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DU Beat team Man-handled at Shivaji College’s fest

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DU Beat photographers mistreated at the hands of faculty at Shivaji College. Read on to find out more.

The cultural event of Shivaji College, Vibrations, was held on the 20th and 21st of February, 2019. While it hosted several programmes, what also unfolded were unfortunate experiences that became horrifying for the photographers here at DU Beat.

DU Beat, as the official ‘Media Partner’, went to cover the Star Night featuring Benny Dayal. Despite being given the official access pass and barricade entry inclusive of the stage, the faculty turned out to be unwilling to let them stand and perform their task. The barricades placed were at a very close proximity to the stage allotted to the photographers. The teachers and faculty were also accommodated within this restricted region.

The photography team was present to deliver on a string of tasks, this process was hampered by the faculty who felt they were “blocking their view”. This agitation intensified. Surabhi, a photographer at DU Beat, was pulled by her arm and dragged away by a male teacher. Two other photographers, Simran Sawhney, and Adithya Khanna suffered the same ill treatment of being pushed by teachers.

The horrors of the event extended further when Mahi, a member of the team, was approached by a security guard from Shivaji College who came “dangerously close” to her and said, “Peeche hatt yaha se” (‘Move away from here’ in a derogatory manner). Despite standing at a reasonable distance from the stage she showed him her id-card to make him realise that she was with the press. He replied with the same cold response.

Janesh Sahni, a videographer from DU Beat said, “I suffered a major loss when this teacher overstepped her bounds and pushed my camera away. The lens which costs Rs 43,000 was damaged in this chaos.” The photography team who were simply present to do their duty were man-handled and mistreated. This turned out to be a horrible experience for the entire team.

The authorities at Shivaji College responded to this with justifications. An absence of evidence of the camera lens being damaged by a professor meant there was no proof for the institution to bear its cost. While the possibilities of such proof existing are impossible. The infrastructural limitations were justified on grounds of bad weather conditions and thus the event had to be moved to a smaller venue. The representatives agreed to provide a formal apology from the institution and the professors responsible, once identified. No comments were made on the man-handling of the two female photographers but what was discussed were suggestions to ensure such incidents did not emerge in the future.

DU Beat is a student-run magazine, such behaviour from faculty members of the same university is unacceptable. This association was built on an agreement with the Cultural Committee of the college and demands certain standards of respect be upheld and decorum to be maintained. Under this, it becomes the prerogative of the college to take responsibility for such actions, something that remains ambiguous.

Feature Image Credits: College Source


Shivani Dadhwal

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