Ankita Baidya


JNU’s Students along with SFI-AIDWA-DYFI staged a protest against the police inaction and demanded swift action for identifying and arresting the suspect who sexually harassed a student on campus on Monday night.

On 21 January 2022, the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) along with other student unions and associations, including All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) and Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI,) protested in front of Delhi Police Headquarters against the police inaction in regards to an attempt to rape at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).  On Monday night, 17 January 2022, an attempt to rape was made on a JNU’s student. The student was taking an evening stroll near the VC house when a motorcyclist tried to drag the student into the forest and attempted to rape her. SFI condemns the casual approach of the police in this incident. They strongly feel that this incident is a shameful reflection of patriarchy that persists in society. Such incidents have been on the rise during the lockdown when vigilance has lowered. They find it disgraceful that students who identify with minority genders have to go through such traumas in University space. Asha Sharma, State Secretary of AIDWA, also condemns Delhi police for their lack of accountability towards the victim and towards the due process of law.

AIDWA Delhi was shocked by this unfortunate incident as it is a residential space where students return from libraries late at night. Moreover, since it has been considered a safer space for women, the female students often come out to walk even later than the time at which this incident has occurred. Satarupa Chakraborty from AIDWA points out that it is very irresponsible of the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) who did nothing upon hearing about the incident. It is quite shameful that a young woman had to undergo such a heinous crime within the premises of a prestigious university.  She further adds the importance of escalating the efforts that are being made in bringing back the Gender Sensitization Committee Against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH) in JNU. In conversation with DU Beat, Twinkle Siwach, former GSCASH student representative, directed attention towards the ICC. According to her, ever since the ICC, the puppet body of the JNU administration (as opposed to the idea of GSCASH which was constituted with elected members from different constituencies) has been installed, they have witnessed that cases of harassment, stalking in particular, have significantly increased in number. She stated that woman students do not feel confident in approaching ICC, particularly because, in some cases, complaints have been leaked, or the blame has been put on the complainants. In the absence of GSCASH, students still find it a safer option to seek help from the former GSCASH student representatives instead of approaching any member from ICC. She points out that in some of the extreme cases; students prefer to contact the police directly.

This incident has once again highlighted the lackadaisical attitude of the JNU administration and ICC, which continues to control the freedom of women students inside the campus and does not outreach or come out in the support of the complainants or women students in general.

-Twinkle Siwach, former Gender Sensitization Committee Against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH) student representative

Elora Chakraborty, an EC member of the SFI JNU unit, in conversation with DU Beat strongly believes that the JNU administration should immediately pressurize the Delhi Police to carry out the investigation and arrest the culprit. The administration should leave no stone unturned to help the Police with all necessary information and data. Alongside the Administration, including the JNU VC, must immediately take not only cognizance of the crime but also apologize to the student community in general for the inability to provide security. Further, she stated that the scandalous appointment of Cyclops Security and Allied Services Pvt. Ltd. must be undone at the earliest. She marked out that ever since the security agency has been brought to campus, the campus is seeing more and more instances of security lapses in recent times like in this case of an attempt to rape a fellow female student along with the regular cases of sexual harassment in the campus space or on 5 January 2020, when the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) President Aishe Ghosh was attacked by right-wing goons in a premeditated manner and also of harassment of students by the security agency. When the security agency is ill-equipped to provide the campus with the security they must immediately be replaced.

It is needless to say the JNUSU demands resignation of the JNU VC Mamidala Jagdish Kumar for degrading the institution and if the question is about what JNU students are doing, they already are protesting for justice to the survivor and for the revival of GSCASH in the campus alongside the JNUSU.

-Elora Chakraborty, former JNUSU councilor for School of Social Sciences, EC member, SFI JNU

Concluding her statement, Elora asserted that the student community in JNU will not rest until justice is provided to the survivor and the culprit is arrested. The voice for the reinstatement of GSCASH is getting stronger day by day and students are coming out on the streets of JNU and Delhi to demand justice for the survivor. On 20 January 2022, the student community walked alongside the JNUSU reclaiming the night with the campus in a March from Sabarmati hostel to the VC house. On 21 January 2022 the JNU student community and the JNUSU marched to the Vasant Kunj Police Station demanding speedy justice to the bone-chilling crime on the campus.  AIDWA-SFI-DYFI had a common call of protest at the Delhi Police headquarter to make campus spaces safer. The protest will go on in the demand for justice for the survivor and reinstatement for GSCASH.

