Siddharth Kumar


Horizon, The Placement Cell of Maitreyi College, organised the sixth edition  of its annual Internship and Job fair, Envision  in hybrid mode at NSB seminar hall; Maitreyi College, University of Delhi. Serving as an indispensable intermediary between students and potential employers, Horizon is committed to facilitating job placements and internships. The placement cell aims at offering invaluable guidance on career  trajectories, hosts recruitment events, and conducts skill development workshops to enhance students’  job readiness.

The event was organised to provide students from Maitreyi College and other undergraduate institutions with a comprehensive exposure to a wide array of employment and internship opportunities spanning over 70+ renowned companies, including prominent  organisations like Bajaj Capital and Lenskart. The representatives of over 40 companies attended the fair at Maitreyi College in person while other companies conducted their recruitment in an online  manner. Diverse profiles across finance, HR, graphic design, sales, among others, were offered  by these 70 firms. Notably, the highest placement package of 20 LPA was extended by Cookie, a  startup founded by IIT Kanpur alumni.

The fair was graced by the presence of Professor Vijaya Laxmi Singh, the Chairperson of the governing body of Maitreyi College as the Guest of honour and Professor Haritma Chopra, the  Principal of the College. The Fair was officially inaugurated with a traditional lamp lighting ceremony post which, Ms. Tanvi Mittal, President and Mr. Ginmunlal Khongsai, Convenor of the Placement Cell both; extended their warm welcome to the attendees. Subsequently, Prof. Haritma Chopra, Principal of Maitreyi College, highlighted the institution’s academic and non-academic advancements, including innovative short-term courses and engaging society and department fairs aimed at enhancing student skills. “These skill development initiatives have contributed to increased student selections, improving the Cell’s performance which is evident in selections of  80+ students at the graduation level for job opportunities at different organisations brought in by the Placement Cell throughout the year.” She added. Professor Vijaya Laxmi Singh thereafter emphasised on the developments at Maitreyi College which are evident in its enhanced NAAC accreditation and addressed how the continual integration and coordination among faculty members and students underscores  the institution’s commitment to providing optimal opportunities for its students.

A number of participating organisations in the fair were startups and micro, small and medium Enterprises (MSMEs) which took the opportunity to recruit suitable students for the expansion of their organisations. Through Horizon-the Placement Cell, Maitreyi College has consistently worked towards promoting startups and facilitating the expansion of such enterprises. Assistance is also provided to young entrepreneurs with the resources, mentoring and support to hone their skills through Meraki – The Entrepreneurship Cell of Maitreyi College. Initiatives like Placement & Internship Fairs resonate with India’s vision for self-reliance and empowerment, and also nurture students to consider entrepreneurship as a viable career option.

The Placement fair was formally concluded by the evening with over 300+ registrations from students across different undergraduate universities. The fair facilitated meaningful interactions between these organisations and a plethora of potential candidates, fostering a conducive environment for networking and recruitment. Moreover, the candidates expressed satisfaction with the diverse array of opportunities presented by the Placement Cell. The event not only served as a platform for bridging the gap between industry and academia but also underscored Horizon’s unwavering commitment to facilitating fruitful career opportunities for students.

DU Beat

This week, let’s talk about transparency in journalism. Have you read our pieces and felt upset at us for reporting on certain events? This piece is for you!

Ah, DU, you’ve dealt with us for more than 15 years now. It’s only fair I let you in on an inside joke DU Beat has: “you know you’ve written a good report if everyone involved is mad at you.” You would be shocked to know that most of our dispute based reports generate criticism from all parties involved, usually because we didn’t blatantly favour them. To us that shows quality and unbiased reporting – the hallmark of a well written report!

When you read a good DU Beat investigative or report, you’ll notice there is an abundance of operating words like “alleged”, “reported” and “claimed”. “The students alleged that the administration allegedly turned them away and claimed that their requests were denied.” is a sentence you may very well see us write in an article one day. Now, this is not because we simply love using these words to mirror national newspapers. In fact – as most of Delhi University’s journalism students will tell you – the overuse of such words largely stems from basic journalistic ethics.

You see, when it comes to investigative pieces or reports on different events, we are not always present at the scene to have a firsthand account of what happened. Our knowledge of what may have transpired in the situation we’re reporting on largely comes from a variety of quotes from people that were present during these events – sometimes even at fests that we happen to be covering. But if we weren’t there, how could we possibly know if what we are told is the entire truth? Moreover, in cases of disputes and arguments, how could we possibly know which party’s version of events is the truth? Since we obviously can’t blindly trust the words of everyone we speak to, the use of these operating words becomes necessary.

It is important for us as an organisation to make it perfectly clear that the narrative of events we talk about is not ours but made up of claims from other people who do not represent DU Beat. To our readers, it is important that we clarify: the news does not always know the truth, it simply tells you what people involved say is the truth. Once we make this distinction between our opinion and narratives offered by third parties clear, we run into another obstacle. To explain this, let’s take the example of a dispute between a certain college society’s members and the college faculty that was covered by DU Beat in the past.

Our use of “alleged” and “claimed” upset the society members because we would not support them publicly and offer their cause credibility – something we would never do due to ethics. On the other hand, the college faculty was upset at our reporting since despite our attempts to make it clear that these views were not our own, they believed that we had publicly supported the students instead of supporting the faculty. We were essentially receiving podcast-length voice notes and calls from both sides for days! Annoying, yes, but it was a good sign that our piece was clearly not favouring any side over the other.

Amidst such calls and comments on our Instagram like “DU Beat is supporting/excusing the students (or administration, depending on whose side they’re on) blindly”, it feels like people underestimate the neutral reader. The reader is not so easily influenced. We do not want to tell you what to think of the situations we cover. We may make mistakes occasionally, but the goal remains to depict a fair and unbiased view of the situation. Processing the information we provide and creating your own opinions is something we do not hold any influence over.

