Some people don’t like sex. No, they aren’t prudes or celibates, they are the asexuals.
Come 2019, slowly and steadily we are accepting sexualities. More countries are accepting queer identities legally and dating sites are offering exclusive options for the queer community. Within all the umbrella of LGBTQIA, the alphabet that gets the least attention is A. It’s A for asexuality. The term is simple yet complex. Asexuals, or ace/aro as they are popularly called, lack sexual attraction towards others. Several researchers, undertaken by big names like Alfred Kinsey, Anthony Bogaert, Simon LeVay’, and KJ Cerankowski, have shown that around one per cent of the human population identifies as asexual.
Many people seem to think that those do identify as ace only do so because they are prudes or have repressed their urges as a result of some trauma. All of these assumptions are not true. Perfectly healthy people with no psychological baggage can also naturally not feel the same sexual and romantic attractions as others. Also, unlike celibacy, asexuality is not a choice.
Within asexuality, there are many subdivisions. Demisexuals, that come under the umbrella of asexuality, do feel sexual attraction but only once when they have formed a strong emotional connection with someone. According to Asexual Visibility and Education Network, the world’s largest online asexual community, “A person who identifies as a demisexual does not experience primary sexual attraction but does experience secondary sexual attraction. In this model, primary sexual attraction is based on outward qualities such as a person’s looks or clothes, while secondary sexual attraction is attraction stemming from a connection, usually romantic, or from status or how closely the person is in relationship to the other.”
It’s also important to know that no two aces are alike. Some asexuals masturbate, as they have s sex drive which they do not want to direct this towards others.
One reason why asexuality is often absent from our conversation is due to the fact that they have almost absent representation in popular media.
In 2016, Archie comics revealed that Jughead as an asexual. However, the makers of Riverdale, a Netflix show based on Archie comics, showed him as otherwise. Many people from the ace community have called this a ruined opportunity for representation.
Cole Sprouse, the actor who plays Jughead in Riverdale has called for Jughead to be represented as asexual. While the cases of ace absence and even erasure are common, shows like BoJack Horseman have main leads as asexuals. In the shows’ fourth season Todd Chavez says, “It actually feels nice to actually say it out loud. I am an asexual person. It feels good to talk about it.”
Todd Phillips, the director of the Hangover series has mentioned in interviews that Alan Garner, one of the protagonists of the internally acclaimed franchise, is an asexual.
In traditional societies, like India, not having sexual relations doesn’t pose a problem, at least till you cross the typical marriage age. Besides, little or no honest conversations around sex and limited opportunities to form any sexual relations leave us thinking that lack of experience or inherited guilt surrounding promiscuity is causing asexuality. But an ace person can be very aware of nuances of sex, have the freedom to intercourse, even enjoy watching porn, and yet refrain from engaging any sexual activity with other people.
As weird or against the rules of evolution, it may sound, that’s how aces swing (or don’t swing). You can choose to debate on the authenticity of the label, but as of now, the label is helping several around the world explain, identify, and accept themselves.
As college comes to a close, here is another cliché checklist about things to do before graduating. Don’t fail this checklist by our Associate Editor, even if you failed your New Year resolutions because you get to graduate only once.
This list is not based on expert advice; neither should it be the ultimate measure of doing college right (as if #goals on Instagram were not enough to make us feel inadequate). Here are a bunch of things, outgoing students should do in April:
– What is more impossible than a Goa trip? A mass bunk. Execute a successful one before the last working day.
– Refer to page seven and visit the touristy spots near campus one more time (or even better, for the first time). Don’t forget to use #wanderlust.
– Channelise all your krantikaari (rebellious) vibes and attend a protest.
– Pick a quiet day to sit in the library and just read. Experience the quiet solitude as you finish the assignment; it’s quite meditative. Some people say that on a lonely day if you press your ear against the bookshelves, you could hear them whispering.
– Reflect on the conflicts you had in college, be it with any society member, a classmate, or a faculty. Analyse what happened and try to resolve it. But, most importantly, if you don’t find a closure, then let it go. Recall the hurt, anger, guilt for one last time, and let it evaporate.
– Scribble your initials on a college desk, and if you are feeling more adventurous, then make graffiti on campus walls (inspiration: Free G.N. Saibaba). Don’t get caught.
– Visit Central Library, University Stadium (there is a free gym with treadmills and the usual works), and spend some time around the VC lodge.
