DU Beat


On March 8, 2024, the ABVP – led DUSU (Delhi University Students Union) announced an initiative where 10 women would assume the role of DUSU President for one day each, commencing from the first day of Navratri, April 9.

Having begun on the first day of Navratri i.e. April 9, 2024, the ABVP-led Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) announced a commendable initiative where 10 women students will be chosen for the role of DUSU President for a day each.

The names of the 10 students were selected from a competition wherein the participants were asked to write an article on “The Role of Women in Making Viksit Bharat”. Tushar Dedha, DUSU President, took to his Instagram on April 5, sharing the official list of names of the 10 selected students which included Isha Awana (Department of Hindi), Akshita Johar (Ramjas College), Sophiya (Swami Shraddhanand College), Anshita Chauhan (Daulat Ram College), Deeksha Lingayath (Sri Venkateswara College), Ankita Anand (Centre for Hindu Studies), Zainab Nigar (Hansraj College), Shyama Arunbhai Trivedi (SPM College), Preeti Singh Nain (Kirori Mal College), and Sakshi Patel (Satyawati College), who served as the first DUSU President on April 9, as a part of the campaign. She is a third year B.A. Programme student hailing from Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, and aims to help financially weak students through her position.

Preeti Singh Nair, the second DUSU President under the campaign, spoke to DU Beat about her selection and how it aims to empower women while increasing their participation in politics to bring about a change not just at the University level but even at the national level in the future.

We have the incredible opportunity to learn about DUSU’s functioning and receive valuable insights into student politics. This campaign in itself sends an important message as it aims to empower women students to hold political offices at the national level, as it gave every selected student the space to put forth major problems in our colleges before the union. Personally, I felt incredibly happy, although surprised, to have received this opportunity out of more than 5000 students who had participated in the competition. Having witnessed the lack of inclusive and accessible spaces for PWD (persons with disabilities) students in most DU colleges, including mine, I wish to use this opportunity to bring about major changes and take a stand to make our campuses inclusive and accessible for all. – Preeti Singh Nair, the second DUSU President 

In conversation with the media, Tushar Dedha, added that these one-day DUSU presidents will have all the powers of the chair to take decisions and issue any notice concerning students during their term.

On each day of the Navratri, a woman will head the DUSU as its President, exhibiting Nari Shakti. We have taken this initiative to promote women’s representation in student politics. 

Read Also: After WRB, Gender-Based Representation in DU’s Student Unions Too?

Featured Image Credits: Arush for DU Beat

Gauri Garg

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Enactus Hindu College organised its annual flagship event Enexus’24 on 9 March 2024. The event ranged from various workshops, stalls, live performances and a business plan competition.

Enexus ’24, the annual flagship event organized by Enactus Hindu College, illuminated the campus with joy and excitement on March 9, 2024, at Hindu College, University of Delhi. The event served as a dynamic platform for both budding entrepreneurs and socially conscious individuals to showcase their initiatives and products.

It featured socially sustainable products by Enactus chapters from various colleges namely Kamla Nehru College, Keshav Mahavidyalaya, Maharaja Surajmal College amongst others. They showcased products from their various projects ranging from artisanal crafts to delectable treats, exemplifying a commitment to social impact and sustainability while inspiring attendees with their innovative approaches to addressing societal challenges.

A notable highlight of Enexus ’24 was the showcase of exciting workshops, including pottery, painting, and crocheting, providing hands-on experiences and creative outlets for attendees, and a share of the total profits were shared with the artisans running these amazing workshops.

Additionally, a lively puppetry performance with melodious and engaging folk songs added to the lively atmosphere, captivating audiences with its cultural richness.

Enexus ’24 also featured a dynamic Business Plan Competition “EnVenture”, based on promoting sustainable businesses in accordance with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) where aspiring students unleashed their entrepreneurial zeal and presented their innovative business ideas to a renowned panel of judges that consisted of esteemed names like Aanya Wig, KD Pathak and Sambhav Jain. The competition was aimed at challenging its participants’ entrepreneurial skills by allowing them to bid on pairs of companies to create sustainable products that have a meaningful impact on society.

In conversation with DU Beat, Rachit, an organizing committee member of the event said, “The first round was an online quiz, the second round was an online bidding round, in which the participants were given tenders of various pairs of companies and a fixed amount to bid, post which they had to make a synergy of products or services to be provided by their respective ventures and then we received around 50 PPTs. Top 10 teams were shortlisted after these online rounds for a final offline presentation round at Hindu College, where participants showcased their PPTs and proposals”.

While Enactus LSR bagged the first position, Enactus Motilal Nehru College and Enactus Shivaji College bagged the second and third positions respectively.

“It was an extremely unique experience, particularly for us first years. The competition was well organised and it enabled us to brainstorm various different ideas, providing a great learning experience”, said a first-year economics student from Shivaji College who participated in the B-Plan competition.

Read Also: ‘Econ-Enthusiasts’ Assemble at L’Economiste’24!

Featured Image Credits: Nabeera Jamal for DU Beat

Gauri Garg

[email protected]

 Kavya Vashisht

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Anjali Gopalan, founder of the Naz Foundation Trust, addressed a Gender Sensitisation Programme at Delhi University. She highlighted the role of the Internal Complaint Committee in fostering inclusivity. Gopalan emphasised the need for uniform codes of conduct, backed by her experiences, urging for the unlearning of social norms and promoting equal rights for all.

The Naz Foundation (India) Trust on Friday, 22nd March, conducted a gender sensitisation seminar for members of the University of Delhi’s Internal Complaint Committee (ICC). The event took place at the Department of Botany, North Campus and also saw attendance by members of the current Delhi University Student Union.

Anjali Gopalan, the speaker of the event, established the Naz India in 1994 to develop sensitivity and address HIV/AIDS and sexuality. Naz india conducts awareness and support sessions for people living with HIV/AIDS, as well as counselling and referral for the LGBTQIA+ community.