That is not to say that we have never picked sides. Most recently, DU Beat as an organisation took a very vocal stance in favour of the students of IPCW after the infamous invasion of their campus during their annual fest. While our reporting and coverage remained neutral and used the same operating words, we were horrified at the events that unfolded and thus considered it important to put out a statement of support. We have our own opinions and sympathies as well, but as far as investigative articles and reports are concerned, after reading them the only opinions you should see clearly are your own. In other words, let’s not shoot the messenger.

Read also: Not Just for Entertainment: Social Media Journalism 

Image source: Santa Cruz Sentinel

Siddharth Kumar

[email protected]


Ahead of Valentine’s day, we look at why couples flock to parks and monuments in search of safe spaces in an oppressive society.

On the next page of this week’s Valentine’s Day special issue, you will find the weekly travel column – by yours truly – on Sunder Nursery. I won’t spoil that piece, but the reason we chose the sprawling park for an issue surrounding the theme of romance was because of its most prominent visitors: couples looking for safe spaces to share moments of love in a country where loving outside of wedlock is taboo.

This dislike of expressing love or affection is particularly curious when you look around at the things that make up desi culture. This is a country that’s known for its infamously romantic films with lines like, “Pyar soch samajh kar nahi kiya jata… bas ho jata hai” (”Love doesn’t happen by plan, it just happens”) and for songs with heart wrenching lyrics like, “Tujh mein rab dikhta hai” (“I see god in you”). Despite these dramatic and cheesy notions of love pervading our entertainment, being in a relationship in India is often no less than a game of high stakes.

For most students in college, inviting their significant other home is a hard proposition as well when living with family. Hotel rooms are often off-limits as well, due to financial constraints (and sometimes moral ones). That rules out almost any form of private safe spaces for young people to share moments of affection. This is exactly why parks and monuments such as Lodhi Gardens, Sunder Nursery, Humayun’s Tomb and more have become safe havens for young couples looking to catch a break from the rest of a deeply conservative country.

It is a socially acceptable convention in most liberal spaces around the world to indulge in public displays of affection that include holding hands, hugging, kissing and more – as a sign of affection. In India though, all of the above are taboo. Innocent acts of affection in the parks that are supposed to be safe havens for the young are still met with looks of disgust and in extreme cases, violent interventions on the behalf of prude strangers.

Online social spaces like Reddit are often full of such firsthand instances by young lovers looking to spend time together but facing harassment by strangers. Worse, there are instances of police officers using this atmosphere of oppression and fear surrounding young lovers to extort the youth for money. In a specific instance posted to the Reddit community r/tamilnadu last year, a police constable and a sub inspector tried to blackmail a couple for a ridiculous 10,000 rupees for a hug and a kiss. The couple later had to approach the collector of the district to apprehend the police officer behind this blackmailing. The officers were found to have been extorting couples for three years before finally being apprehended. The fact that the poster and his significant other had to appeal to government officials in the first place after losing 10,000 rupees is a big mark on the authorities. In addition, the young couple were also terrified of the prospect of having to testify against the police officer in court as this meant publicly disclosing their relationship to their families – another sign of the social stigma surrounding the idea of young people dating.

In the face of instances like these, it is no doubt that even the aforementioned “safe havens” aren’t truly safe. It creates a fear in the youth to even attempt to express any sort of affection – even if it’s simply holding hands with a significant other. This fear is after all exactly what this moral police attempts to create in an effort to control how consenting adults express love and affection between each other. There is no logical reason why sharing a kiss or a hug with someone you love should be more than just a simple gesture to show care. Often, the harassers cite preventing “western influences” as the reason behind their actions. It is interesting how expressing affection consensually is “western” and “bad” while Delhi is known as the “Rape capital” and India ranks as the 9th most dangerous country for women travellers.

Further, the case in Tamil Nadu involved a heterosexual couple. However, these parks are often also a safe haven for members of the LGBTQ community looking to find safe corners in the vast expanses of such parks. The general bigoted atmosphere throughout Indian society means that these quick, stolen moments of love and affection are often even more treasured. However, for members of the community, PDA is generally a much bigger risk due to the possibility of added persecution on the behalf of patriarchal bigots.

Looking out at the landscape of a country blitzing past population records while vehemently discouraging love and affection, one must wonder if in the end this story is not about love or hate but instead about control. This moral policing reeks of conservative, patriarchal ideals that still believe that a woman’s sexuality is to be controlled. It further seems to cling to hetero-normative sexist values where any form of affection is seen as dirty – especially if the consenting adults belong to the queer community. Because of course, being terrified of love and sex is how India became the most populated country in the world. What they do not seem to be able to comprehend is that humans are social animals and seek warmth as they run into each other’s arms. It is a shame that a country that claims to celebrate love is so terrible at providing its citizens the right to love.

This piece was first featured in our print newsletter. Look out for us the next time you’re on campus!

Read Also: DUB Travels: Silent Nights in Sunder Nursery

Siddharth Kumar

[email protected]

Located next to the famous Humayun’s Tomb is Sunder Nursery, a perfect spot for picnic and a great shout for couples looking for a place to relax and spend time together this Valentine’s Day.

Back in September, DU Beat decided to take a break from our usual weekly meetings in Lodhi Garden and spend the evening in Sunder Nursery instead. That day, the vast heritage park complex impressed me and its peaceful, almost magical, atmosphere won me over once the sun set. A few months later, in November, I decided to visit the place again, this time with my partner – and it was every bit as magical as I thought it would be.

While its name isn’t quite the kind of poetic title that is handed to most famous and historical places, the heritage park still has historical significance à la Delhi itself. The area was formerly known as Azim Bagh during the Mughal era. In the 20th century, it was formally established as Sunder Nursery at the edge of Lutyen’s New Delhi. The park spans 90 acres and is home to 15 monuments of which 6 have been given UNESCO World Heritage status.

Located in the very heart of Delhi, next to the Humayun’s Tomb World Heritage site, it lies on the Mughal-era Grand Trunk Road. You do need an e-rickshaw ride to get to the place itself from the nearest JLN Stadium metro station on the Violet Line and the park also needs tickets that cost Rs. 50 per adult.

