Joyee Bhattacharya


‘Cringe Pop’ by popular definition describes itself as a genre of pop music, wherein the music and music videos are “so bad that you cannot stop watching them”. The world’s initial introduction to this form of pop music was in 2011, when Rebecca Black released her immensely popular number ‘Friday’ which received negative reviews universally. In the following years we saw many additions to the field of cringe pop music, ranging from Piko Taro’s ‘Pen Pineapple Apple Pen’ to Taher Shah’s ‘Eye to Eye’ and ‘Angel’. The Indian cringe pop field became a huge sensation with Dhinchak Pooja releasing ‘Swag Wali Topi’ on her social media pages. This led to her becoming the most popular social media figure on a national scale, after which she went on to release more cringeworthy tracks and became an inseparable part of the Indian memes community.

Dhinchak Pooja is still one of the most talked about ‘cringe pop stars’, however her fame has come to a partial standstill with the rise of Om Prakash Mishra and his song ‘Bol Na Aunty Aau Kya’ which has gained a lot of popularity based not only on its cringe factor, but also on the its sexist and abusive lyrics. The music video created by Om Prakash Mishra went up on YouTube in 2015; however the video suddenly gained immense attention in 2017 as it went viral on all social media handles in India. At first, the song was laughed upon for its absurd lyrics and the singer’s absolute lack of musical talent. However, soon after it was noted that these lyrics are not only absurd, but also immensely sexist. To add fuel to the fire, a number of people gathered in Connaught Place (Delhi) and Marine Drive (Mumbai) to shout out the song’s chorus for a kick. Several people and media houses called out this song on its lyrics; this was followed by A journalist from The Quint making a video exhorting viewers to report the song’s video on YouTube so that it could be taken down. The video was eventually taken down by YouTube due to a copyright claim by someone named ‘Smokedlime’. Ever since this incident, the Quint journalist has received numerous online threats on the grounds of rape and death from numerous harassers.

The song being taken down attracted criticism from several quarters for being an overreaction, a blockage to freedom of speech and unnecessary censorship for a video which was meant to be taken as a joke. However, can this song be defended on the grounds of freedom of speech or is it actually an overreaction? The Indian youth needs to understand that there are many layers to this issue, the first being that Om Prakash Mishra belongs to a section of society which considers the viewing of women as a sexual object as a very normal notion. The second issue is that this outrage is also heavily hypocritical because the consumers of the entertainment industry accept songs like ‘Munni Badnaam Hui’, ‘Balatkaari’, ‘Volume 1’ amongst countless other such tracks, but take offence when it comes to Bol Na Aunty Aau Kya. Are we playing a part in the popularity of these songs which are so intrinsically misogynistic? The society mindset needs to change collectively in order to banish this notion of treating women like sex objects, this way, the creation these songs will eventually also come to a stop. Or is that too utopian? That’s for us to decide.


Image Credits: The Wire

Joyee Bhattacharya

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st century because of its themes of dreams, aspirations and rebellion against the societal norms. Maggie’s need for love and acceptance makes her one of the most likeable characters in the novel as it becomes very easy to resonate with her. Though Tom’s character might seem unfavourable at lot of places, it does not become impossible to empathise with him.  It is a book which will leave a mark behind and will stay with you long after you have finished reading it.   Image Credits: E-Books Directory Anukriti Mishra ([email protected])]]>

The University Grants Commission has renewed their guidelines for autonomy which requires colleges applying for autonomy to reapply. Following this, St. Stephen’s College says that it will reapply for autonomy in the new format. This step taken by the college has been confirmed by the governing body.

Autonomy implies that the college will no longer be affiliated to the University of Delhi and will be free academically as well as monetarily. The college in its 2050 vision states : “By 2025 and certainly by 2050, St. Stephen’s should be an autonomous degree giving University with undergraduate, post-graduate, diploma and doctoral studies, starting maybe as a “deemed to be” university.

