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Author

Sakshi Arora

Browsing

While Delhi University’s online examination form portal crashes, students express uncertainty about appearing for end semester examinations if conducted online. 

On 20th of April 2020, Delhi University (DU) released a student portal to fill online examinations form. The portal appeared to be quite stressful for students as they battled with heavy traffic, constant crashes and unstable internet connectivity. Students were left in a state of uncertainty, doubt and obscurity regarding the conduction of online examinations for concluding 2019-20 Even Semester.

As the portal surrounds itself with internet issues, students question whether the online examinations can be successfully carried out in a social diversity like that of Delhi University. Paridhi Puri a student of Jesus and Mary College (JMC), spoke to DU Beat regarding her inaccessibility in operating the portal. “When the portal launched the day before yesterday, it immediately crashed. Even in Delhi, there are internet issues now due to exceeding the stipulated bandwidth. For about 30 minutes, I struggled to open a single link, which is highly irresponsible. The University infrastructure is not equipped to entertain an online form, how can they successfully conduct an online examination for 3 hours that too for so many subjects? It just shows how ill-equipped DU is.”

Another student from JMC who belongs to Kashmir, also shared, “If there are online exams, it will be very difficult for the students who are in Kashmir right because there is only 2G internet speed here. Sometimes we are able to attend all the classes and the connection is good but sometimes even in downloading a single page it takes a lot of time and effort. It is unpredictable . Even today during the Commerce exam there was a lot of problem, the connection was not proper and was getting disconnected again and again. And if in case the exams take place online and something like this happens it will be very very unfair for all the students who are in Kashmir right now. Normally even with 4G connection any error an occur , so obviously with only 2G internet connection the chances become double !”

However, Vinay Gupta, Dean of Examination Branch refutes such claims. He spoke with The New Indian Express, and said, “The university has not taken a decision yet to conduct online examinations. A student portal has been launched so that students can fill their examination forms. This online platform has been created due to the lockdown. Also, on the first day, due to heavy traffic, the website has been slow; it will function better in a day or two.”

As semester exams in Calcutta University prepare to be clubbed, DU too, hinted towards an online examination. Several students raised concerns about DU’s indifference towards the students’ social background. Vinitha Singh, a student from a village near Pali, Rajasthan, stays in a low network area. “We cannot even speak over the phone, very rarely we get reception and internet on the top floor. I am unable to attend online lectures, I doubt I’d be able to appear for online exams. I just hope they cancel.” 

Students pursuing commerce raise concern over online calculations while students from theoretical background question the typing speed required for a three-hour examination. Pankaj Kumar Garg, Mathematics professor, Convenor, INTEC and former member of the Academic Council, expresses his disapproval of the online examinations proposal. Speaking to The New Indian Express, “Given the various types of courses offered by the university, applying the same model for assessment is unjustified… Good typing speed is required for theoretical papers. By adopting this method, the university is creating an unequal playing field in which students from disadvantaged backgrounds wouldn’t be treated fairly,”

As several people leave their books back in Delhi, international students meet with other unavoidable circumstances. Nouresha, a student of Kamala Nehru College and a native of Mauritius feels paranoid about the future, “I came to my friend’s place in Haryana during the mid-semester break and got stuck here because of the lockdown. There’s barely internet connection here for me to talk to my parents back home. And maybe at the beginning of May, my country is going to airlift all the Mauritian students in India. And once back home, we’ll be in quarantine for I don’t know how many days.”

Kashmiri students remain in the dark regarding online examinations. Students with bare minimum internet connectivity, People with Disabilities (PwD) and a whole lot of students from disadvantaged backgrounds may be left out in case the University conducts examinations online. 

Feature Image Credits: Delhi University Website

Anandi Sen

[email protected] 

Plans were made and the wish list of the final-year students was set, but never did they imagine that they were marching towards uncertainty. The Covid-19 outbreak has certainly infected the plans of the outgoing batch, who need to keep peace with their incomplete wish list. Read on to find what the class of 2020 feels about it.

