Shaurya Thapa

The protest against building the 39-storey residential tower near Chattra Marg at Delhi University North Campus has continued into its 12th day. The protest which is in its second week has seen many developments in the past weeks with worsening health of the protest’s coordinator, Raja Chaudhary, being the latest.

Raja Chaudhary, a law student at the varsity, who is the coordinator of the ‘DU against 39 storey Private Building Committee’ and was on a hunger strike since 10th November had to call off the protest citing health reasons on Friday. It was stated that his health had worsened and upon check-up, it was found out that he was in this condition due to jaundice and eye infection. Thus, it is said that his doctors had advised him to stop the hunger strike.

The protest being staged is against the construction of a 39-storey building near Chattra Marg and Vishwavidyalaya Metro Station. The protesters argue that the land was given to Young Builders Pvt. Ltd. by DMRC without seeking consultation from the Delhi University. Apart from this, the protesters say that the building will overlook six different women hostels which would deteriorate the privacy of these hostels and thus make the prestigious North Campus area unsafe for female students. The protest itself is being supported by DUSU, DTU, DUCU, etc

Commenting on this, ABVP State Media In-charge Ashutosh Singh, “We have for a long time stood by the fact that the building construction was illegal and thus now we will try to approach the state authorities on the issue. We also have been advocating that the land should be given to Delhi University to build additional hostels”. Shweta from Hansraj College says, “The building will come up near the college and would also bring in all types of people. Thus this kind of a project would deteriorate the student-friendly atmosphere of North Campus and also giving public land to a private company is illegal itself”. Another student Ayush Kaul from Delhi College of Arts and Commerce adds, “Such a tall 39 storey building would majorly impact the student and teenager friendly atmosphere of North Campus. In addition to this, it’d also result in more cars and people in the area which will result in more congestion, pollution as well as women safety issues around the area. Also, a new building will dampen the rich heritage of bold and beautiful north campus architecture”

Image Credits: India TV
Aniket Singh Chauhan

Bollywood is a culture for most of the people in this country and this culture is on more occasions than one, problematic. It doesn’t to be stressed how stereotypes on colour, states and even disabilities have existed in B-town’s ‘family-oriented’ films.

From Tusshar Kapoor’s speech disability in the Golmaal franchise to mocking portrayals of disabilities in Sajid Khan films, differently-abled people have been used as laughing stock in Bollywood flicks.

One might argue that these are just ‘no brainer’ entertainers for the masses and hence, shouldn’t be taken seriously. However, this very argument is why we should be concerned with such portrayals. If the masses are just taught to sympathise or chuckle at the plight of the disabled, then the struggle for equality is really taking a step back.

Dr Atanu Mohipatra remarks, “Portrayal of disability in films swings primarily between two extremes –pity, fun, caricaturing, sympathy, and awesome heroism are at one end of the spectrum while discrimination, coping-up, emotional swings and aspirations of the human soul are at the other end.”

Still, with a new wave of cinema all over the country, the picture is slightly getting better. Filmmakers are focusing on representing more physical and mental disorders and disabilities. Dyslexia has become a term that more and more Indian people know now because of Aamir Khan’s Taare Zameen Par.

Barfi has a deaf protagonist. Shah Rukh portrays a man with Asperger’s in Karan Johar’s My Name is Khan (a director with otherwise quite a share of problematic content). Black has its Helen Keller-Anne Sullivan types relationship between Rani Mukherji and Amitabh Bacchan. While the arthouse scene in India already has had sensitive and well-researched content on disabilities (Margharita with a Straw being a recent example), the movies mentioned before should be considered too as they are made to appeal to the mainstream.

Again, the perspective of a differently-abled person from a non-disabled person might differ on matters. The critically acclaimed film Haider has the lead character avenge the death of his father by killing his uncle. At the end, when his uncle is caught in an explosion and loses his legs, Haider doesn’t kill him. He just leaves him to drag his own body and it’s assumed that the uncle suffers a torturous death.