– Sample canteen food. Remember the suspicious – looking dish that you have been avoiding? Order it now.
– Click pictures of your college in the morning light, during the golden hour, and post 6 p.m. Capture your friends, college pets, and yourself. Catalogue the mundane sans the filter; these pictures will be precious later. Don’t click it for Instagram, do it just for the memories.
– It is the final semester; sort your reading material.
– Attend a full day of classes (including the 8:30 a.m. lecture) and actively participate in every lecture.
– If you don’t dress up extra in college, then when will you? Hence, unleash your #OOTD genius and dress to impress.
– Tell your crush you like them #AajKuchToofaniKarteHai (#LetsBeCrazyToday).
– Lay your outfit on Sunday night, declutter your college bag, and for once, be excited for Monday.
– Write a letter to your college, department, society, or anyone. Lay bare your thoughts and feelings.
– Graduation is inevitable, and life is only going to get real from now on. Rather than waiting for the withdrawal symptoms to hit you in the face, start the process of letting go already.
– Forgive yourself for not being “productive” or “good enough.” What made you think you could survive college without breakdowns and disappointments? Overconfidence – that is the answer. College is a coming out of age experience for many of us. It is the first time when we get drunk, take responsibility for ourselves, and bargain for freedom. In this process, we make several mistakes (or worse, we assume to have made mistakes). As long as you learn your lesson, it is fine. Early adulthood is tough already, so congratulations on making it to the last semester. In the words of Frank McCourt, “You have to give yourself credit, not too much because that would be bragging.”
Afterthoughts: For some of us, it is a shame we can’t just admit that college was dreadful and that one can’t relate to the nostalgia. We would rather dump the farewell, get that degree, sell our books, and leave. A quick goodbye, ta-ta! Well, we can do it by all means; yet regardless of how uneventful these three years were, everyone deserves to have pleasant memories. I wish you would give this phony checklist a chance.
Feature Image Credits: Saubhagya Saxena for DU Beat
By bringing a popular star, organising committees think their fest was a success, conveniently ignoring the ruckus and lack of security beside the glamorous stage.
Perhaps, it’s an Indian thing: no regard for personal space and history of crowd disasters. Everyone- the organizers or the participants- has normalised trampling and minor injuries. It’s seen as an indispensable part of fest experience. This explains why the President of Lady Irwin College, Nikita Tiwari, bombarded the comments’ section of our Facebook post that reported the injuries and mismanagement suffered by the guests at Quintessence’19 instead of accepting responsibility. In the same breath where they admit to being crowded, she stated how such incidents are common and regaled the tale of hard work that goes into organising fests.
At Reverie’19, the annual cultural fest of Gargi College, reports of rampant sexual harassment were especially shameful, considering the fest theme emphasised consent’s significance. Gargi’s Union had substantial time to craft a sensible reply and do a self-assessment but it chose to deliver a response devoid of any apology, even taking credit for victims who voiced their experience, by stating- “Their standing against the discomfort experienced by them due to some ill elements present in the crowd, stood testimony to the success of our theme.”
Maghendra Pratap Singh, Cultural Secretary of Hindu College Parliament, told DU Beat that the medical room in a building in the sports’ ground was open, and volunteers were available to assist anyone who needed help. Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) was on the same bandwagon, but both the colleges failed to provide concrete answers about why this information wasn’t publicised. In case of an emergency, how can a non-Hindu or non-SRCC student be expected to know where the medical room is? Does the union expect the aggrieved to look for volunteers, instead of rushing to a designated help desk that should have been placed?
In the backdrop of Pulwama attacks, India is vulnerable to terrorist attacks; fests, like all mass gatherings, have a risk of being a terrorist attack target, which makes the first line of security at the entrance gate crucial. The top colleges of India seem to forget this and open their gates for all. On the last day of Mecca (Hindu College), the gates were left open without guards at later hours of the fest. The Parliament had no response for this. In SRCC, the entry (that was initially via passes for non-SRCC students) was opened for all. When asked about it, a union member said the decision was made by the administration to curb passes’ sale.
There is also a trend of hiring bouncers from private firms to guard star nights. The SHO of Maurice Nagar, Mr. RA told DU Beat that police can provide close to 100 personnel for a DU fest, but witnesses present only saw a maximum of 12-15 men.