The advance of St. Stephen’s towards academic and monetary freedom was brought up in March, 2017. The decision of the administration was protested cumulatively by the students and the faculty members, on grounds that the issue was not consulted with the primary stakeholders before being concluded. The members asked for a transparent procedure and proper consultation with the stakeholders and adjudged that the current procedures contradicted the UGC directive that says,“There are several areas where proper preparation is necessary if college autonomy is to be implemented successfully. These are: faculty preparation, departmental preparation, institutional preparation, and preparation of students and the local community. Such multi-pronged preparation should be completed well before autonomy is sought and conferred upon a college so that no part of the college community is found unprepared for the new responsibility which it is called upon to shoulder.”

The University Grants Commision and the Human Resources Development, have further decided to hold meetings throughout the expanse of the country to dissipate the general misconceptions regarding the issue of autonomy by elucidating the scheme and the monetary concerns.

A senior UGC official spoke to Hindustan Times saying, “A number of colleges fear that autonomy will come with a cut in finances, which is clearly not the case. We want good institutes to opt for autonomy. Colleges with academic and operative freedom, do better than others and possess more credibility.”


Feature Image: DU Beat Archive

Trishala Dutta

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After weeks of campaigning, the Delhi University Students’ Union Elections 2017 were held on Tuesday, 12th September in colleges across the University of Delhi. At the end of the day, the voter turnout was said to be 42.8%, which was a huge improvement from last year’s turnout of 34.3%. The results for the same were announced on the afternoon of 13th September.

Rocky Tusheed and Kunal Sehrawat from the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), affiliated to the Indian National Congress, won the posts of President and Vice President respectively. This was an enormous leap for NSUI, as they emerged victorious over Rajat Choudhary and Paarth Rana from Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), affiliated to the Rashtriya Sawayamsevak Sangh (RSS). ABVP has maintained monopoly over these 2 posts for the past 4 years in DUSU. The post of Secretary and Joint Secretary has been won by Mahamedha Nagar and Uma Shankar from ABVP.

However, in a recent turn of events, the counting of votes for the post of Joint Secretary is being taken to the Delhi High Court by NSUI. Neeraj Mishra, the National Communications In charge of NSUI, said, “The average NOTA vote count for the post of Joint Secretary had been declared as 5000, however ABVP claims the NOTA vote count to be 9000. Due to the discrepancies in these numbers, the matter of the final vote count will be moved to the High Court by NSUI”. The final tally of votes were, President: NSUI (16299), ABVP (14709). Vice-president: NSUI (16431), ABVP (16256). Secretary: ABVP (17156), NSUI (14532). The post of Joint Secretary has been won by Uma Shankar from ABVP as of now, however the final decision will be declared by the Delhi High Court.


Feature Image Credits: DNA India

Joyee Bhattacharya

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The Delhi State Committee of Students’ Federation of India (SFI) has decided to join hands with All India Democratic Students’ Organisation (AIDSO), with an aim to fight against Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party for this year’s DUSU election.
In a press release, AIDSO said, “We believe in forging a broader unity of the left and democratic forces.” The radical transformation of university space in DU cannot be accomplished without building the broadest possible unity of all the progressive forces in the campus based on students’ rights, which are being attacked by the ruling ABVP led DUSU in collaboration with the Central government”.
Furthermore, their statement also stated, “SFI believes Left politics wholly depends on mobilising the masses, and this can happen only by forging broad alliances of progressive political forces in the University. In pursuance of the need for a greater unity, SFI-AIDSO has come together in Delhi University Students’ Union Elections to forge an alliance of struggles.”
The student panel standing for the election from this alliance is as follows:
1. Rafat Alam: DUSU President (SFI), M.A, from Department of Social Work
2. Jitendra Kumar: DUSU Vice-President (SFI), LLB from Campus Law Centre
3. Kolisetty Lakshmi: DUSU Secretary (SFI), from Shri Ram College of Commerce
4. Roshan: DUSU joint Secretary (AIDSO), from Satyawati College.
All India Students’ Association (AISA) is the only other Left aligned party contesting the election. Earlier this week, ABVP, NSUI and AISA also released their student panels for this year’polls.

