Rishad Sharif and Muwyia Khan
WITH the heavy artillery of intellect, logic, and deduction the IUT National Debating Championship'09 took on a verbal warfare that consisted of six well-challenged rounds of debate. The championships took place from the 26th till the 28th of June, with the participation of twelve institutions from all over Bangladesh. They formed 36 teams, 72 debaters and more than 30 adjudicators who congregated at the IUT Campus to battle it out in the largest national level British Parliamentary debating championship in Bangladesh.
The incorporation of the International Tabulation software “Tabbie” that is used in the World University Debating Championship, and feedbacks on adjudicators from the debaters are just a couple of things that hint at the high standards that were installed in this tournament giving all the participants a true taste of international debating experience in Bangladesh.
One of the aspects that set this debating tournament apart from all other national tournaments was its exclusive venue. The debate was held at the aesthetically designed IUT Campus. All the 72 debaters and 20 adjudicators travelling together, to the IUT Campus at Gazipur gave more of an impression of going to a picnic rather than a competitive debating championship.
On Day 1 of the championship, participants of the tournament registered upon arrival to IUT and a review workshop was conducted by Mabroor Wassey, ex-president of IUTDS and a well known figure in the Bangladeshi Debating fraternity, on the technicalities of the British Parliamentary style debating. The first round of debating got underway without any significant delay with the motion being “This house believes that teenagers should have a right to vote” with 36 teams fighting it out in 9 different rooms simultaneously.
That initial round of debating was followed by a sumptuous dinner right beside the IUT lake surrounded by the greenery of the Tree Park. The motion for round two, later that day, was “THBT Africa needs International Military intervention to solve her most dire conflicts”, experiencing a dominant opposition victory in maximum rooms. The day ended with an unorthodox motion and a tribute to the King of Pop, Michael Jackson where the motions declared “This House would prioritize media's urges over MJ's privacy”.
This motion also observed a dominant opposition victory in most of the rooms following entertaining debates. After a tough day for both the debaters and adjudicators, everyone went back home tired yet ready to deliver the maximum the next day.
Day 2 of the championship was all cloudy and gloomy but the IUTDS organizing committee dressed in all green and thus dubbed 'the green army', were ready once again to make the day colourful. IUT and IUTDS marked the 40th anniversary of Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) that day. In round 4, the motion was “THBT for OIC to be effective it is essential to have co-operation of other international organisations”. The motion observed a dominant proposition victory in majority of the rooms.
Round 5 was motioned “TH would deny national health services to people who participate in extreme sports”, which experienced an equal win-loss percentage in all the rooms. Round 6 followed after a short coffee break and was motioned “”THBT conscription of child soldiers by their parents is justified in the war for freedom”. This motion also observed a balance in win loss from both the proposition and opposition.
After 6 rounds of exhilarating debates, the teams needed a recess while anxiously waiting to know the names of those top 8 teams that made it into the semi-finals. The musical group of IUT titled “Brittadhin” put up an amazing performance which was received with an excited applause.
This ceremony also marked one more landmark in IUTDS's history and it was the first ever publication of IUTDS' “TRIVIUM”. It compiled write ups from national and international debate delegates and was a true reflection of the debating culture and history that IUTDS has upheld since its began in 2002. Eventually, at the end of the night, came the long awaited announcement of the semi-final teams. Two teams from IUT, four from NSU and one each from IBA and EWU made it to the semis and were ready to meet the climax of the tournament.
The venue for the final day was set at Hotel Sarina, where the semi-final and finals were to be held. The semi-final motion was “This House regrets not bailing out General Motors”. IBA-1, NSU-6, NSU-2 and IUT-5 squared off in semi-final-1, seeing IBA-1 and NSU-6 making it to the grand finale. NSU-5, EWU-1, IUT-2 & NSU-4 battled it off on the other semi-final. NSU-5 and IUT-2 made their way to the final from that room. The Grand finale of IUT National Debating Championship was perfectly set with two teams from NSU and one each from IBA and IUT. The motion was “This house would ban Youtube".
IBA-1 was the opening proposition with NSU-5 in the lower bench. And IUT-2 was on the opening opposition with NSU-6 on the lower bench. The debate could be regarded as one of the best that Bangladesh debating fraternity have witnessed in a long time. Team IBA and NSU-5 argued on the privacy issue of individuals, the stand against piracy and how 'Youtube' fails to handle with quality. However, opposition met the challenge by focusing on rights of information, free sharing of knowledge and how banning does not serve the purpose! The Grand Finale of the tournament was basically a delineation of the whole tournament in a nut-shell; it was vibrant, exciting, meaningful and thoroughly enthralling.
The debate followed a grand championship buffet dinner at hotel. The grand finale was extremely crucial and the adjudicators had a long discussion for almost an hour to reach the decision that NSU-6 comprising of Nayeem Kashem & Sinha Ibna Humayun were the champions and IUT-2 comprising of Rishad Sharif & Ahmad Salman Saquib were the runner-up! Rishad Sharif from IUT was the best speaker of the finals and Tahsin Mahmood, the publication director of the tournament, was awarded with the Best Director award for his excellence and dedication to his task.
The title sponsors for this tournament was Swadesh properties Ltd., while 'Mojo' was the beverage partner and Hotel Sarina being the venue partner. Star Campus, Channel 1 and ABC Radio were the championship's media partners.
The IUT National Debating Championship '09 was a dream come true for many of the members of the IUT Debating Society; a dream that was realized after relentless efforts by the organizers of IUTDS. Scampering for sponsors for the tournament, inviting institutions, managing the venues, transportations and all other bits and pieces are just a few things that the IUTDS members had to do by dodging the heavy course-load at IUT. The unwavering hard work and commitment towards an excellent tournament found its voice through the Radio ABC when IUTDS went live on national radio on the 21st June 2009. By staging the largest ever British Parliamentary debate tournament, IUTDS has proved what it is capable and can provide a platform for the Bangladeshi debaters who are eyeing the next World University Debating Championship later this year in Turkey.