As part of their annual fest ‘Praasna’, the Department of Philosophy of St. Stephen’s College is organising a seminar which would witness bilateral talks between two delegations from Hindu College and St. Stephen’s College.
This unique event titled ‘Rethinking Rivalries’ would be themed around the heightened tensions in the relationship between St. Stephen’s College and Hindu College. In the same, two delegations of students from both colleges would brainstorm ideas about how to truncate the uneasiness in the relationship between the neighboring colleges. Member of Parliament, Shashi Tharoor, who is also an alumnus of St. Stephen’s College, has been invited to lead the delegation from his alma mater while Managing Director of Republic TV, Arnab Goswami, has consented to lead the delegation from Hindu College, his alma mater.
The event is expected to signify a shift from a spirit of competition to cooperation.
The rivalry, as considered in academic circles of the University of Delhi, between the two neighboring colleges is a well-known one. One interesting myth about the origin of this rivalry dates back to the year 1889. A young prodigy of a rich dad wanted admission in St. Stephen’s College but couldn’t make it. Disheartened, the rich dad decided to start a college right in front of St. Stephen’s. Thus, the foundation stone for Hindu College was laid, and along with it were laid the seeds of rivalry between the two colleges.
Legend has it that once, during the annual fest of St. Stephen’s College, posters were put up saying, ‘Hinduites And Dogs Not Allowed’. The college across the road then retaliated with posters saying, ‘Dogs Are Allowed But Not Stephanians’. This then led to a spate of protests and counter-protests between ‘Stephanians’ on one side of the road and ‘Hinduites’ on the other, with both sides exchanging risqué curses.
In fact, a certain rumor which does the rounds in North Campus is that whenever ‘Stephenians’ are scolded at college, they are told, ‘You don’t deserve to be here, your place is across the road’.
There are various reasons why both colleges love to hate each other, one of them being the difference in the cultures of the two. While students of Hindu College frown upon the exceptionally disciplined atmosphere at Stephen’s, students of the latter refer to the environment of Hindu College as ‘anarchical’ and ‘disruptive’.
This seminar is hoped to diminish the tension between the two colleges and bring about an ambiance of comradeship and amity, thereby enabling two of the best colleges of the University of Delhi to work together to establish eternal peace and prosperity.
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Feature Image Credits: The Times of India
Vaibhavi Sharma Pathak