Ms Gopalan talked about the general nature of the ICC around the country and the role that they play in making the academic environment at various levels more inclusive and accepting to the gender diversity.

The ICC throughout the Delhi University Campuses and its different colleges do not have a uniform code of conduct. Due to this, while dealing with the gender-sensitive matters of discovering their identity and HIV-related discussions. The program hosted an insightful delivery by Ms Gopalan, where she talked about various delicate issues and answered questions like what to do to make the environment of the ICC more approachable, how the training of the personnel contributes to enhanced outcomes of the help provided along with the general nature of the change that has taken place throughout the years in the direction towards making gender-neutral safe places around the country.

Ms. Gopalan’s answers were backed by years of experiences advocating for and fighting for the queer community. She covered aspects ranging from adult social circles to primary school settings and the challenges they impose, preventing people from the LGBTQ+ community from exercising their rights. Some of the topics along which the discussion that followed centred around the unlearning and re-learning of rigid social norms, language and pronouns and the resistance they put against the suppression and the existing hostilities in the current environment that others everything that does not fit the conventional norms.

In conversation with DU Beat, while talking more on the subject matter, Ms Gopalan said:

I have been working for the awareness programs since 1987. It’s been an incredible journey in many ways for me it is a matter of rights, everything is about whether for an animal or for a human. I think everyone should have access to rights. To me, I am still amazed that even now people of the community in our country don’t have the same rights. I do not understand why and how can we as people deny our own people the rights that everyone takes for granted.”

Anjali Gopalan, Naz India

Ms. Gopalan’s impassioned advocacy for equal rights resonated deeply with attendees, serving as a powerful reminder of the ongoing journey towards equality. Naz India is now aiming at promoting this initiative in individual colleges’ ICCs as well.

As the event concluded, participants were inspired to continue engaging in open dialogue and striving for greater inclusivity within their respective academic environments. Ms Gopalan’s address stands as a testament to the enduring commitment to advocating for the rights of marginalised communities and building a society where everyone is valued and respected, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation.

Read Also: Stories of Love, Acceptance, and Triumph

Divya Malhotra

[email protected]

From time to time, we come across talented and awe-inspiring individuals who deserve their stories to be told. So, here is to 21 such amazing individuals who have achieved great feats in their lives before even tasting the 21st year of their life.

Tarun Jindal

Hailing from Chandigarh, Tarun Jindal is a B.Com. Honours student, CA Finalist, and President of 180 Degrees Consulting Club at Hindu College, University of Delhi. Having worked with esteemed organisations such as Dhwani Rural Information Systems, UNDP Malaysia, India Accelerator, and Infolso, Tarun is a high-impact achiever and go-getter, who believes in seeing every hardship as a source of inner fortitude and every failure as a test of perseverance. Their consistent commitment to making a difference in the lives of those around them has resulted in tangible social impact, particularly in the fields of healthcare, gender justice, and education.

Kartik Chauhan

A driven start-up enthusiast, Kartik Chauhan is a student at Hindu College and founding member of Delhi Smart Protein Project (DSPP), a project under the aegis of the Good Food Institute to stimulate open-access research, entrepreneurship and climate action through food technology. Recently, he received a full-coverage scholarship to attend the Good Food Conference in San Francisco, USA in recognition of his achievements and contributions. At Hindu College, he in also the President of the Entrepreneurship Cell, leading a 50 member team, and conceptualising, and spearheading the rebranding of the Cell to encourage a ‘builder-centric’ approach to innovation. His other achievements include being a part of Ripen’s first invite-only Entrepreneur in-Residence program, and having built a ‘feedback marketplace’ that was selected in the W22 Batch of GSF Accelerator. With their passion for technology, he are looking forward to turning his own project into an actual start-up soon.

G Brinda

A third-year History Honours student at Lady Shri Ram College for Women (LSR), G Brinda has a passion for policy-making, social work, consumer behaviour, and research. They serve as the General Secretary of Youth India Foundation (YIF), leading 50+ interns at state level and guiding 250+ college chapter members, having founded the LSR, Gargi, IITM (IPU), and Hindu College Chapters of the social entrepreneurship platform. They are a compassionate and empathetic leader, who imbibes this ethos in every position of responsibility that they diligently pursue, including but not limited to State President at the Kerala Impact Consulting Council under WICCI, Content Head at the Global Youth India-Israel Forum, and Editorial Head at Prakriti LSR.

Anshu Narwal

A research-enthusiast and dedicated social volunteer, Anshu Narwal is a student of economics and mathematics at Lady Shri Ram College for Women (LSR). A district-topper and school-topper since their school years, Anshu has furthered their interest in academia by undertaking two impressive research projects in collaboration with professors from esteemed institutions such as IIM Kashipur and IIT Delhi. Their research interests lie in the critical topic of ICT Adoption and Inclusive Growth, addressing issues that are fundamental to our society’s development. Additionally, they are passionate about the fields of psychology and social work, serving as the Project Director for Project AASHA, facilitating workshops on hygiene, unsafe touch, and mental health.

Nirmanyu Chouhan

A Hindu College alum from the Batch of 2023, Nirmanyu Chouhan is a Programme Coordinator at Lokniti, Centre for Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), and former research intern at Newslaundry. Fascinated by the intricate interplay between politics and society, they are a honed researcher and journalist striving towards a more informed citizenry through their work. Beginning their journey within the staff writing rooms of the Hindu College Gazette, Nirmanyu’s experience with media houses such as DU Beat and Newslaundry have allowed them to engage with topics across politics, economy, society, and pop-culture. Their present work at Lokniti-CSDS centres the field of psephology, the study of elections and voting behaviour, which allows them to analyzing voter patterns and understand the pulse of the electorate.

