KE shines at RMC

Ayesha Mushtaq
1st Year MBBS

Motions and match ups.  Proposition and opposition. Logic and arguments.  Rebuttals and refutations. Critique and results.
All this may define Rawalpindi Medical College Debates ’15 (RMCD’15) for Team KEDS, but more importantly, the trip was about KEDS Family, about the best people belonging to the best society of the best medical school. About learning from the seniors, and hear them share their experiences.

RMCD’15 was held at New Teaching Block of Rawalpindi Medical College from 29th May to 1st June, and participated in by teams from Forman Christian College University Lahore, Military College of Signals Rawalpindi, College of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Rawalpindi (the two being constituent colleges of NUST), Shifa College of Medicine Islamabad, Roots School, and also a couple of private teams comprising of graduates of reputed universities, who were also the best speakers of the debating circuit in their times (the teams 3 Jawan Larkay and 3 Boorhay Babay) . King Edward Medical University was represented by three teams:
Team KE-A : Shaarif Bashir, Syed Ahmad Raza, Ruhma Ihsan
Team KE-B : Dua Noor, Fatima Rizwan, Sumbul Liaqat
Team KE-C : Hamza Shahab, Minahil Saifullah, Ayesha Mushtaq  (yes that’s yours truly reporting :P )

Day 1:
We left for Rawalpindi on 29 May, slightly behind schedule owing to a few logistic glitches, and though we then tried to make the journey as fast as we could, the non-air conditioned van provided by the university still couldn’t take us to Rawalpindi in time and hence we ended up missing the opening ceremony and also our first round matches. Much regretted. Arriving in RMC in the interval between the first and second rounds, we entered in the proud grand Kemcolian way, to be greeted by the pleasant weather and the free Red Bull being offered to the guests (though the hosts consumed more of it).
Soon the second round match-ups were announced where the topic was: “This house believes that the state should not violate the cyber privacy of its citizens”. Us poor KE-C were pitted against the grand 3 Jawan Larkay (whose members have an experience nearly double that of the best speakers of our university). So we lost the match, and so did KE-B (and later they battled with the adjudicators for long enough to be declared the most annoying team in the event newsletter :P ). But the seniors proved their mettle yet again, and we celebrated their victory by relishing the biryani given by RMC for dinner. Not to forget the garam Coke.

From the event newsletter - RMCD'15 Chronicles.
Day 2:
The accommodation very generously provided by RMC was quite comfortable and nobody wanted to get out of bed, but were lured into getting up and getting ready for the day ahead by the prospect of a good breakfast at Chaaye Khana, which sadly failed to materialize. With only chaaye and khana in the neighbouring F-6, we headed off to RMC again, with Dua baji sighing at the scenic landscape of Islamabad and repeatedly expressing her wish of settling in Islamabad :P .
The motion for the third preliminary round was: “This house would divert the defence budget of Pakistan to civil law enforcement agencies”. All three teams from King Edward were to speak in proposition of the motion this time, so we prepared our case together and it was one very good experience plus a great chance to learn from the seniors, especially Shaarif bhai. So the seniors’ guidance did its job and we won our respective matches, along with some pretty positive feedback from the adjudicators too:
“You guys were awesome – exactly what we expect from an institution like yours” (on KE-C)
“You are the best doctor-speakers I’ve ever heard” (on KE-B)

KE-B vs Roots
The next round was an enforced humour one, which meant that the speakers had to present 50% humour and 50% logic in their speeches, with the topic being: “This house supports Ayyan Ali”. Well, there’s only so much one can say in the model’s favour. Tut tut.

KE-C (right) against Shifa-A (left)
Later was a gig night, featuring performances by NCA Rawalpindi, which we opted to skip because KE is simply too cool to enjoy the NCA folks. The teams advancing ahead were also declared on the occasion; from King Edward, it was the A team that broke into quarter finals.

Day 3:
This morning, we decided to turn up at RMC early by the Kemcolian standards, only to find it deserted. After all, who likes to sacrifice their sleep on a Sunday? So much so for the love of debates. But coming from Lahore, obviously the Kemcolians' love is more for food than for debates , so we then set out to hunt the neighbourhood for some quality breakfast; and in the course of this search, our faith in the Lahori food was firmly reinstated, for the offerings in the twin cities are nowhere near those of Lahore.
Back to RMC and the topic and match-ups for quarter finals were announced. The topic being: “This house will add inspirational essays on Malala Yousafzai in textbooks” , and KE-A pitched against Shifa-A (the same team we KE-C spoke our enforced humour round against). Here, Shifa were higher on emotions than on logic, so KE-A smoothly sailed into the semis.
In the interval between the two rounds, RMC served us with shawarmas in the name of refreshments, and we found this to be better fare than what one gets at Piccadilly.
The motion for the semi-final was: “This house rejects virtual education institutes” and this match saw KE-A against Shifa-C. With the presidents of their respective debating societies on both the teams, it was bound to be one nail biting encounter. But eventually the Kemcolians proved their supremacy, advancing to the final with a very well-deserved win. The victory was made sweeter by the weather suddenly turning very pleasant, as a drop in mercury made the evening all the more enjoyable.

During the semi final
Day 4:
1st June dawned bright and sunny – the all important day of the grand finale of RMCD’15. The topic was: “This house believes that for peace, you need war”, and team KE-A were to speak in proposition of the topic. Admittedly, it is a tough job to defend war, but the team put up a good fight nonetheless, and results were unpredictable till the last moment, though in the end history repeated itself as KE were declared runners-up just as RMCD’13, and 3 Jawan Larkay emerged as winners. But that doesn’t make much of a difference, for they got a shield the same size we did, only theirs had “winner” written on it while ours carried “runners up” ! What is more important is that we conquered the hearts of the Rawalians, as one student walked up to the team after the final and said that she and her friends had supported KE throughout the tournament, and for them we were the real winners .

KE-A during Finals. In the background: Principal RMC
Meanwhile, the honourable Principal RMC, Professor Muhammad Umar, in his address, asked the students to focus more on their studies than on side activities, and to divert their energies towards the welfare of the needy patients in the wards. At this point, Ruhma Ihsan, Vice President King Edward Debating Society (KEDS) and Vice President Students Patient Welfare Society (SPWS), rose and apprised the audience of the welfare work undertaken by SPWS in the university and its allied hospitals, while also assuring the Rawalians of her society’s utmost help for any such initiatives they might want to undertake in their college.

Top - Ruhma baji talking about SPWS ; Bottom - Getting a standing ovation from opposing team 
RMC served us with a good lunch afterwards, following which we set off on the return journey, with the runners-up shield and tons of memories that would definitely last a lifetime. A special shout out to all the KEDS seniors, particularly Shaarif bhai, Syed bhai and Ruhma baji, for being so caring and co-operative, and heartiest congratulations on going so far as the finals despite all odds!


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