Read Also: Multiple Accusations of Sexual Misconduct Against A Doctoral Student from JNU

Featured Image Credits: Chirag Jha for DU Beat

Ankita Baidya

[email protected]

Is it going to be the Books or the Movies? The question never sears down but can a bucket of popcorn and 120 minutes justify the art of an author?

As I close my eyes tonight, my mind steps into another world that is full of bliss. I spin and twirl and skip and prance. I dance around with souls that I have never met. I savoured every moment until the darkness caught me up and my eyes closed again. The dawn breaks and I open my eyes to realise it was my whimsical world that offered contentment which no mortal could. That is how it feels when one turns pages after pages to know what happens next. Reading a novel is like living through an indescribable world. Our minds have the capacity to imagine the world beyond the stars. This capability brings a never ending argument of whether a book is better than a Movie or vice-versa. Surely, many would find Movies entertaining and eye-catchy because of the glitzy narration but does it justify the author’s 600 pages?

I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.

-Liesal Meminger, The Book Thief

Why choose reading books when you can watch the story within 120 minutes. Seems reasonable when we live in a fast pacing world but don’t the loose ends of the movie spark a curiosity in your mind? When the movie, ’Book Thief’ ends with a narration by the death, it did give us closure but not the minutes that we were searching for. While it would have been impactful to show the conversation between death and Liesal (which was depicted in the book), nevertheless we had to settle with the short and abrupt ending that Brian Percival had to offer.

This makes me come back to my original argument about choosing the book. Well, a book displays the raw and original thoughts of the author and a movie enjoys the so-called ‘creative’ freedom. The latter makes the story bend in ways that none of us would speculate. As a result, the details and the visions of the author could not be comprehended correctly. When a book is read, it makes us slip into a boundless world. The moment our eyes engage with a book, an ocean of possibilities unlocks that make us completely engrossed into the story. It paves the way to a greater imagination for us, perhaps granting the ‘creative’ freedom that our mind seeks.

And then there are books, which you can’t tell people about, books so special and rare and yours that advertising your affection feels like a betrayal.

-John Green, Author of Fault In Our Stars

The fighting thoughts between picking the movie or the book continues but can the 120 minutes justify the author’s heart? Fault in Our Stars, a story of “okay” becoming their “always”, embarks us on an emotional roller coaster. After all the struggles that Hazel and Augustus go through, to know the fate of the characters from the former’s favourite book, ‘An Imperial Affliction’ , it is revealed near the end of the book that the protagonist, Anna Van Houten, dies of the same type of cancer as Augustus had. However, the movie misses the part where it tells the audience about the same, leaving the cord of the character’s curiosity tangled. Another stark issue that is quite noticeable is when Augustus is diagnosed with his deteriorating cancer condition. The book shows us how his parents were concerned about his trip to Amsterdam due to the same. Also, Hazel was the one who picked him up for the airport. Nonetheless, the movie decided to present the scenario in quite a different way. It
not only missed out on the concern but showed Augustus arriving in a Limo to pick Hazel up for the airport. The movie did miss out on these peculiar and intricate details which led to distort the way the story was written. This further widens the connection between the audience and a particular character. While the glam of the movie stars does catch our attention, most of the movies miss the charm that the book embraces. The latter builds our understanding about a character in a way that makes us feel and relate to them. We feel a sense of attachment that we never knew we needed.

Even though the aforementioned “creative” freedom leads to ruining our favourite moments from the book sometimes, it is quite non-viable to include each and every detail in the film. To adapt the entirety of those 900 pages into 120 or 180 minutes seems too far fetched. Yet, there are a few movies which do not disappoint us like ‘The Notebook’, ‘Harry Potter’ and even ‘Lord of The Rings’. Nevertheless, nobody likes incomplete films to be presented to them where either the character is missing or some other salient detail. When the boxing career of Max was left out in ‘The Book Thief’ and when Augustus’ plight was not shown in its true sense in ‘Fault in Our Stars’, it brought us a sheer amount of displeasure that we were definitely not looking for.

Rolling back to the primary contention of a book or a movie, the argument boils down to a war of words. Nevertheless, the essence of the original story should not be lost in any way. So, the question comes down to how should a movie truly justify an author?

