By Ex-IIMC Student:
IIMC is seen as one of the premiere institutes of mass communication in India with the best of faculty, great exposure to the industry and career growth for those who join it. So naturally, I was excited and extremely happy for myself when I got selected in the English Journalism course even though it was the Jammu branch. I was told it would be a one-of-a-kind experience!
It surely was.
In the name of this prestigious institute, Jammu branch has got a floor as its “campus”, with a library with hardly 200 books, and a classroom and one studio to learn what would help us become future journalists.
There are only 2 resident faculty members who teach a 10 month long course which ranges from reporting, editing, broadcast journalism and techniques to advertising and public relations. Yes, we had guest faculties. Where Delhi got numerous, and Dhenkanal branch got close to 9, we only got 4. And one among them was a veteran journalist, who would come repeatedly as our “savior”.
We were disappointed no doubt. To add to our woes the faculty was not at all helpful. When we complained that we were being followed by some local boys, we were told it must be because we were not dressed properly and out late. According to them only we were to be blamed. And one fine day through our “father figure”, the incharge of the institute, I got to know that I have the power to bring down “the morality of the whole building” just by wearing shorts. I never had that power in Delhi!
The incident which shook me the most was when a security guard, at the hostel provided by the institute, tried to touch me inappropriately. We were already wary of him as he would stare at us the whole time he would be on his “duty.” I couldn’t fathom the fact that it happened right inside the hostel, of which our parents were told that it’s in the best location with very good security. When I complained about it to the institute’s incharge, there was no concern about me that he showed instead he was more adamant that it be buried there and then. The guard was removed only to be back after a month. I had to complain again, for which I received a reply “no other guard was available.” To the incharge it only mattered that there be a guard, no matter if he was a molester. That day the security concerns for girls didn’t matter to IIMC.
The final blow was during the placement week when it was clear that Delhi campus students were preferred over other centers, thanks to their HODs. They were allowed in interviews even when they were placed, which was not the case for students from other centers.
Mostly, IIMC proved to be a disappointment after all the hype that was created around it. To speak about my branch, we didn’t have the right kind of exposure, we were told to work in a mold and not think of being creative. Our writing skills were curbed and moderated according to what they wanted to read.
The only good part about the whole experience was the hostel life. Thanks to all the incidents in college, strong bonds and unity was formed. We all got some new friends and experiences to cherish for the rest of our lives. We enjoyed our time and stay in Jammu, not so much because of the institute or the city, but because of our companionship.
UPDATE: Title and parts of the article were edited after publishing for clarity in consultation with the contributor.
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