DU Beat


Chaos arose at Hindu College as multiple candidate nominations were rejected for the ongoing Student Union elections. Students are protesting to demand an answer from the administration for the same.

Protests are ongoing at Hindu College amidst its Student Union election procedure, where hundreds of students have staged a hunger strike. This has come as a result of the cancellation of over 30 nominations for the posts of Prime Minister and members of the Central Council at the College, without any explanation from the Principal. The students are demanding transparency from the administration, which has reportedly failed to provide any answers yet.

On September 15, the College released the final list of contesting candidates for the concerned positions. For the post of Prime Minister, only two candidates have been selected. While there are two seats for members of the Central Council, only one candidate has made the list, leaving one seat vacant.

During the nominations, scrutiny did not take place under a witness, and neither is there any video proof to rely on. The selection process has been very arbitrary and the candidates who applied have not been given any updates regarding the reason behind their rejection.

-SFI Hindu via Instagram

The situation is being referred to as “an attack on democracy” by the students, who describe this as the administration’s way of unfairly choosing candidates in order to have more control over the activities of the Student Union.

Posters Circulated on Social Media to Call for Protests in Hindu College
Posters Circulated on Social Media to Call for Protests in Hindu College

On the 15th, protests commenced on the campus. Posters regarding a demonstration outside the principal’s office were spread on social media, and circulating videos showed student activists entering classrooms to talk about the issue.

When we approached the administration to enquire about the rejected nominations, we were told that the principal is on leave and the office shall remain closed. We will be on a hunger strike until we receive an answer from the administration.

-Manoj Jangir, a student whose PM nomination remains cancelled.

Police forces were later deployed on and around campus, where protesters were present. In an interview covered by ‘Delhi Uptodate’, protestors claimed they were baton-charged and said their hunger strike would continue until a justification for cancelled candidatures is received from the Principal.

As of September 16, the situation remains similar. Most classes stood suspended in light of the ongoing protests.

Read also: Protesters Demand Suspension of DRC Principal Dr Savita Roy 

Featured image credits: CNBC News

Arshiya Pathania
[email protected]

At the heart of the academic freedom debate at Ashoka University is the tension between an open and liberal campus and a management that is trying to run it like a corporation.

A well-respected professor at Ashoka University resigns from his position. The reason? Alleged interference by the University’s management in their extra-curricular work, which stood in opposition to the current dominant political ideology and which the university viewed as getting inextricably linked to its own public image. This is followed by the resignation of another faculty member as a form of solidarity.

If you thought I was talking about the recent resignation of the Assistant Professor of Economics, Sabyasachi Das, you’d only be half right. In 2021, another imminent intellectual and professor of political science at the university, Pratap Bhanu Mehta, resigned from his position. In his resignation letter, he wrote,

My association with the university may be considered a political liability.

Founded in 2014, Ashoka University is, in its own words, “committed to maintaining the highest intellectual and academic standards” as a “private non-profit university, an unprecedented example of public philanthropy in India”. Yet over the years, the University has shown a lack of moral fortitude to uphold these commitments whenever challenged by the dominant political forces.

On July 20, 2016, an open letter titled “Open Letter condemning State Violence in Kashmir, was floated by six Young India Fellowship (YIP) students. It was signed by 88 signatories. The following day, the University released a statement condemning the letter as well as the petitioners and effectively distancing itself from it. On October 7, Saurav Goswami, Deputy Manager of Academic Affairs, and Adil Mushtaq Shah, Programme Manager of Academic Affairs, who were among the signatories, resigned from their positions.

In December 2016, Rajendran Narayanan, a mathematics professor and the lone member of the faculty among the signatories, resigned as well. Although the Univeristy claimed that they resigned of their own volition, according to an Indian Express report, emails sent by the Univerisity’s Faculty Council showed a different picture. Prior to an email sent on October 16 which alleged Goswami and Shah being “asked to resign by the founders”, another email was sent on October 8 by the Council resisting this plan to fire Narayanan. It stated,

The Faculty Council feels that Rajendran’s dismissal would deal a death-blow to Ashoka’s vision. It will be difficult to make a case of personal or professional misconduct against Rajendran as his colleagues will vouch for his integrity, or of having violated University guidelines because there were none at the time he signed the petition. Therefore, notwithstanding the Founders’ track record in upholding freedom of speech, for which we are extremely grateful, this would very much be seen as a case of faculty dismissal consequent on exercise of free speech.

On March 17, 2021, came the news of the resignation of Pratap Bhanu Mehta, the professor of political science. He said,

My public writing in support of a politics that tries to honour constitutional values of freedom and equal respect for all citizens is perceived to carry risks for the university. In the interests of the university, I resign.