Read Also: 7 Underrated Netflix Movies To Watch During Lockdown

Movies versus Morality: Decoding the Rom-coms We All Love

Featured Image Credits:

Ankita Baidya

[email protected]

The Indian Education system is based upon the traditional methods of face-to-face dissemination of education. With the pandemic hitting and challenging us in all the possible ways, the education needs restructuring to sustain the crisis. The question is how are we going to address the underlying issues to make the system compatible with the on-going predicament?

A thought of the past are those fine winter mornings where we used to get up to our mother’s voices. Then packed our bags, ate our breakfast and headed out for school. From attending those science periods to playing football in every games period, we were accustomed to a certain kind of development. We were never prepared for any other situation where all these could just become a talk of the thin air. Yet, here we are battling a deadly virus from the comforts of our humble abode. The unforeseen outbreak of the COVID-19 disease that is caused by the corona virus has forced the educational institutions to shut. The concept of blended mode or the online Education is not new to the present time but the change from a classical appeal to a more westernized approach has been a little sudden. This situation has kept a challenge before the entire education fraternity of the world and has forced the pedagogues to shift to the online mode overnight. Although, the sheer willingness to gain and impart knowledge has kept the students and the teachers moving through the months, there are quintessential arguments that need our focus to deliver the best in the time of the crisis.

Education system in India was doomed long before the pandemic hit. I’m simply taken aback with the thought that we were expecting them to be efficient online.

-Kenisha, Hindu College, University of Delhi

Every outcome has its pros and cons but if and only if we try to resolve those cons then the solution can turn as the best scenario. Shifting the students and the teacher to the online mode seemed to be a playful and an interesting way out but did it really help when students are slacking off? The Indian educational pattern is more theoretical than practical which makes it difficult for the students to keep up with the classes in the long run. Nevertheless, as students it comes onto us to make some adjustments and do our best to help the situation but a practical approach needs to be harboured eventually. This crisis may cost us other attributes of life. However, the education holds the prime place in a student’s life and the crisis should not cost us the same. The question is not only about engaging the students but also about imparting the same or even better quality of education in such stressful times. So, now the matter at hand is will the long hours of lecture stick to what is written on those ten pages of our book or are we going to find a practical approach to make those hours worth everyone’s time?

From a kid’s perception, it is equally difficult for us to grab things from our home like in DU (we know we will have Open Book Examinations then why to listen? There is no reason.) Same goes with school like students gave exam on Google forms. What is the point of studying huge syllabus?

-Piyush Srivastava, Delhi College of Arts and Commerce, University of Delhi

In addition to the above, arises the question of accessibility and feasibility. India is a polarized nation with a clear distinction between urban and rural. On one hand we have a prospect of better approach towards education by making it real-time and accessible from anywhere but the question of disparities amidst the different sections of societies is inevitable. The urban advancements in the digital arena exceed the underlying issue of the division. While this step might have made our lives easier, about 60% of the students face the unprecedented complications arising from lack of internet connectivity. These figures could widen the gap and have the potential for worsening the status-quo persisting in the nation. This is further fueled by the state’s inaction to ensure accessibility to internet in every region. When the little boy has the responsibility to look after his father’s shop and make time for the book in his hand, the inequitable access to internet would make it difficult for him to accomplish his targets.

I don’t think that our education system was capable for online mode because of the vast digital divide that existed and still exists. Online mode is especially incompatible for the rural areas as compared to the urban areas because of lack of proper infrastructure.

-Srivatsa Seth, Kirori Mal College, University of Delhi

The online mode might be the final solution to our problems in the near future. Before asking the stakeholders to blatantly switch to this sudden change, it is really necessary to answer the question of accessibility and feasibility. Education is the backbone of the world. It is the medium that is going to reel us out of any crisis. Hence, an equitable implementation of internet connectivity in each and every region is the need of the hour in order to maintain the ethical standards of education.

Our education system holds importance for the face value. Eliminating the physicality out of the system, makes the students exposed to the virtual tangibles. Yet, online education is no longer an option for us but a necessity. It might have loopholes but it is on us to make it capable enough to sustain the global catastrophe that we are witnessing. So, the question is, are we going to kneel before this sitch or are we going to join hands and work towards structuring the system in accordance with the present times?

