Cliques in DU – E Stands for Exclusion?

Forming groups isn’t negative. But what turns this safe process into foul play is the close-mindedness of groups based on diversity in DU. Read on to know more.

Groupism exists in DU“, and “DU is elitist” are some of the most commonly heard phrases when discussing topics like what goes on inside DU. The rise of many castes, religions, gender and class-based discrimination across DU has greatly raised the question of groups.  No one can deny that once in a lifetime they surely have faced an incident where they must have felt left out or excluded from groups although rigid toxic groups are a cliche associated with high school; it’s undeniable that such instances happen in college life too.

Rigid stereotypical groups, as such “the popular ones “, ‘ the non-mainstream ones ‘, ‘ the elitist attitude’, ‘ the bread-winners’, ‘the UPSC aspirants, ‘the party animals’, etc. exist in real life. Friend groups are meant to be happy places with people with whom one feels comfortable. Often it’s an argument that why would someone try to include a person who doesn’t fit into their particular group traits? Is forming a group bad? 

These arguments aren’t invalid. It isn’t the intention of forming wrong groups, but it is the practice of treating people outside your group poorly that takes a toll on the one being excluded. But what makes it toxic is how this rigid groupism eventually turns out into mental and emotional bullying. Many people who are left out are often subject to hate and mockery.

There’s a  “high brow” elitism amongst some DU students that restricts them from expanding their circle.

Vidushi Sinha of Lady Shri Ram College for Women

People exclude other people coz they do not fit into their so-called self-proclaimed traits. Groups not only wrench your heart but also makes your soul sink. Which leads to self-doubt and demotivation.

Rishabh Arya, Hindu College

Backbiting, mocking, and bullying are human tendencies that develop without even our control.  But can this be an excuse for hurting others? 

The toxic culture of college societies has always found headlines in DU Beat. So not including groups in societies in this article would leave out a significant portion of this issue. The disparity between people who can afford to go and sip a coffee at Starbucks after every practice session and people who walk home just to save a few extra bucks isn’t something extraordinary but becomes toxic once the thin line between respecting each other’s choices crossfades.

 It’s the job of the union to ensure no one in the society is complexed into feeling lesser than the rest. I’m not an innately confident person so I was practically bullied by these people into feeling replaceable. It always felt like my position in society was threatened if I didn’t look at things their way. Moreover, they buddied up with one of my peers and formed a trio.


On a positive note, groups provide a shared ground for people to feel safe. The traditional function of groups in societies is to provide a semblance of safety and security to an individual. DU being a major institution in the country welcomes students from all over India and even abroad, with diverse backgrounds and diverse identities.  

For instance, being from a minor faction and staying somewhere away from home, makes people find solace and safety in people from their minority groups. In this case, the various solidarity groups working in DU serve the role of institutions that facilitate a home-like social atmosphere for all students from the same background. Apart from this, this can also be a place for a person to reach out to when their identities are endangered.

Further, students from these groups might form their coteries based on shared interests or grounds of social diversities. Similar divisions happen based on ‘where’ in that particular state you belong to. Are you socially in the same league? Economically? And Cool-ness? Study or Party? 

The phenomenon of the formation of groups is a continuous process and is inevitable. Cliques are sure to exist but it is their inhibition that makes certain people feel left out and that isn’t right. 

No one is unaware of the fact that social media platforms have helped a lot to enjoy their virtual college life. Was that so? What about the introverts who were shy to join those group chat sticker battles or zoom jamming sessions or were too scared to open up with people online? Simply! they were invisible to the group discussion rounds or not being bothered to be invited to the cafeteria with the class group.

Shruti Gupta, a Political Science major from Deshbandhu College.

While documenting this article I remembered how online mode became a comforting spot for me, being a socially anxious person Eventually, people who are extroverts find it relatively easier to form groups. The same groups are never inclusive or open. The same groups that sit at the cafeteria, repeat as flatmates, roommates, and the same groups that explore Delhi. While doing extensive research on “How can a non-extrovert exist in DU? Can I find other introverts to be friends with in DU?’’  before joining college, I often came across answers like ‘Don’t worry DU has a lot of introverts. You will find your friends. One question which bothered me was whether should I classify situations as ‘finding introvert friends’, ‘finding North-Eastern Friends’, or ‘finding friends with relatable backgrounds’. Isn’t this something that renders DU’s acceptance of diversity reductive?

Read Also:The Language of Inequality: Compulsory Test Hindi (CTH) Examination

Featured Image Credits: Sotheby’s

Hritwik Pratim Kalyan 

[email protected]


A philosophy major in Hindu College and , you can find Hritwik listening to Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga all day long and cracking weird jokes.