Pulkit Sehgal

A 2023 Management Studies graduate from Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies (SSCBS), Pulkit Sehgal is a driven consulting and finance enthusiast, who has been recognised as an ‘Emerging Leader’ by FinOak, India’s largest student-run finance community. They are the co-founder of Makes Sense, a mental health non-profit aimed at providing social and psychological support to university students. The initiative has impacted 450+  students through free therapy, and catapulted fruitful collaborations with Mindpeers, a Shark Tank-funded and Asia’s fastest growing mental-health platform. Furthermore, they are an Incoming Associate at Boston Consulting Group, and served as the President of 180 Degrees Consulting SSCBS during their college tenure.

Molina Singh

An english literature and history afficionado, Molina Singh is a 2023 alum of Gargi College and founder of Delhi Reads, a 1500+ member citywide book club that has secured successful partnerships with popular coffee chains, bookstores, and publication companies. During their college tenure, they held the position of President of the English Creative Writing Society and spearheaded the organisation of 4 varsity-level fests at Gargi College, a feat of uncprcedented calibre and visionary execution. Their staunch commitment to social-political principles and impact-led community service have made them one who is not afraid to voice their opinions, whether it be in expressing solidarity with the IPCW Fest victims or in their capacity as a student-journalist at DU Beat.

Pranjal Jain

In 2023, Pranjal Jain graduated and immediately embarked on a journey to catalyze positive change. This drive motivated them to pioneer the establishment of India’s inaugural Bridges for Enterprise (BfE) chapter at SSCBS, a milestone aimed at fostering entrepreneurial endeavors with a societal impact. Alongside, they engaged in two consulting and financial advisory projects with socially conscious startups in Nigeria and the Philippines, demonstrating the tangible real-world impact achievable through collaborative initiatives. Moreover, recognizing the pressing need for mental health support among college students, they co-founded Makes Sense, a nurturing and inclusive platform dedicated to destigmatizing mental health discussions and providing essential assistance to those in need.

Manvi Bhatt

Having graduated in 2023, Manvi Bhatt was honored to receive the distinguished Sultan Chand Memorial Scholarship Award, recognizing their exceptional academic achievements. Fueled by their entrepreneurial spirit, they actively participated in the development of Mark & Tonic, a digital marketing startup venture, where they served as a founding member. In this role, they led the integration of live projects to address strategic consulting and digital marketing needs. One of their accomplishments is winning the BrAINWARS undergraduate case study competition, a prestigious event hosted by Bain and Company.

Jayesh Rungta

A 20-year-old from Kolkata, Jayesh Rungta recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in commerce from Hansraj College, University of Delhi. Securing a position as a Business Analyst at the prestigious management consulting firm Kearney, they stand out as the sole and first undergraduate hire for a front-desk consulting role from their college and one of only three selected across the University of Delhi. Demonstrating their commitment to social impact, they served as the Convener and Founding Member of Project Parivartan from January 2021 to March 2023, overseeing a yearly Financial Literacy Drive that reached over 10,000 individuals across three editions.

Anjana Jose

As a current psychology student at Jesus and Mary College, Anjana Jose wears multiple hats as an entrepreneur and podcast host. Since June 2023, they have served as the Founder and CEO of BooKing, a platform dedicated to promoting sustainability through the use of second-hand books. Simultaneously, they also host the OnlyGeeks Podcast, a show tailored for college students, which has garnered a listenership of over 100 individuals from diverse backgrounds since its inception in June 2023.

Gavish Lohat

Currently enrolled as a political science student at Hindu College, Gavish Lohat stands as the 1st Raj Bhargava Foundation Scholar, an honor bestowed upon them in 2022. This prestigious scholarship provides them with ₹75,000 annually throughout the duration of his undergraduate studies, along with a tablet. In addition to their academic pursuits, they are also the founder and host of ‘The Skeptical Student Show’ Podcast in collaboration with India Film Project, where they engage in thought-provoking discussions.

Punya Malhotra

As a final year Economics student at Hansraj College, Punya Malhotra stands as the lone Indian fellow selected for the fully-funded Young Leader’s Fellowship program in 2023 by MCW Global, USA. Their previous roles include working at the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FICCI). Additionally, they were featured in the Voices of the Young series by Dr. Subodh Mathur, where they shared insights on optimizing the college experience. As part of their research endeavors, they authored a quantitative paper titled ‘Urban Planning and Gender Inclusivity.’

Apoorva Rathore

Having graduated from Lady Shri Ram College with a degree in B.Com, Apoorva achieved remarkable success by emerging as the National Winner of the EY NextGen Women India competition. This accomplishment propelled them to represent both India and their university at the Global EY NextGen Women Competition held in London. Following their academic achievements, they ventured into the professional realm as a Research Analyst at the Indian Institute of Science. Here, they dedicated over a year to working within the Strategy Team, focused on developing a robust business model for an in-house eVTOL (electric air taxi) project.

Pratham Changoiwala

Pratham Changoiwala is a third-year student of Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, currently pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce. He is interning as an executive assistant at Niamh Ventures, an investment banking firm based out of Gurgaon, Haryana. Alongside that, he is the youngest speaker shareholder of HDFC Bank’s AGM and his experiences were shared as a part of Hindustan Times’ Live Mint as a part of their Gen Z interview series. He has been selected as a delegate for Harvard’s prestigious HPAIR Conference. He was also part of the Sustainable Stories Project, which involved interacting with eco-friendly brand manufacturing units and their business founders. He is also Operations head of Shaheed Bhagat Singh College’s Entrepreneurship Cell.

Bhavika Dabur

Bhavika Dabur is a third-year student at Sri Venkateswara College, pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce. They are currently working as a training manager and social media advisor at Aspirant Learning. Previously, they had experience in educational consultancy and soft skills training.

Falguni Mahajan

Falguni Mahajan was a political science student at Lady Shri Ram College. Currently, they are the founder of Mandonna Research Consultants, which focuses on the promotion of gender equity through academia and research work. Previously, they had interned as a researcher at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Policy, Politics and Government Foundation as well as with the Aam Aadmi Party. They hold C1 level certification in the French language as well.