Image credits: Asian Age

Joyee Bhattacharya
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In yet another instance of smothering the agents of discourse and discussion, the Delhi School Of Economics (DSE) postponed an event on the campus on grounds of ‘lack of space’.
The event, titled ‘DU Conversations Celebrate 70 Years of Indian Democracy’, was scheduled to be held on Thursday. It was being organised by ‘DU Conversations’, a group comprising students and teachers from different departments of Delhi University.
However, Pami Dua, the DSE director issued a notice stating that the event had to be ‘postponed due to lack of space’.
The organisers on the other hand, allege that the event was postponed even after obtaining prior permission.
The program was to have included songs of the freedom movement by a member of the Ambedkar Univerity, Delhi  faculty, a performance of Dastan-e Amir Hamza by DU history students and music by a workers band. In between, say the organisers, there were to have been two 15 minutes slots for open conversation about DU concerns, “including discrimination”.
Further, efforts of the students to approach the proctor of the university, hoping for an alternative venue, were squashed by the DU Chief Security Officer (CSO).
Denying rumours that students were invited to speak on the Ramjas issue at the event, organiser Rajat Sonkar said, “We did not invite anybody to speak on the Ramjas issue and, unlike some reports doing the rounds, we do not have any political affiliations” as told to The Hindu.
The students further said that they were persistently questioned by the police and charged with “baseless allegations”
On February 22, violent clashes had broken out between the ABVP – the student wing of the RSS – and students who were protesting the cancellation of a seminar where JNU students Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid were expected to speak. Since then, several events on campus aimed at discussing the political clashes in Ramjas college have been cancelled.
This has created an atmosphere of a bleak University space where voices and reason can’t sustain itself under the authority of the administration. The question remains, how long will this culture of muffling opinions under the garb of administrative judiciary, persist?

Feature Image Credits- The Wire

Ankita Dhar Karmakar
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In another case of carelessness on the part of college administrators, a 17 year old champion cricketer Ajay Guliya was denied admission into the college of his choice due to carelessness of the authorities. Ajay scored 79 out of 100 in the varsity’s sports trials, which was claimed to be the highest for a left arm spinner. However, the student was shocked to know that he was not shortlisted by the top college of his choice, Shri Guru Tegh Bahadur Khalsa College, in the first merit list which was released by the college on Sunday.

The reason behind his name not being in the merit list, as given by the college authorities stated that his form was misplaced. This new came as a shock to Ajay and his family because hundreds of students compete to get into University of Delhi from across the country and the university admits about 54,000 undergraduates every year. Five percent of all college seats are reserved for students under the sports and extracurricular activities quota. Ajay was confident about his chances as he had displayed his talent as an all rounder cricketer in the Under 19 team at the national level, as well as the Under 14 and Under 16 teams from Delhi state.  He was surprised to know that students who scored lower than him were selected, in place of him. Now Ajay has been asked to wait for the second merit list, even though he has easily made the cut in the first list.

Ajay Guliya was later contacted by Anil Kalkal, the Sports Council Director, assuring him that a seat would be given to him in the second list of SGTB Khalsa College.
An official of the sports admission committee at Khalsa College admitted that the form was misplaced. On conditions on anonymity, he stated that the action was an unintentional mistake and the college has not denied him admission. They have assured him that a seat would be given in the second admission list, but he is adamant to rake the issue. It was further on added that SGTB Khalsa College holds the reputation of sending the maximum number of cricket players on the University level, hence the mistake is unintentional.

Rakesh Guliya, Ajay Guliya’s father believes that this is no way to treat a national level player who is trying to mould his future. He believes that his son’s admission process has been full of hurdles, and now Khalsa College is taking his son’s future for granted.

On Monday, Guliya finally secured admission in Hindu College. However, this incident threw light upon the faulty mechanisms of college administrations. Does this call for more transparency in the field of admissions under the sports and ECA quota?

Feature Image Credits: India Today

Joyee Bhattacharya

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Students of the general category are now facing a tough competition ahead. Unlike previous years, the total number of 2,310 seats this year is inclusive of the supernumerary categories, which were reserved for:

  • Students with physical disabilities,
  • Children of war widows
  • Foreign nationals

This has been announced through a notification issued by the university on July 7. Hence, there will be only be 1,033 seats for general category students this year.