Once you get that ticket and take your first step into the Nursery, you are hit by the kind of feeling associated with monuments in Delhi. The feeling of finding a world of peace, greenery and fresh air in a city known for the exact opposites. The entire area is full of expanses of greenery, fountains, restored monuments, flowers, small ponds and even  lakes. From the entrance the first monument happens to be the Sunder Burj.

After this monument, the path becomes increasingly elegant, with water dividing the walkway, pillars with lanterns lighting the area and flower bushes at intervals. In the day, one finds people enjoying picnics in the lush greenery that surrounds the path. On the right of the path lies an amphitheatre that regularly hosts workshops and events. The path then leads on to a lake that is another great spot to sit and talk or play board games with your loved ones. Right now, the Zaika-e-Nizamuddin kiosk offers Nizamuddin Cuisine from 11 AM to 8 PM all days of the week too.

While Sunder Nursery is a morning picnic spot for most people during Delhi winters, I would strongly recommend visiting during or after sunset as well. During my evening visit, I was especially taken aback by the magic that surrounds the area. Lit up with lanterns, the park takes a magical appearance after dark. Everywhere you look, one finds people enjoying soft and romantic moments under a tree, next to the large lake, on one of the various bridges that populate the area and in the shadows of the monuments that have seen countless other young lovers before them.

Everything seems to calm down in the dark, as if the Nursery decided to put on some music and sit back with a cup of coffee. It is an incredibly warm experience to find a space full of young couples enjoying moments with their significant others in the warm lighting and safety. What’s more, the size of the area offers space to anyone looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the city. In a country where safe spaces to express love and enjoy romance become increasingly rare, Sunder Nursery is a wonderful place to spend some time with the person you love this Valentine’s Day.

Feature Image Credits: Siddharth for DU Beat

Read Also: DUB Travels: the Chandni Lanes of Chandni Chowk

Siddharth Kumar

[email protected]

In a world of rising 24 hour news cycles, online media and the fall of the printing press, what exactly happened to the news?

The Fourth Estate is the moniker attributed to the press and general news media in modern times. The title carries with it a sense of respectability and power as it sees the news media take its place alongside the traditional European concept of the three estates of the realm: the clergy, the nobility and the commoners.

A weighty term for sure – and for the times that saw its popularity rise, it was appropriate as well. The news media has been an institution originally designed to inform the public and perform the duty of the people’s watchdog. In such a duty, it gains its importance as it protects the interests of a functioning democracy and holds the public’s trust.

The advancements of the internet, however, have caused a decline in the traditional press. Being connected to the global world all the time means learning about news events around the world a day later in a newspaper isn’t enough. Therefore, people rarely buy newspapers when the information is readily available at their fingertips. Advertisers, thus, prefer online advertisements that are cheaper, more targeted and – most importantly – get in front of more people, taking away a major revenue source for the print media. The obvious proposition is that the general public cannot let go of something as important as the “Fourth Estate” without a suitable alternative. This suitable alternative is the grand world of social media and online news.

The explosion of the internet has shaken the news media. Every article retains a reading time that’s less than 10 minutes, there must be a 24 hour news feed and most media houses have embraced online advertisements as their main sources of revenue. Online advertisements, however, are simply not enough to sustain the giants of news media though, and many have also flocked to subscription based models to generate additional sources of revenue. Only a few of these, like The New York Times have actually been successful at creating a large subscriber base and thus a respectable income.

Journalism has seen its importance grow throughout history largely due to its contribution in the political atmosphere – especially in democracies. Political journalism – as documented by various scholars – is an institution that has the self appointed duty of looking after the people’s interests. In that sort of self importance, it has, according to most experts, treated lifestyle journalism with disrespect. Lifestyle journalism deals with a number of topics ranging from food and culture to travel and film. Political journalism deals with what is called “hard news” – important economic and political events that are quick, to the point and serious and that people ought to know. Lifestyle journalism or “soft news” is more entertaining, slow paced and deals with more emotional and relatively less important topics.

The 21st century has seen a cultural reform in the field of media which in turn has led to an explosion of this “soft news”. With so many people able and willing to talk to others with the same interests instantly, there has been a huge rise in the number of cultural platforms coming up for specific niches. There are technology related media companies such as The Verge, automobile related media publications such as Top Gear, travel related platforms such as Travel XP and more.

Despite its rising popularity and obvious readership appeal, this cultural journalism still receives its fair share of disrespect from the hard news camp. Case in point: Vir Sanghvi is one of India’s most famous journalists with a long, accomplished career encompassing fields like film, music, food, politics and more. Having been the editor of publications such as Sunday and the Hindustan Times, he has, of course, a good case to make for himself when it comes to dealing with heavier topics such as politics. Try telling that to Twitter, though, where there are always people trying to undersell his political pieces due to his experience as a food blogger. Never mind that the man interviewed political figures like Rajiv Gandhi in his career, he’s got a food column in the Hindustan Times and “what does a food blogger know about this stuff?”.

Most journalism scholars seem to agree that lifestyle journalism merely does away with the self important and serious demeanor of hard news, drawing a boundary between politics and everyday life. After all, there is a reason that there is such a huge demand for soft news – largely owing to people preferring some lighthearted pieces to balance the stuffy hard news. The giants of the industry seem to acknowledge this demand and have shown that they are willing to dive into the field. Forbes, the world renowned business magazine, has a section dedicated to topics like art, dining, travel, etc. Today, 13th October 2022, the New York Times has pieces on Bob Dylan and smartwatches alongside pieces on the US economy, inflation and Donald Trump.

We have to cover the hard news always, but we have to cover the soft news to meet demand, clients are evolving. They need more lifestyle news, more entertainment and more pictures. Newsrooms are evolving and Reuters is evolving with our clients” – Monique Villa, managing director at Reuters Media

However, this is not quite a free, breath-of-fresh-air-from-all-the-seriousness kind of journalistic utopia though. This explosion of online news and lifestyle journalism has also hurt the industry. With online news and social media, there has been a rise in “citizen journalists” and armchair writers. The most glaring example of this situation? Twitter is the #1 downloaded app under the news category of the app store. With so many publications springing up across the internet and the rise of culture specific social media pages, the barriers to entry have never been lower. Almost anyone with a decent enough grasp over language can find a position to write for some kind of online publication. Such low barriers to entry completely do away with the need for experience and qualities such as unbiased reporting, research and journalistic integrity that have been the hallmarks of the press. There has thus been a huge influx of fake news, badly researched articles or simply biased pieces.