Read Also: Is Covid-19 Making Celebrities Stay in the Same Boat as Us?

Featured Image Credits: Vanessa Rodriguez via Foothill Dragon Press

Ankita Baidya

[email protected]


NEP 2020 is envisioned towards creating an inclusive education to all by bridging the abiding spaces in the society. Yet, it seems to just be a façade of progression. The policy is ought to introduce the much needed practicality into the mainstream education but what is the correct way to go about it? Is it going to be an actual consideration of voices of all the stakeholders or will it be a theoretical approach to a ‘practical solution’?

The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 has a vision towards transforming the Indian education system into a global knowledge superpower. It lays down the veracious purpose of the education system, to develop virtuous human beings having rational and critical ability, empathy and solicitude, creativity and the power to go beyond but what is the cost to implement this? Will this be uniform for each child living under the same sky or a question of ‘subjectivity’ would arise?

NEP address to the practical knowledge and skills like carpentry etc but see now the things is that our government schools do not even have quality teachers how can you equip them all in such a small time frame, so first government should be focusing on ground development rather than looking on to the entire nations prosperity.

-Malvika Choudhary, Delhi School of Journalism

The irony of this policy is such that it is a step towards changing the theoretical approach into practicality but the policy itself sounds too theoretical than pragmatic. While observing the NEP 2021, inclusivity is a major factor of the entire policy. Yet, there are provisions that might look like encompassing all the sections of the society. However, in the actuality of this realm, it is only pushing the way towards widening the gaps of disparity. It is as if a kid falls down, gets hurt on the knee and starts wailing; rather than using a bandage to heal the wound, they are being given licorice in pursuit of ceasing the tears. The question is not about if these provisions are good or bad but about the “tomorrow” that the nation is trying to build.

The problem in NEP is that it scarcely mentions of affirmative action in the form of reservation for the socially oppressed anywhere in the document moreover it also talks about financial autonomy for the government which will lead to rise in fees and so more exclusion of the students.

-Aman, Ramjas College, member of Students’ Federation of India (SFI)

The NEP emphasizes on the sitch of inclusivity and universal education. However, granting the status of autonomy is only going to widen the gaps. Autonomous colleges and universities can introduce independent rules and regulations and curtail the transparent admission processes which guarantee the seats to the marginalised sections. Further, they can enjoy the liberty of introducing expensive self-financed courses. This step does not speak inclusion, instead, is screaming omission.

The National Education Policy (NEP), 2020 is a policy aimed at commercialization, privatization, centralisation and saffronisation of the education system in the country. In the garb of granting ‘autonomy’ to educational institutions, the NEP gives unbridled power to the institutions to implement fee hikes as per their will. It turns education from a responsibility of the state and a social service, into a profit making enterprise. This will further lead to education being inaccessible and a debt trap for the coming generations and the present.

-Prabudh Singh, graduate from Zakir Hussain Evening College, member of SFI

Adding to this, the policy emphasizes on the need to set up a ‘Gender-Inclusion fund’. On the surface it seems to be bringing an end to the unjust practices against the girls and transgender but as a matter of fact what is in it for them? Will it bring solace to the wronged genders or will it welcome even more adversities than it is already present?

This fund will be set- up to provide equitable quality education to the transgender students and girls, especially belonging to the socio-economically disadvantaged groups. However, this step would require the transgender students to come out and identify themselves in the public eye. We are living in a progressive country but not progressive enough to even provide security to this section through penal laws. From a classroom to the roadside tea stall, slurs are normalized against trans people then how are we supposed to believe that a fund is going to solve these deep-rooted problems? Are we supposed to turn a blind eye towards the underlying issues and focus on the surface?

A trans student dressed up as a boy for every single day until he finished his final school examination and secured a seat in a foreign land. It was then that he recognized himself as she/her. It took her nearly twelve to fourteen years to come out in the public eye since she has the sense of security of leaving the country so how are we supposed to accept the fact that by introducing a fund, by providing bicycles, provisions of sanitation and quality education, the long-lived stigma will come to an end? Is this enough to turn the thorns into roses when the country finds it normal to laugh them out?