Bhavya Sood

Bhavya Sood was a student at Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, having completed their BBA in Financial Investment Analysis. They are the co-founder of Project Bridgeway which aims to democratize access to education and guide students, through consulting, which has assisted over 10,000 students across several colleges. They have also served as the first elected deputy chair of IFSA’s Indian wing.

Anjali Batra

Anjali Batra is a political science student at IPCW, Delhi University, who is also pursuing a diploma in Psychology. She is the founder and president of Project Mehviyat, which focuses on empowering victims of abuse in South Asia. She was also recognised as a U21 Global citizen, due to her advocacy for Sustainable Development Goals and is serving as the deputy chairperson of the SDG Council, Global Youth India.

Tanusha Arora

Tanusha Arora is currently in the final year of Bachelor of Management Studies at Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies. Arora has interned at Havells India, in the field of e-commerce as well as a research and market intelligence intern at EXL. She secured a placement in the capacity of an Associate at Samagra | Transforming Governance. She was selected under India Top 14 CEO for One Month Challenge by the Adecco Group. She has recently been felicitated with the coveted Linkedin Top Voice (blue badge) for her insights on marketing, communication and adulting. Moreover, she has been featured in Top 29 Leading Voices of India 2024 by BTalkz. She has a growing community of 7000+ followers and over 6 lakh+ impressions as yet.

Parv Jindal

Parv Jindal is a student of Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, completing their Bachelor of Management Studies. They founded the India chapter of Bridges for Enterprise, an international impact consulting organization. They have also interned with companies like Blinkit, MakemyTrip, Zomato etc. Jindal is acting Vice President of SSCBS’ Student Council.

Read Also: DU Beat 21 Under 21: Of Dreams and Determination (2023)

With the recent acquittal of former Delhi University Professor G.N. Saibaba after a torturous 10 years of imprisonment under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), we take a look at one of the most important tools in the market of India’s barely-there-democracy: the UAPA.

In the Athenian State of 621 BCE, lived a statesman named Draco. Draco prescribed death for all criminal offences. Laws that were written in blood, not ink. Think of the word ‘draconian’ named after this infamous statesman, but in the Indian context, and perhaps what comes to mind is the notorious Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) of 1967. 

Student activist Umar Khalid spent a total of three years behind bars in Tihar, with his bail pleas rejected consistently. The case moved from bench to bench. 84-year-old Stan Swamy, booked under the Bhima Koregaon case during his imprisonment, had asked for a sipper and straw in jail, citing Parkinson’s disease. It took the authorities a month to approve his request. On July 5, 2021, he passed away in jail, still awaiting trial. Journalist Siddique Kappan, on his way to cover the Hathras rape case, was arrested and detained similarly for a period of two years without trial. 

What brings these cases together is UAPA. Stringent conditions for bails (the accused will not be given bail if the first impression of the court is that they are guilty), the ability to declare an individual ‘terrorist’, and detention without producing any incriminating evidence have ensured the overturning of the precept of innocent before proven guilty. The investigating agencies are allowed to take up to 180 days even to file a chargesheet, which, in the case of Kappan, he claims to never even have received firsthand.

The process thus becomes the punishment. The asymmetrical power balance between citizen and state is clearly exploited to the citizen’s disadvantage. Dissecting the acquittal judgement of Professor G.N. Saibaba, Karen Gabriel, and PK Vijayan write for The Quint that the law comprises both the set of legislation that the state has to enact and uphold as well as the rules of procedure that the state must adhere to while doing so. They assert, “Procedure is an invaluable protective measure, not an incidental convenience.”

A Brief History

In the year 1967, the Indira Gandhi administration sought to bring out a law against the secessionist activities that the government observed in the country. The Parliament thus passed the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. What initially emerged as legislation to counter the problem of secessionist tendencies, however, would quickly assume an altogether different colour. 

After the Prime Minister’s death and with the advent of the Punjab insurgency, the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Prevention Act (TADA) was introduced. Criticised widely by human rights organisations for its arbitrary tendencies to centralise the onus of justice, it was later withdrawn. TADA trickled down in 2001 to POTA (the Prevention of Terrorism Act) in 2002, which met with concerns of misuse and was scrapped by the UPA government in 2004. The provisions of POTA, however, were in essence transferred onto the UAPA, which was the first introduction of anti-terrorism into the primarily anti-secessionist legislation. The central government could now overlook rules of evidence when it came to interception of communication and vested in its hands the power to declare any organisation as a terrorist organisation without trial. 

In 2008, the Act was further amended to include longer police custody, longer jail time, and harder bail provisions. The latest and most important amendment in 2019 empowered the NIA further and gave the government powers to declare individuals terrorists. 

But It Works, Right?

The hardlined stringency should then naturally warrant efficiency in curbing the “disturbances” that it claims to protect us from. The Home Ministry’s 2020 report, on the other hand, tells us that only 212 of the 24000 convicted in UAPA cases in 2016–2020 were found guilty. As Kappan puts it, “a conviction rate of less than 3%.”

Acquitting DU professor G. N. Saibaba, who has been in prison for 3600 days, the Bombay High Court noted:

No evidence has been led by the prosecution by any witness to any incident, attack, act of violence, or even evidence collected from some earlier scene of offence where a terrorist act has taken place, in order to connect the accused to such an act…

The court further stated that there had been an evident “failure in justice” in the flouting of mandatory provisions in Saibaba’s case. The appalling conditions of his imprisonment, along with those of many others, lead one to wonder whether the crushing impact that callous state persecution has on an individual’s life can ever be undone with mere acquittal. 

The persecution of intelligentsia, which asks difficult questions of institutions, is no new phenomenon. Considering, however, that as we function under that nimble concept of what is known to some of us as a democracy, the state would do well to clothe its atrocities better and be less conspicuous about them. The UAPA, with its in-your-face authoritarian tendencies, does not seem to be helping in that front. 