This lack of unbiased reporting and reliable journalists has affected the industry almost as harshly as it has affected its readership. The lower barriers to entry mean that journalists getting into the field are either underpaid or unpaid interns with compensation that’s measured in bylines instead of a paycheck. Globally, the trust in mass media has been in free fall for years now thanks to unreliable reporting or private interests taking hold of the hallowed Fourth Estate. In 2022, according to a study by Reuters, only 41% of news consumers in India said they trusted the media – a figure that is actually a positive when you compare it to the rest of the world.

This lack of trust in modern news is an issue with further consequences. It is hard to break into an industry like journalism when readers’ distrust is at an all time high. In fact, with so many people from all sides of every argument ever talking about their perspectives, there is a greater chance of people falling into echo chambers and listening to “journalists” that tend to agree with them. Especially in cultural journalism concerning the fields of food, art, music, film or others, it is hard to fight for the credibility that grabs ears. For a budding Indian film critic, there is no reason why someone should listen to you over Anupama Chopra. For a budding food critic, there is no reason someone should listen to you over Marryam H. Reshii. This is where the catch-22 of credibility begins: nobody trusts you because you do not have the reputation yet, which means finding an opportunity to credibly put your thoughts to the public is difficult. Since you cannot find the opportunity to talk about your reviews of a film, album, food, etc. you cannot gain the credibility and reputation that you need for readers to pay attention.

That isn’t to say there are no ways to build such credibility of course. Social media here is a double edged sword. You can easily get lost in the sea of people droning on about Laal Singh Chaddha’s faults like the rest of Twitter. However, there is also a chance you can create an online following for yourself like the Instagram page @humansofcinema that has 245k followers.

In the end, the news media does not quite hold the same respect that it earned for itself throughout history. The giants are falling over themselves in its pursuit of adapting to the current times, while social media has made credibility easier to build but reliability hard to find. The Estate is in ruin and disrepair – and it is time to fix it before it falls on the people it serves.

Read Also: Fake News Shall Only Worsen the Crisis

Siddharth Kumar

[email protected]

A 10 minute drive away from North Campus lies an organic little haven of Tibetan culture, good food and great shopping. An absolutely perfect spot for DU kids!

Right off the bat I must tell you, reader, if you are the kind of person who prefers clean, polished and especially, open places – Majnu ka Tilla is probably not for you. However, if you’re an explorer, aren’t claustrophobic and are enthusiastic to try new food (or buy great first copy sneakers or clothes), you’ll fall in love with this maze of dimly lit and culturally rich alleys. 

The place, located on the banks of the river Yamuna, gets its name from the tilla or mound where a local Iranian Sufi mystic called Majnu met Guru Nanak Dev back in 1505. In the 1900s, the British built residential settlements in the area to house the labourers working on the construction of New Delhi. Then in 1959, after the Tibetan uprising, the area saw refugee camps come up consisting of people from Tibet. More than 60 years later today, the area has blossomed into a home for second generation Tibetan refugees, earning it the name “Little Tibet”.

That Tibetan heritage is evident from the moment you set foot in the place after a brief e-rickshaw ride from the nearest metro station (Vidhan Sabha or Vishwavidyalaya on the yellow line). Once you’re in, the place can be intimidating – and charming – in the way it seems to consist entirely of narrow paths and buildings that sprout from each other as if they are parts of the same, giant, living creature.

For the first few minutes of venturing in, it is quite hard to imagine this area is anything but your regular residential areas. However, you soon find yourself face to face with the monastery at the heart of this place and with it, possibly the only open space you will find in the entire maze. This is also when you first start to come across the most famous cuisine this place has to offer: laphing. There are numerous stalls throughout the area offering the dish along with other Tibetan cuisine and a lot of bubble tea.

Further in, you soon get to the stretch of Majnu ka Tilla that starts to look like the tourist spot you hear about. On your left you find numerous stalls selling accessories and jewellery, followed by numerous more stalls selling clothes, from Demon Slayer shirts to Zara jackets. If you happen to be a fan of K-pop or anime, this is a wonderful place to find cheap merchandise. If you’re a sneakerhead but do not have quite the budget required to buy Yeezys or Jordans, there are a large number of stores ready to sell you cheap copies that look almost exactly like the real thing. If you’re interested in exploring something different but good quality then stores like Akama Handicrafts and MAPCHA Designs offer beautiful tote bags, purses and Tibetan clothing as well.

However, dear reader, none of this is quite the reason I insist on introducing all my friends to Majnu ka Tilla. The reason behind that happens to be the wonderful eateries scattered around the area. The two most famous of these are AMA Café and Dolma House, both of which are incredibly old. Both are also almost always packed and on a busy day the wait to get a table can last for over an hour. However, if you do get in, the experience and food is worth the waiting time and more. AMA reminds one of a living creature again, with its organic architecture and warmly lit atmosphere. The food is, of course, the real reason it’s frequented by tourists. The menu is not on the pricey side and the pancakes and cheesecake are in my humble opinion, the stuff dreams are made of. 

Like I said above, Little Tibet isn’t for everyone and many people find it claustrophobic, intimidating or overrated. It is for those looking for new things, new cultures, good food and a good deal. In that, it is absolutely perfect for the students of DU.

Feature image credits: Jagran

Read Also: DUBTravels: The Chandni Lanes of Chandni Chowk

Siddharth Kumar

[email protected]

The FIFA World Cup is a global sensation. The Qatar edition happens to be the most expensive one yet – financially and morally.

