Vaibhavi Sharma Pathak


Kunal has been sober for two days now. He has begun to identify things and people around him. The hazy pictures that used to form on his nearly-damaged retina, have assumed, all of a sudden, a 4K definition. He now remembers things,  breathes in fresher air (although that is a rare finding in Delhi), uses ice only to cool his soft drinks and paper only to wrap his chicken rolls in. All of this has happened because of one ruling. One sheet of paper has apparently changed his life.

Getting admit cards embodies a joy in itself. The sudden realisation of the fact that it is that time of the year when you begin to regret each and every jubilation you were a part of, that time you regret each and every puff of smoke and sip of that luxurious cocktail that you had in that fancy pub. Earlier, this used to be a metaphoric manifestation. However, this semester onwards, the University of Delhi has been gracious enough to make things even more tough for survival.

Short attendance may be handled through some politically active ‘bhaiyyas’ arranging for an affidavit. But the varsity has recently made the passing of dope tests a mandatory requirement for all students in order to lay their hands on their crisp black and white admission ticket. It is now compulsory to not only appear for dope tests but also to pass them with flying colours.

The decision comes after Ms. Anoushka S., an activist filed a PIL with the Honorable Court of University Justice, citing the bad effects that alcohol and drugs have on their health as well as lifestyle. Justice Gaitonde, the judge adjudicating over the case, says “As a student, I never got the time or the opportunity to experience what all of this feels like. When Ms Anoushka put in the PIL, it hit my wildest insecurities. Therefore, I decided to deliver an unbiased verdict in the matter, and hence, the ban.”

The verdict has received mix response from the students. It is estimated that around 39 percent of the student body shall be bereft of their admit cards due to this ban.

Note: DU Beat or the author does not, in any way, encourage or support the consumption of narcotics, and shall not be liable in any way for the same.

Disclaimer: Bazinga is our weekly column of almost believable fake news. It is only meant to be appreciated, not accepted.

Feature Image Credits: The Evening Standard

Aashish Jain

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Diwali is here, and so is the burden of selecting the perfect festive outfit. This Diwali, revamp your Diwali look by trying out this eclectic mix.

While the traditional and modern combination of clothing has been quite common in our smart casual routine, the festival puts up a lot of pressure as everyone tries to incorporate something new and different.
Follow some of the tips given below and enchant the Diwali season!
1. Denims ain’t a worry!
Denims are by far the most versatile clothing you can get your hands on, and for what they are worth, a great investment. If you’re looking for trying out a new look, but want to be on a safer side, choosing denims is always an ideal option. It can be the typical denim jeans with a kurta, or you can add more flair to your outfit! Try incorporating your kurtas with bell bottoms or flared jeans to give a free look. You can also use a traditional blouse as a crop top and with a dupatta alongside to create a late 90s parallels fashion look. Denim jackets can also be used in a creative way. You can pair it up with an anarkali or an A line Kurti or for that matter, even a ghagracholi to give a bohemian vibe throughout.
Auburn tip: Load up on accessories. Heavy earrings or oxidized silver necklaces always work great with denims. This look definitely qualifies as a casual look, so choose it for a light function!

Image Credits: Thatbohogirl on
2. Style your dresses in a more ‘desi’ manner
Dresses are another versatile option. You can create a more authentic and desi look with dresses. Pair up any of your favourite dresses with a palazzo or ‘churidaar’, to create a ‘kurti’ effect. To complete the look, a phulkari dupatta would be an ideal choice. You can also pair it up with a maxi skirt to give a more free-spirited look.
Auburn tip: Styling A-line or skater dresses in solid colours along with a patterned or a simple palazzo or salwar, would make for a good outfit choice.

Image Credits: Desidrapes on

3. Crop top factor
To add a more Bollywood-ish feel to your festive season, pair up your crop top with a ghagra and voila: there is a trendy outfit. The best part about using this as a style is the versatility and so many different outfit combinations possible.

Auburn tip: a black crop top and black maxi can be paired alongside a heavy dupatta for a nice Diwali Party outfit or a nighttime outfit.

