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Nazakat – the Indian Dance Society of Gargi College conducted the Indian Solo Classical Dance Competition on the last day of Reverie 2014. With 10 teams participating in the competition, the event was held alongside the main stage of the fest.

The event was judged by Ms. Priya Srinivasan, a Bharat Natyam Dancer and student of Ms. Leela Samson. She was accompanied by Dr. Rashmi Bansal, a trained Bharat Natyam Dancer and Professor at Gargi College.

The event saw performances ranging in different classical dance forms including Kathak, Bharat Natyam and Mohiniyattam. The first position in the competition was bagged by Jayapriya from Gargi College while the second position was grabbed by Radhika of Miranda House.

The Arts Quad witnessed the street play competition on Day 2 of Gargi College’s annual fest Reverie. The judges for the event were Mrs. Shubha Sharma from the National School of Drama, Mrs. Mrinmoyee Majumdar, Director of Kathakaar Trust and Ms. Chaaya Sawhney, teacher convener of Kshitij, the street play society of the college. A total of 12 teams participated in the event including CVS, Hindu College, Hansraj College, Kamala Nehru College, PGDAV and Maharaja Agrasen College. SGTB Khalsa College’s street play – We, The People was adjudged the best, while Guru Gobind Singh College’s Chidiya ki Kahaani and Kirori Mal College’s Company Raj bagged the second and third place respectively.

The day also saw conventional debate being conducted at the Seminar Hall. The topic for the debate was – This house aims for the stars – which was open for interpretation. Eventually,  the team of Sidhant Shekhar and Aiman Anjum from Deshbandu college bagged the first position, while Sushmita Singh and Meghna Acharjee from Gargi College were adjudged the second best team. The best interjector was Bhawna from Lady Hardinge Medical College.

Other winners:

1st position: Nishant, Sulabh and Sanchit – Maharaja Agrasen College
2nd position: Akshat, Satyam, Rahul – PDGAV
3rd position: Devesh, Akshay, Rahul – Maharaja Agrasen College

Catch live updates from Reverie 2014 here | Visit the Reverie 2014 Facebook Album here

Day 2 of Reverie kick started with the Indian Music (Group) event in the Auditorium and the event was organized by Samranjini, the Indian Music Society of the college. The event saw participation from 14 teams and each team was given 10+2 minutes to perform their act. The judges for the event were Arundhati Bhattacharya, Lahiri Srivastava, Dr. Joya Bhattacharya, the teacher co-convener of the society. The participating teams were judged on the basis of coordination/synchronization, melody (sur), rhythm (taal), level of difficulty and sargam. Needhi Roy, President of Samranjini said that, “This is a classical programme, open for all students over Delhi-NCR to provide them a platform to showcase the same.”

The first position was shared by Alankar, Hindu College and Dhwani, LSR, the second position was shared by Geetanjali, Miranda House and Sangeetika, KNC and the third position was secured by Alahyaa, Daulat Ram College.

Alongside Object Poster Making competition organized by Anubhuti, the Creative Writing Society was being conducted at LT-2.. 25 teams participated in the event that was judged by Dr. Manjit Singh & Sarita Sarsar from the History Department of the college. The themes for the competition were ‘Dream to Reality’ and ‘Reality to Dream’ and the objects given were a bird and a chair. Kunal Singh from Shaheed Bhagat Singh College won the first position, Sandeep Gupta from Ramjas College secured the second and Anjali Bokaria from Gargi College claimed the third.

Catch live updates from Reverie 2014 here | Visit the Reverie 2014 Facebook Album here

Aries- It’s cold outside. And you only have few lectures today. It doesn’t matter. You can always make it up by attending all classes from tomorrow. Promise. Current score – Warm, toasty blanket – 27 : Cold, dingy classroom – 0.

Taurus- Just like Archimedes, you will have a eureka moment for the perfect peanut butter and jam ratio on a slice of wheat bread. Just remember to keep your pants on.

Gemini- To all those ladies who are still carrying their shopping bags all by themselves…the transfer markets will be closing shortly. All the eligible bachelors are still available as free agents. Transfer windows will only re-open at the start of the next session.

Cancer- You watch an entire season of ‘Koffee with Karan’. You love the show. The host is smart, funny and pleasant. The guests have amazing personalities. But you can’t help but feel a little ‘something’ clawing the back of your mind during the entire time. How on earth can they spell ‘Coffee’ with a ‘K’ dammit?

Leo- I agree that the crime rate in the city has increased. I also agree that we should do something about it. But please, I can not be seen anywhere near you when you are wearing your red undies on top of those freakishly tight spandex. I have a reputation to maintain.