Eight years ago, in June 2014, a phenomenon was taking the planet by storm. The FIFA World Cup was taking place in Brazil – the home of flair, samba and carnival. Like any other 10 year old, I found myself glued to the TV to figure out what all the fuss was about. The aforementioned TV was broadcasting a match between Spain and the Netherlands. Well, the little boy version of me knew Spain was supposedly a big deal that had won the last World Cup and that one of the players in the Dutch team played for Manchester United and wore my birthday number. All I knew was that his shirt said “v. Persie” with the number 20 and it was enough to change my allegiance. And then, he shocked the world (and little me) by scoring one of the most outrageous goals in the history of the sport.

That was the day, dear reader, that this boy found a new thing to obsess over for almost an entire decade. I wasn’t alone either, football or “the beautiful game” is the most widespread sport on the planet. For context, there are 195 nations on Earth, with 193 being member nations of the United Nations. FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) has 211 recognised national football associations – 192 of which are fully recognised independent nations.

The FIFA World Cup is the culmination of this obsession with kicking a ball into a net and it takes place every four years. It is a celebration of the sport and a month-long tournament that invites the 32 best footballing nations across the globe to represent their national teams and take home the golden trophy. This week, on the 20th of November, 2022 the 22nd edition of the competition was kickstarted in Qatar.

In 2014, the World Cup was played in Brazil – the home of the record five time champions. Since then, it has been played in Russia in 2018 and now, in Qatar in 2022 and both these editions of the legendary competition have seen allegations of corruption and general backlash. Qatar, though, has been especially ensnared by a web of scandals surrounding the entire tournament.

The first scandal took place way back in 2010, when FIFA was deciding where to host the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups amongst the nations that had bid for the opportunity. Two months before the organisation was supposed to announce the winner, it had to suspend 2 of its 24 member executive committee – that was in charge of selecting the host nation – due to them being accused of offering to sell their votes. The two men would later receive temporary bans from FIFA. Four years later, leaked emails implied that Qatari football official and former FIFA executive committee member, Mohammed bin Hammam had allegedly bribed FIFA officials to ensure the success of Qatar’s bid. At the time, he had already received a lifetime ban from FIFA in 2011 for unrelated corruption charges. There were subsequent investigations by both: the US Department of Justice and the Swiss authorities into FIFA’s alleged corruption. Over the next few years, several FIFA officials were convicted of corruption charges and were arrested, banned from football or forced to go on the run. The most prominent of these was then FIFA president, Sepp Blatter, resigning shortly after winning a reelection campaign to his fifth consecutive term. In April 2020, the Department of Justice released new evidence that again implied that three FIFA officials had received bribes from unnamed intermediaries to vote for Qatar. However, while almost all of the then FIFA executives were arrested, fined or banned in police raids and prosecutions, neither the US Department of Justice nor the Swiss authorities could ever connect the other end of the bribery string to Qatar.

Fair or not, Qatar had won its bid in 2010 and that meant preparing to welcome the best players of the world in 2022. One problem, though: the small Middle-Eastern nation wasn’t equipped to play a tournament as big as the World Cup yet – and that meant investing. And invest it did – the Qatar World Cup is the most expensive World Cup in history. The country had the cash for it and thus went on to spend 220 billion USD in building seven stadiums, a new airport, a series of roads, metro system and about 100 new hotels. An entire city was built around the stadium that will host the final match. Qatar’s government says that over 30,000 migrant workers from countries like India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and more were hired to build the infrastructure for the event. In 2021, The Guardian reported that, according to numbers provided by the aforementioned countries’ embassies, over 6,500 migrant workers had died working on the event since Qatar had won its bid in 2010.

Qatar’s treatment of migrant workers is not new. It is a result of poor labour laws and the kafala system (a sponsorship system where workers are tethered to their sponsors in legally binding contracts). In 2016, a non profit organisation, Amnesty International, accused Qatar of using forced labour by withholding wages and passports. Migrant workers told Amnesty International that they received verbal abuses and threats when they complained about not being paid for several months. Nepali workers were not even allowed to return home after the 2015 Nepal earthquakes. Amnesty further accused FIFA of failing to stop the stadium being built on “human rights abuses”. Qatar did go on to implement reforms such as implementing a monthly minimum wage and reforming the kafala system. However, these reforms have still been described as too little too late by human rights organisations across the globe. 6,500 people had still needlessly died in the 11 years before, the new minimum wage was still too less for Qatar’s high living costs and abuses were still taking place albeit to a lesser degree. These abuses have seen backlash from other football associations as well, especially the US, England and the Netherlands. Various professional footballers have regularly talked about the long list of allegations against the country. England and the Dutch national team have even invited migrant workers to train with the squad in a show of support. While Qatar has definitely taken steps to address the situation, one must wonder if a country that needs global backlash to start changing its abusive ways is a good candidate to host an event that is supposed to bring the world together.

I think for what we Europeans have been doing for 3,000 years around the world, we should be apologising for the next 3,000 years before starting to give moral lessons to people.”- Gianni Infantino, FIFA President defending Qatar

With a history of human rights abuses, it was not long before the world would show up at Qatar’s door accusing them of sportswashing. “Sportswashing” is a term coined by human rights activists in the 2010s to describe regimes with a reputation of oppression and cruelty using sporting events to clear up their reputation. In recent years, there have been many accusations of sportswashing made in the football world. The previous World Cup held in Russia was accused of it, and so was the Russian oligarch and one of Vladimir Putin’s trusted advisors, Roman Abramovich. Abramovich was the former owner of Chelsea Football Club and his regular millions of dollars of investments into the club brought it much success over the past decade. In Abramovich’s case, it worked: after Russia invaded Ukraine, the British government forced Abramovich to sell the club due to his involvement as a close advisor of Putin. During the momentary applause before Premier League games in solidarity with Ukraine that was conducted at the time, Chelsea fans sang Abramovich’s name as a show of support – completely disregarding his involvement with the aggressors of Ukraine. We are yet to see if Qatar’s alleged sportswashing attempts have worked – although some experts fear it might have but for a reason far removed from actual football.

