We’ve just begun a new section at the OCA Website, showcasing Old Cottonians. The link is HERE.
DO send in information about other OCs who distinguished themselves in any field.
Ravi Rikhye Curzon 1962 batch needs no introduction to many OCs. For those who are reading about him for the first time, here is what he has to say in the Introduction of his latest book “Analysis of India’s Ability to Fight a 2-front War 2018” :
I’ve spent 58-years studying defense, either full-time or part-time depending on the job situation. My output has been small for all those years, perhaps 30 books including four novels, ten annuals, two co-authored, and five refused publication permissions by Government of India. The reason is I study mainly what I want, and mostly that doesn’t translate into a monograph or book. I dropped out of college in my senior year; since I planned to go back I did not get my first degree until 29-years later. Subsequently, I’ve acquired a second bachelor’s and am working on a seventh masters. After completing one doctoral thesis (not submitted as I have been unable to pay the fees), I began another in conjunction with study for a third. Degrees are simply pieces of paper saying the holder has completed prescribed work. They don’t prove one knows much. Studying continuously has a negative side: the more one learns, the more one finds how little one knows. My intention was to have this up on Kindle by March, in anticipation of the next round at Doklam. For readers’ information, there will be no resumption of the Doklam crisis. China has built its road to Jampheri Ridge, which is where the trouble started in the first place. And China has moved in a combined arms brigade, plus reinforced its previously minimal fighter air presence. Meanwhile, GOI has been busy diplomatically and politically kow-towing to the Chinese. In my opinion, the next crisis will be at another point, perhaps…..”
[Editor: We are including a link to Amazon India, for those in other locations – please search by the book title or ASIN: B07HM5LKWG ].
Here is an excerpt from the book:
“The analysis asks one question and has one answer: Can India fight a two-front war against China and Pakistan? The answer is it cannot. Because of the China-Pakistan alliance, we cannot fight even a one-front war: engaging in a war with either adversary runs the risk of weakening the other front, leaving it open to exploitation. The solution, fortunately, is straightforward: build a 2-front war capability. The next problem is equally straightforward: The Government of India is determined not to spend money on defense. Today spending is down to 1.56% of GDP, lower even than in 1962. And we know how that ended. It takes little imagination to foresee what would have happened if 1962 had become 2-front: Pakistan would have walked over Punjab, perhaps all the way to Delhi, and we would have lost Kashmir too. If we chose to defend Punjab, we would have lost the North East Frontier Agency, now called Arunachal. If we tried to defend both fronts, we would have lost both.
For a strong defensive posture, we need to spend the 3 – 3.5% of GDP we spent 1963-1990, both to modernize and to raise eight more divisions that is the minimum needed. To negotiate from strength, we need 4%+ and to recover our lost territories we need 6%. Our spending is 1.6% of GDP, lower even than the 1.9% of 1962….”
AN ABSOLUTE PILLAR OF BISHOP COTTON SCHOOL
JOHN WHITMARSH KNIGHT
I am deeply deeply grieved to be the bearer of sad news…
A noble soul a gentleman and a scholar, my mentor since 1999 though I can swear by The Almighty that he was omnipresent in me from the day I was born, John Whitmarsh Knight breathed his last, last evening Friday ( 9th Nov 2018) TBC ….. I was informed. I sit here in Delhi and whirl of memories of this amazing gentleman are hovering around me….
He was the most honest, transparent and forthright Gentleman and I was Blessed to have known him … I spent years in Weybridge with him and he taught me the path to becoming a well formed human being…
..whilst in the UK under the auspices of the OCA UK we orchestrated his tenure at the greatest school in the planet : OUR BISHOP COTTON SCHOOL… he worked tirelessly in School and he not only taught English but was a mentor to the boys …
he looked at the world with the widest photo lens and the boys during his years looked up to him to as a Global Citizen who played his part in giving them an all around education …
My Brother Sharat and his wife Rupa ALWAYS hosted him in transit to School and the UK at their place in Gurgaon…
John was steadfast in his views and saw the world in Black and White .. he stayed away from politics and intrigues and falsehood … and his own tuition and guidance was under his Uncle Tubby Whitmarsh Knight… John was School Captain, Rugby Captain at Dulwich College where Ernest Shackleton and PG Wodehouse hailed from …
He strived to instill good noble values in the Boys at BCS…(he never forgave me for his termination at BCS .. due to ill health.. “ VIVEK , I could have lived in Chandigarh and continued to have mentored to Boys if they chose to visit me… as I WISHED to die in India…”)
I am weeping incessantly for John Whitmarsh… he passed away all alone … a confirmed Bachelor in Addlestone / Weybridge…
I CAN ONLY PLEAD TO HEAD MASTER MR ROY ROBINSON TO HAVE AN EXTENDED SERVICE FOR JOHN WHITMARSH KINGHT
I CAN ONLY PLEAD TO ALL THE OCA CHAPTER MEMBERS, COTTONIANS WORLD WIDE TO PLEASE PRAY FOR THIS ABSOLUTE SUPERB GENTLEMAN WHO LOVED INDIA, DEEPLY LOVED BISHOP COTTON SCHOOL… HE WAS A MAJOR CONTRIBUTOR DURING THE SESQUICENTENNIAL CELEBRATIONS ( ALWAYS IN THE BACK GROUND)
I CAN ONLY PLEAD TO
THE OCA UK CHAIRMAN TO PLEASE ARRANGE A VERY BEFITTING TRIBUTE AND FUNERAL FOR JOHN….
I am not sure who is there for John and his beautiful belongings ..??
“ John…. Thank You Sir for being a part of my life… I can see you sitting in your lounge surrounded by your 2000 Books … looking at your garden and reciting quotes from Shakespeare, Keats, Shelly and Wordsworth…… someday Sir… I too will meet you .. in that special garden.. so we can continue ….”
Dr Mathew Zachariah passed away a little over a year ago as a result of kidney failure. He left BCS at the end of 1959.
He was a courageous man to write his biography and like all lives this account is an interesting one. I am taking the liberty of forwarding a few pages extracted from the book that would make relevant – and interesting – reading.
Dr Zachariah after leaving BCS, built a successful career in the academic world. The calibre and worth of some of these teachers was huge and we were fortunate to be taught by intelligent minds whose age difference seemed so much more than it really was.
Dr Zachariah had commissioned the translation of this biography into Malayalam, his mother tongue. Pictures of him with some of us at BCS accompany this mail for your information. The one from 1957 with some of us from the Remove Dormitory features some fine specimens.
PDF FILE: Dr MATHEW ZACHARIAH – BCS – P 36 – 42
[click for larger view]
Dear Friends in the Tri city of Chandigarh Panchkula and Mohali; now Zirakpur too, I look forward to meeting you at the launch of my book titled ‘ The 70th Milestone ‘ on October the 1st , tomorrow, at the Chandigarh Press Club at 5.30 p m. Will be very happy to meet old Cottonians and Stephens alumni as well.
– Robin Gupta