Tarushi Varma


The incident took place on Tuesday when Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi’s current Chief Minister, was visiting Satyawati College for their NCC fest. Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia were the chief guests of the event. As the CM was leaving, his car was obstructed by four students who were stopped and detained for over an hour.

These students belonged to left-wing backed organisation AISA and claimed wanting to present a four point memorandum to the CM which included better facilities for students such as metro concessions passes and special university buses for women etcetera.

The authorities rejected the alleged claims of the students and claimed that they wanted to click selfies with the CM and hence tried to stop his car. Mr. Bharat Singh the NCC officer of Satywati, also in charge of heading the fest described the student’s claim as baseless and reinforced that they actually just wanted to click selfies with Mr. Kejriwal.

The students later identified as Dhanpal, Raj Singh, Raj Aryan and Utkarsh Bhardwaj, stated that they wanted to peacefully approach the CM when they were blocked by the security personnel and detained.


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Tarushi Varma

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The Sociology department of Maitreyi College hosted their annual fest, Imagine on the 29th of February. The morning program, hosted in the seminar hall, started off with an introductory address by the Head of Department, Mrs. Mala, who welcomed the students and the guest speaker for the day, Prof. Nivedita Menon from Centre for Competitive Politics and Political Theory, JNU.

The students then proceeded to present a rendition on Audre Lorde, an American author of colour and activist for women’s rights. The students recreated a few excerpts from Lorde’s autobiography, picking up some bold instances, highlighting the lesbian circles of 1950s America and reading them out in front of the audience. Keeping in mind the theme of the fest ‘Sexualities’, their performance highlighted not only the issue of misogyny against people of different sexual orientations, but also brought to light the clear divide that race creates within these circles.

Following the performance, Prof. Nivedita was invited to address the audience and in her words, the students had delivered a “brilliantly conceived” performance. Picking up instances from their performance she went on to construct her talk around the idea of sexuality as an individual’s identity. Taking the example of Audre Lorde, who was marginalised in two ways, for being a black lesbian, of which she was self critical in the passages picked up by the students. Prof. Nivedita then went on to talk about the hegemonic norms dominant in our culture which forces us to fit ourselves in the oppressive definition of ‘Normal’.

Ending a very engaging talk, she said that there is no silence about the topics of sex and sexualities. At all times people are talking about it even when they are telling us to be home safely by six, because indirectly all they are implying is to avoid having sex, whether it is with your consent or without.

The morning session then ended, followed by the competitive events of the day, first of which was the debate, based on various topics surrounding feminism. Suyash Kumar from Shaheed Bhagat Singh College won the best speaker for the motion and Deepak Jha from SGTB Khalsa won for against the motion, while Pallavi from Janki Devi Memorial College bagged the best interjector. Expressions, the slam poetry competition, was the main attraction of the day and saw Miranda House shine at the top with Poonam Mumu and Aamina Rahim bag the first position.

A few other informal events included photography and face painting and collectively made the day a successful one.

Featured Image Credits: Bayar Jain from Maitreyi College

Youth Forum on Foreign Policy (YFFP), an independent initiative to encourage dialogue on foreign policy amongst the youth, organized a joint conference with European Union’s EU in India, held on   23rd February. The panel for the conference consisted of Ms. Anne Marchal, First counsellor of the Delegation of the European Union to India, BW Businessworld’s CEO, Mr. Anurag Batra and Member of Parliament and co- founder of YFFP, Mr. Gaurav Gogoi.

The conference then commenced with a presentation by Ms. Anne Marchal, highlighting the salient features and functions of the European Union. EU was formed after the Second World War and since then it has been the biggest transnational democracy in the world with 24 official languages and flourishing trade relations all over the world. Similar to the foundations of India, EU has a well endowed parliamentary system of legislations with 751 seats, along with various political parties contesting in elections. The EU’s Council of Ministers consists of a member from each EU state and at present they are all under Dutch Presidency, to be rotated every 6months.

India and EU have had strategic relations for over 50 years, the most important highlights being the EU- India security cooperation agreement, Joint Action Plan and annual EU and India security dialogue with emphasis on cyber security and nuclear non proliferation.