At the risk of being highbrow, LSR practices strictness like no entry post 4 p.m. and pass-entry only. Kaushiki Arha, President of the LSR Union, explains how the security team of Tarang had a total of nine heads and sub-heads, around 30 core team members with close to 600 volunteers who were divided into different slots over three days. She said that in addition to basic medical facilities available in the campus, they tied up with Apollo Hospital, who provided them with a doctor and an ambulance on the second day of the fest since it was expected to see the highest turn-out. LSR doesn’t hire any private security, and has proven to be self-sufficient in terms of crowd control. If Tarang can have this sorted, then why can’t others
If organising committees can spend to book popular celebrities, then it is realistic to expect that they make sure that barricades, police, ambulance, entry-exit procedure, etc. are in place. The only reason why we see a pattern of crowd disaster is that unions don’t care enough about security. No doubt that immense efforts are invested in organising a fest, but the argument here is of a continuous negation of apt security measures. With manpower, money, and time, the organisers don’t get to play helpless when things go south.
It’s time to cancel the Negative Nancy who tags us in snazzy pessimist memes, because we all need motivation for retaining our resolutions.
“New Year resolutions are outdated, grow up and face the fact that nothing changes other than your calendar,” a Negative Nancy said to me as she scrolled past New Year posts. “New-year-new-me” is a fad and only naively optimistic people still make a list of resolutions, you know,” she added. Under normal circumstances, I would have nodded with a bemused “I know it, right” smile, but for some reason, I believed in the positive “you can do it,
sis” vibe on Instagram. In an increasingly depressive era and impending graduation, (for third-year students) believing that you have the ability to turn your life around by sheer strength of character is a feat in itself. So, heartiest congratulations if you lined up some goals for 2019, for your positivity hasn’t been reduced to sordid nihilism. Your soul is still safe, protect it.
According to the surveys conducted by World Health Organisation, India is the most depressed country in the world
and the truth of this statement can be seen with a glance across our classrooms. Something like depression or anxiety
won’t be overtly seen, but if we see our peers, and ourselves, either fall in the hopeless hustle mode or the hopeless
dawdle, both of which leave some with heavy breathing. In today’s world when understanding of self- care is becoming synonymous with consumerism, thanks to capitalism that has reduced this pious term to face masks and
scented candles, retaining a hopeful outlook is almost revolutionary self-care. The assumed “practicality” around
ambitions may seem unachievable, however, we must retain a wholesome attitude towards life.
So, it has been nine days into 2019, if you are still sticking to your goals then kudos, if your motivation is fraying then read on for tips to retain the optimism.
1. There is no such thing as small goals: Setting unrealistic goals is the first mistake we make. Instead of making a five-day workout schedule, aim for going just one day and do it, this will retain the feeling of accomplishment. One workout a week sounds less, but at the hindsight, by the end of the year you’ll have done a total of 52 workouts when giving up would just mean zero.
2. Set reminders: You are 42 per cent more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down (according to psychology professor Dr Gail Matthews of Dominican University’s Study). So set up reminders on your Google calendar about long-term goals. The regular pings will remind,shame, and nag you into doing tasks.
3. Declutter your life: Delete the useless images from your gallery, remove the apps you don’t use, clear your bag, chug the redundant dried up pens, block toxic people from your social media, finally reply to the pending texts, make space in your closet, phone storage, and life. It’s never too late to start clearing. A clean space keeps one inspired.
4. Self-care: Simple tasks like changing nail paint, drinking warm water, having a movie break are useful in sprucing up our mood. Beware of indulging too much and falling into the binge-watching trap.
5. Have less, to be more: Instead of mindlessly spending on sale items, invest in quality pieces. It’s always better to have a flawless pair of Chelsea boots than owning three ugly loafers. Preaching minimalism to 20-year-olds seems saint-like, but the critique of having less isn’t about ownership, but of the importance we assign only to the “things”, often forsaking the experience, relationships, and growth. The feeling of “not having anything to wear” goes out of the window when our wardrobe consists of things we truly appreciate, and those things are only accumulated when we buy because we really need or like an item, in place of making purchases just because it’s sale season.
We believe you can achieve your resolutions, 2019 is the time to shine! We all stan a motivated queen!
Arundhati Roy is so misunderstood, often by fake news peddlers and also by “intellectuals” who negate her whole body of work and essentially downgrade her as the godmother of the basic radical wannabes. But guess what, both these sides are wrong. Here are the top 16 reasons why we all should stan the 57-year-old writer.
