Concept of debate

The Spirit of the Spoken Word- The L.N. Birla Debate

For true innovation and good ideas, you need human interaction, conflict, arguments and debate - Ms.Margret Heffeman.  

Acceptance of alternative points of view is therefore the very essence of democracy and in modern India too debates on divergent issues must be encouraged if we desire to preserve and enhance our pluralistic culture.

The L. N. Birla Debate has been conceptualised to fulfill  our late founder’s vision of a complete education for our pupils which would combine service with excellence, create independent and free-thinking men and women who assuredly could lead our country to new frontiers of knowledge and progress.  The L.N. Birla Debate which has successfully completed several years of ardent debating has revealed time and again, that given the appropriate platform, the young  Indian is a confident and articulate youth who can argue critically and courteously on issues affecting the social, political, cultural, economic, scientific, ethical and spiritual development of this globe.

The L.N.Birla Debate initially started its journey as a local debate in 1994 wherein it was restricted to the schools of Kolkata. The tremendous response it evoked enthused the management to diversify the reach and the debate took on a Pan India dimension. The Inter Institutional L. N. Birla National Debate as its nomenclature suggests traversed the length and breadth of India. In the north, students from schools and colleges of Jaipur, Lucknow and Delhi pitted their arguments against each other while their counter parts in the south did so in Coimbatore, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai. The western zone was represented by the speakers of Pune, Nagpur and Mumbai whereas the battle of wits in the eastern zone was fought in Ranchi, Bhubaneshwar, Jamshedpur and of course the home ground Kolkata.  The L.N.Birla Inter Institutional Debate conducted zone wise across the country culminated with the finals in Kolkata. This was in keeping with our founder’s dream to create a nation of independent thinkers who would lead the country to a brilliant future yet sensitive to the needs of the underprivileged and the downtrodden.

Today The L.N. Birla Debate in its new avatar is streamlined and caters to the eminent schools of Kolkata and is counted among the most prestigious debates of a city which is well known for its passion for the spoken word. The keenly fought contest results in prizes that further open the windows of knowledge for they take the form of student-friendly tech gadgets like tabs and laptops besides the cash bonanza sponsored by Syt.S.K.Birla and an attractive gift hamper. The best speaker and the best school team bag the coveted trophies

The judges have been eminent personalities from diverse fields of education, medicine, scientific research, journalism and commerce. The illustrious personalities who have graced the occasions were the Governor of West Bengal, Shri Gopal Krishna Gandhi, Shri T.N. Seshan, Chief Election Commissioner, author Sivashankari, Shri K.P Singhdeo Minister for Urban Affairs and Development , Orissa, writer,philanthropist, Mrs, Sudha Murthy, Business magnate, Mr. Harsh Neotia and several others.

The debate has often adopted on an international perspective with the presence of  The Consul General of the United States of America, The United Kingdom, Germany , China  who officiated as the Chief Guests on various occasions.

It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it -Joseph Joubert

Democracy must be built through open societies that share information. When there is information, there is enlightenment. When there is debate,
there are solutions. This is the premise that encapsulates our Founder’s vision of a ‘man- making ‘education.

As a fitting tribute to the great visionary, philanthropist and educationist, the mega event, The L.N. Birla Memorial Debate continues with  renewed vigour, vitality and wit for it validates our commitment to the youth of the nation who can agree to disagree in a manner that behoves the citizens of the largest democracy of the world.