The discussion then continued with Mr. Anurag Batra taking the lead, voicing his concern about the areas needing improvement in the EU – India agreement. For example, the free trade agreement, including goods and services to be made easier from both sides as many Indian products fail to match up to the European regulatory standards because of different packaging or processing techniques, among other things. The flow of conversation also steered towards EU being the largest donor of development aid in the world and is still yet to aid India in its Human Development projects. A few other points were raised by Mr. Batra, regarding the ban on import of generic drugs from India to EU states and high taxes and import duties which hinders trade between the two countries. At present, India’s 18% exports are to EU and the number could steadily improve if both the sides agree upon common standards of processing products and aim at minimising difficulties in the trading process. He ended by adding that EU has been India’s “real and steady partner” for many years and he hopes to see the relations flourish even further.

Picking up the discussion from then on, Mr. Gaurav Gogoi, started off with a show of gratitude to Ms. Anne for hosting YFFP and the audience and enabling the youth a glimpse into the EU – India relations. He then went to enunciate the similarities India and EU have had from their inception itself, and how both countries stem from the same belief of “unity in diversity”. Mr. Gogoi went on to say that when India was torn up by its own diversity post independence, EU emerged as a source of inspiration in that turmoil. He personally finds the framework of EU ‘fascinating’ as he has visited the EU Parliament in the past, and he also feels envious of their canteen, he wittily added.      

The discussion then came to an end, after inviting a few questions from the audience, who raised pertinent issues such as limited employment prospects of Indian students in EU states, development aid for north east India and EU’s contributions and the growing threat of terrorism and the refugee crisis which many EU states are facing, among others. The event ended with a vote of thanks for the panellists and the audience followed by evening tea.

DU Beat is the official media partner of YFFP.

Featured Image Credits: Youth Forum on Foreign Policy

Tarushi Varma

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Delhi University fest season is one such phenomenon that students all over Delhi look forward to. The fame of the star nights, reputed college campuses and the crowd, are some of the reasons.

But there is a flip side to this view, the side of backstage preparations and frenzy. From the organising committee to the participating members, everyone is equally involved and occupied. The audience gets to see the flashy costumes, made up faces and the elaborate productions on stage but they miss the hours of backstage practice, the last minute panic, and those jitters right before the final team call.

Once on stage, it’s easy for the next few minutes. We do what we do best, we dance, we act, we sing. For that instant, we lose ourselves in the act, in the art and in the audience. We aren’t individuals here, we are part of a team; our identity isn’t our name but it’s the art that we give ourselves to. The madness returns after our moments on stage are past along with the nervous tension of results, sneaky assessments of rival teams and the adrenaline before the announcement.

This happens every single time, every fest and stage experience. But this isn’t even a challenge any more, because often four or five fests clash on the same day, and the teams perform in all of them! That’s when the grit of the participants really shows, their passion and commitment to their teams is inspiring.

Fest season is so much more than just a hip crowd and food for societies; it is months of hard work, dedication and competition. It’s the paycheck for their blood and sweat.

Feature Image Credits: Chirag Sharma for DU Beat!

Youth Forum on Foreign Policy (YFFP), an independent initiative to encourage dialogue on foreign policy amongst the youth, held an embassy dialogue with Mr. Richard Verma, Ambassador of the United States to India at The American Centre. The event was part of YFFP’s embassy dialogue series, held on 19th January. The main agenda was to examine the India – US relationship and deliberate on issues of strategic importance between the two nations.

The session started off with an introductory address by the ambassador Mr. Richard Verma, where he described India and United States to be ‘compatible democracies’, owing to the fact that both the nations value innovative young minds. Following the address, questions were welcomed from the audience, which consisted mainly of young students from different fields of study.

A lot of emphasis was put on the cooperation between United States and India and its role on battling the growing threat of terrorism all over the world. According to Mr. Verma, this threat has grown because of unorganized and asymmetric actors which mostly propagate extremist ideologies, often which are violent in nature.  The biggest factor contributing to growth of these actors is recruitment of new people, which is often involuntary, and according to him we need to use the combined power of law, military and intelligence to put an end to such an influx.



Upon further discussion, the issue of arms race and growing militarization among nations came up, which then steered the course of the discussion towards a question of the United States aiding Pakistan with nuclear weapons. As an answer to this, the Ambassador highlighted the lack of empathy between India and Pakistan, highlighting a very sensitive matter for the two nations, the Ambassador continued stating that the aid provided to Pakistan is being duly monitored by dozens of agents on the ground, making sure that the technology does not fall into wrong hands.

