Renaming Government College Lahore
Renaming GCU Lahore
When the Government College Lahore was made university in 2002,
it could have taken rebirth under a different name, but its administrators, most
of them old alumni, couldn't bring themselves to ditching the old name for a new
one. They named it Government College University (GCU), the first two words a
concession to nostalgia and the third word a marker of new status. There was a
proposal to give it a new name The Ravi University but a majority didn't want to
lose the shiver of memory Government College still sent down their
|Lahore, Nov 14: The GCU is a university that plans to have its own affiliated colleges in the
ripeness of time. The Government College Lahore is going to be one of them. If
that is in the works, what do you do with a doublet name you have now: is GCU a
college or a university? If it is one, then it can't be the
As time passed, getting the university status was no longer a
novelty. Lots of other government colleges got upgraded and named themselves the
same name. However, not all of them aroused nostalgia the way Government College
Lahore did; but all of them became GCU.
At the risk of being
uncharitable, one can say that the sneaky intent was to share the nimbus of the
GCU charisma. After the emergence of at least two other decidedly less
meritorious GCUs - vice chancellor of one resigned recently after 'life threats'
- the Lahore GCU is once again thinking of renaming itself.
The GCU is a
university that plans to have its own affiliated colleges in the ripeness of
time. The Government College Lahore is going to be one of them. If that is in
the works, what do you do with a doublet name you have now: is GCU a college or
a university? If it is one, then it can't be the other. Is it time to go back to
the drawing board of imagination and think of a new name? And no one can impose
his favoured coinage. All the stakeholders - the Vice-Chancellor, the Syndicate,
the Chancellor, the Education Department and the Chief Minister - will have to
agree to a new name. There is the Old Boys Society that will certainly like to
be heard too.
It is going to be almost impossible to agree on a name.
Finally, the deadlocked lower echelons will receive the command from on high
that will close the debate. And that oracle will likely come from the Chancellor
who happens to be whoever is Governor at the time. The GCU has only one
alternative so far and that luckily comes from a verbal memory concomitant: the
Ravian. The old GC boys have always called themselves Ravians, perhaps after the
college journal The Ravi, made famous by the juvenilia of many who were to
become icons of their literary age. It is proposed in some quarters that the GCU
be renamed The Ravi University.
In some ways GCU is lucky it has The Ravi
to fall back on. The Old Ravians Society will definitely be attracted to the new
name. They will probably prefer the new name to be The Ravian University, with a
trilateral abbreviation in vogue these days. It will become TRU, like BNU and
JNU. Will this be seen as an improvement on GCU? If you focus on how close TRU
gets to the adjective TRUE, you might be attracted. But if you clash with the
undefeatable force of nostalgia, as embodied in the magical GC, then you cannot
Universities in Europe are usually located on river banks
or have rivers flowing through their campuses. The Government College was a
Gothic structure with a motto borrowed from Horace - sapere aude or Courage to
Know - by the great Enlightenment philosopher Immanuel Kant, and borrowed from
Kant most probably by the founder of the College, Prof Leitner. Then someone
took Lahore's river Ravi and put it on the cover of the college magazine, chose
red as the colour of the college blazer and put a flaming torch of Enlightenment
on its pocket. This is how the myth of the GC was anonymously
If you don't want to say goodbye to all these symbols, then
you should concentrate on the word ravi a little. It is definitely not the short
'a' ravi as it appears in Ravindranath Tagore or Ravi Shankar. In this sense
ravi means sun. But the root 'rv' has other meanings. It means flowing and
singing. It is strange that singing and weeping is expressed by the same root in
the Indo-European languages. Hence the villain of Ramayana, Ravan is someone who
makes you weep. In English, rave (to shout deliriously) is from the same root.
But concentrate on the positive meaning: singing and flowing.
Hussain first mentioned to me the Persian connection to the Sanskrit root. I was
sceptical so I looked up my Monnier-Williams and found that he was right. In
Persian the root 'rv' has given us wonderful words describing life's most
important principle, the flux of change, which our 'Ravian' Allama Iqbal made
the central pivot of his philosophy. He liked the word rud (stream) derived from
In his Javid Nama, Iqbal named himself Zinda Rud (Stream full
of Life) and took Rumi as his Virgil. When Allama Iqbal's son Javid Iqbal wrote
his father's biography he rightly titled it Zinda Rud! If you look up your
English dictionary it will say the word river is of uncertain origin. But
Spanish rio is related and is close to our ravi. A university emblematises
knowledge and nothing symbolises knowledge better than a river.
Ravi is nothing but a kind of flowing besides being the name of the river Ravi
that has been associated with the city of Lahore. Lahore itself carries the
Sanskrit root that we can't get rid of. Lahore is from Loh, a son of Lord Ram.
