Even as the faculty at the prestigious Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A) remains exercised over the proposed change in the logo of the top business school, several students feel IIM-A has more important issues up its sleeve rather than getting caught up in a “propagandist” logo.
Shilpa Deshpande, a 2021 batch student, displayed an uncanny emotion as she told Vibes of India that a changed logo won’t take away from the halo and the ethos of the premier institute envisaged by none other than Dr Vikram Sarabhai.
“The logo of IIMA has taught me to adapt to every phase of life. The ‘tree of life’ and the shloka have impacted the students indelibly. No matter what changes come upon the logo, the essence and ethos of the institute will not change and live long,” avers Shilpa.
Chinmay Yadav, Batch of 2021, shrugs, “We have laughed it off. There are myriad activities happening at IIM-A, but this controversy gets so much attention because people are the least bothered about the institute and care more about their propaganda.”
He asserts, “IIM-A will always be IIM-A, no matter what you change about the institute. The foundation of the place is on strong grounds. It’s easy to bring amendments to logos, websites and infrastructure. But, the board of directors cannot change the values and principles of this institution.”
Another student, requesting anonymity, wonders, “The institute becomes of national importance when there is a logo change. But, when we need funding everyone vanishes into thin air. IIM-A can choose to become an autonomous institute. If it does, no one will have a say in anything it does.”
Another fresh graduate, who also pleads to remain anonymous, makes an even more informed observation. “As management students, we understand how branding and marketing work. It is indeed necessary for a brand to refresh its logo. But IIM-A is not just a brand. It’s an educational institute assembled on supreme morals. The change in the logo can have some long-term implications on our temple of learning.”
It was during the refurbishment of the institute’s website earlier this year that the need and idea to refresh the institute’s logo arose. A controversy erupted and spread like forest fire when the IIM decided to come up with two logos — one with the shloka for domestic use and another without the shloka for international uses.
Several faculty members claim that they were never consulted before coming to this significant decision. A section of people also expressed their anger over this action, saying that it will compromise the ethnicity of the institute.
The present logo, adopted in 1961 when the institute was established, has the motif of ‘Tree of life’, inspired by an exquisitely carved stone latticework (jaali or grille) of the 16th century Sidi Saiyyed Mosque in Ahmedabad and Sanskrit shloka “Vidya Viniyogad Vikasa’ (development through the distribution or application of knowledge).
Finally, the administration has set the controversy to rest by stating on April 1 that the shloka and the latticework will be retained and the new logo will be released in June. The IIM-A logo will only be altered in terms of style, font, and colour, the institute stated in a press release.
Why fix what ain’t broken.