And a 100 years pass by : Ramjas College marks its centennial celebrations this year

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Ramjas College crossed a landmark and entered into the 100th year of its journey on January 17, 2016. Passing another milestone of a splendid journey, The college Principal Dr. Rajendra Prasad, along with his esteemed teaching staff paid tribute to Rai Kedarnath, the founder of this prestigious institution. To celebrate its history of neutral attitude towards all faiths and beliefs, the college began its 100th year with an All-faith Prayer, where representatives of 8 religions were welcomed to recite and perform their respective rituals. In a gala of three day celebrations, this is how the celebration unfolded: 

Day one. 17th January

With an introductory speech, commemorating the glorious history and heritage of the college by Dr. Suchitra Gupta, the event started. The All-faith Prayer Meet included prayers of 8 different religions performed in an alphabetical order: Baha’ism, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism and Sikhism. It was evident how each religion propagates the message of peace and humanity where it doesn’t divide, rather unite people in a sacred bond.

After the prayers, a classical performance by the students of Ramjas College Dance society, In-Step adorned the stage to memorise the crowd with a beautiful amalgamation of Bharatnatyam, Kathak and Sattriya. The first day of the three-day celebrations saw its last performance by the band, Rangrez, consisting of students of Ramjas Music society, Backbeat. The instrumental performance by the band mesmerised the audience.

Dr. Suchitra ended the Day-I of this super-colossal festival by glorifying the 100 year heritage that is deep seated. To quote her beautiful words:

“badi tab diliyan aayien hain apne aap mein, par ae Ramjas College aadat nahi gayi tujhe yaad karne ki”

The day concluded with a brunch, marking the end of day-I of the centennial celebrations.

Day two, 18th January:                    

With enthusiasm began the second day of the celebration in Ramjas College, where the students enjoyed a Tonga Ride, a cyclothon, presence of eminent guests and the performances by the budding talents of the college. The students were entertained and an exuberant mix of badges as souvenirs with the sweatshirts and caps of the college,  encouraging the heights achieved by the institution.

A Tonga ride and a cyclothon initiated the celebration, reminiscing the historic memory of the inauguration of the college by MahatmaGandhi who travelled in a Tonga during the non-cooperation movement. After the Tonga Ride and the cyclothon, the college welcomed the chief Guest Lt. Gov. Shri Najeeb Jung, Hon’ble Justice Dr. Mukundakam Sharma (Retd.), a proud alumnus of the college, and the chairman of the governing bodySh. Anil Aggarwal.

The chief guest hoisted the college flag and the centennial logo of the college was also launched. The audience was then inspired by the Brilliant speech by Sh. Anil Aggarwal who then introduced Mukundakam Sharma to the crowd. He addressed the audience and talked about how great it feels to be a part of an institution that has served in educating young minds for a hundred years.

The honourable Principal, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, who has been serving Ramjas College for the past 31 years as the principal, addressed the convocation proclaiming that Ramjas was founded to fulfil the needs of ordinary people in terms of education. He added that a hundred years is more than a number, it’s a legacy. He also enlightened the students by exploring the golden past of the college. The chief guest of the day, Lt. Gov. Shri Najeeb Jung, shared his college memories and made Ramjasites proud by saying, “We all are living in moment of history.” A vote of thanks of the Vice-Principal Dr. Nalini Nigam, thanked all the dignities who had spared their precious time to be the part of this gracious event. Thousands of balloons were released by the Ramjas fraternity to celebrate the merry-making. An entertaining and enthralling Sapera-Been Vaadan by Jai Karan and Party left the spectators spell-bound. The Dance Society, In-Step and the Fashion Society, Rampage gave mesmerizing performances, finally leading to a lavishing lunch for all Ramjasites. This is how the super-colossal and ravishing day-II of the celebration came to an end.

Third Day, 19th January:

The Third day of Centennial Celebrations began with a multi cuisine food plaza in the space behind the college grounds. A number of different stalls were set up by big brands like Feeding India, Mad Monkey , Starco Junction, Dominoes and Kwality Wall’s. Stalls like Kake Di Hatti, Roll Corner, a maggi stall by Kake’s, Nav Jyoti Kulfi Stall and Bhushan Chaat Bhandar also featured among the 18 stalls in the food plaza. All food was subsidised by the college and were available at cheap rates to all. 

The food plaza began early and the band performances leading up to Papon, the most awaited event of the night, followed next. Rangreez, came on stage to sway the crowd to their rhythmic beats. With a Cajon Box Drum to add to their uniqueness, the college band was a definite hit with the crowd. Following Rangreez was another performance to a song called Eagles Nest from the Sound Of Music. Introduced as one the Principal’s favourites, it was a soulful performance. Delhi based, The Revisit Project performed next. With Nishant Nagar on the saxophone adding a unique twist, theirs was crowd pleaser as well. Next  came the multi genre hindi band Astitva which was founded in 2007 in Ramjas College itself. With a magical blend of rock, jazz and Hindustani classical and soulful lyrics, they mixed well with the crowd and rocked the performance. They proved to be the biggest hit before Papon.

Then the most awaited performance of the evening, Papon and The East India Company, finally came on stage and the crowd went wild even as Papon Da came on stage. Papon is member and founder of the multi talented Assamese band East India Company. With Brin Desai on live electronics, Jinti on lead guitar, Karan from Bombay on percussion, Dipu on bass and Tanmay on drums, they were one of the biggest hit Ramjas and probably Delhi University, has had in years. They crowd swayed, danced and sang to their every song. With hits like Banao Banao, Jhumur, Tukari and the beat of Bortaal, they had everyone dancing till the end. It was definitely one of the most energetic performances Ramjas has had in years. The show came to an end by 9:30 pm.

With this the inaugural function of the Centennial Celebrations came to an  end. This would definitely be of the most remembered three day events in the history of Ramjas and also in the history of Delhi University as well.

Arindam Goswami

[email protected]

Photo credits: Subhalaxmi Borah for Du Beat.

Currently in my third year, studying Political Science major at Ramjas College. I love chicken and books and sleeping. If you want to talk, feel free to drop me a mail at [email protected] or you can reach me through Facebook, Arindam Goswami. Kudos!

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