Certain aspects of the NEP might have long term detrimental effects, after lapsing the short-lived happiness. It is a good decision but not a thoughtful one. The gender inclusivity fund is a good start per say, but at some point these students will be exposed to the vulnerability that our society hides. A system has to be incorporated that would not throw these students under the bus and would provide them from basic needs to quality education.

-Sanya Gupta, a student of Kamala Nehru College

Furthermore, the policy talks about introducing similar inclusion funds for other marginalised sections. These funds are in the talks for their holistic wellbeing in addition to equitable and quality education. These steps look good on paper but are they a promise to a long-term happiness or just a fantasy of seventh heaven? Not to mention, how are we supposed to address the issue of ‘roti, kapda aur makaan’ on the pile of discriminatory laughter and societal stigma. On top of all these, the perplexing situation arises about the source of the funds, given that we live in a country with quite a number of marginalised groups. Even if they are introduced, how is the question of transparency in terms of usage of the funds is going to be answered? These funds seem to be a wolf in a sheep’s skin. From exposing to a greater vulnerability to a possibility of widening the societal gap, this policy needs to be rethought from the perspective of the wronged ones.

The NEP-2020 is set to be implemented completely by 2030. Given that India has the second largest population in the entire world, not only is it a strenuous task but also mapping the various tangibles for over 250 million students, next ten years seem to be quite a less number.

NEP 2020 is very promising in theory, but its implementation is way difficult, especially in a country like India which ranks second in population. Surely, there’s a long way ahead for the Indian education system to grow and develop under the NEP, 2020. There is a need to shift from mugging up facts and figures to encourage creativity and practical experiences.

-A Professor of University of Delhi in conversation with DU Beat

Besides a problematic implementation, it needs to account for all the tangibles that come along with it. The most quintessential stakeholders of this policy, the students, believe that the demerits of the policy might overpower the actual vision which in turn could lead to a massive failure if not addressed. Nevertheless, this policy might be the much needed change to one the largest education systems of the world but which lines are we ready to blur in order to achieve the top rank?

Featured Image Credits: 

Ankita Baidya

[email protected]

From the medical system to the education system, everything has been completely exposed to vulnerability from the time pandemic has hit this nation. The year of 2020 was a time that people want to erase from their memories and it was this year where students were counting on the system to show them the light. However the road ended on the question of whether the quality of Education was a subject of disparity or if the education is bounded by the deceptive morality?

The country was reeling from the mayhem that was caused by the second wave when the question of lakhs of students’ future was on the line. Even when the country is faced with adversities, it is the strength of the Education system that helps it out of them. Yet, the actions under the worst possible situation suggests otherwise. The class 12th students of the batch of 2020-21 were thrown into the burning flames of their truest nightmares when the education system decided to replace the boards with another evaluating mechanism in view of the pandemic. Well scrapping off the examinations might have been a blessing in disguise for some but it did snatch away the sleep for most. There is no legitimate system that could have replaced the transparency and the coherence of formal examinations. The question here arises, is our nation equipped enough to dwell into an ambiguous method in the “hope” of transparency?

CBSE had apparently released a notice according to which school must not give marks more than the maximum school average of the past 3 years. When a student called up the management regarding an explanation for grading disparities, he was blatantly told that since they needed to maintain an average, marks of some students were reduced to increase the scoring of others. This just exposed the “too good to be true” evaluation pattern.

-Kartik Chauhan, first year student, Hindu College, University of Delhi

The Central Board of Education (CBSE) is one of the largest boards in our country and yet it failed to honour the brightest minds and recognize the ones who needed help. The evaluation system adopted wronged so many students on so many levels. However, not only was the criteria overlooked but apparently the masses have moved on and all is forgotten for the “good”. There was hardly any transparency as to how the marks were awarded to each student. It was as if the marks were just blatantly awarded on the basis of nothing. All that mattered was the school average and the school performance but was this more important than the careers of the thousands?

If a blatant outlook was not enough to release the results, the “under the table” work had a big role to play in jeopardizing the entire educational structure. I personally love to go on a shopping spree but never knew that prestigious marks were for sale at an exquisite price. Not to mention that the deal was that of the janpath and sarojini markets, ‘no bargain, only fixed price’. Students, who are believed to have tender-creative minds, were exposed to the vulnerabilities of gambling. Students, teachers, authorities, each one of them gambled the marks and after all this, aren’t we equipped enough to understand who was always on the winning side.