A report in The Edict (which was supported by Time Magazine), Ashoka’s student newspaper, claimed that Mehta’s resignation had paved the way for the University’s expansion and was related to funding regulation. The University denied such a claim. However, during a discussion between the Founders and the Student Government on March 21, the former claimed that they had met Mehta on March 9 and informed him that some of the Founders believed that his “political opinions often get conflated with the university’s stance and that they were simply relaying feedback”. The incident laid bare the tension between the management, responsible for the administration and funding of the University and the faculty and students, which make up the soul and the ethos of a liberal arts university.

In August this year, after Das’ working paper, titled ‘Democratic Backsliding in the World’s Largest Democracy’, created much furore online, the University immediately moved to distance itself from it. The Wire reported that the university’s investors had received angry calls from the Prime Minister’s Office and the Union Education Minister. In an unprecedented move, the university set up an ad hoc committee to examine the ‘political context’ behind the research paper. In a further concerning development, The Tribune reported that officials from the Intelligence Bureau (IB) visited the campus to probe the paper and Das. The University’s brazen timidity in the face of the pressure from powers that be was reputationally damaging, to say the least.

With each blow to its liberal credentials that Ashoka has seen, it has run into the same problem: the promise of a liberal and open campus, which by its very nature is supposed to be noisy, a fertile ground for dissent and debate, and which cannot, in any feasible manner, run like a corporation. A corporation, which, to ensure efficiency, demands obedience and purges anything that it deems a liability.

There is no denying that the GB is facing tremendous pressures from the political climate but it is this very tryst between the Board and the politically tied capital that stands starkly in contrast to the liberal spirit.

– wrote an undergraduate in The Edict.

If Ashoka University wants to deliver on the promises that it made at its conception—that of a liberal and open campus—it needs to stop trying to run a university like a corporate firm. The irony of this whole ordeal is that the strongest backlash towards the University’s actions every time has come from the very people it demanded obedience from—the students and the faculty, who at this point seem more committed to the University’s purported ideals than those who promised them do.

Read Also: The Sheer Obliteration of Transparency in DU PG Admissions

Featured Image Source: The Wire

Vanshika Ahuja
[email protected]

Key bills were passed in the parliament and postponed to the winter session amid turmoil, disagreements, outrage regarding Manipur violence, walkouts, a failed no-confidence motion, and a flying kiss controversy. While numerous controversial bills have been approved or introduced under the banner of “decolonizing India’s judiciary,” many political analysts argue that these bills are nothing more than a means of gaining influence over the legislature and the law.

The Monsoon session of Parliament, which began on July 20, 2023, ended on August 11, 2023, amid chaos, debates, outrage over Manipur violence, and drama over a no-confidence motion. This monsoon session had the largest number of bills passed yet the lowest amount of productive hours. 14 of the 23 bills passed this session were approved in 22 hours of discussion. With certain bills adopted minutes into discussion, the legitimacy and democratic significance of the two houses come into doubt.

According to PRS Legislative Research, despite the fact that parliament only met for half of its designated period, this session had a high level of legislative activity. 56% of the bills introduced in the session were passed by both houses. During the session, the Lok Sabha functioned for 43% of its scheduled time, while the Rajya Sabha functioned for 55%. Here is a tabular representation of a few bills passed in the session as per the report by PRS Legislative Research:

Bills passed Lok Sabha Rajya Sabha
Time spent on discussion Members participated Time spent on discussion Members participated
The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi(Amendment) Bill, 2023 4 hrs 54 mins 26 8 hrs 3 mins 32
The Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2023 56 mins 8 1 hr 9 mins 6
The Forest(Conservation) Amendment Bill, 2023 38 mins 4 1 hr 41 mins 11
The Mines and Minerals(Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2023 19 mins 2 1 hr 34 mins 11
The Central Goods and Service Tax(Amendment) Bill, 2023 2 mins 0 3 mins 0
The Integrated Goods and Services Tax(Amendment) Bill, 2023 2 mins 0 3 mins 0

Here is a detailed analysis of some of the most controversial bills:

The Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023: On May 11, 2023, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the Delhi government in Delhi Government vs. Centre, granting it power over most services in the capital city, excluding public order, land, and police problems. According to the Supreme Court, Article 239A establishes a legislative assembly for the National Capital Territory of Delhi. The Delhi electorate chooses the members of the legislative assembly. Art. 239A must be interpreted in order to further representative democracy.

If a democratically elected government is not given the power to control the officers, the principle of the triple chain of accountability will be redundant.”