It was the beginning of March 2020 when everyone was dreading for the mid-semester vacation, to head back to our hometowns, do internships, catch-up on the pending studies, and rejuvenate ourselves for the next half of the semester packed with fests, internals, and of course our GRADUATION! Little did we know that our expectations would just move into the helix of uncertainty. It does feel now, that one should have attended that particular day of college they bunked or that particular society meeting for which they made an excuse, so that they could get a little more before things turned out such. While the University is shut amidst the lockdown and some of the major college fests have been cancelled, it is hard to believe the reality. However, the virtual world still keeps us connected and sane during these times.

Shivanu Prav, a student of the outgoing batch from Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC), says, “As we know that it’s the journey that matters and the people whom you meet along it. I am going to miss all my friends and the things we did, but what makes me feel terrible is that now we won’t be able to do those final things (roaming, bunking, trips, visit to teacher’s house, farewell and convocation) that we planned for. I will miss the glitter in everyone’s eyes by the thought of being graduates at the same time, a sadness of getting apart from each other. I will miss every inch of myself which I lived in SRCC.”

While many colleges have started with online lectures, few students are finding it difficult to cope with the increased screen time, while others have an issue of internet avilability. It only takes us back to missing our college lectures and the classroom environment.

Shivani, a final-year student from Miranda House, commented, “This long break takes me back into my three-year old self. Now I have started fighting with my brother again. I am struggling everyday with my eyes after Zoom lectures and long documented notes.

This is a big pause for me as an individual and the humanity as a whole. This is where we decide our course for this decade.”

Even during this uncertainty, the connectedness between the batchmates is what keeps us going. The plans we had, may not have come out in the way we wanted, however, it teaches us the importance of the memories we spent in the beautiful years of the graduation.

Aarti Rajput, another final-year student from Lady Shri Ram (LSR), adds, “There are various things we wanted to fulfil but I can’t believe that we are waiting for the completion of our graduation like this. We wanted to enjoy these few days of our graduation with our friends and teachers…But now we are sitting at our homes on the video calls. We are crying by recalling our beautiful days that we have spent together. I wish we could celebrate our farewell, graduation party, and attend those last classes which we have missed for no reasons.”

While the students would miss their college once they graduate, these few months were important for looking for the unexplored parts of the Campus, hanging out at Maggi Point, and spending the last few days with their friends and teachers. The graduating batch who had applied for further studies abroad are worried now, and some have even dropped their plans with the worsening situation due to the pandemic. DU has postponed the final exams “until further notice”, however final-year students are anxious due to their delayed graduation. It is true that we are the unluckiest batch. Because we don’t have any chance to live back those beautiful days of our lives, and create memories in our last days of college life. The only thing that keeps coming back to my mind are those lines from Shah Rukh Khan’s iconic song, ‘Har pal Yaha jee bhar jio, jo hai sama kal ho na ho.’ We are just hopeful that this too shall pass and the Class of 2020 would pass with flying colours.

Image Source: Sriya Rane for DU Beat

Sriya Rane

[email protected]

Fresh out of school, I was eager to join North Campus. I’ll put it simply. As cliché as it might sound and as annoying it might seem to my South Campus peers, North Campus is a world of its own. A world of the students, for the students, but not by the students.

A World where e-rickshaw drivers surround you like paparazzi, where Swiggy and Zomato give conveniently priced deliveries for the students, and where some lose their virginity. A world where some change their mentality (for good or bad reasons), some smoke their first cigarette or eat their first ‘malnourished’ momo in Kalyan Vihar, Vijay Nagar, or Kamla Nagar or non-Delhiites get to face some classic racist hate (again in Kalyan Vihar, Vijaynagar, or Kamla Nagar).

Where students, and even teachers come down to protest at the Arts Faculty when an obstacle arises, and great fests happen with mainstream musicians; and all the funds get drained with it. A world where all social classes have their own peer groups but unite under a common umbrella called the ‘College Canteen’. A world where attendance matters but doesn’t really matter.

A world where some sheltered kids get reality checks and try to change society in their little ways, and others become pseudo-intellectuals with their double-faced hypocrisy. A world where few become the future leaders by dominating student wings in the Students’ Union, like a gang of goons rather than a parliament of politicians, yet, there are more kids who tend to escape from the harsh realities and put their entire focus on studies. And then there are those who don’t exist in the real world; and only exist by the virtue of their involvement in the cultural societies of their college.