Read also: The Donkey Dance of UAPA: Criminalising Dissent in a Hollowing Democracy

Deevya Deo
[email protected]

As DU gears up for the fest season, the supposed fortress of security seems to crumble each year. Are women’s colleges equipped with the required security measures?

For the past few years, Delhi University (DU) has consistently witnessed incidents of unwarranted male trespassers into women’s colleges every time there is a fest or any event for that matter, with students being sexually harassed, catcalled, and their safe spaces violated. In light of such incidents, the University issued an advisory with guidelines to be followed by all colleges during events likely to be attended by outsiders. Between April 2023 and January 2024, the notifications have been updated thrice ahead of the upcoming college fest season.

Surely, such an advisory may appear to be the need of the hour and perhaps even reassuring, but is it the case that the University has finally recognized the persistence of such pressing issues, or is the advisory, just like security in most women’s colleges, merely performative? Isn’t it high time that the University’s administration, instead of issuing such performative guidelines, actually addressed the larger issue of male entitlement, beyond just ensuring their students’ safety? College spaces, be it women’s colleges or co-educational spaces, should certainly not be places where women (or anyone for that matter) live in a sense of fear, apart from obviously the external world beyond college boundaries. 

It is also important to note that some of the security measures, for instance, the installation of CCTVs, pre-registration through Google Forms, and deployment of security personnel, have already been in place in many colleges, and yet there have been repeated violations. Most instances have been when the ones who “lawfully” entered the college premises became perpetrators of assault. So, a No Objection Certificate (NOC) is completely ineffective when it comes to the “male gaze” and entitlement towards women’s spaces in a patriarchal set-up.

“Because our college restricted male entry this year, apart from the participants, it did make the fest safer than last year, where a lot of chaos had ensued with guys passing lewd remarks at female students performing during the dance competition. Although such incidents didn’t take place this year, I believe restricting male entry is just an instinctive response to a much larger problem, that is, patriarchy, which is so deeply rooted in our society. Such measures end up putting the onus on women to protect themselves, as apparently “boys will be boys.” If the administration is unable to restrict students inside the campus, their immediate response is to just stop male entry. We need some long-term solutions to such problems, and sensitization of not just students but even the faculty needs to take place to uproot the actual cause of this problem.”

-said a student from Janki Devi Memorial College.

Students believe that the advisory is just the bare minimum, and the larger problem needs to be taken into account while ensuring security in women’s spaces.

Google Form registrations certainly do not amount to character screenings; thus, the University has no appropriate solution to this issue. At the college’s annual fest last year, the administration, as a security measure, made it mandatory for every male attendee to have a pass with a particular student’s name on it to ensure that they were invited by any of the students. Also, it was ensured that no guys entered the fest in groups. It’d be great if there was security present not just at the gates but inside the college, where a large crowd usually gathers, because that’s where fights usually break out. It would have been great if the University advisory came with a preface condemning the actions that took place not just at IPCW last year but what has been happening in women’s colleges almost every year. They need to realize that such incidents mostly just take place in women’s colleges because patriarchy allows men to feel entitled to women’s spaces and men fear other men, rather than respecting women as equal human beings.”

-remarked a student from Maitreyi College when asked about safety in women’s colleges ahead of the fest season.

A student from Indraprastha College for Women (IPCW) spoke about how the college’s environment has changed significantly since the unfortunate incident at last year’s fest.

The college administration, just like the administration in almost every DU college, loves to put the entire blame on the student body, despite the Student Council being a mostly performative entity in our college now. Since the college is busy with its centennial celebrations, we are not even sure if the annual fest ‘Shruti’ will even take place this year. The advisory issued by the University just goes on to show that the onus of protection is always going to be put upon women rather than holding the perpetrators accountable. Despite there being extensive measures like Google Form registrations and screening of bags at the gate, they were certainly not enough to prevent overcrowding and its aftermath. Our college did not have enough security to handle such a large crowd, and sadly, it took the University that incident and many more past occurrences in women’s colleges to even issue an advisory, which was also the bare minimum, to say the least.”

Thus, the question is: are women’s colleges even equipped with effective security ahead of the fest season, or is just locking up women and not questioning the root cause of the problem, which is patriarchy, going to be the immediate response from the administration in most colleges? 

Read Also: Who Protects Our ‘Safe’ Spaces?

Featured Image Credits: Hindustan Times

Gauri Garg

[email protected] 


Nepal’s groundbreaking strides in LGBTQ+ rights showcase a beacon of hope for global equality. Let’s look into how embracing same-sex marriages goes beyond legalities; it’s about upholding dignity, promoting inclusivity, and celebrating love in all its diversity.

In 2008, Nepal became the first country in South Asia to rule in favour of same-sex marriages. According to the judgements passed in the Supreme Court by Justice Til Prasad Sharma, all the government registries are administering separate records for sexual minorities and non-traditional couples. The permanent constitution in Nepal came into existence in the country in 2015. In 2010, the interim committee provided a draft to legalise same-sex relationships and proposed it for discussion with the constituent assembly. Although the negotiations initially failed, Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai dissolved the Assembly in May 2012 to prepare for the 2013 elections, staying with the conservative segment of the population. He lost the election, and in February 2014, Sushil Koirala became the Prime Minister. The new constitution that came out didn’t directly legalise same-sex marriages, but under Article 18, it ensured recognition as well as protection of “gender and sexual minorities.” 

The case that ignited this struggle was represented in court by Nepal’s first publicly gay rights activist and legislator, Sunil Babu Pant. He not only advocated for equal rights but also went deep into the othering of LGBT people and called for a recognition of queer people as “natural persons.” In 2023, Maya Gurung, a born male who now identifies as female, and Surendra Pandey, a born male who recognises himself as male, registered their marriage in the Dordi rural municipality office in the Lumjung district of West Nepal. Pandey said, “We are very happy. Like us, all others in our community are happy too.” In June 2023, the Supreme Court allowed same-sex couples to register themselves, and in November 2023, they got registered in a local office and gained permanent recognition of their union. Pinky Gurung said, “It is a great achievement for us, the third-gender community in Nepal.”