Previously, there were 2,310 seats in place which were meant for students in the unreserved category as well as Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes. The 310 supernumerary were separated from this. The new notification was announced days after the tussle between the Bar Council of India (BCI) and the Delhi University Law Faculty. The judgement then stated that the varsity must admit 2,310 students this academic session as opposed to BCI’s order of admitting only 1,440 students.

Earlier this year, the BCI stated the university cannot admit more than 1,440 students and that the university must comply with the Legal Education Rules, 2008, and place a limit on the number of students. The case then reached the Delhi High Court, wherein the university was allowed to admit 2,310 students for the LLB programme.

Hence, this year, the general category will have 1,033 seats as compared to 1,167 till last year. Now due to the reduction of seats for unreserved category, those in the reserved category will also face a slash number of seats reserved. The break up has been decided upon as:

  • OBC: reduction of seats from 623 to 552
  • SCs: reduction of seats from 347 to 307
  • STs: reduction of seats from 173 to 153

No details have yet been revealed on how the seats will be divided between the three centres: the Campus Law Centre, Law Centre-I and Law Centre-II.


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Joyee Bhattacharya

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A 31-year-old e-rickshaw driver was beaten to death after he stopped two people from urinating in public near GTB Nagar Metro Station.

On Saturday, 27th May, a 31-year-old e-rickshaw driver was beaten to death after he stopped two people from urinating in public near GTB Nagar Metro Station. It has been reported that the victim, Ravindra Kumar, had objected to the men urinating outside Gate number 4 of the GTB Nagar Metro station and asked them to use the public restroom which was located five metres away from the spot. The police reports that the students took offence to this and came back seven hours later with 20 men and assaulted him. This assault led to the death of Kumar.

Following this event, on Monday, Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu visited the family of the deceased e-rickshaw driver. The Ministry also gave a cheque of Rs 50,000 to the family. Meanwhile, the Delhi government also announced Rs 5 lakh compensation for them as compensation. Venkiah Naidu also stated that the death of the e-rickshaw driver is condemnable as the driver was trying to promote the Prime Minister’s initiative of Swach Bharat Abhiyan. He also spoke to Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik and has asked him to take “strongest action possible” against the culprits.

Further developments suggested that the culprits, reportedly students of Delhi University, were intoxicated. CCTV footage showed the culprits purchasing alcohol from a nearby shop and consuming it. On Wednesday, the 19-year-old BA second-year student of Sri Aurobindo College was arrested and a minor boy was apprehended over the murder of e-rickshaw driver Ravinder Kumar. Rajesh Khurana, joint commissioner of police (North Delhi), said the student, identified as Shekhar Kapasia, was arrested from his native home in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh. The interrogation led to the apprehension of the 17-year-old boy from Delhi University’s North Campus area. Shekhar was preparing for Staff Selection Commission (SSC) exams from a private institute in Mukherjee Nagar. “We have identified five more people, who were involved in the blind murder case. Raids are being conducted by our teams to nab the absconding attackers,” said Rajesh Khurana.

Joyee Bhattacharya

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The year 2016-17 has been a year of constant campus activity and mobility. Many protest, dharnas, drives and other such events have taken place rampantly across the campus with the students and teachers unifying to protect their cause. From student politics to intra college protests against unfair means, DU has seen yet another year of mobility and expression on campus. Here we take a look at some of the protests, dharnas and drives which shook campus:

  • May 2016- Hindu College cancels girls’ hostel admission: After heavy protest and strikes by students and teachers of the college and later by DUSU led to the intervention of Delhi Commission of Women (DSW) in the issue of exorbitant fees of Hindu College girls’ hostel, the college cancelled the girls’ hostel admissions for this year.

Read the whole story here.

  • May 2016- SFI protests against the callousness in investigating Jisha’s rape and murder case in Kerala: A huge gathering of people along with the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) participated in a protest at Kerala House against the inefficiency of the authorities and the carelessness and insensitivity with which the case has been handled. They raised their voice against the increasing brutality and offences not only against women but also against the underprivileged sectors of the society. The protest focused on how such crimes are nothing but an “exercise of naked power” on women in the patriarchal society of today.

Read the whole story here.