My point is that even though I have been living in this world for three years and I am to be a veteran soon as my course is about to end, I still can’t give you a guide to this world. That’s simply because it’s just so diverse as I have mentioned above. You are bound to be changed in various ways depending upon what path you take in North Campus. But that’s the thing about North Campus, most of us hardly chose paths consciously and some just choose us.

Okay, now, that just sounded ridiculously pretentious and poetically unrealistic. But what I mean to say is, if you are still going to be a student in North Campus (or even South Campus), try exploring the world which I tried describing in the aforementioned 400 words. This world might seem to get more Orwellian day-by-day, and soon after graduation we might become slaves to a larger system (I will have to see what happens when I reach that stage), so it’s better to make the best of our time in this Campus as much as we can.

I’m not saying burn your books, roll their pages into joints, smoke them up, and explore the city every day. Study, Wander, Write, Play, do whatever you want as long as you’re not harming anyone (so please don’t touch people at a college fest non-consensually, drive your car like you’re the DUSU president at a speed so high that a dog gets injured, or indulge in other miscreant behaviour of that sorts). If you hate the world of North Campus, then judge the living hell out of it and its people, and have a good laugh. Meet people, eat street food, throw around opinions, discern them, debate them, discuss them, sit idle in the college field. Study, surely study, but at the same don’t forget exploring this world you’re in. Because that world will give you knowledge that’s not in any sample paper or online module.

What knowledge awaits for you to be learned by in this Campus? That’s for you to find out.

So long,

Shaurya Singh Thapa,

Soon-to-be Ex-Web Editor, DU Beat.

Image Credits: Akarsh Mathur for DU Beat

Shaurya Singh Thapa

[email protected]

… and so should you! If you are anything like me, then you would’ve also participated in household chores very reluctantly. Here’s why having a little more enthusiasm goes a long way.

Quarantine lock down has been a tough period for us all. Be it the feeling of being stuck inside or the little things that you took for granted and now miss, the lock down has been difficult for people in varying degrees. Like everyone else, I, too, yearn to go out and get my regular, busy life back.

However, as I’m stuck inside, getting the cleaning done in my house- be it jhadoo and pocha, doing the dishes and laundry, or sorting out stuff- has easily become one of my favourite things these days:

  1. Distracts You from the Fact that You Don’t, in fact, Have Your Life Together

It is a weird phase for all of us, where none of us are quite sure where we are going with our lives. Adding to that, this anxiety comes with the knowledge of not doing anything productive like you thought you were supposed to be doing. In times like these, life gets a little bit overwhelming and you might not know where to start.

But, fret not! Little tasks like sweeping the house or doing the dishes not only distract you from the fact that you don’t have it together (nor do you particularly need to, in these times) but also helps establish a routine to make you feel like you’re actually doing something productive and helpful for once. What’s more! You can do so while jamming to your favourite artists and getting groovy (which personally, does wonders to uplift my mood). And if you’re feeling a little educational, you can even do so while listening to your favourite podcasts.

  1. Gets You Some Exercise

When was the last time you actually got some exercise? If you are anything like me, it would’ve been when you were busy with your regular life. And like me, the lack of exercise would’ve now been hurting both your mental and physical health, but you wouldn’t have found the motivation to follow through with the exercise.

Guess what gives you an easy outlet to get your body moving? Doing Jhadoo and Pocha! It gets your muscles moving, stretches and bends our body, and builds up your endurance- all while getting some cleaning done. Talk about killing two birds with one stone.

Put on some peppy tunes to get you pumped up. And once you feel accomplished enough and get those endorphins racing, you could even move on to actually working out at home!

  1. Makes Your Parents Happy

If you don’t want to do it for yourself, do it for your parents.

Like all parents, mine nagged me all the time for not helping out enough- after which I did, but not without whining the whole time. Until I realized, if I do the task with a little more gusto, I not only finish the task very easily and definitely faster but also see my parents happy with me- which works in my favour a lot!