Nearing the end, the audience raised a fresh question about the financial aid from America to India for the development of research initiatives in the country along with the question on recent restrictions on student visa in America. To this Mr. Verma cited example of Infosys campus in Mysore being one of the most technologically advanced and research based campuses in the world, emphasizing that financial aid if any, needs to come from the private sector. This also relates to the student migration from India to US being high, but the opposite is not true, hence new initiatives are being undertaken to increase interest levels in American students to see India as a viable option for higher studies.

The sessions was then concluded and left the audience with a better understanding of the intricacies of India – US relations, giving them a glimpse of the deep waters of diplomacy among nations.

DU Beat is the official media partner of YFFP.

Feature image credits: Youth Forum on Foreign Policy

Tarushi Varma

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Womenite has been founded by Harshit Gupta, an under graduate student from NSIT, alongside a core team also comprising of undergraduate students, closely working with the consulting experts in the fields of gynaecology and a counselling. The organisation aims at “awakening, encouraging, and asking people to understand a woman’s mind, her deepest reveries; to blaze forth a new wave of feminism where women are at par with men in every context of life.”

Deriving their inspiration directly from the belief that the society does not need heroes to rise and shine from the dust, but needs a change in the mindsets of those who think only one gender can rule. The team at Womenite wants to create a safe world for women where they can live free lives. Achieving gender equality is their salient goal, only to be realised through better awareness in the society. Their approach includes organising public workshops and events targeting issues, considered to be a taboo and building a comfortable haven where victims of abuse, assault, discrimination and violence, along with their family and friends can speak out about their experience without being judged or shamed. They believe their approach is unique, as they implicitly understand the power of young minds. Womenite gives prime importance to bringing a change from a grass root level, i.e. to start the process of change from within our schools.
During a set of workshops organized by the team, with young students, issues like online and offline stalking, harassment at school or home and eve-teasing were tackled, comfortably, with the students in presence of their educators. The workshops kicked off with more and more girls participating in the conversations.
Apart from the objective of covering as many schools in the vicinity and remote areas, ‘Womenites’ take the advantage of Rahgiri days. On every Sunday morning, when most of Delhi completes their sleeping hours, participants from Womenite, all under graduate students, venture out to spread awareness about ‘Unacceptable touch through Free Hugs, Free Hi-fives’ targeting issues such as sexual harassment on the streets or inside institutions, not limiting its scope to a specific gender and also inculcating Gender Equality.
Their growing impact and participations with renowned communities has gotten them the much needed support. The organisation offers participation to any student who wishes to redefine conventions and reduce gender gaps, as well as seek out related issues prevailing in our society today.
To find out more about Womenite and its work, pay them a visit at –
If you want to be a part of the change, apply to Womenite here

Jesus and Mary College celebrated Onam, the festival of Kerala for the first time on 10th September. The student organisers and volunteers adorned traditional white Kanjivaram sarrees keeping in line with the festive spirits of Onam as it signifies home coming of King Mahabali and also the harvest season in Kerala. One of the students dressed as King Mahabali in a dhoti commenced the programme by welcoming the Principal and teachers, followed by the singing of traditional Onam songs by first year students. The event then progressed on with energetic dance performances of Thiruvadhira by second year students and Rockaankuthu by third year students.


Mr. Jobin Thomas, a teacher from the English department at JMC then delivered a short speech in Malayalam followed by a small act by the mythical King Mahabali, which was met with a heavy applause from the crowd. Approaching the end, President of the college union, Asha delivered a vote of thanks to the Principal and audience and also to her team and participants who helped to make the event a success. Oshia Fen Raju, one of the anchors of the event happily reported, “As Onam was celebrated for the first time in our college people were excited and thrilled about it. And it’s a very proud moment for me and Asha as the program was a grand success!”

Finally, the event came to a close with distribution of the ritualistic Payasam, a desert from Kerala, in the college and holding the festive spirits high.

Photos by Uzma Rehman for DU Beat

Tarushi Verma

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know what #PornBan is. Although the ban has been partially lifted to block sites with child pornographic content only, it is a poor attempt to cover the main motive of the Modi government.

It is common knowledge that the standard book on human sexual behaviour, the Kama Sutra, came from India, countless sculptures at the Khajuraho temples celebrate sex as a sacred deed, and depict homosexuality. It is then nothing but ironical that the only argument our MPs gave is that “pornography is against the Indian culture.” Should we ban a World Heritage site, ancient scriptures and books, shun our rationale in favour of this baseless argument?