– CJI DY Chandrachud

However, on May 19, the centre issued an ordinance to overturn the decision of the Supreme Court. To replace the ordinance, the Delhi Service Bill was introduced. The law gives the Central Government the authority to create regulations governing the affairs of the Delhi Government, including the functions, terms, and other conditions of service of officials and employees. The new measure also creates the National Capital Civil Services Authority (NCCSA), which would make recommendations to the LG on transfers, postings, and disciplinary issues. The bill also grants the LG (indirectly the central government) vast powers over the calling, promulgation, and dissolution of the Delhi Legislative Assembly, as well as the appointment of the Chief Minister and other ministries.  

The bill was approved by both houses of parliament. After the bill was passed in the Lok Sabha, the opposition walked out. The opposition questioned the prime minister’s vow to grant Delhi full autonomy. 

Repeatedly, the BJP has promised that it will give full statehood to Delhi. In 2014, Modi himself said that upon becoming Prime Minister, he would give full statehood to Delhi. But today, these people stabbed the people of Delhi in the back. Don’t believe anything about Modi ji from now on.” 

Arvind Kejriwal tweeted

Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, and the Bharatiya Sakshya Bill, 2023: On August 11, the Home Minister, Amit Shah, proposed three bills to replace the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPc), and the Evidence Act. These bills were proposed as part of an effort to decolonize the Indian judiciary.

As many as 313 changes have been proposed in the three criminal laws, and the objective is to ensure that people who approach the courts get justice within three years. The laws that are being replaced were essentially aimed at safeguarding the continuation of the British administration, and their objective was to punish, not deliver justice. The new laws will safeguard constitutional rights and deliver justice. These laws will be imbibed with the Indian soul.”

Amit Shah, Home Minister

The three bills were sent to the standing committee, which is instructed to deliver a report before the winter session begins. The administration intends to enact and execute these bills before the end of the year. The full evaluation of these three bills paints a quite different picture from the one painted by the home minister in the house. The Indian Express writes:

There is a disjunct between the manner in which these bills are being presented and their actual content. They are far from being an overhaul that will be the panacea for issues that plague India’s criminal justice system. Large parts of these three bills simply reproduce existing provisions of the Indian Penal Code, the Criminal Procedure Code, and the Indian Evidence Act.”

The lack of public participation, the complete repeal and revocation of certain sections, and the introduction of such comprehensive changes in a relatively short period of time are some of the major practical concerns about the sudden replacement of the legal system, which can lead to disruption in the legal system. According to political analysts, these bills represent an indirect legalisation of the regime’s violations of human rights. Here is a tabular depiction of some sections of the bills and their relationship to the ruling party’s current demonstration of human rights violations.

Extension of Detention Period Extension of the detention period without any charges from the current duration to 90 days Many news reports and declarations by human rights organisations expressed concern over the unlawful arrest and incarceration of many anti-CAA activists during the Delhi Riots of 2020. Various court statements addressed this serious issue. “These defenders, many of them students, appear to have been arrested simply because they exercised their right to denounce and protest against the CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act), and their arrest seems clearly designed to send a chilling message to India’s vibrant civil society that criticism of government policies will not be tolerated.” : UN Experts  
Discretionary Powers for Law Enforcement Discretionary powers, such as the ‘right to handcuff,’ to law enforcement officers raise ethical and practical concerns. According to The Swaddle’s 2022 report, at least 4484 people died in police custody in the last two years. From the attack on Jamia Millia Islamia students in Delhi to the use of pellet guns and smoke bombs on farmers, India has seen an increase in police violence. The new law gives police authority rather than control, raising fears about police violence and reducing the legal ability to demand accountability. 
Gendered Provisions New Rape law applies specifically to women This law not only advocates heteronormativity but also toxic masculinity and makes it more difficult for male victims of sexual assault to come forward and report their abuse. The transgender population is one of the most vulnerable to such laws. The government’s queerphobic behaviour and implementation of the trans bill in 2019, despite enormous community protests, raises a larger concern about governments’ stance on trans issues.
Impact on minority rights Provisions on “Love Jihad” Several international and national human rights organisations have questioned the Love Jihad law and how it is being used against Muslims. With examples of Hindu vigilantes collaborating with police and mob lynchings of Muslims under the name of love jihad on the rise. Providing full legal status raises serious concerns about the safety of minorities in the country.

Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service, and Term of Office) Bill, 2023: On August 10, 2023, the BJP government introduced this bill in the Rajya Sabha in an effort to alter the current method of appointment of election commission officers. This bill will take power away from the CJI and give the ruling party enormous influence in appointing the EC. The Wire reports:

Section 7 of this new Bill seeks to set up a selection committee headed by the prime minister, which will have one Union minister, nominated by the prime minister, and the Leader of the Opposition (LoP) as its members. Neither the Chief Justice of India nor any eminent jurist will find a place on this committee. This means that the chief election commissioner (CEC) and other election commissioners (ECs) would be selected by the political executive belonging to the ruling party, with the LoP either ignored or overruled. What kind of ‘neutrality and independence’ can be expected from such appointees?”