The unfortunate reality of this “beautiful game” is that football fans can be incredibly bigoted. Sexism exists as keyboard warriors do their best to undermine women’s football at every turn, mocking demands of fair pay. Racism has only seen a real decline in recent years but still rears its heads whenever a person of colour cannot perform on the pitch. Homophobia is rampant – to the point where there is exactly one footballer who belongs to the LGBTQ community and is heading to the FIFA World Cup (Josh Cavallo for Australia). This unfortunate characteristic has made fans support Qatar’s anti LGBTQ stance while disguising these archaic and dystopian beliefs as “respecting their culture” and accusing the west of “shoving woke propaganda down everyone’s throats”. Qatar happens to have a history of curtailing the rights of the LGBTQ community and women. The country has draconian laws that criminalise sexual intercourse between individuals of the same sex and forces transgender people to undergo conversion therapy. Qatari members of the LGBTQ community have reported being intimidated and harassed by the police regularly. An environment like this has made many fans from the community reluctant to attend the World Cup for fear of punishment by Qatari authorities simply for their identities. In 2010, when asked about Qatar’s inclusion of the LGBTQ community, Sepp Blatter had told the community that they “should refrain from any sexual activities.” While FIFA then issued an apology at the time, and has recently assured fans they would not be prosecuted for such a situation, the atmosphere is still too hostile to risk for most people.

This situation has also seen backlash from various footballing nations. Eight European nations had announced that they would be wearing “One Love” armbands in support of the LGBTQ community. FIFA, however, warned the teams that should they go along with the plan, they would immediately be cautioned with yellow cards when the game kicks off. This has forced the countries to step down from their decision but not without criticising FIFA’s decisions. Fans have allegedly been targeted when wearing rainbow flags or hats in the stadiums. A US reporter was allegedly denied entry by security due to him wearing a rainbow shirt. The President of FIFA, Gianni Infantino has repeatedly defended Qatar in various statements and has also insisted that the country’s leadership welcomed people with open arms regardless of their sexuality, sex or race. Yet, the experiences of the fans in the actual stadiums beg to differ.

Seeing you have banned all teams to wear the One Love armband to actively support LGBTQ+ at the World Cup. You have lost my respect. All the work my fellow allies and the LGBTQ+ community are doing to make football inclusive, you have shown that football isn’t a place for everyone.” – Australian footballer Josh Cavallo, a member of the LGBTQ community, addressing FIFA

Even if somehow you can get rid of human empathy and move past the human rights abuses, corruption and stigma surrounding the tournament, the actual match-watching experiences aren’t satisfactory either. The World Cup saw the construction of “fan villages” such as the Rawdat Al Jahhaniya which have been extremely criticised. The issue is, these so-called fan villages are made out of shipping containers and cost 300$ a night. Shipping containers in the desert with malfunctioning air conditioners for 300 USD a night – ah yes, the football fan’s utopia.

The match-watching experience for many fans also involves a lot of alcohol and FIFA knows that. After all, there is a reason that Budweiser is a main sponsor for the tournament. Despite Qatari laws prohibiting the sale of alcohol, FIFA had assured fans that alcohol would be served around the stadium. Budweiser was given designated areas in stadiums where alcohol could be sold and fans could be allowed to consume it. However, eight days before the event, Qatari officials informed Budweiser that their tents would be moved to less prominent locations and were no longer allowed inside the stadium itself but could be sold within the perimeter. Two days before the tournament, FIFA announced that all points of sale of alcoholic beverages would be removed from the stadiums in direct contradiction of the Qatari bid in 2010. This was a surprise, since in 2014 FIFA had forced Brazil to alter its previously stricter laws to allow World Cup fans to consume alcoholic beverages in the stadium freely – at the grave risk to safety and security.

I think personally, if for three hours a day you cannot drink a beer, you will survive.” – Gianni Infantino, FIFA President

This tournament has not proved to be a good proposition for the professionals that compete in it either. Traditionally, the World Cup takes place for an entire month in June, while players play for domestic leagues and cups from August to May. However, due to Qatar’s desert climate, the tournament was shifted to November-December as the climate would be too harsh on the players in June. The issue with this scenario is that the normal league seasons had been conducted as usual. However, with a FIFA World Cup sandwiched in between the normal league season the amount of games that players have to play during the same duration has increased by a lot. Throughout a normal season, teams often play more than 50 matches and it is normal for various players to be out with minor injuries for a game or two. With so many matches to play, though, it is expected that many players will suffer injuries that’ll keep them off the pitch for longer periods of time. While Qatar might be far from a fair World Cup, it is still a World Cup and most players do not often get the chance to represent their country at the biggest stage more than twice or thrice in their careers. It is thus, a huge blow to miss out on Qatar 2022 for anyone. Yet, this unusual tournament has led to a significant number of high profile players missing it such as Timo Werner, Christopher Nkunku, Lo Celso and more. The defending champions, France, have been especially unlucky with a number of their most important players such as Karim Benzema, Paul Pogba, Raphael Varane, N’Golo Kante and others missing the entire tournament.

These are unfortunately, still not the end of the things wrong with the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup. Qatar doesn’t allow free speech against its government, nor does it allow practice of any religion other than Islam in public spaces. There have been reports over the past few weeks that the country has hired people from Pakistan to play the role of fake fans to make up for the lack of travelling fans to the tournament. Qatar’s initial promises of sustainable stadiums and air conditioning for players on the pitch and the fans have started to be exposed as being hollow. The opener between Qatar and Ecuador was surrounded by rumours that Qatar had allegedly bribed 8 Ecuador players to lose the match (Ecuador won that by 2-0). Many Western nations have regularly hit back against the various controversies surrounding the tournament and Qatar at large. Denmark has decided to wear black jerseys instead of their usual red to mourn the deaths of the migrant workers who died in the past decade. FIFA has addressed these complaints by telling nations to “stick to football not politics” insisting that “FIFA is not in the business of giving moral lessons to the rest of the world”; a statement that the nations have openly expressed their displeasure for. An especially ironic statement considering FIFA chose to ban Russia from the FIFA World Cup after its occupation of Ukraine, showing that geopolitics in football only seem to matter when the party in the wrong is not currently generating revenue for FIFA.

