Be That change

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Be that change Even as the university had its round of elections, a certain cynicism has seeped into student polity today. For those who grumble about degraded state of democracy and the perverse lack of accountability, we hazard to ask where is your own spirit of revolution.  Feminism, anti apartheid and the peace movement, ground breaking   at their time of conceptualization, were dubbed as anti establishment .The  term anti establishment  has positive connotations till date. The following are epitaphs of this very spirit of revolution. For in change, we believe     Woodstock: Shraddha Gupta In the 1960s in America there was anti-establishment in the air, with the youth challenging authority and established norms in all forms. The decade saw the growth of the civil rights movement, widespread protests against American involvement in Vietnam, the rise of a new wave of feminism, open experimentation with psychedelic drugs, demands for greater sexual freedom, and the birth of the Gay and Lesbian Liberation movement.  In the midst of all this, on the weekend of August 15  1969, came The Woodstock Music and Art Fair ‘An Aquarian Exposition of music and peace’ held at dairy farm near in the town of Bethel, New York. Its promoters were just organising another rock festival, though on a larger scale with a performance chart that boasted of The Who, Janis Joplin, Joan Baez and all the big bands of the day. What they pulled off instead came to be known as one of the greatest events ever, an event that defined an entire generation. The profit-for concert became a free concert when it turned out that hundreds of thousands of more people than expected had turned up for the concert making it the largest group of people (with over 500,000 concert-goers) ever assembled in one place, and who, in the words of its promoter: “ (were) people (who) have proven something to the world: that a half a million kids can get together and have three days of fun and music and have nothing *but* fun and music” But the ‘people’ had managed to prove something even greater to the world. They had stayed together for three days in complete peace, harmony and love, with complete strangers sharing rooms and precious resources with each other, and not a single reported fight. The event provided a sense of connection to the people, and a message to the older generation that the youth could transform the existing cultural and political order, to create the basis for a culture in which peace was valued over war. It was the culmination of a dream of mass freedom, as Joni Mitchell says in her song woodstock ‘ Im going to camp out on the land,. I’m going to try and get my soul free.’ And the 1970 documentary movie Woodstock manages awesomely to transport us back to this time and to give us a sense of what its like to be a part of a revolution!  

We the Living

Radhika Marwah    Any mention of the anti- establishment is perhaps incomplete without reference to Ayn Rand. We the Living is an anti- communism book and is as close to an autobiography as Rand ever wrote. The story is set in the early 1920s in the post- revolutionary Russia. All private ventures have been nationalized and it is this event that forces the free- willed protagonist, Kira Argounova and her family to lose all their possessions. The Socialist Russia is portrayed as a cruel and smothering entity, limiting the growth potential of the competent. Rand’s basic philosophy, Objectivism, is against the fundamentals of Communism. The narrative describes the adversity faced by Kira and Leo, a man she meets in a lowly neighbourhood and unflinchingly falls in love with. Kira is studying to be an engineer and her belief in herself and her ability is fortified at various points in the story. The most intriguing and paradoxical character is Andrei Taganov, a co-student of Kira, an idealistic Communist, and an officer in the G.P.U, the secret police of the Soviet. At once at odds with the philosophy of the book, Taganov, nevertheless engages the reader with his strength of character and the love he has for Kira. All through the book, the characters encounter struggle and impenetrability posed by the State and its elements. Such is the effort required to retaliate against the system that it almost breaks the spirit of the key characters. The book ends on a heartrending note, which is haunting.        


Radhika Marwah 

Anurag Kashyap said in an interview that Gulaal is his “angriest” film and I cannot help but agree. Releasing after the queerly interesting Dev D and a number of years stuck at the censors, Gulaal encountered an expectant, if somewhat skeptical audience. The basic plot of the movie is Dukey Pana (Kay Kay Menon) demanding a separate state for the Rajputs and pioneering the Rajputana movement. The movie is a heady mix of students’ unions, separatism, intense love and brutal politics. Kay Kay Menon is excellent and is supported by fresh, energetic faces. Deepak Dobriyal as Bhati and Ransa, the exiled, wastrel of an aristocrat is particular good. Inspired by Mohammad Rafi songs from Pyaasa (“Yeh duniya agar mil bhi jaaye to kya hai”) and Zeenat, (“Haye re duniya”) the film is a dedication to Sahir Ludhianvi, the lyricist of the song and all other poets who had a vision of India. The poetry, snazzily recited by the Theatre veteran Piyush Mishra is brilliant. Mishra who is also the music director of the film, is portrayed as a fan of John Lennon (he wears a Lennon locket) and frequently breaks into a song which is sarcastic and truthful at the same time. The movie is shot brilliantly and the dialogue delivery is hard- hitting and stays with you. The script is intelligent, the narrative engrossing and the acting phenomenal. Gulaal is one of the finest political dramas that Bollywood has produced.]]>

Journalism has been called the “first rough draft of history”. D.U.B may be termed as the first rough draft of DU history. Freedom to Express.

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