Image Credits: Rasnabhasin on

4. When formals can become desi
Formals are restricted apparel, however, this Diwali, witness your formals being out to good use. Formal trousers can be a great option to pair up with your kurtis. A formal top can be tucked unevenly to create a messy look, pairing it up with a ghagra and jewellery.
Auburn tip: choose a white formal top along with a patterned skirt to create the ideal look.

Image Credits: Thatbohogirl on

5. Saree with western tops
While traditional blouse sets in bell sleeves or gingham prints are worn in plenty, have you ever thought of a little mix and match with a saree? A bell sleeved crop top and saree would be a great combination if you’re looking for something new. Gingham prints, patterned t-shirts, kurtis, they can all be paired with a saree. It is also a
comfortable choice.

Image Credits: Thatbohogirl on
6. Sparkle in Satin
While Satin is a more retro look outfit combination, jazz it up by pairing a satin top with a ghagra or with traditional palazzos to give a more ethnic look. An off-shoulder satin top or a strip-sleeved crop top, sparkle and add more glow to your outfit!
7. Wrap yourself in wraps and wraps
As marvellous and fun it is to wear wrap skirts and tops, this Diwali adds a new twist as we strike equilibrium to the best of both the worlds. Pair up your wrap top with ghagras or your crop tops with your wrap skirts to give a good mix and match look. Be cautious while choosing the right combination. You can get even more daring and combine the two, to have a full on wrap effect!
8. Mix and match accessories
Accessories make or break your outfit. To add a mix and match vibe, add hoops to your jewellery collection and flaunt the hoops with your outfits. Hoop earrings are a component which goes well with almost anything. Chunky necklaces, anklets and bracelets along with rings should always be in handy during a fashion emergency. They amplify your look!
Keep a stylish collection of bindi as well to highlight your eye area.

Hence, this Diwali destroy all evil by being the daring one, especially while choosing your outfits!
Feature Image credits: Thatbohogirl on

Additional Image Credits: Rasna Bhasin, Thatbohogirl, Desidrapes on
Avnika Chhikara
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Diwali comes as a blessing for your Instagram feed. Here are some tips to help polish your technical knowledge and gain those followers.

In the words of Ralph Hattersly, “We are making photographs to understand what our lives mean to us.” They are little packets of recollections that we can always go back to for joy and comfort. The essence of Diwali lies in the words ‘family’ and ‘bonding.’ Here are some tips to capture those memories and resurrect them through photographs.
Bokeh is the light which is not focused, so the sharp edges get blurred, creating aesthetics which are unmatched! This is a no-brainer because Diwali translates to light, and what better way to capture it than using Bokeh? Turn on your manual focus and slide that focus ring until you see beautiful Bokeh on your screen/viewfinder. A very interesting way of clicking Bokeh is to mix other elements than light. For example, water or fire. You can cut the shape you want your Bokeh to be on a piece of cardboard, place it between your camera body opening and lens and get your own Bokeh.



Image Credits: Surabhi Khare for DU Beat
With all the decorations that go into the festival, it is highly likely that you will find good shots at random public places. You can use techniques like time-lapse and still life on the street. You can set your shutter speed to 3-5seconds and aperture at f/18-22 at 100 ISO for some time-lapse photography at night. This will help you achieve crisp photographs with movement in them.




Image Credits: Vaibhav Tekchandani for DU Beat

The hours and days spent on the Diwali décor must be immortalised by being captured. You can give different backgrounds while clicking a macro shot of decorations. It is easy to identify different patterns in the decorations. Another way to amp your aesthetic is to collect different objects together and arrange them in an artistic manner. Rangolis can give the best pictures if shot from the top down (flat lay) angle. Lights can also be used to create leading lines in your picture. A simple way is to hold one corner of the light string in your hand and lead the focus of the picture towards the other corner of the string.



Image Credits: Surabhi Khare for DU Beat
Long exposure
While clicking the picture, the photo is continuously being captured for an extended time, ranging from 1-30 seconds.
The scope of clicking long exposure photographs increases significantly during Diwali. Especially with crackers, each cracker will give you a different picture. Set your camera with a shutter speed of 10-15 seconds, aperture f/20-22 and ISO100, after clicking the shutter you can go crazy in front of your camera along with a sparkler for beautiful trails of sparklers. Use different crackers for different results.