The task of renaming the GCU will be taken in hand by the stakeholders. It is
going to be a tough assignment. Daily Times
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Punjab University VC's guards fracture leg of student: Operation in PU hostel
Lahore: Guards of the Punjab University vice-chancellor on
Thursday allegedly tortured an Old Campus hostel student fracturing his leg,
while a varsity spokesman claimed that he was injured while climbing a
Police also arrested two Punjab University students for
'misbehaving' with the VC and some teachers.
Motorists faced the brunt of
the clash between students and the varsity administration for hours as traffic
remained choked for hours along the canal when activists of a students wing took
to the street (to register their protest).
On Thursday noon,
Vice-Chancellor Mujahid Kamran along with Hall Council Chairman Prof Dr Saeed
Ahmad Nagra and other teachers visited Khalid bin Waleed Hostel in Anarkali
where most of the Oriental and Law colleges' (constituent institutions of PU)
students are boarding.
According to some PU students, the clash between
the visiting team and the students took place when the former questioned the
stay of Abdul Hafeez in the hostel. Hafeez, what the administration said, had
been expelled from the varsity for taking part in 'political'
The exchange of harsh words between the VC and Hafeez
resulted in 'severe beating' of the latter at the hands of the former's guards,
the students said, and added that they (guards) nabbed two other students who
came to rescue him and handed them over to the New Anarkali police. They have
been identified Sabir Husain of Kashmiryat Department and Yasir, whose status is
yet to be cleared whether he is a student or an outsider. Hafeez was taken to
Anarkali SHO Bashir Ahmad said that an FIR would be
registered after consultation with the varsity administration.
administration on the other hand has portrayed an altogether a different
picture. Its spokesman, Shabbir Sarwar, said: "Upon receiving complains from the
students that they could not get possession of their allotted rooms in the
hostels, the vice-chancellor along with other teachers visited the hostel and
warned the illegal occupants to vacate the rooms."
He said: "Former IJT
Nazim Abdul Hafeez to whom the VC had already warned during his last week visit
to leave the hostel, misbehaved with him and other senior teachers and also
'pushed them and throw chairs' on them."
"PU students captured one of
them, identified as Sabir, while other outsiders managed to flee. They beat him
and later handed him over to police. Hafeez sustained injuries while climbing a
wall," he maintained.
He said the Islami Jamiat Tulaba (IJT) had captured
room Nos 107, 106, 69, 84, 89, 99, 50, 121, 26, 184, 114, 200 and 108 in the Old
The IJT condemned the torture and arrest of the students.
Its spokesman, Qaisar Sharif, admitted that Hafeez had been rusticated, but his
case was pending with the civil court thereby he was 'entitled' to stay in the
hostel till the decision. He claimed that the administration handed over four
students to police.
In fact, he said, the varsity administration had
taught a 'lesson' to those who were protesting against fee increase,
'compulsory' charge of Rs700 per month against mess services from every boarder
and other irregularities in hostel affairs. He urged the chancellor to probe the
Some senior teachers said they were surprised over the
'mishandling' of the matter by the administration. "It is a childish act on the
part of the VC to visit hostels in order to check outsiders." They said if the
VC was sincere in kicking out the outsiders from the varsity, he should launch
an 'organised operation' in the hostels.
They said the hall council
chairman, who is supposed to look after all hostel affairs, was just discharging
the duty of allotments in girls' hostels, and the department heads in boys'
Hall Council Chairman Saeed Nagra said that the
administration had already launched an operation against the outsiders and
flushed out a number of illegal occupants from the New Campus
Following the incident, a good number of students led by IJT
activists held a demonstration at the News Campus Bridge that threw traffic out
of gear for more than two hours on Canal Road and adjoining arteries. The
protesters also burnt tyres and damaged a bus. Police reached the spot and
"what is rank of punjab universiy in the top unversities of the world? "
City, Country: gujranwala,pakistan
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Pro-VC protest continues at Government College University Faisalabad (GCUF)
Faisalabad: The Government College University Faisalabad's
teachers, non-teaching staff and hundreds of male and female students continued
their protest on third consecutive day on Thursday.
The protest started
after GCUF vice-chancellor Dr Arif Ali Zaidi's resignation that he had tendered
a couple of days ago. However, Dr Zaidi is performing his duty and awaits
response from the chancellor.
Carrying banners and placards, the
protestors gathered outside the vice chancellor office and chanted slogans in
his favour, demanding the chancellor should not accept the resignation in
varsity's larger interest.
Following prolonged slogan-raising by the
protesters, Dr Zaidi came out of his office and addressed his supporters, asking
them to call off their protest.
He advised the students to not to boycott
their classes as it was not good for their studies and thanked them for
acknowledging the services he rendered for the university. He also promised he
would review his resignation decision. Dawn
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|Post your Comments/ Views about the news.|
|Updated: 14 Oct, 2014|