The Gods of ICAI
If a layman walks or passes through the busy stretch of Uthamar Gandhi Salai, Nungambakkam in Chennai, he would be pleased at the secular gesture of ICAI- SIRC authorities. A few months back a portion of the compound wall of the CA institute was brought down and then a three quarters wall was raised. Passer-bys and students were left bemused wondering what was in the mind of the Chartered Accountant community in Chennai. The wall until recently continued to be the odd cemented wall serving no purpose to its demolition and reconstruction. However one fine day a higher official might have noticed the odd wall and questioned the authorities responsible for the beautification in ICAI premises about the job well begun (supposedly) but half done. The beautification authorities would have scratched their heads, checked the available resources and finances and decided to bring divinity and sanctity to ICAI. They came with a brilliant idea and soon the odd wall was decorated with the idols of Lord Vinayaka, Jesus Christ and a tile painting depicting and paying due respect to the faith of Islam.
Religion is a tricky issue for the politicians as vote bank politics decides their future as has been the case in recent elections. But in Chennai, especially to the Chartered Accountant community, religion is not tricky it is a part of pilgrimage a student embarks and a qualified professional approves. It is an indispensable part of our daily routine. The ICAI premise in Chennai is located opposite to a Church and not far from it is the Thousands Light Mosque. The Premiere coaching institutions are located in Mylapore known for its many temples particularly the Kapaleshwar [Lord Shiva] temple. The migrant student community stays in the many lodges of Triplicane closer to the Marina Beach and Parthasarthy [Lord Vishnu] temple. In Mylapore 1 also comes across the Saibaba temple and Sri Ramakrishna Math. Royapettah the second favourite amongst student community for its affordable rooms is chiefly home to the Muslim community in Chennai. The bulk of Marwari student community resides near the Central station and adjacent areas where one can come across many Jain temples also.
And we all know how we wish the Good lord’s blessing is with us in the months of January and June when the institute without any interference from a certain [rather uncertain] UPA, the former ICAI president or his ilk declare the results. Most of the temples are frequented a day before the examinations and a day before our performances are appraised and declared as record percentage of students who cleared their respective examinations.
However returning back to the gods in the ICAI premises of Chennai, one finds a degree of similarity in its attitude or politely speaking the approach to the various presiding deities on the odd wall and the students. The similarity is not as uncanny as the author might seem to suggest, it is a plain painting of thoughts in the landscape of a wandering mind. Distorted or a masterpiece is for the readers to tell. So what are the similarities that place a CA student as high as the Good Lords who command Heaven and earth or the similarities that bring down the lords to the same rank of a CA student?
The Gods or their idols seem to be placed on the edge of the wall well much like the CA students who sit on the edge wary of the changes the institute would bring and further tweak their liberties or rather push them further. There is a certain saying in The Katha Upanishad, the path to the eternal Truth is like a Razor’s edge and well the path to SUCCESS for CA students and not necessarily truth in various balance sheets is also a Razor’s edge. The tiniest of an error during preparation; the institute and coaching centers warn us might result us falling from the edge to the depths of Darkness.
Until recently no efforts had been taken to provide shelter to the Lords of Heaven and Earth, thus leaving them exposed to sunlight, dust and potential attack from non believers in God or worse detractors of the institute. [Apparently, today I saw some efforts to give the Lords a permanent shelter] Fortunately there has been a change in stance towards Vinayaka, Jesus and the mural representing Islamic Faith. Hope the ICAI shows a similar air of benevolence to the largely unrepresented student community. Hope it shelters them through the various ordeals of internship, from greedy coaching institutes, from the insatiable authors who merely copy the institute material and publish books which cost a fortune. Hope it brings transparency [which it claims] in its correction and not derive pleasure to see a 7.86% pass percentage, not postpone results and add to the student’s misery. If it fails, hope the Lords who are now sanctifying the institute premise take charge.
The Darkness Deepens, Lord with me Abide!!