Lalu's Lecture at IIMA




You all must be interested to know how Lalu took our class. Here's a glimpse. I can't write the details as it would be against institute norms. But I can write how he charmed a hall full of students. 

The class was mainly for the 60 odd PGPX students, but we lucky few got entry on first-come-first-serve basis. No camera was allowed, I regret not being able to take a snap of Lalu conducting a class. He was not alone, Prof Raghuram was there to help him. Anyway, the class was on Prof Raghuram's cases.

Really that man has got some calibre! His lecture was mesmerizing to all and sundry who attended it. Even the busiest professors were present to listen him.

In total 90-100 students and faculty were there to attend the class. Prof. Raghuram's case on Turnaround of Indian Railways was the central theme of the class. Two cases of more than 120 pages - we had to mugg those, analyze and prepare presentations in groups last night. 

Morning I woke up with the entire campus in Z-category security. The class was at 2-30 PM. We had our ID cards with us - otherwise, entry was prohibited. The class was in New Campus - the class room was full and doors were closed once the Railway Minister entered. 

We were all dressed in business casuals. Lalu came in his usual attire. Our group was not asked to present. Mainly the PGPX students were called to present the case. The presentations went on for a couple of hours. Different groups forwarded suggestions about railways; to some Lalu agreed, certain he questioned. He mainly spoke in Hindi. The funniest part was comparing Indian Rail with Jersey cow and milking it carefully to sustain production for a long long time.

Once the presentations were over, everyone flooded Lalu with general to sensitive questions - all on the Railways. Lalu answered all questions with his usual style - mixed with his own brand of English and Hindi. He skipped the sensitive question with his brand of humour, especially those related to sensitive issues like sustainability. He expressed his initial concerns while taking up the Railway Ministry - he wanted Home Ministry. But, he took up the challenge.

His class was devoid of politics. The three hour class showed that what we perceive Lalu - it's not true entirely! The man has got a sharp wit and high IQ! He did leave politics outside the class room as he entered the shoes of a professor. 

The unfortunate reporters were standing outside to get a glimpse of Lalu, the poor souls were not allowed to enter the class room. To their pleasure at 5-30 PM a press address by the Minister was organized at RJMCEI. But, what he told in RJMCEI was nothing compared to the class room. Really a special day in IIMA history! Kudos to Prof Raghuram for organizing such a class. Three cheers to him!

But, in the open session, Lalu used his speech to gain full political mileage. Some Modi bashing was there, as expected. Some praises on Sonia 'Madam'! In all, this would definitely be a landmark in Lalu's career and a recognition of his political acumen! He used this opportunity to the fullest extent. IIMA had VVIPs like Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajeev Gandhi in the past but no one got so much pulicity like Lalu! For us, management students, it was a different experience altogether, something to remember for a long time. His entering to class and a Namaste to all students instead of the usual "Hi" or "Hello" was definitely different! I'll remember it for a long time!

Images from; we were not allowed to take camera inside the closed room.