1. Her writing explains how personal is political.
Often times we think serious things like environmentalism are different topics that have no place in casual conversations but when you read a text that seamlessly talks about one’s beloved river and how WTO sponsored pesticides are killing it you’ll know that there is no escape. If you read Roy’s work, be it fiction or nonfiction, you’ll begin to see everything differently (Suddenly, you’ll notice the faint smell of dead vultures wafting from the strawberry ice cream). She teaches us that we should take every political-social issue very personally. And by politics, it doesn’t mean Congress or BJP, it means the equation between powerful and the powerless.
“My language, my style, is not something superficial, like a coat I wear when I go out. My style is me- even when I am home.” – Scimitars in the Sun.
2. Doesn’t value “success”.
People’s movements often time, if we calculate empirically, fail. Despite the Narmada Bachao Andolan the dams were made and are being made and despite hundreds of documentaries the adivasis are being displaced with brutality. With this despondent history of struggles, the activist inside you is bound to be hopeless, but Roy’s writing, that comes from being in close proximity with on ground movement, tells us that every effort counts and there is pride in failure. The least and most we can do is retain our inherent anarchy, refuse to believe the PR ads of the government, and change the way we view success.
“When George Bush says ‘You are either with us or with the terrorist,’ we can say ‘No thank you’. – Confronting the Empire.
“The only dream worth having is to dream that you will live while you are alive, and die only when you are dead. To love, to be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and vulgar disparity of the life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget.” – The End of Imagination
3. Gives the best analogies.
She is the ultimate queen of analogies. In the essay do Do Turkeys Enjoy Thanksgiving she explains token representation and asserts just because the White House pardons a turkey doesn’t mean the American culture has any sympathy for turkeys, similarly just as there are a few people from marginalised backgrounds in positions of power doesn’t mean the world is equal.
In her article Come September, she wrote that America terminated Saddam Hussein like a “pet who had outlived his master’s affection.” Further, she explained the bid of India and Pakistan to lure USA’s favour like two begums fighting for their husband’s (America’s) affection. There are several more gems.
4. Calls out the hypocrisy.
As someone who earns her living by royalties from publishing houses, she called out her own publisher Penguin for dropping Wendy Doniger’s The Hindus: An Alternative History after some right-wing groups opposed it for hurting Hindu sentiments.
She doesn’t participate in fests that are sponsored by problematic sources.
In January 2006, she was awarded the Sahitya Academy Award which she declined to accept in opposition to the policies of the Congress-led government. In 2015 she joined several other artists and writers who returned their awards in the wake of the killing of writer Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare and gave back the National Film Award she got for writing the screenplay of In Which Annie Give It Those Ones (a delightful short film that has SRK!).
“ During the BJP regime, I was convicted for contempt of court and sent to jail. During the Congress regime, I am being given an award. Though these seem different ways of dealing with the writer, to my mind they are both ways to neutralise a troublesome writer.” – Shape of the Beast.
6. She is the anti-nation who loves this country. Yes, you can be both.
“If protesting against nuclear bomb implanted in my brain is anti-Hindu and anti-national then I secede. I hereby declare myself an independent, mobile republic.”- End of Imagination.
“By most standards, I probably qualify for being an anti-national. I don’t have a nationalistic bone in my body. It’s just not my instinct. Yet it’s inconceivable for me to not be here, because it contains everything that I love.”- Ten Years On…
“Nationalism of one kind or another was the cause of most of the genocide of the twentieth century. Flags are bits of coloured cloth that governments use first to shrink-wrap people’s minds and then as ceremonial shrouds to bury the dead.” – Come September
7. Writes the best dedications.
(God of Small Things)
For Mary Roy,
who grew me up.
Who taught me to say “Excuse me”
before interrupting her in Public.
Who loved me enough to let me go.
For LKC, who, like me, survived.
(The Algebra of Infinite Justice)
To those who believe in resistance, who live between hope and impatience and have learned the perils of being reasonable. To those who understand enough to be afraid and yet retain their fury.
8.She “repeats” truth to power and is not afraid of taking sides. (“Repeats” because the powerful already know the truth.)