Here again, matters get complex as there are high chances that writer Vishal Bhardwaj meant no offence to amputees and wanted to put this end as a part where the antagonist gets what he deserves. But then, an acquaintance of mine on further viewing found this to be a little insensitive as if the scene tells us that losing one’s legs is worse than death. There is no coherent solution but such questions to analyse films do show that attitudes can change.

As Riddhi Satti, a member of Glass Eye, the film society of Gargi College concludes it well, ‘The rise of representation of disabilities in movies is nice but then it depends on the content. It should be sensitive and should not romanticise disabilities at the same time and should basically cover how it’s important it is for us to normalise disabilities…’.


Featured Image Credits- IMDB

Shaurya Singh Thapa

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Every aspect of North Campus has its own story to tell. Just take the walls for instance; there is something or the other stuck, painted, splattered on these walls that are bound to catch your eye.

One can begin their “Dilli Deewar Darshan” with a common Delhi University thing i.e. student politics. Take the left or the right, various shades of political opinion are expressed on the bricks that form the foundations of several colleges and lanes. This definitely includes the posters and bills featuring quirky close-up photographs with loud fancy fonts. Even before a fresher gets to know about parties like ABVP and NSUI, he will know who is Rocky Tuseer, Rajat Chaudhary or Mahamedha Nagar, all thanks to the endless posters and vibrant graffiti. Getting layers of these posters is like a monthly affair for many such “walls for democracy” on the campus. And some of the thin paper bills even start getting shredded over time making the wall look like a bizarre work of modern art. Sometimes rain might be the reason for the tearing away of these posters. However, we all know that rain and Delhi don’t have long-lasting relationships. So, one might wonder which beast goes on scratching off these posters in a savage fashion ravaging our North Campus walls.

However, the walls don’t get tattooed with the names of DUSU candidates always. Sometimes there are scribbles of meaningful text and art as well.  Many free thinkers and peaceful revolutionaries form a part of the DU family and their mental product is reflected on the walls too. For instance, you can spot the words “Free Saibaba” spray-painted in different areas. This refers to the sudden arrest of DU Professor GN Saibaba who has been hailed as a crusader for peasant movements. Some detailed imagery and messages can also be found relating to women empowerment, road safety and menstruation awareness. These adornments to the North Campus walls are much needed for the aesthetic appeal and social relevance.

Talking about art and politics and social messages, it is no surprise that the Father of the Nation is also a featured guest. Mahatma Gandhi’s face is virtually everywhere in the country be it in textbooks or currency notes or the DU walls. A few walls near Vishwavidyalaya metro station and the souvenir shop, in particular, have several bright murals on Gandhi’s morals (no pun intended).  Apart from Gandhi, historical greats like Swami Vivekananda and Bhagat Singh also keep a watchful eye on the students of DU.




A knowledge hub like Delhi University attracts people from diverse parts of the country. Many shift to North Campus with hopes, dreams and their parents’ money in their pocket and tend to shift in flats and PGs. So, it’s no surprise that amongst the tons of Post It notes stuck on the walls, advertisements for PG and other facilities occupy a major share too (especially on the Kamala Nagar and Hudson Line side).  The names and ads are totally random so you can expect anything from “Radhe Radhe Boys PG” to “Cook Dhoni”.

Ranging from mundane to outrageous, these walls are something which makes North Campus what it is. The walls are filled with diverse colours, fonts, political parties, student unions, rebel messages, and paintings. Maybe indirectly, this symbolises the whole DU culture itself, a life filled with hues, cultures, and ideas of all sorts…

no staring


Featured Image credits- Shaurya Singh Thapa


Shaurya Singh Thapa

[email protected]

The former professor of Arabic at Zakir Hussain College, famed for his political opinions and alleged affiliations, passed away on Thursday, October 24th, following a cardiac arrest.



Syed Abdul Rahman Geelani, aged 50, fell unconscious in a South Delhi gym on the afternoon of October 24th and was rushed to Fortis Hospital. However, Geelani could not be revived and died due to a cardiac arrest, his son Atif confirmed.


