invitation well in advance.
So I am sure if we all start to do the networking process together we can take further the name of Cotton College and Gauhati University the prestigious education institution of entire North- East.