The one good outcome of this is that the backlash is working even if only to a certain extent. There are positive steps being taken too. The Netherlands pledged on Friday to press FIFA into creating a long term resource centre for migrant workers in Doha. Several coaches and federations have backed calls to create a compensation fund for migrant workers. As mentioned before, eight European teams have done their best to show solidarity with the LGBTQ community, even publicly speaking out against FIFA’s attempts to stop them from doing so and despite homophobia prevailing in a majority of their fanbases. Even if too little and too late, Qatar did make some reforms to their predatory labour laws and hopefully further steps are not far behind.

I am no longer the 10 year old who fell in love with football thanks to the Flying Dutchman in 2014. I am 19 now and know way more about this beautiful game and somehow love it even more. This version of the FIFA World Cup is strange though; it doesn’t quite fill you with the same feeling of unity through a shared love for a game where magic is real. Maybe that’s because it simply doesn’t seek unity anymore, instead choosing to discriminate, oppress and alienate. Perhaps, for me and over a billion other fans, it is simply impossible to look past the ugliness of the beautiful game anymore.

Siddharth Kumar

[email protected]

Image credits: Sky Sports, Yahoo Sports, The Hindu, FIFA

Read Also: Sports and its Legions of Fanatics

In the heart of Old Delhi lies the once royal Moonlight Square. Today, it is the largest wholesale market in the world – and still quintessentially Delhi.

Have you ever watched a Hollywood movie with a scene that takes place somewhere in India? It’s usually a market filled with people, there’s constant hustle and bustle, some really old architecture and sometimes the sound of a mosque’s call for prayer. That, my friends, is Chandni Chowk.

Chandni Chowk was constructed in the 17th century by the fifth Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, as a part of his extravagant royal capital Shahjahanabad. As the central street of the walled city, Chandni Chowk was the path between the Red Fort and a gate on the outer wall of the city. Historical records indicate that Chandni Chowk or “Moonlight Square” got its name from a pond that reflected the moon. However, the British built a clock tower over it which collapsed in 1951.

Ancient? Yes. The moment you exit the Chandni Chowk or the Lal Quila metro station (on the yellow and violet lines respectively), you feel the weight of its four centuries of existence. Sure, there’s a McDonald’s and Haldirams around the corner, but the Red Fort looms in the background; a steady reminder of history and emperors. The Jama Masjid’s calls of prayer are greeted with respect from the people and are an important part of Chandni Chowk’s day. Make no mistake, the Moonlight Square is drenched in history and culture.

Historic as it may be, there is a different reason why this place is also a beloved hang out spot for Delhites: the food. The best example? Chandni Chowk is home to a street called “Paranthe Wali Gali ” filled with parantha vendors that have been plying their trade for generations. It’s also home to Karim’s, the original of the extremely popular restaurant chain. Established in 1913 with the intention of selling royal food to the common man, this restaurant has been declared one of the top restaurants in Asia by Times Magazine. Yet, it has not lost its roots and is still as common as it gets – until you take that first bite.

Food isn’t everything people flock to the Moonlight Square for, though; it is also the world’s largest wholesale market. The festival season sees it turn into a somehow even more massive sea of bodies as everyone rushes to find the best deals on dry fruits, fairy lights and decorations. Having first hand experienced the Diwali madness that possesses the square, it takes all my self-control to not name this piece “the Choked Lanes of Chandni Chowk ”. However it’s not all intimidating: most vendors group together in specialised bazaars based on what they offer – quite like the artisans and entertainers that populated it centuries ago grouped together according to their craft. And for all its fang-bearing to the unacquainted, Chandni Chowk’s people are generally welcoming and willing to help out. Still, don’t let your guard down, the crowds can be an easy place to be pickpocketed.

As a Delhite who’s somehow never frequented the lanes of Chandni Chowk until his college years, I see why Bollywood falls for its allure in movies like Delhi-6 and Rockstar. In its 400 years it has seen kings and colonists stake their claim – and outlived every single one. Its gardens and canals have long disappeared and its buildings are falling apart but it lives on, as if refusing to be lost in history. It is proud, it is intimidating, it is loud, it is charming and it doesn’t care who you are. Quite like Delhi.

Feature Image Credits: Hindustan Times

Read Also:  DUB Travels: Silent Nights in Sunder Nursery

Siddharth Kumar

[email protected]

DU has lived through multifarious eras. Hence, it’s only safe to assume that its heritage and
legacy, are something made for the books.

With all its troughs and crests, the University of Delhi (DU) has finally reached its centennial
year. This mammoth of a moment comes during an era of a cultural and political boom, and drawing a contrast between the nascent traditions and practices of the university and its contemporary versions comes as the only natural move to understand why DU is the way it is.

Charting the temporal political mapping of the university reveals a sort of political dilution that has come about over the years. There is an increase in university organisations endorsing the usage of top-down models to inculcate structural implementations that have evidently reduced the scope for diverse conversations.

There has been a depoliticization of campuses on purpose over the years because of the critical programmes that used to be conducted in our times, and that had to be reduced
because of the fervour they created.

a professor of DU

When it comes to the academic shifts over the decades, one of the most critical changes being imbibed was the shift from an annual to a semester system. The latter became a part of the 2010-11 session. Until then, the academic system functioned on an annual basis. This
change was much debated at the time because of the questionable impact it sought to create.

In our times, we used to sit with a topic or reading and discuss it holistically. But now I feel students are made to skim through just to complete the syllabus in time. I mean, it is wrong,but it is also the way things are now.

a DU alumna

The semester system and the paucity of time to finish the syllabi prop up the question, “What is all this for?”

In our time, the syllabus used to be more academic,whereas now, it has become more industrially inclined to make students more skilled and employable for sure. But the important question is to find out the whereabouts of these internships.

 Ms. Nancy Pathak, a Professor of Political Science at Lady Shri Ram College for Women, on the evolution of the syllabus and the culture of internships

The hustle culture and the dire need for an internship have steered the students into accepting whatever grunt work is thrown at them.

Lastly, mapping the “attendance” trajectory is yet another important facet of a DU student’s life.

I’ve noticed that attendance is such a strict criterion only in women’s colleges.

a professor at DU

The question here arises, what is the gendered rationale behind such strictness in attendance? Perhaps it is a question that creates a debate beyond the confinement of the article.