On February 11, 2024, Nepal became the first country in South Asia to register the first lesbian marriage. Dipti and Supriya registered their union at Jamuna Rural Municipality in Bardiya district. Mayako Pahichan, a non-government organisation (which means “recognition of love”), is a pro-LGBT non-profit working towards supporting LGTB communities in the country. The NGO said, “The Nepalese LGBT communities have launched a campaign for the identity-based rights of the sexual minority communities since 2001, and the campaign has become successful in getting officially registered same-sex marriage after more than two decades of struggle.”

In comparison with the other Southeast and East Asian countries, where the outlook itself is varied, Nepal is a forerunner. According to the Pew Report, countries like Japan, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and Thailand have shown the most positive outlook towards same-sex marriages. In contradiction, countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka showcased the least favourable views towards these kinds of unconventionally defined relationships, challenging the conservative take on marriage as an institution. 

In India, the discussion surrounding same-sex marriages occupies a nuanced position. Despite considerable support for LGBTQ+ rights among its populace, the formal acknowledgement of such unions still proves to be a challenge. The recent move by India’s highest judicial body to entrust the issue to the legislative branch emphasises the ongoing battle for equality and underscores the significance of sustained advocacy efforts and grassroots activism. 

Nepal’s advancements in LGBTQ+ rights are a source of inspiration and hope for the world at large. Nepal has shown its dedication to creating a more just and inclusive society where everyone is treated with respect and dignity, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, through legislative changes, community mobilisation, and grassroots activism. Nepal is a shining example of the transformational power of social change and group action as it moves closer to achieving full LGBTQ+ equality.

It is imperative to legalise same-sex marriages because they are at the core of the equality, human rights, and social justice that every citizen is entitled to. The validation of their relationship empowers them to escape their abusive surroundings with social backing to make a better life for themselves. To be in a relationship is a matter of personal choice. Any institution that sets up a benchmark for alliances and defines them as natural when it comes to hetrosexual marriages or classifies the rest as an unnatural tie-up motivated only to fulfil sexual gratification needs amendments because we did not give them the authority to ‘other’ the gender minorities. If it isn’t for the sake of human dignity, then it should be settled by upholding the ambiguity innate to love and how each of us devotes ourselves to its fulfilment. 

Read Also: A Step Forward but What Next: Same-Sex Marriage in India?

Featured Image Credits: The Kathmandu Post

Divya Malhotra 

[email protected]

On March 7, 2024, a bomb threat call was received by Delhi University’s Ram Lal Anand College on Thursday, ANI reported. After receiving an alleged call around 9:34 am on Thursday, authorities swiftly responded, deploying the police, ambulance services, as well as Bomb Disposal Squads (BDS) and Bomb Disposal Teams (BDT) to the college premises.

In a video released by ANI, DCP South West Rohit Meena said that following the evacuation, the teams conducted a thorough search of the entire college campus. However, no trace of the bomb was found.

“We thoroughly searched the whole college campus after evacuating the campus. There was no trace of the bomb. Whoever has made that call, we are investigating it,” Meena told ANI.

As per the Hindustan Times report, another police officer told PTI that the call was made from an international number.

“It is suspected that some mischievous element made the call from an international number,” the officer said, adding that the police might register an FIR in the matter.

The officer said searches were conducted across the campus for at least three hours, after which the police declared the call a hoax.

In an interview with DU Beat, Gaurab Paswan, a student from Atma Ram Sanatan Dharma College who was participating in a competition at Ram Lal Anand College, remarked on the calm and composed atmosphere amidst the unfolding events. He recounted,

“Around 9:30, as the competition was about to begin in the amphitheatre, a faculty member instructed us to evacuate and assemble on the front lawn. There was no sense of panic; we were simply directed to exit our place. Initially, we were advised to stay on campus and remain calm, but later, we were instructed to leave. As a result, our competition has been rescheduled.”

In an interview with India Daily, Mansvi Bangarh, president of the Ram Lal Anand College Student Union, stressed the immediate action taken by the college while also highlighting safety concerns. He remarked, “A mechanism for tackling misinformation needs to be developed.

Addressing security issues, he suggested,

“The college needs to install metal detectors at the gate and would also need a female security guard to make the security arrangements better.”

Continuing, he expressed his appreciation for the swift response by college authorities, stating,

“It was appreciable to see the college take the right action as soon as possible. Within time, police, fire brigade teams, and bomb squad teams were called to the campus.”

As per the News18 reports, the college principal, Rakesh Kumar Gupta, stated that regular office operations resumed once the police completed their search and confirmed the campus’s safety. “A staff member received a bomb threat via WhatsApp call on the number designated for broadcasting messages to students. We promptly alerted the police, and both students and staff were safely evacuated,” Gupta informed PTI. “The situation is now under control,” he added. “Office work has resumed, but classes remain suspended, and students have been instructed to vacate the campus.”


Read Also: SSCBS Staff Protest: Salaries Not Paid Since the Past Three Months

Featured Image Credits: Ram Lal Anand College Website

Dhairya Chhabra

[email protected]


This report aims to highlight the recent resignation of over 40 members, including office bearers, District Committee members, and general members of the All India Student’s Association (AISA), affiliated with the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation. It is important to note that the resignation letter was posted on the Instagram account of AISA Bangalore Resignation, while subsequent information was sourced from DU Beat’s conversation with the resigned comrades.

On February 15, 2024, over 40 members, including office bearers, District Committee members, and general members of the All India Student’s Association (AISA), Karnataka affiliated with the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation, announced their resignation. This announcement was made through an Instagram post and on an official resignation website they created. The resignation letter claimed problematic practices such as rampant misogyny, transphobia, patriarchy, glorification of hyperactivity, anti-intellectual attitude of the leadership, and trivialization of mental health, among many others. These issues were described as being perpetuated under the guise of progressive, proletarian ideology, which the mass organisation purported to embody.

