In the words of George Orwell, “Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.” This is perhaps what best encapsulates the Chuckerbutty experience. Chucks remains one of the country’s preeminent debating competitions. Why? A conscious attempt is made, every year, to grow and attract the best talent. From being an Oxfords [single round] debate to the World School’s debate we see today, Chuckerbutty strives to remain cutting edge.

The 2017 edition saw some astenuous and thought provoking debates stretched over a span of three days. The results would often come down only to a couple extra points on one side, as the participants and audience waited anxiously for the chairs to announce the verdict. The team comprising Arjun Singh, Aryan Chhabra and Arunav Vaish [Doon Foot] lifted the trophy, after battling out the finals against The Shri Ram School. Doon Martyn, comprising Yash Dewan, Kanishkh Kanodia and Devang Laddha also performed exceptionally well, with Devang being placed third in the overall speaker tally.

What separates Chucks from other competitions is the desire to pursue improvement and not a final victory. So much so, that each team thanked our judges this year for the detailed feedback they received regarding every aspect of their debating. Credit for this is given to the judge’s briefings that are held before every debate, ensuring that criteria throughout the competition remained consistent. Moreover, our own masters judging the debates, alongside others, goes to show how this event is so inclusive.

The meticulous effort put into its organisation received praise from several participating teams. For the Organising Committee (OC) and our masters-in-charge, efforts were underway a week before the teams were scheduled to arrive. Everything from the venues, stationary and refreshments were planned in much detail. Even the books given to judges, in gratitude, were handpicked to appeal to their specific interests. This personal touch is complimented year after year. A shift in venue from the Art and Media Centre to the Main Building helped in centralising the logistics and saved precious time for the OC.

With Chucks now having concluded, the stage is set for the Junior English Invitational Debates, or JEDI, scheduled for January. Our junior debaters now warm-up as they prepare to enter a legacy of debaters renowned across the Inter-School debating circuit in the country. The neverending quench for excellence has motivated younger members of the community who will safeguard our glorious traditions.