Pro.Verb – M.V Kamath Memorial National Debate Tournament

Picture this: A cozy, cottage-like structure, plastered with orange tiles, sitting in the middle of a soggy town. Now sprinkle rain, the aroma of freshly made tea, and the deeply seated sound of some 40 odd people, running on their toes to make a national level British Parliamentary debate function to its best.

Comprising 24 participating teams, and four core adjudicators. The third iteration of ‘M.V Kamath Memorial National Parliamentary Debate Tournament: Pro.Verb 2017’ was held on September 29, 30 and the 1st of October at School of Communication, Manipal.

The event took off with the lighting of the lamp by the Chief Guest, A. Surya Prakash, Chairperson of Prasar Bharti. He talked on length about online abuse and trolling, and the need for a collective stand against abusive material on social media.

The opening round of the competition began with the motion: “This house believes that the anti-trust regulation must be used to break up political parties”. This led to a spur of colourful and bold arguments being put on a death match against each other.

As the rains wreaked havoc on the student town, debaters were busy scratching their heads and scribbling miniature notes on paper, as arguments were tossed out in the open. The food stalls provided much needed respite from mid-event hunger pangs as participants were seen bonding and exploring the homely SoC campus.

The subsequent rounds unfolded in the upcoming days as the motions became more controversial, pragmatic and thought provoking.

After the end of Day-2, the participants indulged in a colorful miniature fest of musical performances, lights, and dance at the Break Night. To set the stage for the final round, after two days of fierce debating; the list of teams that made it to the semifinals was declared at the venue.

The motion for the semifinals was: “This house would prefer that all religions had a single living leader.” The motion drew flaming arguments from the debaters as suggestions like the ease of negotiation in religious conflict, the individualistic nature of religion, and need for a uniform sense of direction for the masses were put forward.

After a serious session of arguments, carefully crafted comebacks, and crowd appeasing tactics, the finalists debated on the motion: “This house supports Supreme Court rulings based on natural rights that are not enumerated in constitutions.” The context of the motion being the fact that the natural rights theory states that there are some rights that are universal and inalienable; and that these rights are not derived from any legislation.

The finals concluded on Day-3, and the standings registered were as follows:

Champions: Manipal Institute of Technology Team 2- Ninaad Rajeev and Amandeep Kalsi

Best Speaker: Amandeep Singh Kalsi, Manipal Institute of Technology

Best Adjudicator: Neha Nandakumar

“The motions set by the core adjudicator’s were immensely fun to debate and were equally challenging and fun. The Management Committee worked smoothly and the tournament mostly ran on schedule! The event can improve by having more competition in terms of teams, and better pool of adjudicators.” – Ninaad Rajeev, Winning Contestant.

 

Peeyush Chauhan for MTTN.

Agnihotra Bhattacharya

Being eternally hungry, and with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, I took to writing as an outlet for the wide spectrum of emotions that I usually portray. Mercurial, loquacious, and always looking at the world through a broken pair of rose coloured glasses, I can never settle for anything, for too long. I am the one who wanders.

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