Indian School Named Monkey God As Chairman

The recently opened Sardar Bhagat Singh College of Technology and Management in India decided that they wanted someone really famous and powerful to be their leader.

So the school officials named Hanuman, the Hindu monkey god as chairman:

Hanuman, the popular god known for his strength and valor, has been named official chairman of the recently opened Sardar Bhagat Singh College of Technology and Management in northern India, a school official said Saturday.

The position comes with an incense-filled office, a desk and a laptop computer. Four chairs will be placed facing the empty seat reserved for the chairman and all visitors must enter the office barefoot, said Vivek Kangdi, the school's vice chairman.

"It is our belief that any job that has the blessings of Lord Hanuman is bound to be a success," said Kangdi.

http://robots.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/06/07/India.god.ap/index.html

The photo above is of a Hindu priest (in a wifebeater !?) performing prayers in front of a statue of Hanuman (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)


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I think that IMR is referring to the quota system whereby low-status groups in India have places reserved for them in colleges, universities, the civil service, and politics. These groups include "scheduled castes" (Dalits/untouchables) and "scheduled tribes". It's part of an effort to counter historical discrimination against these groups by the Hindu majority. It's an extremely hotly contested topic in India, as you can probably imagine.

If you have some free time on your hands, look up Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar. He was a very cool individual who fought his whole life for human rights for the downtrodden.
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Barack Obama keeps a little statue of the Sardar Bhagat Singh College of Technology and Management chairman in his pocket: http://www.time.com/time/politics/whitehouse/photos/0,27424,1811278,00.html
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