Helping your parents out with domestic work means they are happy with you, which in turn, means you are happy because you can now do what you want to without their piercing glare. Parents walk by as you skip the intro of that show for the 11th time? Guess what, you don’t have to see your parents eye you judgmentally and anticipate being told off because you’ve been a good kid who helped them out!

  1. Actually Cleans the House !?

Honestly, if nothing else motivates you, just do it for the sake of cleanliness.

You get to live in a clean house and not feel disgusting. As your house thrives, so does a little bit of you. It’s like showering and soaking in a bathtub, but for the house. Imagine not having crumbs and dust stick to your feet as you walk barefoot in the house on a hot summer day! or sleeping in sheets that look crisp and smell fresh instead of your crumpled, smelly one that’s long overdue a change!

Moreover, it gets you to finally adult and be prepared for the time when you move out of your nest!

My new favourite thing this quarantine is to clean my house and do the dishes because honestly, there’s no reason not to. Hopefully, now, it would be yours too!

Satviki Sanjay

[email protected]

 

Read on to find the problematic association between eco-fascism and Coronavirus. 

  • The difference between environmentalism and eco fascism.

Environmentalism in its simplest sense is a political and ethical movement which seeks to protect, preserve, and improve the environment by putting a stop to harmful human activities. Eco fascism marries the ideas of environmentalism with racism and supremacy and propounds the sacrifice of humans and their interests for nature.

  • Eco fascism and racism

Eco Fascism tends to align itself with a Neo Malthusian thought process that the earth is simply falling apart because there are too many people, it does not question the entrenched factors behind environmental issues. Both the Christ church and El Paso shooters have referred to themselves as eco fascists. Though, currently on the fringe, Eco fascism can be used as an excuse to target racial, ethnic, and gender minorities in the name of the environment.

  • Linking Eco fascism to the current pandemic

The Coronavirus Pandemic has led to lockdowns and curfews throughout the world. The lack of human activity has led to substantial drops in pollution levels. Now, while this does pose some serious questions on the consumerist and materialist lifestyle we follow, Eco fascists have ignored all these questions and come up with a simple, yet ultimately flawed thesis. Which is highlighted by a lot of posts about how humans are the virus and how the pandemic was needed to reduce human population, basically the celebration of a pandemic.

  • The flaws and privileges behind “Humans are the virus.”

Ignoring the deeper questions presented by the pandemic and simply celebrating it has many flaws. It comes from a point of privilege as those propagating have access to healthcare and are at relatively lower risk and ironically lead consumer heavy lifestyles, while those in underdeveloped countries and from lower sections of society will end up suffering as always. So, before sharing content and tweets, spare a thought to how this movement carries echoes of exterminating/reducing what supremacists see as “inferior(minorities)” populations and try to judge what you share accordingly.

Feature Image Credits: The New Republic

Prabhanu Kumar Das

[email protected]

Picturing life after COVID-19 pandemic subsides, including the consequences of present-day actions on our future.

Three months ago, SARS-CoV-2 was a thought none of us were even familiar with. As individuals, communities and countries – we were battling too many other forces of disruption already, in India itself; widespread protests against Citizenship AA-NRC were being endowed nationwide to save the fabric of democracy. In hindsight, all of that seems like a prologue to what feels now is an apocalypse we only read and saw on cinema screens – as a form of entertainment. Oh, how the tables turn.

Covid-19 has crashed economies, broken healthcare systems, and devastated the lives of the working class. Modern society has been disrupted on a scale most of the living people today have never witnessed. We’re living in historic times – something that will so profoundly shape our future from now that we won’t even have time to process what our ‘normal’ past felt like.

According to The Atlantic, all children who’ll be born into a world forever altered by Covid-19 should henceforth be referred to as Generation C. In a post coronavirus world, which in itself is still a luxury to imagine (there is no cure or vaccine for the virus, as of today); our relationship with the digital world will be tremendously interrelated.