After she won the Booker, Arundhati Roy became the national sweetheart, but even before the buzz around her could die she wrote a scathing critique of the nuclear bomb testing Pokhran and immediately became ungrateful anti-national number one. She has contempt of court cases and charges for “corrupting the morality” lined against her. This is not just because she has money and can afford to be a “Cheeky Bitch Taken to Court” but because she values truth over convenience.
“I wasn’t hedging my bets like most sophisticated intellectuals, and saying, ‘On the one hand, this, but on the other hand, that.’ I was saying, I’m on your side.”- On supporting Narmada Bachao Andolan.
In 1994, way before she became famous she wrote a scathing piece titled The Great Indian Rape Trick criticising Shekhar Kapur for restaging a rape scene in Bandit Queen without the consent of Phoolan Devi, on whom the movie was based.
9. Isn’t possessive about fame.
She isn’t on social media and despite the media’s obsession over her, doesn’t make appearances in noisy news debates.
“The more I thought about it, the clearer it became to me that if fame was going to be my permanent condition, it would kill me. Club me to death with its good manners and hygiene. I’ll admit I’ve enjoyed my own five minutes of it immensely, but primarily because it was just five minutes.” – End of Imagination.
“At the end of the day, fame is also a gruesome kind of capitalism, you can accommodate it, bank it, live off it. But it can suffocate you, isolate you, make you lose touch.”- The Question of Violence.
11. She has a complicated but wholesome relationship with her badass mother (who challenged and changed the Syrian Christian inheritance law).
12. Speaks about caste-based discrimination.
Kashmir and Bastar are all “glamorous” topics but she took on caste right from her very first book to writing Doctor and the Saint. (Yes, there can be a debate on whether or not she was the right pick to write the introduction for Navayana’s Annihilation of Caste).
13.She is confident in her skin.
“I’m a black woman. Most of us are. Ninety per cent of us are. This obsession that Indians have with white skin and straight hair makes me sick. We need a new aesthetic.” – in an interview with Ashwariya Subramanium for Elle
14. Has Zero Sanskar
She ran away from home at 16, lived in a slum with her boyfriend, has a “failed” marriage, has no kids, has been jailed, is dark, and supports JNU students-Maoists-separatist, and her mom is a divorcee. No nice Indian boy would marry her because she will probably earn more than him and instead of letting him inherit her money she’ll donate it to indigenous movements.
15. Has excellent style.
From unruly curls to a pixie cut, Roy has ruled every style with grace.
16. Can sign in both Hindi and English.
So basically Arundhati Roy is A1 human being (possibly a witch), and we should all be like her by not taking pride in big statues, treating slum dwellers with respect, and attending the farmers march that’s scheduled for 29th and 30th November 2018.
After a controversial budget session, the Hindu College Parliament conducted “interaction sessions” to recruit a team called “The Squad” that will be closely working on flagship college events.
On 31st October the registration forms for the “The Squad” recruitments were released. The form explained “The Squad” as “an impeccable team of highly adept Hinduites with a wide range of abilities and an untiring work ethic. It is an opportunity to be a part of something great, and to create something great. It is an opportunity to prove your mettle, make friends, and have fun and at the end, come out as a more rounded and evolved version of yourself.”
The interviews were scheduled for 1st, 2nd and 3rd of November 2018 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Prime Minister’s office. They were taken in a batch of five on the first come and first serve basis. On 1st and 2nd November, Prime Minister Shreyash Mishra was present during the sessions.
On the condition of anonymity, a member who was part of the screening panel from the Parliament said, “We have changed the interview format to the interaction format so that we get to know the prospective team members and they get to know us. We also aim at making the atmosphere more approachable. You can all these sessions as a way to familiarise the recruits with our agendas and faces.”
“70% of students have filled Event Management as their interest area, but since the field of works is pretty fluid there won’t be any demarcation of work immediately. We will be having regular meetings and brainstorming sessions about the upcoming events and those who are regular, sincere, and show initiative will be given important positions accordingly,” he further added. The people representing the Parliament (interviewers) were not identified by the DU Beat correspondent and their identifies were guarded when we questioned about the same.
Sharing her experience post the session, Nimilitha, a first-year Statistics Honours student said, “The interaction was really fun and engaging. I told the interviewers our expectations as well as the criticisms of the Parliament. They responded to both very sportingly. I look forward to hearing from them and working closely for the college events.”