This bill will give the ruling party enormous authority over the Election Commission, raising concerns about the transparency and credibility of the world’s largest democratic elections.

Some of the other bills include:

  1. Forest Conservation(Amendment) Bill, 2023 which allows non-forest activities on forest lands and permits clearance of forest within 100kms of national border.
  2. Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2023 which will hold accountable private entities that are in the business of leveraging people’s data in order to further their agenda or make profit, though it also provides leeway for the government to work its way out despite large-scale surveillance.
  3. The Mines and Minerals(Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2023 allows the private sector to mine 6 out of 12 atomic minerals. It also empowers the central government to exclusively auction mining leases and composite licences for certain critical minerals.

Many other bills were introduced and passed, including the Cinematography (Amendment) Bill, Pharmacy (Amendment) Bill, Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Bill, and others. To read a detailed overview of all bills passed, here is the detailed article by IndiaToday.

Every year, multiple bills are passed, introduced, and rejected throughout the three sessions of parliament. The most crucial aspect, however, is the procedure through which bills are passed. With more bills approved in such a short period of time, without enough debate, question rounds, proper involvement of the opposition, or ignoring questions by taking advantage of other issues, the legitimacy of legislative or judicial reforms comes into doubt. With the declining state of democracy and the regime’s increasing attacks on minorities through a translucent lens, the introduction of new bills raises the question of whether these bills are introduced to bring reform or fill gaps in the existing system, or are simply a way to gain control over the major democratic bodies with power, a path towards fascism in India?

Feature Image Credits: Newslaundry

Read Also: Is the Judiciary Really Independent in India?

Dhruv Bhati

[email protected]

The newly introduced BTech courses at DU had few takers, leaving many seats vacant. The university decided to conduct spot admissions as a result.

Admission statistics recently rolled in for newly introduced BTech courses at the University of Delhi. These admissions under the Faculty of Technology are based on the JEE Mains score. There have been few takers, as many seats are vacant compared to the authorized capacity. For the computer science course, 20 seats were occupied, while only two seats were filled for electronics and communication, and just one seat was taken for the electrical engineering course. Following this, DU decided to conduct spot admissions.

The seat allotment result for the BTech programs was released on September 11, and colleges will verify applications by September 14. The last date for payment of the admission fee shall remain September 15, and there will be no option to upgrade or withdraw.

Many opinions have been expressed in trying to find an explanation for such low admission numbers. Some teachers have said that the programs aren’t affordable for many because they’re expensive by the standards of a central university. Others say that there is hesitation among students to opt for engineering courses at a university more known for its humanities and commerce departments.

“I was unaware of the BTech courses offered at DU. Nevertheless, I would have still given preference to private engineering colleges with well-established courses and faculty.”

-Vardaan, a first-year student at IIIT-Delhi

Thus, apprehension towards DU’s BTech courses does exist among students, especially since the department is fairly new and will take time to solidify.

A university official also said that BTech admissions for this year had already been completed at other universities while they started late at DU, which is why seats remained vacant. They hope to regularize admissions from next year onward. Perhaps the culmination of all the reasons mentioned is an explanation for the low statistics.

Another aspect of the situation that sparked discussion was the setting up of these courses in the first place. Many are of the opinion that if the administration does want to expand its science-based courses, it must first improve the existing infrastructure for BSc courses.

“When almost every college of the university has infrastructure complaints and science courses are lacking in lab equipment and research prospects, why not focus on investing in these areas?”

-Sanviti, a third-year BSc Microbiology student

Featured image credits: Hindustan Times

Read also: Under the Shadow of DUSU Elections

Arshiya Pathania

[email protected]

 College is often a foray into many new experiences, a lot of which involves the night life. The glamorous ideal of Delhi clubbing, parking lots filled with fancy G-wagons, tons of booze, popping DJ sets has often attracted many young students, looking to enjoy the first dregs of freedom associated with university. However, behind the glitz, many realize that the city that never sleeps doesn’t always have to offer the best experiences once the sun sets.

Clubs are inherently unsafe for many, especially women. Dingy lighting, crowds of strange men, all under the influence of alcohol, and usually heavily intoxicated, spell disaster for several young students. Almost all young women have faced some degree of assault at clubs, from something as easily brushed off as cat-calling, to serious cases of assault.