If the current round of social distancing measures work, the pandemic may ebb enough for things to return to a semblance of normalcy. But as the status quo of chaos returns, so could the virus. Stephen Kissler of Harvard said, “We need to be prepared to do multiple periods of social distancing.” There’s a greater threat of recovered survivors of Covid-19 being stigmatized by society, a pattern familiar in history with survivors of Ebola, HIV and SARS. There is also a mental health pandemic running unchecked, one with increasing chances of proving fatal due to dearth of community mobilization in these times – isolation, especially in a toxic environment, is dangerous for those who suffer from mental illnesses.

Over the coming weeks, much will be at stake collectively, and for some of us also individually. Today, uncertainty about what the post-pandemic world will look like is rife, but we do know it will be built upon the words and deeds we choose now”, writes Javier Solana

Feature Image Credits: Joan Wong for The Atlantic

Paridhi Puri

[email protected]

Addressing the MeToo movements of 2018, the new Netflix original, Guilty, attempts to question our morality but fails to be true and fair. Read the review for a deeper insight.

Portraying college life in a vast variety of forms through Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, 2 States and Wake Up Sid, Karan Johar presents to his audience, yet another such depiction of the same in his latest production, Guilty, directed by Ruchi Narain. Guilty is a Netflix original based in the prime student-hub of the country, the Delhi University, aiming to address the significance and relevance of the #MeToo movement that began in India in late 2018. Including elements of slut shaming, class differences, political influence, mental disorders and many more, Guilty attempts to cover a case of rape accusation in its most complicated nature, honestly defining the idiom – too many cooks spoil the broth.

The movie stars Kiara Advani and Akanksha Ranjan as two widely distinct girls from the same college, St. Martin’s. Advani’s character, Nanki Dutta, is the typical “rebel without a cause”, covered with tattoos and hair colours, fond of Faiz and Kafka, who is also the lyricist for the college band. She is dating the lead singer and college heartthrob, VJ (Gurfateh Singh Pirzada). Tanu Kumar (Ranjan) on the other hand is a small-town girl with a local accent. She is introduced in the movie as she recites a monologue from Shakespeare’s Macbeth, while presenting an errotic act in front of the boys from the band, with Nanki observing the same as an audience. The two characters are at odds with each other from the very beginning because of Tanu’s overt absorption in VJ. Tanu is also portrayed as someone who’d try to play the victim in all possible situations and in a sense, could be tagged an “attention seeker”.

The movie focuses on the rape accusation made by Tanu against VJ, a year after the incident, amidst the MeToo movement that had awoken in the country. The case is investigated by Danish (Taher Shabbir) who is a lawyer, preparing witnesses for VJ’s case. Danish acts as the neutral eye observing and questioning everything and everyone related to the case (though I wonder why the writers chose to assign this role to a lawyer fighting for one party, instead of a police officer, perhaps?). Danish seems to be constantly at war with his thoughts, trying to understand this game of he-said-she-said. He finds a crucial piece of this puzzle in Nanki, the witness who wasn’t even present. His conversations with her unfurl the story further, bringing forth hidden facts and secrets within the gang.

Guilty makes us constantly question our mental conditioning, proving the existence of prejudices ingrained in our brains. It addresses common questions like, “why would I rape someone if I have a girlfriend”, “why was she quiet for a year”, “she was asking for it” and more making it nearly impossible to empathise with Tanu. However, what disappoints me in this movie is the fact that, as an audience, I couldn’t really empathise with any of the characters. The movie unfolds so many complications that, somewhere down the line, the writer seems to relegate the significance of the primary agenda, weakening the moral impact by the end.

This brings me to the even more disappointing ending scene, which is both highly unrealistic and annoyingly cringe-worthy. The movie had followed a fairly genuine representation of the life of a student at the Delhi University with the intoxicating culture at college fests, internal competitiveness, the “woke” gang and particularly, “tere bhai ke sath scene ho gaya hai” (our friend is in trouble). As a DU student myself, I certainly enjoyed the first half of the movie as I could relate to most of it. However, by the end of it, reality comes to a halt and moral lectures are shoved down the audience’s throat in the most obvious way possible. It seemed like lazy writing, with the writers creating an easy way out.