  • July 2016- DUTA protest delays results of students: Teachers of Delhi University protested against an UGC notification that increased the working hours of teachers and this led to Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) boycotting the admission and evaluation process of University. Only after the notification was withdrawn, teachers joined the evaluation process.

Read the whole story here.


  • August 2016- Protests at Ramjas College regarding canteen prices: Ramjas College saw organised protests held by its students on 11th August, 2016. The protest primarily targeted the exorbitant increase in prices in the canteen since the start of this academic year. The canteen staff apparently charged higher prices than those mandated by the college. In what a student called an act of “corruption,” the canteen staff would charge a first-year student INR 50 for an item that actually cost INR 30. Speaking out against this practice, a group of students spread word through social media and organised a protest by inviting the Ramjas community to gather at the college gate and march towards the canteen.

Read the whole story here.


  • August 2016- Protests at Daulat Ram College questioning the governing style of the chairperson: Protests regarding the governing body took place in Daulat Ram College on 6 and 8 August 2016. Both students and teachers came together to question the governing style of the chairperson, Ms Suneeta Sudarshan. The protest revolved around key infrastructure problems that the college faces, as well as the chairperson’s reluctance to handle these issues. The protest concentrated primarily on the issues of infrastructure such as unhygienic washrooms, inadequate space in classrooms, and the unstable condition of the college building itself.

Read the whole story here.


  • September 2016- Mass failure in Law Faculty, students protest in agitation: The students of the Law Faculty, Delhi University sat on a hunger strike from 2 pm, 14th of September. The strike was against the mass failures of students that had occurred for the second year in a row. Alleging some problems with the results, they went on an indefinite hunger strike, urging the authorities to look into their grievances.

Read the whole story here.


  • October 2016- Law faculty students go on hunger strike: The students of law faculty went on a hunger strike demanding supplementary exams and rechecking of their papers. The strike also found the dean of the faculty going on a parallel hunger strike. The strike was called off after discussions and assurance of the Vice Chancellor.

Read the whole story here.


  • October 2016- AISA’s meeting disrupted by ABVP: AISA’s seminar on ‘Idea of University’ was disrupted by ABVP members who latter even roughed up several members of AISA including its president. Both sides got into a scuffle, after which the event was cancelled. The surprising fact was, all of this happened even after heavy police presence.

Read the whole story here.


Battle of ideologies: ABVP vs. AISA

  • December 2016- The Pinjra Tod Movement: What began as a Facebook page turned into a great call for revolution within academic institutions to relook on its hostel policies which cage students with curfew times. The movement not just grew largely in Delhi University but also spread to other parts of the country.

Read the whole story here.


  • February 2017- ABVP protests against Umar Khalid and disrupts two day conference: A two day seminar on Cultures of Protest, organised by Wordcraft, the Ramjas literary society and the English department of Ramjas college, was disrupted when members of the ABVP protested against Umar Khalid speaking at the conference. Khalid is a PhD scholar from Jawaharlal Nehru University and a student activist who was slapped with sedition charges last year. ABVP’s reason for obstructing the conference was the presence of Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid, JNU students, who were amongst the speakers at the conference.

Read the whole story here.


  • March 2017- Students, teachers AND politicians join in thousands to protest against ABVP’S hooliganism: A historic march consisting of over a thousand students, teachers and politicians started from SGTB Khalsa College and culminated at Arts Faculty. Students and teachers from colleges across University of Delhi, Jamia Millia and JNU joined in huge numbers to protest against the hooliganism that was allegedly perpetrated by ABVP karyakartas on 22nd February at Ramjas College. The march, which was called ‘Save DU’, garnered many students who were first-time protesters.

Read the whole story here.


Scuffle between ABVP and Ramjas college students

  • April 2017- Students and Karamcharis join DUTA in its MARCH AGAINST ‘AUTONOMY): With growing demands against the grant of ‘autonomous’ status for colleges, Delhi University Teacher’s Association (DUTA) called had called for a joint protest of students, teachers and karamcharis on 29th March.

Read the whole story here.


Protest over the ‘dangers of autonomy’


Picture Credits: DU Beat Archives

Anahita Sahu

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