A ban on porn is a direct attempt to control the rights of individuals. The Chief Justice of India has been quoted as saying that it is a direct violation of Article 21 of the Constitution, the Right to Life. Being an adult, one should have the right to his/her body and privacy. In today’s world, concepts such as sexual and gender fluidity are becoming acceptable, but such a stance by the Indian government reflects upon the redundant thinking they wish to impose upon all citizens. In India, where the issues domestic violence, recurrent rapes and sexual abuse still persist, imposing a ban on porn seems satirical and trivial. Instead of promoting consent, equality and unbiased thinking, this is further aggravating the taboo and shame around sex in our society.

Porn is not all good, agreed. It does show violence and child pornography in some cases, not to mention the unrealistic depiction of sexual situations, but as adults can we not differentiate right from wrong? Each individual can decide whether to support or oppose porn, we certainly don’t need our government to police even our personal space now.

Image credits:

Tarushi Varma

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Playing host to a score of international students, DU hosted UKIERE’15: UK- India Education and Research Initiative on the 28th, 29th and 30th July 2015. Colleges hosting the event were Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC), Gargi College, Maitreyi College and Shahid Sukhdev College of Business Studies (CBS).These colleges organised events for the guest students, which took place simultaneously for three days in their respective campuses.

The first day began with a welcoming tilak, followed by vandanas performed by the Indian music societies, after which the principals addressed their respective colleges. Each guest student was assigned a local ‘buddy’. The day ended with a rangoli making session followed by a trip to Dilli Haat. In the subsequent days, the foreign students participated in dance and theatre workshops and played sports. One of the international students from France, Cecile said, “It’s been an incredible journey from beginning to the end. I found everyone to be extremely friendly and fun to be with.”

The main aim of this event was to welcome all the UK exchange program students with an Indian university experience, and celebrate the diversity of cultures, interactions and insights among them. The 3 day programme was one half of a two-fold Generation UK- India Study India Programme 2015; the other half is to take place in September where DU will again play host to another group of young students from UK.

Tarushi Varma
[email protected]
With inputs from Shagun Marwah and Uzma Rehman for DU Beat.

Image credits: Vista, Photography Society, Maitreyi College

th semester, in which 57 students failed sociology out of a total of 60 in Shivaji College. Not just in Shivaji, many off campus colleges such as Keshav Mahavidyala, Rajdhani College and Lakshmi Bai College have reported a similar result. 102 students out of 120 in Lakshmi Bai College and 20 out of 25 students in Keshav Mahavidlaya failed Sociology, all of whom had opted for it as their interdisciplinary course or CDC. This result from the University is being claimed to be erroneous, which will affect the aggregate of the final year students, who want to pursue higher studies after graduation, adversely. But as much as a shock it was for the students, they have decided to call for action and not helplessly accept a glitch in their results. As a result, there was a mass protest outside the office of the Dean,  Students’ Welfare, Professor J.M. Khurana on Monday, the 29th of June. It started at 9 in the morning and went on till at noon, when a few student delegates were called inside. A student delegate from Shivaji College, Bismee, said, “This result is a reckless mistake from the University and we only want the marks that we truly deserve in the subject. We have filed a written petition with the Dean’s office to revise our results and give us an answer at the earliest.” When asked about the behaviour of the authorities towards the issue, another student, Mitali told us that they were “indifferent” towards their plight. So far there has only been a bleak response, though it has not dampened the spirits of the protesters and there will be protests everyday till a clear decision has been reached. Bismee, one of the organisers of the protest, told DU Beat that he met the Dean of Students’ Welfare, who assured appropriate action over the issue. The students representatives are expected to meet the Dean again tomorrow. A major cause of such protest and unrest among students is that many of the affected students plan on getting a higher education, and such low marks are harmful for their aggregate score of all semesters. Ironically, students who have Sociology as their major have been marked well, and so it appears that a careless approach has been adopted for the students who opted for Sociology as their interdisciplinary course. Further, all the affected students have so far scored well in other subjects and have had 60% and above aggregate in all the preceding semesters. This fact has also fueled the rage around the University’s result and shocked many.   Image credits: Bismee Taskin Islam]]>