The end credits, on the other hand, was a creative artistic expression and moral summary of the film, backed by the song “Kahun” written and composed by the song director of the film, Ankur Tewari. The song is a beautiful call out towards all those who silence the voices of the victims and encourages the latter to speak up. Personally, the outro was my favourite part of the whole film, without which the movie appears incomplete.

Guilty, for me, seemed like a movie with a good concept, decent execution but disappointing impact. In today’s date, where we’re aware that the rate of crime against women hasn’t gone down over the years, it is essential for mass media platforms to be intricately careful with what they present on screens to their massive audience, and ensure they do not impart the wrong message. Guilty, with its screening platform being Netflix, and its audience being our generation, had the perfect opportunity to do greater justice to the MeToo movement, which in my opinion, it failed to do.

Feature Image Credits: IMDB

Aditi Gutgutia

[email protected]

Since the COVID-19 outbreak in India, many news websites have pointed out that India just isn’t doing enough tests of the disease. There have been many counter and pro arguments on this issue. In this article we examine this question and India’s approach towards the pandemic.

“We have a simple message to all countries – test, test, test,” World Health Organisation (WHO) head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva when asked about solutions for the pandemic. “All countries should be able to test all suspected cases, they cannot fight this pandemic blindfolded,” he said.

On this Balram Bhargava, director of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said, “It is reassuring that at the moment there is no evidence of community outbreak.” He believes Mr Ghebreyesus’s advice is “premature” for India, and it would only “create more fear, more paranoia and more hype”.

As government response and public concern over Covid-19 ratchet up, the medical community is looking at two aspects. First, how much testing is optimal — should we expand it beyond at-risk populations to flatten the disease curve as South Korea has done, or does mass testing burden the healthcare system? Second, where do India and other countries stand in developing a vaccine?

However, among all this speculation, India is scaling up testing. Officials say existing labs are able to provide results in six hours and each lab has the capacity to test 90 samples a day which can be doubled. Fifty more state labs are expected to begin testing samples by the end of the week, bringing the total number of testing facilities to 122. Authorities claim that together, the labs will be able to test 8,000 samples a day – a significant scaling up. In addition, the government is planning to allow around 50 private labs to start testing, but they will take up to 10 days to procure kits.

Many experts have also pointed out that India, right now is not reporting the cases as it is taking time to buckle up its medical and health infrastructure for the pandemic. However, this is a speculation that some have fuelled while other have refuted.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), India had performed 25,144 tests on 24,254 individuals as of 8pm on March 25. Among these, a total of 581 individuals had been confirmed positive among suspected cases and contacts of known positive cases.

The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) tested random people to check for community transmission and concluded that it has found no positive case of coronavirus in 500 randomly collected samples of respiratory disease patients in ICUs. That sort of thing is hardly a justification to not test people with symptoms.

ICMR’S TESTING STRATEGY

  1. Body had earlier said there is no community transmission
  2. Disease primarily in individuals with travel history to affected countries or via close contact with positive cases.
  3. Everyone needn’t be tested, it had said earlier
  4. However, ICMR had conducted random tests on people with flu-like symptoms.

SO WHOM TO TEST?

  1. Individuals in close contact with laboratory-confirmed cases
  2. History of travel to affected countries in previous 14 days
  3. Home quarantine for 14 days
  4. Symptom watch for 14 day
  5. If no, no testing
  6. If yes, laboratory test

The question however still remains. Is Indian doing enough tests? The answer for this question will only unfold in the coming weeks as we see over 1.2 billion Indians fight the most transmissible disease in human history.

Feature Image Credits: World Economic Forum

Aniket Singh Chauhan

[email protected]

Here’s an analysis of the changes which contrived for the sake of sustenance in the world of radio which lead to an ultimate depletion in it’s content.

With the onset of diversifying broadcast and a promising future, radio alighted in India in the 20th century. The State held more confidence in it than television, which also made headway during the time, because the former was not anticipated to have the potential to corrupt it’s audience and can be easily used as a propaganda tool in the garb of spreading pedagogy.

Radio was very well received because of its feasibility and non requisite of literacy for access. News relayed through it penetrated across demographics- even the remote and backward rural areas. Such hefty popularity was exploited for the likes of people in power.