Virgo- Please refrain from referring to your fart as a ‘featured anterior rectal transmission’ during a date. And she also does not want to know the exact ratio of nitrogen and methane present.

Libra- Painting your hamster yellow and black does not make him a picachu. And throwing that cosco ball at him will most probably maim it.

Scorpio- You have not failed. You have just found 1000 ways that won’t work. Which is like failing really, really miserably…

Sagittarius- There is no ‘wrong’ side of the bed. So will you please stop panicking and get your lazy butt off the mattress?

Capricorn- On the nights you decide to watch a scary movie humming the ‘Ghost busters’ theme song will give you just enough courage to run from underneath the safe sanctuary of your blanket to the toilet and back again.

Aquarius- I completely agree that wrestling isn’t fake at all. I mean even a child could survive a 30 feet vertical drop into hard concrete or a smack to the skull with a steel chair, right?

Pisces- By this point I often run out of jokes as you guys are the last on the list. So I decided to write yours first. After giving it much thought…I still got nothing. And now that’s saying something…

 Image Credits:

This article was written in 2010 and was published in CRTIQUE, an irregular magazine brought out by the New Socialist Initiative (NSI) – Delhi University Chapter. The authors are activists associated with New Socialist Initiative. 

Kevin is from Kenya. He studies at the faculty of Law. We ask him whether he likes India (he doesn’t) and about the kinds of challenges he faces. He shrugs and shakes his head “I have don’t face any discrimination” He often repeats this sentence at various points of the discussion. After he tells us about shopkeepers who refuse to sell him milk or before narrating how not a single shop at Patel Chest area was willing to type his assignment. “When you go to buy things from a shop they refuse to sell. If you ask for milk they say ‘no milk’ but you can see the Indians buying milk.” Later he tells us a similar story “My mobile phone was stolen. For one week I was thinking how to get a new one. The shops here don’t sell to Africans.” Kevin doesn’t think much of these experiences and dismisses them as insignificant, the ordinary trials of living in a foreign country. A woman on the road provokes a dog, provoking it to bite him, which it does. At Hans Charitable Trust Hospital they ask him for 10,000 rupees for the anti-rabbis injection. This is a service which is provided free of cost, however the small print reads ‘unless you are black’. Our interviews starkly shows that this particular subtext is present everywhere. We don’t realize that for the most mundane of daily activities (like buying milk) there are conditions that apply. The condition that you are not black.

These interviews give us a glimpse of how these students experience classrooms, hostels, streets, the metro and other public spaces. “What does kala bandar mean?” Boniface asks. They point. They laugh. They don’t like sitting next to you in the metro. What must it feel like to enter a strange foreign country where people across the board categorise you as sub-human? Strangers call you black monkey. “When I go back from college to hostel people on the streets keep laughing and staring. It is humiliating” Boniface says. Kevin stayed in a hotel for two months before joining hostel because no one was willing to rent him a room. The entire gamut of racist discrimination faced by the black students of the university includes everything from actual violence to incessant racist remarks, staring and laughing. This is racism in its purest, crudest and most undisguised form.

If one begins mapping the experiences of these students in north campus of Delhi University there is no choice but to face up to the irrefutable fact that India is a deeply racist society. Yet the idea of racism as a socio-political issue is not one that is associated with India. It grew out of the specific history of European and North American societies and is inextricably linked to the historical fact of colonialism, slavery, displacement and migration. Racism is typically conceived off as exclusively an issue between blacks and white in western societies. We are arguing for the establishment of racism as a serious issue in India, one which is in urgent need of not just study but even basic acknowledgement. However with respect to the particular experiences of these students the onus must be put on Delhi University. The university must be identified as the accountable institution whenever there are instances of racism within its purview; this space includes classrooms, hostels and college campuses. As of now you can call a student a ‘black bitch’ in the university hostel and not face any consequences. As of now racism is not even recognized as a problem. The attitude towards blacks is so normalised and commonplace that the idea of racism as a manifestation of unacceptable bias, prejudice and discrimination is a foreign one. The demand that the university awakens to this issue and takes into consideration the rampant racism which is rooted in university spaces is a basic but essential one. The fact that we have to even demand this basic minimum from the university only goes to show the abysmal degree of neglect.

