The concept of a content buffer per se ceases to exist for me. Six days of college whooshed past, and so did four days of council. What council?
Say hello to Sri Lanka.
Model United Nations have caught up late in my part of the world, but boy are they on fire. They’re simulations of the actual
United Nations conferences held in Geneva; if you do not find that kickass enough, try being called the ‘delegate of Sri Lanka’ by 36 people and three others who call themselves the Executive Board.
We had gathered in the city of pearls, complete with Irani chai & Osmania biscuits and over a good four days, seven councils and delegates representing various countries from all over the globe came together to discuss and debate over agendas which concern the international community.
I signed up for a special UN committee called GA IV SPECPOL with the situation in Kashmir being the agenda for debate and discussion.
Over the decades, political intricacies aside, the Kashmir dispute has burgeoned to epidemic levels and clearly threatens the delicate balance that hangs by spider web in South Asia and world over. Three wars have been fought, people have been killed, they have migrated and rebelled against curfews. They have hurled stones in the dark right back at whatever it is that will never let them live in peace, or even see their homes again.
It is a strategic location and a matter of pride of India; Pakistan cries foul over its accession even 6 decades and a half later. Countless UN sessions and observer groups have tried to kickstart flailing peace initiatives between countries, yet one way or the other, a solution never made it till the end.
When you are preparing for a topic of debate that hasn’t been resolved in the UN for so long, you know you’re in for a ride. I wintnessed countries seep out of character, lambasting their foreign policies at times, hesitating to speak to others.
Chaitanya Bharathi Institute of Technology organized the international MUN at Mahindra Satyam, or MSAT (like they call it). They’ve got a pretty slick AV system in their main hall where cameras automatically focus on you as you switch on your mike to speak. Ooh, limelight.
The first day of session was unusually quiet, except for the delegate of India who emphasized on Kashmir being very much an integral part of the country and refused to accept any debate over the matter. (The delegate of PRC even claimed to have absolutely no interest in Kashmir: she was a first time MUN-ner and definitely gave me quite the conversation starter. Heck, a meek China just made things more interesting!)
What followed was another three nights spent reading up on various aspects and factors surrounding the brouhaha and connecting it to Sri Lanka, sampling South Indian cuisine and exploring the ways of the city when we weren’t meeting new people.
These four days, we lived like we never had. We debated like it’d be the last time we’d be allowed to. We question, proposed, approved, disapproved, ate and laughed like you should when you do not make sense at all.
My first MUN gave me my first train journey in seven years, a whole lot of new friends and the opportunity to debate with some of the country’s best mun-ners. It saw me try Hyderabadi biryani for the first time and weave through Banjara Hills. There were days we’d plan our outings to make sure we had all bases covered, though sadly, Char Minar did not happen.
So, did I win anything? Sadly, nope. Not because I did not speak, but because the council’s chair was of the opinion that there was absolutely no content to have judged the debate on… And bam. The sole criterion for judgement ended up being working papers. That left me discouraged and sour but hey, I saw where I was failing. [See The Year Of Speaking Project]
I came back a happier, chiller version of me (and sleep deprivation that refuses to shake away). So while you checked out my blog and saw nothing majorly new, this is what I’d been upto.
When in doubt, eat.