My first few experiences in Delhi clubs hadn’t been the worst, somehow I had warded off creepy stares or unwanted gropes, but a few months into having moved to the city, I ended up at Ansal Plaza, a place frequented by DU students looking to party. This changed the false sense of security I had gained over the past few months. I suddenly felt suffocated and unsafe, I could feel the stare of random men. I ended up leaving in 30 minutes. Since then, I became more wary of the situations I put myself in. However, I now have a deep seated fear, one that usually gets me whilst traveling back in Ubers late at night, at how women often lose out on the joy of many experiences, because of the sense of endangerment created for them.

Other female students have had similar experiences,

There have been several times when I have been stared at or groped, in many of the supposedly elite clubs in the city. But I guess these are just the things that come with being a girl, and don’t deter me from having my fun” – Siona Arora, B.A. Programme, Kamala Nehru College

 But the issue runs deeper than just personal experiences, incidents like drink spiking run rampant across clubs in general, where women usually account for more than half of the visitors. Articles like this one suggest measures like, regulated security personnel, more female security members, checking men for drugs and a general no-tolerance policy towards drug use in clubs.

Adding to this, several unaware college students, many of whom hail from non-urban areas in India and are unfamiliar with the workings of the city, its various areas or clubs in general, are especially vulnerable to being exploited in such scenarios. Being charged extra money to enter into “exclusive events”, women being forced to couple up with often strange men to enter into clubs, commuting late at night in cabs through unknown roads or routes etc. can all ruin youngsters’ attempts to just have a good night.

Read also –

Image Credits – Getty Images

Chaharika Uppal

[email protected]





TW// Sexual harassment & casteism

After a gap of three years, the Delhi University campuses have been covered in the hues of Student Union Elections. However, the true face of these elections may be found beneath the democratic facade. While money and power are the most addressed sides of this dark coin, there is another side that frequently gets overlooked: caste politics and gender-based violence.

 The Delhi University Student Union (DUSU) Elections are being held after a gap of three years because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Pamphlets, roads covered with paper cut-outs, banners, posters, fights, and long traffic jams marked the beginning of the campaign of various student union organisations across campuses at DU. From the north campus to the south campus and off-campus colleges, every college at the University of Delhi is draped in the colours of elections. However, what lurks behind these hues is a mix of democracy and oppression.

Hundreds of posters, thousands of paper cut-outs all over the streets, and rallies of black and white cars tossing the same paper cut-outs you’re walking on speak volumes about how democratic and accessible the DUSU elections are. However, beyond these money and power dynamics lies the worst face of the DUSU elections: an open breeding ground for sexual harassment and casteism.

It is difficult to distinguish the inappropriate advantage taken of such packed surroundings at large-scale rallies with hundreds of party workers yelling slogans and the names of their candidates. Whether it’s a kind but unwelcome handshake or being unexpectedly touched in a throng or a bunch of guys gazing at every woman moving by, footage of mobs of men forcibly entering women’s colleges appears all over the internet every year. The fact that there are no proper caps on crowd control or codes of conduct gives these people the pass to repeat it again and again.

I have witnessed sexual harassment take place during election events. As soon as it gets crowded and people start getting pushed around, they start touching you everywhere. The language they use makes us feel disgusted. Right now, a person approached us and said: ‘Kya laundiya khadi kar rakhi hain’ (What women have they made stand here). We are also students, so what is wrong with us supporting any party just because we are women? The opposition, especially, really tries to make us feel uncomfortable as a part of their own political agenda.

– Two female party supporters in an interview to Newslaundry

 Students find it difficult to speak out about sexual harassment on campus due to the rising degree of fear culture established by these mobs of men. This year, too, hordes of ABVP members forcibly entered Miranda House’s campus twice.

When any left-wing organisation stages a tiny protest, massive police forces are deployed. They are sometimes detained for “disturbing the peace on campus. However, in incidents like these, where ABVP men forcibly entered the campus of a women’s college twice, there will be no police deployment or action, even after complaints.

-A student from the women’s college of DU 

Apart from toxic masculinity and a free pass for sexual harassment, caste-based violence is also common during elections. These elections are dominated by Jats and Gujjars. Every DUSU president from 2011 to 2017 was either Jat or Gujjar. These two communities dominate not just the president but the whole panel. Voting in the name of caste is also very common.

TW// Casteism

I heard my classmates say, ‘Ye AISA waale SC/ST ke chapri logo ki toli hai, isko kon vote dega’ (AISA is a group of people from the SC/ST community, who’s going to vote for them).