When asked about the absence of Naveen Kumar, the Leader of Opposition, from the process, DU Beat was informed that Naveen Kumar was duly invited but he did not choose to come. However, Naveen Kumar denied about the invitation and said, “See you can’t just tap on my shoulder and say ‘Bro, come to the PM’s office for this thing no’ and call it an invite. I will only accept an invitation if it’s formally communicated from PM’s office.” He also added that during the Freshers he was not given a formal invite.
With jam-packed events, finals, international and national star attractions, the last two days of Antaragini were hectic, cheerful, and tinged with the sadness of conclusion.
The day three of Antaragni was jampacked with the most number of events. It began at the main auditorium with Roots, the folk dance competition. After a string of performances which showcased dance forms like Sambalpuri, Lavni, and Bhangra, the distinguished jury panel of Kavita Dwibedi and Radhika Kathal adjudged the team from Shri Venkateswara College for their Haryanvi dance performance as the winners. Miranda House stood first runner-up for their performance of Kalbeliya dance form and Maharani College, Jaipur were the third runner-ups.
The other event of the day was Junoon, the Eastern fusion band competition. It was judged by the panel of Udit Beerbaliya, Sagar Garg, and Kalpesh Maru who declared 519, the western music band of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College as the winner. Deliver My Tomorrow, the western music band of Shaheed Bhagat Singh College stood second. Costume Designing competition was organised at Open Air Theatre. It saw the participation of 18 teams with five members each. After being closely judged by Mr. Rajesh Sharma, the University Maharani College stood first which had members Anjani Sharma, Himani Sharma, Ayushi Patodi, Kinshu Bamnavat, and Prerna Jhangid. College of Vocational Studies took the second prize and Ramjas College stood third in the competition.
Tour de Force, the street dance competition, had both preliminary and final round on the same day at the Events Ground. After a sequence of brilliant performances, which showcased all the major contemporary dance forms, ABC Lock from Atma Ram Sanatan Dharma College was adjudged the winner, while Deepak E Boy stood second and Dig Vig from Motilal Nehru College stood third.
Tubonika, an Austrian musical duo, gave a mesmerising and joyous performance as a part of the International Carnival initiative by IIT Kanpur. Their performance which took place in the golden light of late afternoon became an unexpected success as it was assumed that there won’t be many takers for instrumental European music in a youth festival. Their music was a fresh take on Austrian folk music, which resonated very well with and left the audience asking for more. The musicians combined two instruments: tuba and accordion.
In the stage play competition, three teams from Delhi University made it to the finals. The prelims that ran for over eight hours were judged by eminent stage actor, J. Brandon Hill (also known as Johnny Bonzella) and veteran actor Harish Patel.
Just a Minute was a competition where participants had to speak on the given topic in a minute. As told to DU Beat by a member of the organising team, the winner of the event was “God’s Dick” from Delhi Technological University. When asked about the obviously false name, the organiser said that’s what was written on the paper from which he was reading from. He also added that people often use false names. The star attraction for the day was a legendary guitarist, Guthrie Govan. Unfortunately, except the first two rows of niche fans who enthusiastically appreciated Govan’s exceedingly masterful skills, the rest of the crowd seemed underwhelmed by the music.
The star night was opened by The Last Train to Paradise, Confuzone, and 519, the winners of Synchronicity, rock/metal band competition. Day four of Antaragni 2018 began with the finals of street play. The event was adjudged by Akhilendra Mishra, who has acted in several TV serials and films like Lagan and Veer Zara. Along with him, other panellists included actor Kavin Dave, Indian social worker Smita Bharti, and casting director Vicky Sidana. The finale of the flagship competition DJ War was “The Colour Run”. A fun-filled run amidst a burst of beautiful colours culminated with a power-packed performance with the finalists of DJ War.
Jitterbug, the western dance competition saw teams competing with full enthusiasm and power. Verve Dance Crew of Sri Venkateshwara College bagged the first position in the competition while the second and third position was won by Spardha of Shaheed Bhagat Singh College and the Western Dance Society of Lady Shri Ram College for Women.
The other event of the day was the Modern Art Competition. The event witnessed participation from across the nation. Arpit Mudgal from Sri Venkateswara College, Upshant Saini from Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, and Yashna Singh from KNIT Sultanpur were declared as the winners in the order. Kavi Sammelan saw poets like Padma Shree awardee Sunil Jogi, Shambhu Shikhar, Padmini Sharma, and Rupesh Saxena in attendance.