In conversation with Aashna Belur, a first year student, while pointing out the dirt of this system, stated that some schools took it as far as to compensating their track records for a particular subject. She explained that if the track record of science has been better than humanities, so this year the school bridged a balance by increasing the average of humanities and decreasing the science average. She further added that this in turn would benefit the schools when students take admission in view of such “spectacular” performances. She felt that it is a complete mockery of the education imparted, which in the end is only fuelled by business, profits, and a corrupt regime.

There were students who scored 90 all along, ended up getting a 70 and then there were students who scored 70 but ended up scoring above 95. Moreover, there were students who were consistently a top scorer in a particular subject but ended up getting lower than what they scored which again does not add up.

-Aashna Belur, first year student, Shri Ram College of Commerce, University of Delhi

What irks me is the fact that schools took it to another level in pursuit of their personal gains. From “honest” online examinations to an aid to the salaries, are ethics of education just something to follow theoretically? Is morality just a relative term? When a hard-willed student is asking their mentors to show them a way to survive, they are simply asked for the financial assistance and leave the rest on this “transparent” mechanism. This makes me question the years of hard-work that went into earning the school passing certificate. Was it worth enough to have put in the hours only to pawn it off to a corrupt system?

In conversation with Soumya Arora, a first year student, told DU Beat about the laid-back attitude of the CBSE towards her repeated plea to correct her marks in the final report card. The school “may” have uploaded the wrong marks and wrote several mails to the authorities about the same. Nevertheless, the higher authorities were also ignorant towards the issue. Despite following all the formal protocols, she was left with an abundance of disappointment. Being a student of the University of Delhi now, she ascertained the fact that the pressure this marking scheme had on the tertiary level educational institutions, knew no bounds. This led to an impetuous outlook towards the marks awarded, along with a complete collapse of an honest system.

Feeling totally helpless and drained by the sheer ungracious and casual behavior by the country’s one of the most popular education boards, we wrote an RTI (Right To Information) and even sent a mail to Delhi’s Education Minister, Mr. Manish Sisodia expressing our concern. It has been more than a month since the Delhi colleges have begun and my issue regarding the loss of marks to date stands unresolved. This just makes me worry that if this is the state of our country’s education system now, then I surely don’t know what does the future holds for all the coming generations.

-Soumya Arora, first year student, Jesus and Mary College, University of Delhi

Be it the school or the board, everyone showed how the marks of lakhs of students was least of their concerns. The “financial support” taken by many of our mentors in lieu of our grappling academic situation threw the deserving ones under the bus. When all that mattered to the student was their class 12th marks in order to get into their dream college; all that mattered to the authorities was the question of pride and prestige.

A non-transparent system was placed which pushed the high achievers down to an unwanted rank and the ones who were ought to repeat and rectify themselves have suddenly found a seat at the premier colleges. The guilty pleasure that the country enjoys by forcing everyone into the political scenario is euphorically unexplainable. The ones in power are authorized to shape the nation onto the right path. No activity came to an absolute halt so why did the students’ future suffered? I feel dejected to say, but the question is not about the future of the nation but to serve a temporary satisfaction to the public. It takes only days to change a first page headline to a third page story and so all the dishonest ways were rightly forgotten after awarding the “virtuous” marks.

The students winded up getting crushed under the weight of the undeclared ownership of their marks. When help was needed to heal the wound, a candy stick was offered to shut the whining mouths. These students have cut a big fat cheque in the name of those who promised them an alternative to their “success” but will this achievement take them to newly found heights or would it pierce a hole to show them back on the right track?

Read Also: Think beyond 12th Board Results and Delhi University

Featured Image Credits: Uday Dey via The Times of India

Ankita Baidya

[email protected]

Casteism has been lurking in our systems as a product of historical grievances. From condemning the actions to being the perpetrator, is this deep rooted caste bias finding new ways to make itself comfortable?

Yet in another turn of events, a student from scheduled caste, hailing from the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), had to face the atrocities of casteism. The victim, Sagar Kumar, was subjected to physical brutality over refusal to copy the assignment of the alleged attacker, Shubham Kumar. In a conversation with Dalit Desk, Sagar explained what he faced.