SAR Geelani was arrested by the Delhi Police in 2001, on suspicion of connection with the Parliament Attack case. He was sentenced to death by a special Sessions court on charges of abetting terrorism. However, this conviction was set aside by the Delhi High Court in 2003, on account of flimsy, insufficient evidence. The decision was upheld by the apex court in 2005. Though the Supreme Court ratified the high court’s decision, it said it remained “suspicious of his (Geelani’s) role”.

In 2005, after his acquittal, he was shot at when he was en route to meet his lawyer. After this incident, he came under the protection of the Delhi Police.


In the aftermath of his arrest and subsequent vindication, Geelani gave an appalling and explicit account of his interrogation and torture at the hands of Delhi Police and intelligence agencies in Nitya Ramakrishnan’s book, In Custody: Law, Impunity and Prisoner Abuse in South Asia. The interview unveiled the alleged systemic maltreatment of prisoners and undercover operations of state agencies.


In 2016, days after the arrest of student leader, Kanhaiya Kumar for raising alleged anti-national slogans, Geelani was charged with sedition for organizing an event against the execution of Parliament attack convict, Afzal Guru.


Since Geelani was a protectee of the Delhi Police, his post-mortem was conducted at AIIMS to avoid any ensuing controversial situations or conspiracies.

On Friday afternoon, SAR Geelani’s body was taken to Kashmir so his final rites could be performed in his hometown, Baramulla.



Image Credits:  Indian Express Archive


Prisha Saxena

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Due to the varsity’s lack of action despite the perpetrators having been found guilty, a sexual harassment survivor wrote to the VC, PMO and MHRD, complaining about the lack of initiative taken.


Despite the varsity’s Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) finding the head of the Chemistry department (HoD) guilty 18 months ago in case of sexual harassment report, no action has been taken. The case is claimed to have occurred on April 2018, and despite the ICC’s confirmation, the university has taken no action. A day before the DU Executive Council (EC) meeting, the alleged survivor has written to the DU Vice-Chancellor, the PMO (Prime Minister of India), the MHRD (Ministry of Human Resource Development) and others stating that the university has delayed in giving her justice.


In the letter, the alleged survivor has stated that while another EC meeting has been called on October 25, her sexual harassment cause has also been called for discussion. Alleging that she was not informed about her case in the previous EC meetings, she said that she got to know that to decide her case,  the VC has constituted a new three-member committee, consisting of 2 EC members and one member from outside the University, as reported by The Times of India. The survivor expressed distress at the knowledge that the varsity has let the guilty HoD and the six other members of the Chemistry department walk free.


The survivor- whose identity has not been revealed to protect her privacy as per Supreme Court directives on cases related to sexual harassment- alleged that the University failed to abide by its regulations regarding sexual harassment at workplace.


Under Section 9 of the code of regulations, the survivor was to be provided interim relief, which she claimed she was not while the case was being enquired by the ICC. The letter also states that despite the case being reported on May 2018, no decision has been taken and no punishment has been given to the guilty party, which is a direct violation of Section 8(4), which states that the UGC regulations on sexual harassment, the Executive Authority of the University has to take a decision within 30 to 45 days after a report has come out.


The committee made by the VC is extra-legal and does not find a place in either the POSH law or the UGC Regulations 2016- the survivor thus stated that this quasi-judicial body cannot be allowed to discredit the ICC report.


She also revealed that on September 15, the Chemistry department called for an interview for the position of assistant professor on a guest basis in which she applied but the HOD was a member of the selection committee despite the ICC saying that he cannot be a member of the selection committee if she applied.


Feature Image Credit: DU Beat Archives

Shreya Juyal

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A family friend of Delhi University professor Alan Stanley reveals how media trial in professor Stanley’s home state led to his death.