“There is segregation in the classrooms. In Ramjas College there are three rows: Indians, foreigners and North Eastern students. There is no interaction. They don’t speak to each other. I have an Ethiopian friend in Arts Faculty. It is the same situation there. No on sits close to him and if somebody does then everyone gossips about them. A friend from law Faculty told me it was very bad there. When he would walk into the classroom some students would walk out” This sounds like something out of segregated America of the 1940s. Most African students do not arrive here with a framework of race and racial politics. Why should they? They are coming from black majority countries to a non-white third world country. They come unprepared and don’t anticipate being treated like non-humans. Unless they have friends in India who have warned them or have some understanding of Indian history they enter student life without being able to contextualise or make sense of this treatment. Joyce says, “There are so many Indians in my country. I’m so used to them. I studied with Indians. My father studied with Indians. We don’t see the difference. That is why I find it strange that people stare at me here.”

Kevin’s interview was particularly revealing. He came having done some research of his own by doing an internet search on “racism”. When faced by a vast amount of matter, all to do with racism in the U.S.A he came to the conclusion that it was by definition an American phenomenon. This is probably why he repeatedly told us that he faces no discrimination, while narrating extremely disturbing instances of overt and explicit racism. When you define racism as an issue solely between blacks and whites, then Indian racism which is as entrenched and brutal as in the white dominated counties of the west is conveniently side-stepped. This is deeply problematic. It is truly appalling that there is no language available to talk about the grotesque form of racism that Kevin faces. The deafening silence on the issue of Indian racism robs victims the right to protest and a sense of injustice. How do you even begin a discussion on racism and our fascination with fair skin when there is a complete absence of any critical understanding? By perpetuating this silence we barricade any possibility of debate. We have to start with the very first step, that of exposing Indian racism for what it is. Why does it not shock us that when Boniface walks back home in the evening people on the street point and laugh? Why is someone by virtue of having black skin an immediate target of ridicule? Why is it, of all things, funny? Why does black skin automatically result in being called a monkey? Why is fair lovely? Why is black ugly?

Although it seems obvious, it is important to note that skin colour comes with a powerful symbolic loaded-ness. What are the images constructed around black skin? How are they reproduced and sustained? How did black skin come to denote barbarism and savagery? These are huge complex questions which have no simple answer. To address them in a nuanced manner we are required to dig deep into our history and politics. We need to revisit the long history of colonialism and understand how the logic of dominance played itself out; all this while taking a strong political stance against racism as it exists in all its manifestations today.

Not only is there a pressing need to talk about explicit racism but also to recognise the subtler ways in which our underling prejudices reveal themselves. The fact remains that racism is not an issue of individuals and circumstances but is structural, historical and institutionalized into the very fabric of our society. The general obsession with Europe and the U.S is combined with an absolute neglect of the rest of the world, most of all Africa. It is true this imbalance is a global one and has economic, political and social dimension to it and ultimately whiteness is symbolic of wealth, power and civilization. Black skin came to be constructed as a sign of the uncivilised and barbaric and therefore not ‘us’, not human. This skewed reality which continues to be reproduced today in the post-colonial world, displays itself plainly all over the university in subtle and not so subtle ways.

Editor’s Note: Despite the fact that this piece was written in 2010, not much seems to have changed. Narratives of racism continue to undermine our rationality, as we stare, talk and behave depending on where a person ‘belongs to’. Mandela might have passed away, but what he fought continues to remain.

Guest Post by Aashima Saberwal, Bonojit Hussain and Devika Narayan

Aashima and Devika are Research Scholar and Post-Graduate student at the Department of Sociology, Delhi University; Bonojit is an independent researcher.  Research for this article was assisted by Shobha and Meghana from Dept. of Sociology, DSE.

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Aaghaz 2014, the annual cultural-techno fest of P.G.D.A.V. College aims to capture Indian Streets under the theme ‘Dil Se Desi’ from 31st January to 1st February.  After last year’s star night with Bollywood playback singer Aditi Singh Sharma, this year Aaghaz presents a concert with Punjabi Singer Deep Money.

The fest boasts of 25 events including Shor – the street theatre event, battle of the bands, classical singing, western dance and hip-hop hustle. The fest also offers technical events such as Xquiz- IT, Code Drift, LAN wars, Algolics coupled with quizzes, debates and group discussions.

Television actress and politician Smriti Irani will grace the fest as the Chief Guest and inaugurate the show. On 31st January, Sahitya Kala Parishad will be presenting puppet shows and folk dances. The folk performances will be followed by Aayush – the multi genre Hindi band’s performance at 6:30 p.m.

Day two of the fest features a performance by Punjabi singer Deep Money, again starting at 6:30 p.m.

You can visit their official portal for further details: Facebook Page | Official Website

Aries- Try cross dressing this week. It will help you in gaining the attention of the person you are trying to impress desperately.