– A third-year BSc. student

 Vote appeals based on caste are fairly prevalent. Even upper-caste voters say it would be a disgrace if a lower-caste person won the election. In 2018, the Delhi Police released an advisory urging students not to vote based on caste. They warned candidates who appealed for votes based on their caste.

The larger question is whether left-wing politics, which is more issue-centric and nuanced in its narrative, is putting pressure on bigger parties to reform themselves. The pinjra tod campaign that seeks to make hostel and paying guest accommodation regulations less regressive and restrictive for women students is refreshing to see. In the past year, we can see a change in the way the NSUI has conducted itself, and this could have been an influence of left-leaning groups like the All India Students’ Association (AISA).

-Apoorvanand, professor at the Department of Hindi, University of Delhi in an article by Firstpost (2018)

The present DUSU elections have their foundation on four pillars: money, muscle, masculinity, and caste. The lack of a strict code of conduct and the administration’s inability to maintain a check on hooliganism give these individuals a free pass to do such things again and again. Whether it’s blocking traffic for their campaign, forcibly entering women’s colleges, or instilling terror in caste and gender minorities.

A safe, free, and fair election is often demanded. While most students would want to remain bystanders to the drama of these elections, such a stage is unachievable. Unification is required to bring about a complete transformation in the electoral process. Until then, the DUSU elections will be viewed as a reflection of the greater electoral landscape rather than a democratic practice.


Featured Image Credits: The Hindu

Read Also: Power and Politics in the Delhi University Students’ Union


Dhruv Bhati

[email protected]


Old Delhi has always held a majestic charm because of its unique food culture, which dates back centuries. In this article, we magnify Mughlai cuisine lovers’ favourite destination, Karim’s.

In 1857, when the British won over the Indian mutiny and ended the Mughal rule of Bahadur Shah Zafar in India, several royal cooks from the Mughal kitchen became unemployed. To sustain themselves, they set up food stalls around the streets of Old Delhi, bringing the dishes of the royal kitchen to the streets and consequentially giving birth to the famous Matia Mahal food street of Jama Masjid. At the heart of this lies Delhi’s beloved Mughal cuisine outlet, one that remains of choice even today, Karim’s.

A paradise for non-veg lovers, Mughal cuisine runs deep through the walls and stairs of Karim’s, with extravaganzas from Mutton Korma to Fish Tikka Biriyani. Situated within a humble atmosphere, the restaurant poses no frills, with cooks stirring huge stainless-steel pots and grilling kebabs on sizzling skewers. Moreover, Karim’s’ popularity runs throughout the city of Delhi. One might have to wait for hours to get a seat at the restaurant on a Sunday evening!

Three years back, my first visit to Old Delhi all the way from Gurgaon took me to Karim’s where I had the best flavours of Mughlai chicken and naan with my uncle! Not only that, Karim’s presents a humble ambience with people huddled together enjoying their meals within a century-old little shop that is unlike most contemporary restaurants.

– Raghav Rohilla, a student at the University of Delhi.

Visiting Karim’s on a Monday morning presented quite an enthralling experience. Besides the hubbub of Mondays, the restaurant was moderately crowded, with waiters tallying orders and the delicious smell of Seekh Kebabs and Mutton Biriyani wafting through the air. Ordering a plate of the same Mughlai Chicken with Rumali Roti, it took only a few minutes for the plates to arrive. The juicy chicken bathed in spices, wrapped with the paper-thin roti, melts in one’s mouth, presenting a beautiful confluence of spicy, tangy, and divine flavours, as if connecting one to the eighteenth-century Mughal age. But what’s noteworthy here is that, despite being established more than a century ago in 1913, the restaurant preserves the same recipe passed down by the founding chef, Haji Karimuddin.

Nargisi Kofta and Mutton Biriyani are a must-try at Karim’s. In Nargisi Kofta, Mutton Keema is coated on the outside of a whole egg and both are then fried and put in a curry and it is a mouth-watering dish! Coupled with Kheer and Sharbat-e-Mohabbat makes it the most wholesome meal one can ever have!”

– Shayan Basu Roy, another DU Student.

Not to be confused with the popularised food chain Kareem’s, the Karim’s of Jama Masjid prides itself upon its legacy of preserving the ancient recipes straight from the Mughal kitchens, while Kareem’s is a Mughal eatery belonging to the Mumbai-based businessman Kareem Dhanani, established much later than the legacy shop. However, trademark disputes have arisen between the two since 2022, with the intervention of the Delhi High Court. But let’s not loiter and come back to the delicious food, which forms the subject of discussion here.

Located in a little corner of Old Delhi, the restaurant draws people from all around the city and beyond. There is something special about Karim’s besides its heavenly flavours of food and its ‘Purani-Dilli’ glamour and charm.