On the 19th of October, this Saturday, the body of DU professor Alan Stanley was found on the railway tracks at Sarai Rohilla. The police also suspect the 27-year-old Ad-Hoc professor at St. Stephens for the murder of his mother. His mother was found on the same day in their apartment in Pitampura. Police stated that she was found hanging from a ceiling fan in the apartment. Her mouth was stuffed with cloth and her hands were tied, they added.


The duo was facing abetment to suicide charges in Kerala. The charges were filed over the death of the professor’s stepfather, Wilson. His stepfather had committed suicide in December and the charges against the mother and son were filed by Wilson’s family.


This case became a media trial, and the ensuing aftermath was one of the reasons for Alan’s suicide, according to a family friend. The New Indian Express quotes the friend, TD Thomas, who said: “Last Saturday, Alan and Lissy told me over the phone that they cannot withstand the media trial and requested me to file a case in the court seeking CBI enquiry into Wilson’s death.” Thomas states that he had even met an advocate and was arranging the same when he got the news of their death.


According to Thomas, the civil case being fought between Alan and Wilson’s family was over his property was supposed to reach a verdict on November 4th. However, according to Thomas, Alan and Lissy used to get threatened by Wilson’s family over settling the matter, otherwise, they would ruin Alan’s life.


A few days before his death, a news article had appeared in a regional media outlet in Kerala which against Alan Stanley and his mother regarding the case. Thomas says that Alan told him that he wanted to end his own life as he could live in a world where he was subject to a media trial every day.  Thomas says “ He told me that he could not face his students and wanted to end his life as these allegations were coming out on print and social media.”


Feature image credits: DU Beat Archives.

Prabhanu Kumar Das

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With nights studded by a star DJ and a star comedian, and days marked with celebrations of the performing arts, the “Neon Noir” themed version of Oasis, the annual fest of Birla Institute of Technology and Sciences came to glorious end.

Oasis’19 also unfolded with itself a solo singing competition for the budding singers in the circuit. The three-day competition “Andholika” began on the first day with it’s preliminary round, a workshop on the second day, and the final round on the third day.

The competition was divided on two basis, eastern and western singing; and Male and Female categories. The finale unfolded with two contestants from each of the 4 categories in a duel against each other, and Manjit (Eastern Male); Shivangini (Eastern Female); Nakul Chugh (Western Male) and Aroonema (Western Female) emerged champions.

The musical notes rung high with an Indie Night where notable rising bands like Pakshee played their tunes. Apart from the notes, we had a display of ragas too with Swaranjali, the competitive event for Indian classical singing.

Like every college fest, street plays also played an important part in raising their voices and asking the right questions. A field near the Main Auditorium became the sight for these “nukkad natak” mandlis, with their kurtas and djembes, every play with its own social message. In this event, the street play societies of Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies (Aflatoon) and Guru Gobind Singh College of Commerce (Manchtantra) emerged as winners.

Social messages and personal voices were also expressed at the poetry slam competition called Purple Prose. Out of all the wordsmiths expressing their feelings in Hindi and English, two poets emerged victorious. Interestingly, Sowmya, the poetess who was adjudged first, was an alumna from BITS Pilani itself.

With a theme like “neon-noir”, there was guarenteed fun for the geeky ones too.  The open air screenings at the amphitheatre called The Rotunda carried on from the previous days with screenings of movies like Drive. The artworks of popular characters from the neon and noir pop culture pantheon were still being crafted, giving the sombre coloured campus a multilayered look.

And finally, coming to the main selling point of any fest, each night closed with an act by a star. Day 3 closed with a powerful performance by EDM maestro Nucleya. Along with his desi brand of dubstep, a major aspect of making his performance lively were the trippy, random, and vintage Bollywood inspired visuals playing on the colossal stage screens. The credit for these designs goes to Nucleya’s frequent designer, Diprav Jadhav.

The final night came to an end with a comedy performance in the auditorium by renowned stand-up comic Biswa Kalyan Rath. The tickets were sold out but still the demand for his show was so much that even the floors were occupied by the spectators. And then Biswa went on with his banters on engineering students, Indian civic sense, and other matters, leaving the audience in fits of laughter.