Taurus- Get over the fact that Sherlock’s season three has ended. Stop repeating the same statement regarding how much you miss it, everyday. Keep calm and wait for almost a year..There, I said it!

Gemini- Control your anger. Everyone around you cannot stop laughing after seeing those knitted eyebrows and weird curling of lips. It has the same effect as laughing gas!

Cancer- Checking your ex’s last seen on WhatsApp after every fifteen minutes will bring the much needed comfort.

Leo- If gymming is not helping in obtaining those six pack abs, try lying on steel wires having rectangular shape, for a week. Then, show off the marks you get on your body.

Virgo- This is not the right time to start flaunting your summer collection. Winters are not over yet.

Libra- Singing aloud after plugging in those earphones would not make you an Indian Idol contestant. Stop torturing your neighbours.

Scorpio- Nobody wants you to hum ‘sun raha hai na tu’ anymore. Yes, we heard you. We have been hearing you for the last two thousand times.

Sagittarius- It is so cool that you attended the Jaipur Literature Fest. Repeating every word spoken by Amartya Sen won’t make you him.

Capricorn- It is good that you love pumpkins but getting a shape like that, just to prove your love for it, wouldn’t go down well with your friends.

Aquarius- There’s more to winters than just eating sarso da saag. Try other dishes too. They are not that bad.

Pisces- Everyone has seen your new blue and black coloured jacket. You can now put an end to making it your dress code by wearing it everyday!

Image Credits:

rd January 2014. The competition titled “Open Day” was divided into two broad categories which were art and photography.  In all, a dozen competitions were held which included painting, sketching, caricature, rangoli, Best Out of Waste, Photo Story and on the spot photography. The event turned out to be a resounding success as it clocked over 200 participants from 44 colleges belonging to 10 different universities in 4 cities. Tasavvur, which literally means “imagination”, was initiated in March last year when MAC hosted its first Student Academic Congress. Tasavvur functions under the banner of MAC-NSS and has so far hosted three exhibitions. Open Day happened to be the first national level art and photography competition organized by Tasavvur and coincided with the completion of 10 months of Tasavvur’s existence. Co-founders of Tasavvur, Aman Agrawal and Viranchi Singh, presently serving as President and Vice President of Tasavvur respectively stated, “The competition cum exhibition was Tasavvur’s tribute to young artists and photographers whose skills often go unnoticed because of the excessive stress placed on academics in higher education.” The duo hoped that with the implementation of the FYUP, the university would seriously consider giving its artists and photographers the required exposure which would in turn enhance their creativity. The creative contest came to an end with the distribution of certificates and trophies to the winners by Dr Shirin Bakshi Raina and Ms. Sonia Sachdeva, Teacher Coordinators, Tasavvur in the presence of Dr Amit Pundir, Convener, MAC-NSS and Mr VP Singh from the Delhi Photography Club who happened to be the organizing partners of Open Day 2014. Photographer Anshul Verma from Tasavvur is optimistic about the success of Tasavvur’s coming events as Open Day ended on a grand note after recording a footfall of over 500 people. Saif Ahmad Khan  ]]>

 As part of a social awareness campaign on ‘women safety’, students of Kalindi College braving the rain organized a rally on 22nd January, 2014.

Rallying around Rajendra Place and Patel Nagar, the girls raised slogans to motivate people to take up a hard stand against women atrocities. The Principal of the College,Dr. Anula Maurya, led the rally and at all times kept their dedication and enthusiasm for the cause high.

IMG_3656 The Dramatic Society of the college, RAQS, played an important role in the rally and performed their street play within the procession, raising the slogan, ““Awazutha, shormacha”. “We have been and will be doing these events that will promote women safety and we thank our Principal for initiating this movement,” said Swati, a RAQS member. IMG_3680 Many awareness programs have often been organized to raise the voice for women emancipation in Kalindi College and this rally was one of them. “Nari ka samman jahan, sanskriti kauthan wahan”, “nar-narieksaman, phir kyon bhed kare insaan” were the slogans created to make a difference in the society towards gender equality. With a gathering of 2000 students, the rally was a huge success under the coordinatorship of Dr. Harvinder  Kaur and Dr. Manju Sharma. They were praised for their efforts by the observers of the rally. The police personnel of Rajendra Nagar police station, Prasad Nagar police station and Ranjeet Nagar police station helped in the smooth movement of the rally. While observing the rally one of the women said,” ye cheesein thodi soch zarur badalengi… Bahut achha kaam hai.”]]>