Chomsky believed that what one can achieve in totaliter system by force can be achieved by propaganda in a democracy. Especially during the Second World War, the West and The Third Reich started radio wars. Joseph Goebbles who was the murderous propaganda manager for Hitler, actively monitored the spread of Nazi white propaganda through radio. After that it was used by the USSR at the outbreak of cold war, then by Communist China and later by Indira Gandhi during the emergency of 1975. Some also label ‘Man Ki Baat’ by Prime Minister Modi- an attempt at propaganda mongering.

With time and technological advancement, the power dynamic of politics shifted to capitalism and propaganda of consumerism started to spread. Advertisements took over, and the purpose of radio changed from information relay to source of entertainment. The golden days were here. Song requests were made and two way communication in real time began. Commercialisation of radio opened new skies. Lover’s spat was reconciled and letters were read in studio rooms.

With time radio kept on adjusting to suit the changing needs of the society to sustain in the market but the competition not only from other FMs started to increase, but the incoming of new media threatened radio altogether. How many of us tuned in to radio to listen to news on Vividh Bharti? Many turn to radio as the last resort in case of network issues when they are not able to access Podcasts and Spotify which have taken over. Perhaps because of this desperate attempt to retain  the listeners, the content of radio has become the slave of the owners and capitalists.

There are more advertisements than songs and even the songs are repetitive and mostly redundant, and fail to suit the likes of today’s urban youth. The Radio Jockeys(RJs) who are quintessential to radio have taken to new media platforms of YouTube and Instagram to promote their content. RJ Naved from radio Mirchi conducted a vox pop sponsored by tinder, and it couldn’t be far from a scripted buffoonery. This RJ is famous for conducting Mirchi Murga which also is cringy, scripted and far from comical content, aimed at garnering laughters. Another RJ Raunac from Red FM, took to YouTube to criticise Jawaharlal Nehru University’s (JNU) fee hike with totally falsified facts and misinformation. He also does voiceover as a ‘bauaa’  who prank calls people. Such obvious scripted content topped with lame jokes have become a normal occurrence for radio content.

The nonsense on radio is engineered with a certain economy which manipulates people into buying not only the nonsense, but also the product put for sale. Radio has once again become a passive medium which uses music while propagating consumerism. From winning wars to selling products radio has had massive transformation in its purpose over the years, but the takers have changed. People in the metro cities may have moved on, but those in the countryside still resort to radio as a means for what urbanites may call ‘cheap aesthetics,’ they call ‘cheap entertainment.’

Feature Image Credits: India Today

Umaima Khanam

[email protected]

Nineteenth century called and they want their classics back because contemporary culture has no room for them, or wait, do they?

After ample endeavours by countless people who desired to comprehend love let’s just add a marginal attempt to give that pursuit a whirl. With time the construct of our perception of love has changed. A chronocentric argument which is often contrived is that love of the older days was more meaningful than what it is today.

A connoisseur of classics would perhaps by all means list the nineteenth century Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, which bewitched us body and soul, on the top. What sets this novel apart is its rebellious narrative axised around love to counter class hierarchy and associated pride. It was not just love but the struggle of love in those times. The fallacy of the aforementioned argument lies in the reduction of it to battle great art set in times to counter Orthodox but with the layer to suit the likes of generational battle where older times of classical culture has to be viewed in superlative forms. If you make it boomer versus millennial, you my friend have digressed. Great contents on love have emerged in those times and still continue to surface up. Of Course deterioration also happens but absoluteness of disgrace for expression of love in today’s time comparatively is not acceptable.

From Mir Taqi Mir’s composition, Dil laga ho jo jee jahaan se uthha maut ka naam pyaar ka hai ishq” to the twenty first century extracted quatrain from Vikram Seth’s poem, ‘Through Love’s Greatest Power,’

“To sneer at love, and wrench apart

The bonds of body, mind and heart

With specious reason and no rhyme:

This is the true unnatural crime” we have come a long way. These two expressions of love are so dynamic yet so beautiful and far from ordinary.