I once visited Karim’s during Eid and it was really crowded but so lively. In Muslim households, you usually have this concept of Wazwaan, with one big plate of food and everybody eating together out of it. I think Karim’s also reflects this similar concept where complete strangers may be seated opposite to you on the same table enjoying their individual plate of food but you can always reach out and start a casual, friendly conversation with them. This makes for a very harmonic atmosphere.”

– Adds Shayan to his experience with the charm of Karim’s.

Worshipped for its divine delicacies, its homely ambience, and its vintage charm, Karim’s serves as a magnet for all, irrespective of whether you are a foodie or not. A visit to Purani Dilli is incomplete without a pilgrimage to Karim’s, embracing the feeling of being gradually transported to the royal Mughal era, savouring the tastes that some royal princes did too, sitting on the same steps of this little humble shop, nearly hundreds of years ago!

Read Also: Ten Food Joints that DU Freshers Must Visit

Featured Image Credits: Youth Ki Awaaz (Google Images)

Priyanka Mukherjee
[email protected] 

Kegs, ragers at frats, plush campuses, a perfectly disheveled middle-aged professor to swoon over, boys-every 2000s film depicting the typical college life had these staples, so one can imagine the shock of then landing up in Indian public university and realizing that the aforementioned may have all been too good to be true.

Shows like the Sex Life of College Girls created unmatchable expectations of a college life bustling with enthusiasm, but the reality was disappointing. I entered DU, with crumbling infrastructure, disinterested faculty, and well, an all-girls college. The plush campuses were mostly replaced by an uncomfortably warm metro and auto ride, wading through the crowds of white collar workers. Moreover, the Western college myth perpetuated this idea of a constant sense of community and complete freedom, but this seemed false too.

In Delhi, most friends are scattered across the city, frequently occupying paying guest accommodations or hostels, so the idea of a shared dorm already goes out the window. Furthermore, a really important myth was of course, that of complete and utter freedom, from family and from parents. Most hostels or student housing, have curfews or restrictions to leave during certain hours. Moreover, these restrictions seem to be applied more harshly against women, sometimes understandably (Delhi is one of the unsafest cities in the world) but almost always unfairly. The infamous scenes of jungle juice at frat parties and sorority rushes are closely equated to DU fests, however, in recent years, they’ve become extremely unsafe, with reports of women’s colleges’ fests being attacked, tales of harassment but right-wing student parties etc.

This isn’t an attack on DU, but rather a sense of dissonance created by exposure to Western Media which glosses over the harsh realities, probably faced by most students in South Asian public universities, like that of finances. American uni experiences conveniently escape the discourse on student debt, how a lot of the glamor is usually resting on an exorbitantly high tuition fee, perhaps a tenth of what we pay at state school. Nevertheless, the difficulties of living on allowances, budgeting are often not depicted, while there is some justification that most of these are fictional accounts, they create unhealthy expectations of college life.

Finally, between all the binge-drinking and night outs, movies also fail to depict the loneliness of college, which for many of us is the first time living away from home. The difficulties adjusting to new people, finding friends, and really learning how to exist as an adult, make it less of a four year party, and more of life experience, with its fair share of highs and lows.

Image Credits: Movies Universe
Chaharika Uppal
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This article is an insight on ‘Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani’ and how it delves to the social paradigm of our country.

As I walked out of the theatre feeling that I have been called poor by Karan Johar in 3 languages I couldn’t help but wonder, are over the top popcorn flicks the one stop solution of inducting social cues in the Indian audience.
Beneath Flashy costumes and larger than life setting Rocky and Rani ki prem kahani slips in commentaries on social hierarchies and prejudices . Be it the textbook feminist Rani Chatterjee’s relentless pursuit of a ghoonghat free Randhawa palace, Rocky’s glamour doing a solid uno reverse the overt sexualization of female heroines in Bollywood or the gender no bar kathak performances, the movie does not shy away from inclusion.

One might find the rom-com a little dismissive about matters that set televisions reporters (and seemingly the nation) on fire, be it the discourse on racism , profiling of gender restrictive talents or patriarchal set ups in general. Through the clash between a stereotypical ghoonghat clad loud Punjabi family with a high end cultured Bengali intellectuals, the subtle undertone that hit was about how quick we are to dismiss notions that do not quantify well in our spectrum. For example Rocky Randhawa’s speech after Rani’s father’s classical performance is publicly shamed by the hip Punjabi audience is one for which the dialogue writer deserves a raise if not a superior mandate into any conversation that mentions the ‘woke culture’ in the Indian society . What really struck a chord in his monologue was how accurately it portrayed the cultural bias we have nurtured
through our social settings. The contemptuous outlook at everything that doesn’t resonate with our presumably superior understanding of the world deserves nothing but a dismissal followed by a grunt.