But the nights never really ended at Oasis, with the auditorium and amphitheatre having some sort of event or the other literally all the time. And the high energy was consistent too. Just take the example of a Street Dance Competition at 5:30 am on Day 3. After a college’s flashbmob-like performance, the audience joined in too. BITS Pilani would hardly get wild on other nights!

Lying in the desert state of Rajasthan, BITS Pilani might seem like a desered cut-off place. However, with Oasis, it turns into an oasis of life, energy, art, and talent. Here’s hoping the Oasis of Pilani never turns dry!

Shaurya Singh Thapa
[email protected]

With inputs and coverage by
Akshat Arora, Anandi Sen, Jaishree Kumar, and Shreya Agarwal


With a unique theme called Neon Noir combining elements from the past and future, Oasis started on an eventful and multi-layered note.
Since the past 49 years, Oasis has been a major player in the college fest scene drawing students from all over the country to Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani around this time of the year.

The theme of this edition was Neon Noir. The term in itself expresses two contrasts, Neon signifying the neon lights and cyberpunk future popularised by anime and movies like Blade Runner, while Noir has always been a major genre in pop culture to give a stylish portrayal of the past epitomised by gangster movies, and crime thrillers.

The amalgamation of the past and present through pop culture was quite evident from the magnificent artworks at Pilani’s auditorium, with classic references to Christopher Nolan’s bleak noir-influenced Batman films, the neon coloured heroes of Into The Spiderverse, and many more.

The inaugration saw musical performances and a talk by Madhur Bhandarkar, the acclaimed filmmaker behind movies like Fashion and Page 3. Talking about directors the next day, saw the inaugration of the BITS film festival by Highway and Rockstar-director Imtiaz Ali. Ali talked in detail about his experiences with Oasis in his student days, handling rejection, among other matters.

On the competitive side, Day 1 was marked by the Stage Play competitions and a showcase of fusion music called Tarang. The afternoon saw an extensive choreography event called Choreo where Hindu College’s choreography society Srijiya bagged the first position.

The star of the night was American multi-instrumentalist and electronic musician Dan Deacon who had an interactive musical experience for the crowds at BITS Pilani. Deacon was joined with a Bangalore independent rock band called Iyers Filter Coffee.

Apart from this, the day also saw movie screenings pertaining to the theme like Drive and Blade Runner 2049, along with star gazing sessions. Under the clear night sky and donned with the right mood lighting, the entire campus turned into a photographer’s paradise.

Sunidhi Chauhan, the queen of power ballads in Bollywood, gave the audience at BITS Pilani a whiff of nostalgia as she performed her classic songs from the 2000s and 2010s, and drove them to pure madness as she and her backup singers harmonised and whipped out their best moves together. For the students of BITS, it was a night to remember indeed. However, the crowd did get a little wild and the scene became chaotic with a barricade almost being broken.

Now as the second night comes to an end, let’s see how the remaining days go by, with more events and performances  by Biswa and Nucleya.

Team DUB

Students protested against the construction of a 39-storeyed building near the Vishwavidyalaya Metro Station. The construction of the building has led to the felling of 228 trees, aside from infringing on the University’s space.


Delhi University students on Friday staged a protest against the construction of a 39- storey building in North Campus, saying the structure will overlook six girls’ hostels and will be an “invasion of their privacy”. The building is coming up adjacent to the Vishwavidyalaya Metro Station in the campus area.


The said construction has been opposed by the University and the Teachers’ Association (DUTA) as well. The students formed a human chain chanting slogans — “Private Building, Down Down” — at the entrance of the metro station.


According to a representative of the Miranda House Students’ Union, in conversation with The Hindustan Times, the construction of the building is “an invasion of their privacy.” A student said that the private builder should have held discussions with the Delhi University administration, the teachers’ association or the students’ union before beginning construction.


