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‘We Have A Solution To ‘Fight & Win’ to Retain Name of ‘St Aloysius College Road’- SACAA

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‘We Have A Solution To ‘Fight & Win’ to Retain Name of ‘St Aloysius College Road’- SACAA

  • ‘We Have A Solution To ‘Fight & Win’ to Retain Name of ‘St Aloysius College Road’- St Aloysius College Alumni Association (SACAA), said during a meeting of Alumnus to discuss

Mangaluru: As the saying goes for all of us who studied at the prestigious institution in Mangaluru-St Aloysius Institutions/College, ‘Once an Aloysian, Always an Aloysian” remains true, for the fact, we Aloysians no matter which part of the world we are, always remember and keep the bond of our good old college days at St Aloysius Institutions. And for what we all are now, we all owe sincere gratitude to our Alma Mater -St Aloysius Institutions, and to the Jesuit priests, teachers and staff for moulding us to be responsible persons of this country and the globe. It’s a matter of pride to call us “ALOYSIANS”, and it would also be a matter of Pride, that the Road right in front of the College, retains its name “ST ALOYSIUS COLLEGE ROAD”, which was christened in 1976.

As Aloysians/Alumnus of St Aloysius Institutions, we are all aware of the recent renaming of the road leading to our College, as Mulky Sunder Ram Shetty Road. So in regard to this issue, SACAA which wanted to take up this issue further in consultation with the alumni had arranged a meeting with the members of SACAA, Alumnus and well-wishers of the College, at Gelge Hall of St Aloysius College, on Monday 12 October at 6 pm. Prior to the meeting, SACAA had procured these evidence from the available records for the kind attention of Alumni and others who joined in the Meeting-they are: The College Annual of 1976 has a write up on the road being named as St Aloysius College Road by the then Municipal Corporation; A plaque of St Aloysius College Road is still found on the wall of erstwhile Syndicate Bank facing this road; In the letterhead of MCC bank situated on this road, the bank address mentions ‘St Aloysius College Road’; St Aloysius College was the Imp-leading respondent in the High Court proceedings on the road issue.

Sumit Rao, alumni of SAC, who spoke first, said, “I am here not as a Hindu, a Christian or Muslim, but I am here as an Aloysian. The sad thing about the renaming of the road has become a community Vs Community fight. As Aloysians we should not stay calm instead fight and see that the road retains the name ‘St Aloysius College Road’, for which we need the involvement of more Aloysians, unlike today’s attendance. Why would anyone think of changing an existing name which was christened in 1976, to a new name? Doesn’t make any sense to me. We need to involve Aloysians with more power and influence in the society, so that they can even convince the President or PM of India or fight in this battle to win, and succeed in retaining the St Aloysius College Road name”.

Rector of St Aloysius Institutions, Fr Melwin Pinto Sj said, “I am here not as a Rector but as an old-student of this Institution putting efforts in trying to retain St Aloysius College Road. How do we react? It will be a long journey to success, but with determination and commitment, we can do it. The Jesuit community has decided to give the full responsibility to the SACAA Board and members to carry forward with the fight for justice- but the management of the Institution and Jesuit community will support fully in your efforts, fighting for a good cause. It is indeed undemocratic and unjust to take a unilateral decision to revoke the order which was rightfully and contested by us, without taking us into confidence which amounts to non – compliance of the directives contained in the order of the high court and our request. It should be noted that St Aloysius College is a 140-year-old institution which has formed thousands of men and women of great eminence, who have excelled in their fields and have grown to international eminence.”

In the 1976 St Aloysius College Annual Magazine ‘STALORBIT’ states that the Road was renamed as ‘St Aloysius College Road

“This clandestine and undemocratic decision and the overnight preparation for the inauguration of the said Road have deeply pained us. It is unfortunate to see that at a time of great uncertainties and anxieties regarding the pandemic, a sudden and silent decision circumventing the legal procedures would definitely mean there are unseen hands that would create disharmony in the society. This unexpected ruling proves that the pandemic has been utilized to settle the dispute unceremoniously. In addition, it also is a scheme to divert public attention from the real issues and concerns posed by the pandemic. If you look around, we observe a clear pattern in the scheme of things that are happening in the city of Mangaluru, which is known for peace and harmony for centuries. Only SACAA and its members and other alumni and well-wishers can fight and win in retaining the St Aloysius College Road name. My prayers are with you all for success in this battle for justice” added Rector.

Other Aloysians/Alumni who spoke and expressed their thoughts, views and suggestions were- Nelson Pais-Architect/Urban Planner; Roy Castelino-Entrepreneur and former President Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy/Ex-President of Mandd Sobhan; Dr Akther Hussain – a leading and renowned Dentist in the City; Archie Menezes- Executive Board Member-SACAA; Dr Chandrashekar Shetty- HoD of Chemistry-SAC; Ivan Pinto-Executive Member, SACAA; and Ms Arathi Shanbaugh- Dean of BBA at SAC. The principal of St Aloysius College, Fr Praveen Martis SJ also speaking said that the Road belongs to us, no matter what, and therefore we should not give up the fight. I wish SACAA all success in their fight for the good cause, to retain the prestigious St Aloysius College Road. Naveen Mascarenhas, a faculty at SAC compered the programme.

As an alumnus of this prestigious institution, I can say that the contribution of the college to the society and the nation is unique. Apart from maintaining high academic standards, the college has been striving after value-based education and training to prepare the students as responsible citizens of the nation. Needless to say that the institution is established and managed by Jesuit Fathers who are known all over the world for their selfless services in education, healthcare and social services. St Aloysius College has immensely contributed in making Dakshina Kannada an educational hub. St Aloysius College is the pride of Mangaluru. The College, having a glorious history of 140 years of its existence, has rendered outstanding service to the society. It is to be noted that Jesuits established the famous Fr Muller Hospital. The services of Fr.Muller Hospital have been recognized by naming the main road after it. In this context, the least we could do to appreciate the services of St Aloysius College is to retain the name of the said road as St Aloysius College road.

This is a 140-year-old Jesuit institute, much older than Fr Muller Hospital which has a road to its name. Hope the concerned authorities in the district administration and MCC will change their mind and retain the ‘St Aloysius College Road’ marker as it is! In order to avoid future controversy in this regard, MCC should change its decision in renaming the said street. Why did MCC bother to change “St Aloysius College Road” marker to Mulki Sundarram Shetty Road”- why couldn’t they find some other street/road and name it after him. Or build a new monument or a park, and name it after M S Shetty. There is already a Circle in the City named as “A B Shetty Circle” after Attavara Balakrishna Shetty- the founder chairman of Vijaya Bank. For that matter, why is Vijaya Bank Head Office located in Bangalore-they should have retained it in Mangaluru, when most of its clients are Mangaloreans.

140 years ago the Jesuits Fathers came here and changed the whole atmosphere here with divine plus human efforts. Bureaucrats, politicians, association leaders should know that Jesuits came here first, and not that Great Banker. I do respect M S Shetty for his efforts in employing many people, but at the same time, people should also realize that thousands of students have exited through this institution, and are now enjoying good posts all around the world. And for that matter, as an alumnus of this institution, and like many other alumni, I feel proud to have this road named as ‘St Aloysius College Road’-as it was before.

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