Amit Trivedi’s much-anticipated performance was the final star performance of the fest. Trivedi’s two-hour long performance was divided into three parts. The first part had indie, less famous, but equally mesmerising numbers, which included several Coke Studio productions. The segment section was a sing-along segment, where the audience sang their hearts out like a karaoke party. The third and the last segment consisted of dance numbers and loud-upbeat hits.
In the later hours of the night, the campus saw packed luggage, the sound of baggage wheels dragging on the smooth roads of IIT, and hostel checkouts which were often accompanied by nostalgic goodbyes with the guards who diligently kept a check on the exits and entries. As most people began leaving for the railway station, those who had late or delayed trains stayed behind and maintained the raunak of a 53-year-old fest for a little longer.
After a UGC circular that hinted at bringing the University of Delhi under the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) gained much criticism, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) issued a clarification and refuted the speculation.
The clarification came out with a tweet by Mr. R. Subramanyam the Secretary of Higher Education. His tweet said that the idea to ban strikes in the examination services came from some affected students during the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) strike, however, the ministry has decided not to proceed with the suggestion after examining it.
There is no such proposal to bring Delhi University under ESMA. The suggestion to ban strikes in the examination services came from some affected students during the DUTA strike. We have examined it and are not going ahead with the suggestion. Kindly clarify to readers.
The Essential Services Maintenance Act is an act of parliament which has been established to ensure the delivery of certain services such as public transportation, sanitation and health services so that they are not affected during strikes.
The move to include DU under the ambit of ESMA has come as the University witnessed a prolonged evaluation boycott twice in the past two years. In 2016 DUTA had boycotted the evaluation for 55 days in protest against the changed workload condition. This year witnessed another boycott for over 40 days in protest of the recent schemes of government such as autonomy, change in roster policy, etc.
The implementation of the ESMA implies that the teaching, as well as the non-teaching staff and students, will be prohibited from indulging in actions that will disrupt and affect activities in the University. A seven-member group had been formed earlier this month to submit a report within thirty days as MHRD directed for a committee to examine the feasibility of bringing the teaching and evaluation methods of a university under ESMA.
ESMA has received criticism on behalf of many, especially the Federation of Central University Teachers’ Association when their former president, Aditya Narayan Mishra, stated that the MHRD’s new order was an attack on the debate, discussion as well as the spirit of enquiry and scholarship. There has been widespread criticism of ESMA for some of its clauses. According to the Clause (VIII) of ESMA, it states that anybody can be arrested for investigation even without a warrant.
In another dismal case of harassment, a 19-year-old Delhi University student jumped out of a DTC bus to escape her molesters after months of continued abuse. Police takes notice after the victim’s sister shared the ordeal in a series of tweets.
A 19-year-old University of Delhi student jumped out of a moving bus in an unsurprising reminder of our failure as a society to secure safety for women. The details of the case were shared by the victim’s sister in a series of tweets. In South Delhi’s South Extension area, the victim was been molested for more than three months by the same group of men. The girl faced molestation seven times in the three months of reported abuse, every day, en route to her college.
The victim’s sister shared the ordeal in detail, in a series of tweets. “This group of men use to travel on bus route number 544 and repeatedly harass her and other women going to colleges. Once she raised an alarm and got one of the men thrown out of the bus, but he was back again the next day,” she claimed. She also mentioned that the victim was forced to miss her classes to avoid travelling on that route. “The men specifically travel on this route as many students use it to go to their colleges. Recently one of the men told my sister that he knows which college she studies in. Threatened, she jumped out of the moving bus in order to avoid that man,” the victim’s sister stated.
Taking note of the viral tweets on social media, south Delhi DCP Vijay Kumar asked for further details on the matter. Further investigations have been ordered. Senior cops said that a case would be registered accordingly, and officers in plain clothes will be deployed on buses plying on that route to identify the suspects and catch them off-guard.
It is not uncommon for us to hear these incidents every now and then. This is probably why the prospect of women’s safety was heightened in the recent DUSU election manifestos of all political parties. However, it takes a strong initiative to deal with the reality of the situation. As much as we need equal opportunities for women, we also need to ensure their sustenance to reach their full potential. The first step in this context is to strengthen the legal punishment meted out to such molesters.
A canteen staff member of Cluster Innovation Centre (CIC), University of Delhi, was allegedly attacked by a group of students from Delhi School of Journalism (DSJ) on 25th September 2018. This incident has triggered apparent hostility between two institutions that are housed in the same building of University Stadium.