Regardless of all the good and bad, these comparisons have helped us trace the progressions and regressions over time, something which is true of every development, and that should be acknowledged to understand and respect the university’s run so far.


Read Also: Is DU Worth the Hype?


Featured Image Credits: Behind Cricket


Vidushi Sinha

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Madiha Mattoo

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Throughout its storied history, Delhi University has gained a reputation as a political university. This article takes a look at the political perception of DU and its credibility.

If there is one thing you know about me, reader, it is that I absolutely love telling stories. In fact, I was indulging this exact habit a few weeks ago in a conversation with a friend as I regaled him with the ridiculous tales of DU politics I’d come across during my first month as a correspondent at DU Beat. As I finished my story about yet another instance of some student organisation appealing to their college’s admin on some glamorous student issue that would be great for attracting votes, he laughed and said something that would stick with me for a while. He told me, “Man, you’re a DU student, of course you get dragged into political events.”

“What a strange remark,” I thought, “And really? With JNU right there?” Therefore, I decided to try and figure out why universities like DU have been entrapped in prisons to the politics of the time and here we are. The answer? It starts – just like DU – in the 20s.

Delhi University was established in 1922, with just four affiliate colleges: St. Stephen’s, Hindu College, Zakir Hussain College and Ramjas College. A place like Delhi University, with the space for intellectual stimulation and debate that it offers, was always going to be an incubator for students that cared about where their country was going and were ready to do something about it. Thus, it is not a surprise that students of the varsity were actively involved in the freedom struggle. St. Stephen’s and Ramjas actively participated in the Non Cooperation and Civil Disobedience movements. Hindu College was at the front of the nationalist movements in the 20s – it is the only college since 1935 in Delhi to have a student parliament. This parliament gave a platform to leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Subhash Chandra Bose, Jawaharlal Nehru and Motilal Nehru. The people that walked the halls of these institutions – students and staff alike – were nationalists.

In the 70s, Indira Gandhi’s government declared the Emergency and the country grappled with an authoritarian regime that refused to listen to the opposition. In such a situation, it seems you can always count on the youth of a nation to bring their fire and their impassioned appeals for change. And they did not disappoint at the time either! Delhi University saw the rise of the two major student organisations, the National Students Union of India (NSUI) and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP). The former is the student front of the Congress while the latter is backed by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Alongside them, other student organisations such as Students Federation of India (SFI) and All India Students Association (AISA) also arose, albeit nowhere near to the dominance of the NSUI and ABVP. At the time, the ABVP regularly campaigned against the government, establishing itself with its anti-authoritarianism and anti-emergency protests. This period of tension culminated with the arrest of the Delhi University Student Union (DUSU) president at the time, Arun Jaitley. As Shraddha Iyer declares in her piece for DU Beat, “The arrest of Arun Jaitley had one implication for students: the centre fears their ability to mobilise against them.”

Delhi University has since been home to all kinds of political debates and discussions between different ideologies. While most students do not buy into the exact ideologies of the numerous student organisations waiting to spend lakhs to buy their votes, there is a general acceptance of free ideals and a willingness to raise their voices in favour of what is right and against what is wrong.

In 2020, with the controversial CAA being passed around in the Houses of Parliament, there was a line of protests across the nation. At the forefront? The young minds of one of the country’s most respected universities. DU students did not shy away from arranging mass protests against the bill. They showed, very adamantly, that the majority of the next generation of this grand nation did not agree with the kind of administration that was being set in place for the future that they were to inherit. They claimed that the CAA was unconstitutional as by excluding Muslims it went against India’s core tenet of secularism, Against the central government’s repeated attempts to shut them down – some of which were ridiculously dirty – the students raised their voices even higher. The protests were disrupted by the pandemic in the end, but the students had proved that 50 years on from the events of Emergency, the students of Delhi University were still ready to fight for what they cared about.

Alongside these admittedly impressive showings of power by the students, the dirtier side of student politics has also flourished. Student politics are seen as a platform before taking the next step and joining politics at the government levels. Every year in September, the DUSU elections take place at the university. The campuses are gripped by election fever as lakhs are spent by student organisations to butter up the newest batch of students. There is a frenzy for power and authority as the streets are filled with processions of people proclaiming slogans of their respective affiliations. Student organisations feel that the September winds bring back importance to the always prevailing student issues and decide to launch protests across campuses. As I write this article, on September 14th, there are protests taking place in various colleges such as Ramjas, Shyam Lal College, Zakir Hussain, Lakshmibai College and more. All of them are carried out by the ABVP on issues ranging from fee hikes to, for some reason, a boys’ common room. There are seemingly infinite wads of cash thrown by all organisations at alcohol, parties, trips to the water park and fast food for students in a bid to secure their loyal votes.

It gets darker, there are regular reports of politically incited violence on the campuses of the University. It is particularly harsh for the candidates in the running for the positions of the DUSU. In September 2019, the ABVP alleged that the NSUI attacked their candidate for Joint Secretary. Two days later, the NSUI alleged that the ABVP attacked their candidate for vice-president. In 2022 alone, there have been multiple allegations against the ABVP by the NSUI and SFI accusing the rightist organisation of violence.

In the end, it seems my friend was right about DU being political. It may be a perception that’s a little too absolute and dismissive, but it is right to some extent. Delhi University can be a political hotbed. However, more often than not, this is a direct consequence of being a space for debate and discussion of different ideologies right at the capital of the country. Hundreds of students from different backgrounds from different parts of the nation attend this famed university. That kind of exposure brings with it intellectual debates and discussions hidden within the fun of campus life.

All DU ever asks its future students is one thing: what are you willing to stand for? For the pre-independence students of the university it was freedom. For the students in the 70s it was anti authoritarianism. For the students in 2020, it was a sense of secularism and unity. As the elections roll around and the exaggerated showings of student support start, DU and its historically active alumni now ask you, dear reader, “what will you stand for?”

Read also: Prisoner to Political Parties

Featured Image Credits: The Hindu

Siddharth Kumar

[email protected]