On 28 November, at night 11, I was studying in my room while Shubham came in and asked me to do his assignment to which I refused and told him the teacher can fail me for this. Several times he insisted but I refused. Thereafter he hurled Casteist slurs at me and started abusing me and beat me. Adding, I am mentally traumatized after this incident; strict action must be taken against him.

-Sagar Kumar told Dalit Desk.

According to the report by Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students Association (BAPSA), JNU, Shubham Kumar has been abusing Sagar Kumar for the past one year. This has put the latter through a great deal of purgatory and physical trauma. This incident is a reminder of the prevailing status quo arising out of casteism. BAPSA found Sagar Kumar with a high blood pressure. He was shivering in fear for his life while his voice was cracking. A complaint of the aforementioned incident has been lodged at National Commission for Scheduled Caste, Vasant Kunj Police Station, Equal Opportunity Cell (JNU) and Chief Proctor of JNU. The creamiest brains putting it out at the most premier institutions of the country makes me wonder, if we are too invested in literacy that educating the consciousness has taken a back seat.

The shameless shout out for impunity by Shubham Kumar only exposes the fault lines of the self-proclaimed island that JNU is.


The irony of the entire situation is the fact that we condemn the very actions that we see being perpetuated around us by our own people. From using the casteist slurs to mocking the minority in the name of comedy, we are witnessing a degree that is pulling us towards the breaking point. Institutional casteism is on the rise and this incident comes as no shock. A recent study suggests the lofty prevalence of casteism in higher educational institutions but the constancy of this sitch is quite overwhelming. What irks me is the smell of normalcy around it. Unless the blood oozes out of the situation, the discriminatory and defamatory acts are subjected to negligence. How can these deprecatory and belittling instances thrusted aside while condemning them?

The very existence of the grievances cell for the marginalised section in the educational establishments proves the existence of these preferential and unjust acts. Creation of these cells to seek redressal has pulled curtains over the actuality of the situation. This has made it easier to achieve those estranged dreams in the crippling shadows of the same. Meddling with casteism does question the political agenda and its pernicious relationship with it. A peculiar pattern can be observed in the same regard, even at the places of education. Meenakshi Yadav, the representative of Student Federation of India (SFI) from Lady Shri Ram College spoke to DU Beat. She questions the standing of this circle which instigates casteism while fulfilling their political dream.

Brahmans portray themselves that they are in-charge, they are in power. They feel a sense of superiority due to the presence of the current governing body.

-Meenakshi Yadav, SFI representative, LSR

It is a simple monopoly of strength to establish dominance of a caste by the ones in power. Showing the monochromatic nature of elitism, it pulls the reins of casteism. It aligns the political inclinations and caste-based notions, producing a class of inherent elitism. This is an establishment which teaches equality and the next minute pulls the card of ‘winner-winner, political dinner’.

Koi gujjar hai toh batado, humko dosti karni hai par sirf apne cast walo se.
-A first year student as quoted by Meenakshi Yadav, SFI representative, LSR

Delhi University has long been known as a place where tensions arising from casteism have been lit. Not long ago, it had displayed a reservation of their thoughts when the writings of two dalit writers, Bama and Sukhartharini, have been removed and replaced by the work of an upper caste writer, Ramabai. This altercation of syllabus poses a sheer threat to the sovereignty of the institute and questions the autonomy of the academic space. How can we account for the pillars of democracy with a prejudiced and biased eye? Is this discriminatory influence above the education imparted by the most premier institutions?

A student from Delhi University told DU Beat on anonymity, “It is quite usual for me to go about
my day and hear people using a language that might not be welcomed by any marginalised group. Even if we retaliate, all that comes out is a small laugh and the words are expected to be forgiven the next minute. It is quite normal to see the usage of such a language, be it in college or my neighbourhood. It is the same story spinning everywhere.”

Our civilizational past shows us the derogatory history of this section of the society. The pain inflicted on people like Sagar Kumar is told in pursuit of the lost self-respect and in anticipation to put an end to such infamous incidents. It is veracious to say that we are experiencing an infamous facade of cruel reality. The blatant act of turning a blind eye to the prolific iniquity by the prestigious establishments makes me question the due justice. Will a fair play swing by the wronged eyes or will it continue to serve exoneration to the offenders?

Featured Image Credits: ‘Skyscape’ by Rajyashri Goody via India Today

Ankita Baidya

[email protected]