The resignation letter also claimed that their approach to combating fascism in India neglects alternative strategies and prioritises electoral alliances over genuine resistance efforts. It was argued that the parliamentary opportunism, combined with the control exerted by AISA National and the Party over local units, stifles the political will and independent initiatives of young cadres, leaving them feeling disheartened and lacking confidence in their own abilities.

In an interview with DU Beat, Atika, Ex-member, AISA Bangalore; A, Ex-Joint Secretary, AISA Bangalore (CPI (ML) Liberation Party Member); and S, Ex-District Committee member, AISA Bangalore (CPI (ML) Liberation Party Member), discussed issues of abandonment, trivialization of mental health, and transphobia, among many other issues brought to notice.

Speaking to DU Beat, S highlighted the toxic culture within AISA Bangalore that devalues personal struggles and dismisses mental health issues. He shared that while a mental health resolution along with a gender resolution was passed in the first district conference of AISA Bangalore, despite that, no meaningful actions have been taken to address the issue.

The first edition of Spark Magazine had an issue written on mental health by me, but no actual structural change took place in the organisation, perpetuating a dismissive attitude towards mental health concerns.

Moreover, many members of AISA Bangalore have faced challenges balancing their revolutionary activism with personal responsibilities such as education, work, and mental health. Instead of recognising these challenges, the constrained structure within AISA trivialises and simply dismisses them.

Highlighting the cisheteronormativity and how neurodivergent issues were not taken seriously in AISA. A shared,

During a party cell meeting where issues related to transphobia were addressed and comrades apologised to me for questioning my queer identity, misgendering resumed as soon as they learned it was my birthday. After the meeting ended, they intentionally called me out and said, “Oh, it’s ‘his’ birthday.” Additionally, despite the positive reception of the Gender Line Forum by everyone, the leadership labelled it “Khak Panchayat.”

Such patriarchal, misogynistic, and cisheteronormative practices within the organisation, leading to a lack of inclusivity and representation for marginalised cadres, including women and trans people, worsened the state of an already endangered democratic platform. Highlighting how patriarchal attitudes were upheld within AISA Bangalore, S said,

The union members projected workers as having ‘issues’ working with women cadres.

Grievances raised by female members were dismissed, and attempts to address sequel harassment were met with slander and intimidation. In conversation with DU Beat, one such incident was revealed where the grievance was taken to AISA GSCASH, an institution convened by AISA, for ensuring gender equality. But a chain of events, ranging from slandering and isolation from all sides to receiving an unsolicited intimate image with no accountability from leadership, led the cadre to ultimately leave AISA. S added,

The leadership was heavily criticised for their inability to take adequate action, but they brushed the need to address structural changes by pointing fingers at the committee and appointed a new one instead.

Furthermore, a bureaucratic system characterised by a top-down approach exists, hindering organisational democracy, grassroots empowerment, and the ability to effectively address the needs and concerns of all members. S said,

There was bureaucratic functioning, wherein executives would simply delegate work to cadres, and disagreements, opinions, and criticisms would all be kept at bay.

This led to a lack of transparency, accountability, and democratic functioning within the organisation, with members feeling disempowered and disconnected from the decision-making processes. S also expressed the guilt stemming from such undermined effectiveness and legitimacy, stating,

While we were a part of this organisation, we were also leading others to an organisation that was not going anywhere, giving us a sense of guilt.” The executives’ meetings led nowhere, and the organisational structure was greatly constrained, with no accountability and shrinking spaces for democracy. The organisation seemed more concerned with projecting itself as a local party in leadership, prioritising national vision over the principles of what the organisation originally represents.


Abandonment of Cadres-1

During an interview with DU Beat, Atika expressed feeling abandoned by the leaders amid an incident she encountered while studying at Jain University. This incident involved her being asked to distribute Spark magazine on Jain’s campus and at another university, where she lost her phone. Concerned, her parents reached out to the authorities to locate her. However, instead of receiving assistance, she was slut-shamed, verbally abused, and intimidated by members of the management, including her Head of Department (HOD) and some faculty members.

Despite reaching out to senior members and leaders for guidance on how to handle the situation (considering the fact that I was new to the organisation and unaccustomed to such a hostile political environment), I received no support. I tried seeking guidance from senior members and leaders within the organisation on how to navigate through the targeted harassment, facing the HOD, and other concerns, but I found myself utterly abandoned. Faced with constant threats and intimidation, I had to drop out and restart my degree elsewhere. Given my financial constraints, the situation became even more challenging.

Abandonment of Cadres-2

S continued to elaborate, sharing another instance of facing similar abandonment in another issue, where last year, some members of the Christ University unit of AISA took a stand against strict attendance policies and money-laundering practices by the university.

We created posters to highlight issues and student demands, placing them in nearby student-populated areas like hostels and eateries, avoiding the campus. Later, we were summoned by the police, citing CCTV footage showing us and four others posting the posters. Despite seeking clarification with AISA leaders, the police harassment continued, leading to anxiety within the unit. Eventually, the university took action; I was detained and had to abandon my degree, despite being in the final year, while my comrade was barred from exams.

When asked about how the AISA leadership handled this incident, S continued and replied that initially, a few members of the leadership did accompany them to the police station and attempted to mediate, but, following the university’s punitive actions against them, the leadership’s presence became almost non-existent.

When my father reached out to a leader seeking legal assistance to address the matter, none was provided. Despite the leader being an experienced lawyer himself, he distanced himself from the situation by claiming that nobody in the organisation had expertise in educational law.

Furthermore, he noted that after several weeks of deliberations, a District Committee (DC) meeting was convened. Subsequently, a joint meeting was held where various proposals, including protests, legal action, and others, were discussed.

It’s crucial to note that throughout this period, the leaders failed to inform the rest of the members, and even the majority of the District Committee members were unaware of the incidents that had been unfolding. Despite us being willing to accept the potential risks of legally challenging the detention, we were discouraged from pursuing this avenue.