The land on which the construction is to take place, was initially owned by the Ministry of Defence was transferred to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation after which it was handed to a private builder, a university official said. The construction comes after allegations by the DU administration towards the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (DMC) of ‘unlawfully’ permitting the construction of the building. Past month, the DUTA had also held protests to object to the construction.


“Construction of such a high-rise building in the university enclave area will negatively impact the ambiance of Delhi University. There are heritage buildings in close vicinity of this land. There will be serious issues of safety and privacy for adjoining girls hostels and staff flats. This extremely crowded area can’t burden such an extra infrastructural load. So, the Delhi University community as a whole is opposing it tooth and nail,” said Rasal Singh, Academic Council member, in conversation with The Hindu.


Image Caption: Protests against construction of 39-storey high-rise in DU North Campus, organised by student unions

Image Credits: Hindustan Times


Bhavya Pandey

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As election season graces the University of Delhi (DU) again, here’s a take on how the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) elections open up a new world for the generic University student.

This is the time of the year where, when you take an e-rickshaw from the Vishwavidyalya metro station to your college in the North Campus, you will see the University in a certain mood of chaos, especially if you pass through classic arenas of drama like the Faculty of Arts, or the DUSU Office.

It is the time when you will see muscular Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) members dressed in all white, and malnourished All India Students’ Union (AISA) members dressed in loose kurtas, surrounding you from the right and the left, saying the same phrase “vote and support”.

The guard of my college usually stops all my non-college friends, asking for their ID cards or a letter signed by “Principal Madam”. But somehow, these days I see many of these people, reciting the phrase “vote and support”, entering the college easily.

The fake news-filled television channels told me that politicians enjoy certain benefits, as compared to the general population. Looking at these ‘student leaders’ go past the gate without any authentication makes me believe in these channels. Who knows, they might also get biryani at subsidised prices in the canteen! It is the time of DUSU elections, again.

Even if you don’t know anything about these elections like a stereotypical student from St. Stephen’s College, you will still be aware of them, thanks to the massive promotion on billboards, walls, flyers, pamphlets, and posters littering the roads. There is a so-called ‘Wall of Democracy’ in the campus and it has posters of different student parties being stuck over each other. Fighting over the space for small posters shows how ‘democratic’ this wall is!

The money spent on heavy promotion and campaigning, usually undertaken by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-backed ABVP and Indian National Congress-backed National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), certainly surpasses the campaigning amount of INR 5,000, as stated by the Lyngdoh Committee guidelines, every year. However, no one seems to take a strict (or any) action against this violation.

Now, with such pomp, fervour, protesting, shouting, far-fetched promises, realistic promises, just decisions, and unjust decisions, the non-political DU student is bound to feel that their electoral choice will not be of any value.

Why even show up for voting? What is this? The national elections? And what difference will a student’s vote make? The DUSU President will just be some other bearded chap (the chances of seeing a female DUSU President equals the chances of seeing Faculty of Arts without any protests i.e. very less) and we will forget him in a year. What will this DUSU President do? Influence national politics later on? Well actually, they might!

Ajay Maken, Vijay Goel, and the late Arun Jaitley, have all served as DUSU Presidents in their college days which clears our doubts. You might not vote for your favoured candidate on voting day and let a hooligan leader assume office, and then you might sip chai and preach about democracy.

But what if, years later, when you get famous and your framed face is hung on your college’s alumni wall, the framed face of the same hooligan is hung in the Parliament? Imagine placing powers of the nation in the hands of that problematic DUSU President of your college days!

The situation then can be explained in the words of Bipin Bhonsle, Home Minister of Maharashtra from Sacred Games, “Desh sankat mein hai! (The nation is in danger).”

For the experienced who are understandably tired and fed up of this supposedly fruitless exercise, it is uncertain whether we are living in an apocalypse right now but to avoid a future apocalypse in this country, let us try studying the DUSU candidates from now on, and “vote and support” our favourite candidate.


Shaurya Singh Thapa

[email protected]