Worshipping the Virgin Tree at Hindu College has been a ritual for a long time now. However, this quirky tradition is scorned by the conservatives.
The Virgin Tree is the oldest member of Hindu College and has witnessed the Valentine’s Day celebrations, Puja of Damdami Mata, and the water-filled condoms hung from its branches. From Deepika Padukone to Disha Patani, famous Bollywood actresses have been treated as the Damdami Mata to be worshipped. The University of Delhi, apart from the excellence in academic performances, is also famous for the liberal multitude. This fun, amusing, and somewhat problematic tradition is also a way to spread awareness about Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), and the use of protection while sexual intercourse.
In the time of toning down of sex education and condom advertisement bans, keeping up with this fascinating culture of Hindu College seems difficult. Bajrang Dal has been in the headlines since a long time for chasing away couples who were seen in public. This time, they have targeted the practices of adorning the Virgin Tree of Hindu College and the Damdami Mata Puja.
Bajrang Dal has been planning to uproot the Virgin Tree, bringing an end to the “obscene” culture of the westernised populace. They intend to inculcate “Indian morales” in the students and prohibit the celebrations of Valentine’s Day altogether. According to the sources, they went to an extent to discuss this matter with the Vice Chancellor of DU, Yogesh K. Tyagi, and the Principal of Hindu College, Dr. Anju Srivastava. On the issue, a professor of Hindu College quoted, “Our students have enjoyed this liberty of campaigning and spreading awareness on AIDS. This has been a mirthful tradition with a purpose that must not be ended.”
When asked about this interference to a member of Bajrang Dal, he said, “We must not forget our values. What must be restricted to the bedroom, should never come about in the public, and that too among students. Studying in DU is prestigious, but students must never forget their role and indulge in such detestable practices.”
“The Students’ Union got involved much later in the issue,” said a student. Bajrang Dal members tried working with the “elders” first, and then include the students. The decision to fell the Virgin Tree is halfway taken. The final call is yet to be taken by the students. It is also feared that the felling of the tree will lead to protests and create chaos, hence the conclusion hasn’t been made yet. So, this year may be the last of the captivating practice in DU.
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Feature Image Credits: Stories Feed