“Life is not a 100-metre race but a marathon run’’

One was a corporate leader who took India’s steel industry to the global stage and the other proved himself to be a man with nerves of steel as he made his way up the ranks of the police force.

On Thursday when B. Muthuraman, Chairman, Tata International, and K. Vijay Kumar, senior security adviser, Ministry of Home, turned up to accept the ‘Distinguished Alumni Award’ from their 177-year-old alma mater, the Madras Christian College, they rolled back the years and reflected on how the campus experience helped in their careers.

Mr. Muthuraman, who credited the MCC learning culture for exposure to subjects outside his maths-physics-chemistry domain such as humanities and psychology, “which expanded one’s thinking,” also reminded the students in the audience that there were more weightier lessons outside the campus.

“Passion for performance”

“Knowledge alone is not sufficient to succeed … one also needed to develop a passion for performance, analytical ability, empathy and leadership attributes,” he said.

He advised students to have a vision, adopt a ‘blame-it-on-yourself-than-others’ attitude and be humble.

Equally importantly, he wanted them to remember that life was not a 100-metre race but a marathon run as he had seen many talents, brighter than some of those up the ranks, burn out prematurely.

Mr. Vijay Kumar, who is former Director-General of the Central Reserve Police Force, and is perhaps best known for heading the Special Task Force for ‘Operation Cocoon’ that vanquished forest brigand Veerappan in 2004, had words for praise for the training he got as an NCC volunteer at the MCC that helped him in his career.

He later told newsmen that the Government of India would soon be drawing up a comprehensive security plan for the coming Lok Sabha elections.

The strategy adopted during the previous general election could not be merely replicated this year as each election required a different strategy, he said. “The situation is now under control,” was his response when asked about the recent Naxal attack in Sukma district in Chhattisgarh.

Earlier, K.M. Mammen, president, MCC Alumni Association, who presented the second edition of distinguished alumni awards, said the accomplishments of the recipients would inspire the current generation students to believe that the world was theirs for the taking.

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