DU is not solely known for its notorious cut-offs, but also known for the power of expression each and every student has. Here’s an insight into the love-hate relationship between DU, freedom and expression through all these years.
DU has been a kaleidoscope of expression, being the hub of the youth of the nation, it has captured the ‘F’ word- ‘freedom’ in the most pristine form, each year, each batch, each student- having a different aspiration from the concept of freedom. This ambiguity has not weakened the meaning of freedom when it comes to DU, rather expanded the arena of freedom. DU has been a melting pot of all definitions of freedom. From the restoration of sovereignty back to time when DU was the hotspot of freedom struggle- Hindu being the epicentre of political waves, students being actively involved in the Quit India Movement to the extent that students and teachers of the college went to prison following their participation, Ramjas hostel sheltering Chandra Shekhar Azad in the past; to the realization of civil liberty back in 1975- wherein the entire Sanskrit department of Delhi University was prisoned, Arun Jaitley from SRCC was seen as the first satyagrahi against the emergency, DU transforms everyday!
As we further pass through the passage of time, freedom trickles down to the involvement of having a student-centric opinion when it comes to academics and education. Some regard the pioneer of the anti-Mandal agitation as Rajiv Goswami from Deshbandhu College who stirred the movement after his attempts of self- immolation. Furthermore, anti-Mandal agitations were launched by students of St. Stephen’s College and Delhi School of Economics, which took thousands under its fold. When attempts to bring the Four Year Programme were brought into the light, it was alleged by the students as an attempt to make education elitist. Many put forth their voices, stating that it to be against the interest of students coming from economically weaker section as they would not be able to meet the expenditure of an additional year. Expression of grievances and concerns have constantly been under the alms of DU.
Entering into the thought bubble of recent times, freedom is seen to be fighting the underlying sexism which seemed to be lurking around the campus gates like an underdog earlier. Well thanks to DU, it has got you covered, not literally……….. Be it the embargo on the length of one’s skirt or the restriction on the hour of the day, we fought it! Back in 2017, Pinjra Tod decided to hold a protest demonstration slogan- ‘Jhooti Suraksha Ki Khol De Pol, Pinjra Tod’. This was in response to the arbitrary and unilateral decision of shifting the entry time into the hostel from 10 pm to 9 pm by Ambedkar Ganguly Hostel. Women from St. Stephen’s, Lady Shri Ram College, and Delhi School of Economics resisted against the move as well as the instilled sense of fear of losing the hostel seat for speaking the truth.
Just a few days ago, freedom’s definition added another feather to its cap- inclusivity! The seven lettered word- Freedom has now knocked out homophobia as we witnessed the most seven coloured march of North Campus! On 3rd August, we saw one of the most vibrant pride marches in the North Campus which was glittered with face paints, flags, and posters. “prem che, prem che, tharo maro same che” all said in unison! The all-inclusive character of freedom is a new level achieved! With the rainbow in it, even the sky is not the limit!
Feature Image Credits: DUB Archives