To register for the 62nd Chuckerbutty Memorial Debates, click here.
For over 60 years, the Chuckerbutty Debates has remained one of the hallmark tournaments in the Indian high school debating circuit. It is also one of The Doon School’s oldest competitions, and hence is a very prestigious and much-anticipated event in the school calendar. The debates are held annually in November. This year, the 62nd Chuckerbutty Debates will be held from the 2nd to the 4th of November.
The debate in its initial years was in the Oxford format with the teams participating coming only from the city of Dehradun. Since then, the tournament has grown in size and quality, becoming a regional competition within a few years and a national one a few decades after that. It was about a decade ago it became an international one, with teams outside of India also arriving at Chandbagh. The competition is an entirely student-run event, engaging boys from all ages and requiring a lot of effort and preparation.
The competition is currently held in the World Schools’ Debating Competition (WSDC) format, which offers debaters the scope and ability to explore their abilities to their fullest. The competition has two kinds of rounds: prepared and impromptu. Topics for the prepared round are given about a week in advance. Impromptu rounds have a strict 45-minute to 1-hour preparation time, where competitors are forced to think quickly and work efficiently, engaging in effective collaboration to reach their common goal. Moreover, the topics are structured to intellectually stimulate and challenge debaters. The motions cover many domains of debate. Some past examples of motions debated in the tournament are: ‘This house would pay to relocate refugees’ and ‘This house believes that Bollywood has a lot to answer for’.
The Chuckerbutty Debates serve as a watering hole where participants can meet students of their age and share their excitement with ideas. We hope that every participant makes new friends when they come to Chucks, as the debates are fondly called. Ultimately, the Chuckerbutty Debates aim to provide a learning experience for debaters. Each debater is given feedback at the end of rounds by experienced judges. We aim to ensure that every participant goes back from the debates having learnt the value of the raised argument over the raised voice.