Quite simply, the food for thought that it generates! Its ability to kindle interest, sustain it and its ability to hold the audience in a trance like state where they forget their surroundings to become absolutely engrossed in it, through its whole length.
It was Dr. Rakesh Singh's (Rocky Sir as he is fondly called by the class) last lecture on 'Macroeconomics'. Our seniors had documented it last year and after going through it, our expectations were quite high and boy, what an extraordinary phenomenon it turned out to be!
He started with the post independent India and painted a canvas of its growth that ran like the evolution of postage stamps in a country's history - every watershed moment, every significant economic, social and political milestone was part of it, all of them adding up to the present day and in the process, condensing the history of India's post independent economic evolution and its key players quite remarkably.
Initial Nehruvian socialism and our relative isolation from the world economy gave way to green revolution and nationalization of banks as Indira Gandhi assumed the mantle of prime minister-ship. That was when the term 'permit raj' came to be coined leading to rampant corruption in bureaucracy. Electronics became the flavour of the Rajiv Gandhi period. As the soviet union collapsed and India was on the brink of a balance-of-payments crisis, IMF and LPG (Liberalization, Privatization and Globalization) came to the nation's rescue. The years following the initial reforms were challenging when the Government had to make some significant choices. The tough period of 1996-2002 saw a slowdown and finally things started looking up in 2003.
Throughout his lecture, Dr. Singh gave umpteen number of examples replete with the power to capture the gravity of the events he was talking about. Fiscal deficit, absence of judicial reforms, politicians' - businessmen nexus, neglect of agriculture and a lacunae in labour protection laws are some areas where our country urgently needs to plug glaring holes. Dr. Singh ended the lecture on a buoyant and optimistic note by saying that, India would emerge as the global food giant of the future when the World shall face a food crisis.
The intensity of his lecture bowled us over. No words can ever succinctly capture the experience he gave us in the space of a little less than 2 hours. Not a single sound was heard except that of his voice and his footsteps. Such was the spell he held us under and when we never wanted it to be broken, it ended! As he slowly made his way outside the class, a rapturous applause could be heard, one that went on undiminished for a few minutes...
Thank you Dr. Rakesh Singh from all gladiators!