The lionising of culture contrasted with the seemingly steep curve of understanding presented a dilemma that any diversified culture would relate to. Him reiterating again and again the need to have a more comprehensive understanding of different point of views hits the bullseye in the current social climate , given that every contentious issue divides the public into three spheres where one group hold the higher ground of intellectual injunction, the other of dogmatic persistence and the third being the ones who are at this point too afraid to jump into the complex web battling information and misinformation. The fear of being ‘cancelled’ by the woke culture leaves little to no room for them to inculcate new world views, something that our protagonist seemingly struggled with through half of the movie and culminated into a quirky yet thought provoking monologue.

I’m afraid that the monologue in  Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani has done more for West Delhi gym guys than for feminism. Although the reactions to the movie can range from the audience bursting into loud ‘awws’, to scornful side eyes to the melodramatic social messages, the movie does provide a handful of insights that serve well to the ‘Dharma-tic’ audience.

Image Credits: Mint

Priya Shandilya
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Razor-sharp jargon, layers of argumentation, and excessive hand gestures – dive into the world of college-level parliamentary debating.

Dear Freshers, as the floodgates of Delhi University have been opened to you try to soak in the vibrant extracurriculars scene on campus – from expressive Dramsocs, socially-committed Enactus to the absolutely beautiful monstrosity that are Debsocs. Debating at the college-level is quite different from the public speaking or ‘debating’ our English teachers forced us into during our schooling years. Have you come across groups of debaters rapidly scribbling notes and speaking without a single pause? Folks who wear, “Don’t Hate, Just Debate” T-shirts. The over-caffeinated curious species who attract starry-eyed freshers into the magnetic pull of debating. Yes, those are your ‘college debaters’.

Introduction to PDs

College debating, especially in colleges of Delhi University, focuses on the Parliamentary Format. Unlike school, debating at the varsity-level is a group activity with one team of 2-3 speakers arguing for the motion, known as Side Government, and another team against the motion, known as Side Opposition. There are several niches of Parliamentary formats, the most common of which are the Asian Parliamentary Debate (APD) and the British Parliamentary Debate (BPD). Loosely based on the style of discussion followed in legislatures, the PD format of debating involves dynamic cross- argumentation and enhanced teamwork.

Debates are judged by a panel of Adjudicators who analyze the entire debates and decide which team wins. They then give their justification behind the verdict. Similar to debating, adjudicating is a competitive activity as well. In addition to this, Debating also involves Tabbing which is a technical activity involving softwares for
organising debate tournaments, and Equity, a grievance redressal and diversity mechanism.

The DU Debating Circuit

The community of Debating Societies of all colleges in the varsity which come together for practice mock debates and intercollege tournaments is known as the “Debating Circuit”. There are two prominent circuits for English and Hindi debating each. It includes legacy debsocs such as those of Kirori Mal College, Lady Shri Ram College for Women, and Sri Venkateswara College which have dominated the space for decades, and up-and-coming fledging debsocs with dynamic debaters and much-needed fresh blood.

The circuit is known for fostering some of the closest friendships and team-ups, but also generational society rivalries. Some of India’s and the World’s largest debate tournaments are hosted within the Delhi Uni Debate community such as the Mukerji Memorial Debate by St. Stephens which is one of India’s oldest running debates (they hosted the 75 th edition this April, 2023) and the Shri Ram Debating Festival, by Shri Ram College of Commerce, which is Asia’s largest week-long debate extravaganza.

The circuit initially brought about for promoting healthy dialogue and discourse and enhancing the communication skills and critical thinking of its members, unfortunately, has it’s fair share of criticisms. In recent times, legacy colleges with age-old society machinery and admin backing have been able to dominate tournaments that require significant financial resources and English-speaking ability. People from privileged backgrounds find it easier to make it big in the debating sphere, thus excluding minority speakers. Those with pre-established reputations and status in the circuit (known as “Dinos”) get an edge over those trying to break into this highly competitive field.

With greater awareness and callouts, the circuit is trying to revamp itself to be more accommodative and inclusive. Year after year, fresh blood, from colleges all across DU, irrespective of campus, find their way into debate rooms and beyond, thus carrying on the century-old legacy of this varsity’s greatest orators.

So, if you are an enthusiastic fresher, enamored by the pull of debating, or someone unsure about their prowess to enter this dynamic field, fear not and take that leap. After all, your voice matters, and no better space to find its resonance than Debating.

Image Credits: DU Beat Archive

Bhavya Nayak
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