The annual festival of Hindu College, ‘Mecca’, has allegedly been put in jeopardy by an administration order to reduce the 3-day, star-studded event to just 1. Students of the college have reportedly gathered outside the college gates to stage a protest against the same.
An important cultural event in the college calendar, this year’s ‘Mecca’ was scheduled to be held on the 26th, 27th, and 28th of April, culminating in a megastar evening on the final day with Sunidhi Chauhan. Agreements had been made, and Coke Studio had signed up for sponsorship of about Rs. 34 lakhs. However, with the event just a week away, on April 20, the organising committee was informed by the college principal that the event should be wrapped up in a single day, i.e., April 28.
This order by the administration was reportedly in part due to the recent advisory issued by the University for college fests requiring NOC from the police or being limited to the students of the college. Students who have been working hard for months for this event have come out to protest against this arbitrary decision. The organising committee has also opposed this decision, saying that MOUs have been signed and all the arrangements have been made. The college administration has also allegedly made the distasteful demand that Sunidhi Chauhan be dressed in a saree; otherwise, she won’t be allowed to perform on stage, as a gimmick to stop the event from taking place.
“The admin has shown a similar attitude towards every event. We had a North-East Fest in our college which had an open entry, but the principal denied that just one day before the event. They’ve always opposed Mecca from the first day, but if they’re letting it happen, why cancel at the last moment? Coke Studio can easily file a case against the OC head of Mecca for breaking the MOUs.” – Devesh Arya, a third-year student at Hindu College
According to sources, various protesters allegedly came to the college on the night of the 20th, breaking the locks of the gates and protesting for Mecca to be held according to the original itinerary of 3 days. The next morning, they reportedly didn’t let the professors into the college as a sign of protest. Later in the day, they shifted their protest to the principal’s office. While some students alleged that protesting students were detained by the police and lathi charged, others have claimed otherwise. On the same day, i.e., the 21st of April, the principal issued a notice stating that they “were anguished to the state that they were left with no choice but to seek police assistance”.
“Students have crowded outside the auditorium since last night; they’ve spread the mattresses and are continuously protesting. Since then, the principal has also made many attempts to leave the premises, but every time was stopped by protesting students.” – An eyewitness from Hindu College
Many people in the organizing committee claimed having their own money pitched in, but now that there are limitations on the people allowed to attend the event, the students fear that the sponsors will back out and also tarnish the name of the college.
“We don’t have any additional demand; we just want to continue with the same old format that Mecca used to happen. This is all our demand, and as long as it’s not fulfilled, we will continue to protest. A meeting with the principal happened, but no response was received.” – Prabal Mishra, a student of Hindu College and Junior Executive Head in PR
Read also: ‘No event without Police NOC’: DU Releases New Guidelines for College Fests
Featured Image Credits: Devesh Arya for DU Beat