The leadership agreed to these proposals, expressing readiness to take action; no tangible steps were taken afterward. Given all of these circumstances, along with the educational pressures I was facing, I made the decision to step down from the district committee.

Political Façade or Genuine Commitment?

When questioned about whether the claimed ideologies are genuinely upheld within the organisation, S emphasised how some of the joining cadres were truly committed to fighting against the issues.

It’s notable that the cadres who join are the ones truly committed to fighting against the issues. They demonstrate sincere efforts and hold positive aspirations to address these concerns in their own capacities. However, the series of events highlighted a clear neglect of queer and women’s issues, alongside other concerns mentioned within the organization. Some individuals have worked tirelessly to uphold democratic and progressive ideals.

On remarking about the leadership’s inconsistency and failure to address important matters, S shared that while they understand no organization is perfect, their departure was preceded by a long chain of progressive efforts undertaken and meaningful initiatives before they decided to part ways with the organization. S expressed that while these issues remain prevalent in society at large, it was their deep-rooted presence within the organization, accompanied by the leadership’s inability to take action and recognize the issues, that acted as a trigger and intensified their long-felt feelings of dissatisfaction and dejection with the organization.

We understand that every organisation faces challenges, and it’s natural to encounter such issues. However, before any action can be taken to address them, acknowledgment is crucial. The first step is acknowledging that these issues exist. The leadership’s inconsistency in addressing these matters and failure to promote collective decision-making have been evident.

When asked about how things have been post-resignation, especially with the matter being discussed on social media, A replied, “There are cheap slanders and memes being circulated post our resignation.

Expanding on this, S continued, expressing concern over false claims suggesting that they hadn’t contributed anything to the organisation.

This is nonsensical considering the significant designations we held. How could we have reached such positions if we hadn’t actively worked for the organization? Moreover, the president resigned alongside us. If we supposedly didn’t work, how did we attain positions like that? All of this happening clearly hints at a lack of accountability and denialism on their behalf.

S also added that out of 4 college campus units, 3 have resigned, leaving the organisation half as strong. Addressing these concerns requires open dialogue, active listening, and a commitment to collective action.

DU Beat also attempted to contact members of AISA Karnataka for their perspective on the concerns raised by exiting comrades, but has not received any response as of yet.

Read Also: ABVP and Left Front Clash Ahead of JNUSU 2024 Elections

Featured Image Credits: AISA Karnataka X Account (previously twitter) 

DU Beat


Delhi’s urban forest offers solace with lush greenery, wildlife, and historical ruins, a great escape for nature lovers struggling to be at peace in the urban jungle of the cityscape. Sanjay Van is your calling, dear all. 

It’s been over a year since I moved to Delhi to attend college. इस शहर को ये हुआ क्या, कहीं राख है तो कहीं धुआं धुआं (Is shara ko ye hua kya kahi rakh hai toe kahi dhua dhua), turned into my everyday reality. Whenever I get a system notification about the AQI levels in my area, all I think of is what is keeping me alive in this filthy air. Then, one fine day, while scrolling through places to visit in Delhi, I came across ‘Sanjay Van’. 

It is part of the Delhi Ridge, or The Ridge, which is the Northern Aravalli leopard wildlife corridor in the territory of Delhi. It covers an area of 780 acres. The tail end of the Aravalli Hills is 1500 million years old, comprising the flora and fauna native to this region. The Delhi Development Authority in the 1970s started developing this area, which has now turned out to be the ‘lungs of the city’. 

Now a city forest, Sanjay Van once was the hunting range of Firozshah Tughlaque. It is also the natural habitat for Blue Bulls, Golden Jackals, lizards like Monitor, several snacks, and birds like Grey and Purple Herons and Peacocks. This conserved area has recently transformed into a bird-watching spot. Several species of birds, like Indian peafowl, grey heron, Eurasian golden oriole, purple sunbird, Asian koel, Brahminy starling, Indian silver bill, white-breasted waterhen, etc., can be seen here with great ease. 

One fine day, I decided to visit this city forest, and since then, I have made it a ritual to go there every weekend for my well-being. Serenity and tranquilly, the luxuries in an urban cityscape, are the natural vibes there. It is easy to reach as the nearest metro stations are Malaviya Nagar (Yellow Line) and R K Puram (Magenta Line). As soon as you enter, several shades of green greet you. 

For archaeology lovers, you can spot the 12th-century ruins of a ‘Quila’, constructed during the reign of Prithviraj Chauhan. The trail begins, granting you a great sense of belonging. It is an ideal place for long walks, cycling, and yoga meditation. Away from the hassle of city life, it is a great spot to sit and reflect on our lives. The time here passes slowly, and every panorama ignites a new wave of fascination. Sanjay Van is a haunted forest. You can also spot a lady walking around, wearing a ‘white saree’. To keep yourself safe from her, make sure that you carry your garbage bags and do not litter on the forest ground. Once, an infamous and precarious site transformed into a great hangout place with your family and friends. The restored lake ‘Neela Hauz’ has turned into a drain because of the sewage water that has started to flow in there. Prefer to stay silent in there if you want to enjoy the sweet melodies of the birds and embrace the silence of the place. When you visit, make sure you are wearing comfortable clothes and shoes. 

The terrain of the forest allows you to have a pleasing hiking experience with its flat and low, hilly slopes. Recently, DDA has acquired about 5,000 sq m by removing illegal structures. 

The highest peak gives you a beautiful view of the city and Qutub Minar. So, if you are planning a day out, there are many attractive places in the neighbourhood that you will enjoy visiting, like Hauz Khas Village, Qutub Minar, and Chamapagali. 

‘Ye hai Delhi meri jaan’, and for the first time since moving here, I felt my ‘Jaan’ being revived under the canopy, secure in the lap of Mother Nature.


Read Also: Silent Nights in Sunder Nursery

Featured Image Credits: Divya Malhotra

Divya Malhotra

[email protected]