Around 4 p.m., after the Chhatra Sangarsh Rally held on the same day, a group of students from DSJ had come to the canteen. According to Udit, an eyewitness and a student of CIC, the DSJ students hadn’t thrown the plastic plates and cups in the dustbin after eating. When Sanju bhaiya (canteen staff) asked them to, the students got aggressive and started abusing him. One of them then threw a napkin holder at Sanju, which barely missed his eye,” he added. This agitated the canteen worker, who jumped off from the counter and stepped towards the boys, following this a huge fight broke out. Later Sanju had to seek medical treatment at a hospital.
Yashwant, another CIC student who was present at the spot added, “Everybody knows about the self-help rule of the canteen. We collect our order ourselves and dispose of the leftovers as well. Sanju bhaiya merely pointed it to the assaulters who immediately got riled up. A teacher who intervened to break off the confrontation was also disrespected immensely. This is nothing but pure hooliganism which shouldn’t be tolerated.”
However, according to the students from DSJ it was the canteen employee who had provoked them. Prashant Yadav, a student of DSJ who was involved in the violence, explained his side of the story to DU Beat. “After the rally, we were all tired and having our food. The canteen employee started rebuking us for occupying space. We talked to him politely but he spoke in a very disrespectful tone. He said something, and in response we said something. We are not happy with the turn of events and whatever happened was unfortunate, but we aren’t Gandhi ji’s disciples. We also paid the amount, in fact, we paid more than what was due.” When asked about throwing a napkin holder at the canteen staff, he explained that the napkin holder “wasn’t thrown deliberately but got flung accidentally”. DU Beat also reached out to DSJ students on DSJ Media Group but didn’t receive any response.
“I feel betrayed and disrespected by the incident. We supported them in their fight for their rights. In fact, people from CIC were one of the first ones to lend support to their cause. It’s ironic that moments after joined them in the Chhatra Sangharsh Rally these people enter our own canteen and hurt our staff. We regret that we ever supported them. DSJ has lost a major ally and I hope they realise it soon,” asserted Shania Mohapatra, a second-year student of CIC.
“We hope DSJ gets its rights, but more than that we hope they get a sense of decency. It wasn’t just some random students from an institute misbehaving, people who were at the forefront of the protests indulged in misconduct (Prashant Yadav had participated in the hunger strike). Instead of holding their peers accountable, the rest of the “leaders” of #StandWithDSJ movement are acting as an apologist for them. We aren’t saying you monitor every action of your classmates, but if you can share our solidarity pictures on your social media then you can also issue a simple statement condemning the shameful act of your comrades. To pretend ignorance is nothing but disingenuous,” said another CIC student.
The following day, a verbal fight* broke out between the students of Cluster Innovation Centre and Delhi School of Journalism in the canteen. This happened in response to the action of some CIC students, who had torn off the #SaveDSJ posters from the notice board of the cafeteria in front of the DSJ students present there. Right after this, first and second-year students of CIC held a meeting with the Program Coordinator of BA (Hons) Humanities and Social Sciences to express their concern regarding the safety and security of the students. After much discussions and deliberations, it was collectively decided that the students will write an application to the Director of Cluster Innovation Centre, Dr. H.P. Singh, highlighting their concerns and asking him to take action regarding the issue. One of their demands includes barring the entry of the students in CIC who had hit the canteen staff. A formal application has already been forwarded by the teachers. As of now Prasant Yadav, Shabab Anjum, and Vipul have been identified as the offenders (the names are based on more than two student accounts and one teacher account, who identified the students based on photos and videos). DU Beat will update the report once we get an on-record quote from Shabab Anjum and Vipul.
Update: In a conversation with DU Beat, Vipul, a student of DSJ who is accused by the eyewitnesses to have been engaged in the tiff that transpired, denied any involvement with the violence. He said, “I went to the CIC canteen, one and a half hour after the whole incident, to have tea because the DSJ pantry was closed. I pointedly deny engaging in any fight whatsoever. We spoke to a faculty member about the incident which is why people must have remembered seeing me, but I minded my own business. I’m here to study and have no interest in hurting any employee.”
In the late hours of the afternoon, CIC students alleged that the DSJ students vandalised the Cluster Innovation Centre board placed on the ground floor.