But ordinary love also has a charm of its own.” After all, I am also just a girl, pretending to not like clichéd flicks, secretly hoping to have one for my own.” It’s already an achievement that chick flicks are somewhat considered guilty pleasures and not normalised to be constructed into a reality.

Clinking teacups in London or gulping Bordeaux in France, the backdrop of the falling sunset, beverage and in love in the bourgeois public sphere has been romanticised enough.

So where did we fall short between Faiz’s notion of mohabbat (love) and answering if, ‘is it better to speak or die?” (Dialogue:Call me by your name) on celluloids?

The answer lies in popular culture. Mass reproduction of ideas of say Shakespeare or resorting to making of remixes rather than original compositions or making raps which demean some socially deprived groups have been sold and deemed successful which is problematic. A movie director spews that if you don’t have the liberty to slap each other and be violent with each other then he sees no LOVE there. On the contrary another movie surfaced which debunked f the myth that in the name of love you are not given the license to domestically abuse your own wife.

Love for God is used to justify honor killings and ignite riots to cause social unrest. Such normalisation of violence and other social evils in the name of love is problematic.

Expressions of love over the years through art has widened the horizon for how far reaching it actually is. This expression defines the transition which love faces over a period of time surviving Orthodox, archaic elements, tokenism, false glorification and plurality.

Feature Image Credits: New Indian Express

Umaima Khanam

[email protected]

 

Have the food shelves gone empty? Have the aisles started to witness fights? Why are the consumers in frenzy? Read on to find out the manner in which the massive COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in perpetuating the panic pattern in consumer’s habits.

Tension escalated all over the globe like wildfire as the Coronavirus scare spread and spared no one. People can be seen fighting over toilet papers and canned goods, much similar to the claims of vanishing the virus, the sanitisers itself seem to have vanished from the markets, masks are either not found or if so luckily are sold at high prices. The US, UK, Ireland, and Australia have launched ‘elderly hours’ which are exclusive shopping hours for oldies above 60 years of age to ease the purchase of supplies amidst the upper bracket age factor vulnerability which makes it harder for them to shop.If economics kids wanted real life examples for their demand and supply chapter all they have to do is see around the action- reaction chain over the global pandemic.

It’s understandable in one way if there is an uprise in demand of sanitisers and masks which are related to hygiene to help prevent from the virus, but hoarding of non-durables like milk and vegetables or toilet paper rolls or extra amount of pastas purely directs towards panic buying which is referred to as coping mechanism in times of crisis where people start stocking up supplies in fear of expected shortage in future.

How much of the fear is rational?While consumers have increased demand there has been a rein on global exports. India has limited its exports of drug ingredients of medication like acetaminophen which is a common pain killer used for flu related symptoms, Germany banned the export of protective equipment like masks, gloves and sanitisers used by healthcare professionals. India, Germany, France, Czech Republic, Turkey and Russia have exercised trade restrictions. This has an effect on supply chains of domestic countries as no country is self sufficient in producing all goods and services, thereby appropriating some fear.

One deadly consumption at such times is that of fake news. It helps in escalating unnecessary panic buying and tension which leads to failure of administration to give undivided attention to the pandemic. Some messages which were circulated said- ibuprofen if consumed can prove to be dangerous, In India use of turmeric, Tusli and other herbs alongside cow piss was recommended in WhatsApp universities. False hype or danger accredited to certain goods hamper the health of individuals and the demand of those goods.

It’s advised to exercise extreme caution while coming across any guidelines. Trust only reliable resources, fact check and if unsure and don’t share unverified messages.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Janta Curfew speech mentioned to not worry over supplies. People should not succumb to erratic behaviors of shopping. Crisis of shortage which arose in some countries were the ones where the impact of the virus was at its peak. Countries which are experiencing initial stages are at lower risks of shortages. In his very recent address for a 21 day nationwide lock down, PM Modi has also assured that e-commerce services for delivery of essential goods like food, ration, and medical supplies is functional.Please don’t indulge in panic and spread no panic. Wash your hands, avoid touching your face, sneeze using tissue, if not found at the moment then use your sleeve while forming a V with your arm.

Stay Alert, Don’t Panic!

Feature Image Credits: Hindustan Times

Umaima Khanam

[email protected]