Long Exposure 1_Surabhi


Image Credits: Surabhi Khare for DU Beat


Indian food is colourful and dramatic. To get perfect food pictures, you have to take the shot from the perfect angle. Overhead, 3/4 and the horizon angles are the best three angles to capture food. Overhead angle is 90 degrees and is extremely popular on Instagram. It can be easily captured with phones as phones have a wider angle camera. The 3/4 angle is when your camera is placed anywhere from 25 to 75 degrees in relation to your subject. The horizon or the straight up angle is the best when you are shooting tall foods. To ameliorate the effect, decorate your food and the space around it as well. Using rustic table surfaces, visually appealing candles, or just creating negative space on the platter will do wonders for your photographs. Thus equipped, the pictures will turn out great and you will have bragging rights over the best Diwali pictures. Have fun, keep clicking, and happy Diwali!



Image Credits: Surabhi Khare for DU Beat


Feature Image Credits: Surabhi Khare for DU Beat

Maumil Mehraj

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Vaibhav Tekchandani

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Surabhi Khare

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The Parliament of Republic of Hindu College presented its annual budget for the present session on 29th October 2018. But the day was not without some political friction.

In a crowded auditorium amid cheers and jeers, the Republic of the Parliament of Hindu College presented its annual budget finally, on Monday. The budget session was delayed due to the non-submission of important documents in accordance with the Republic of Parliament of Hindu College. The inauguration-cum-budget session of the cabinet for this session was however, not organised without controversial intervention. The oath taking ceremony of the newly elected Prime Minister, Leader of Opposition and cabinet ministers was interrupted by the questioning of the legitimacy in the claims of the Prime Minister Shreyash Mishra in his agendas as issued before the elections last month.

To revisit the election campaign, the Shreyash Mishra team was proud to wear the badge of reservation of 40% seats in the cabinet for women candidates as the highlight of his campaigning. Even in the Prime Ministerial Debate, the current Prime Minister had outrightly mentioned the same agenda in his speech. However, hours before the election day in the college, two candidates merged to form an unprecedented coalition. The coalition government, having won the highest number of votes, came to power after the elections. The same government was expected to work its thoughts into actions through the capturing of power. But as it appeared to the students sitting in the auditorium of the college on Monday, only two ministers and two secretaries are female. As opposed to the promised 40%, approximately 18% of the cabinet comprises of women now.

The list of ministers and secretaries was only displayed on the day of inauguration of the Parliament. As a group of students raised their voice against the deceptive promises and non-fulfillment of agendas — amongst them Ananya Bhardwaj, a Prime Ministerial candidate herself a month ago — the highly supervised environment of the auditorium grew tense. The repeated questions shouted out were about women representation in the cabinet. Many students agreed with the questioning of inappropriate representation. However, the dissent was met with fierce indifference and later ordered to die lest the dissenters be shown the way out of the auditorium. The Prime Minister addressed the audience then, explaining the questionable representation. Also, he stated that if any woman displays the initiative to work, he will never begrudge her the opportunity. He went on to discredit Ananya Bhardwaj for never volunteering to take the charge or responsibilty and instead only opposing and raising questions now for the sake of it.

As for the allocation of the budget, the maximum increment that can be allowed to a society is 25% as per the rules. While the Literary Society received only a tenth on the 25% increment from last year, with a hike of a mere ?50, the appeals to increase the budget were ignored in the second and third rounds of updates. Likewise, many other societies received minimum increments. All in all, the total budget allotted to all the activities was a significantly small amount. The Leader of Opposition, Naveen Kumar, said regardingrthe allocation of the budget, “The allocation of budget has been quite appropriate for the societies, keeping in mind that only 25% can be increased in each consecutive year.”

Even as it is very difficult for everyone to be satisfied with democratic decisions, the financial element just adds to the mess. As many societies maintained their appeals, and as those appeals were filtered by the supporters of the coalition, never to reach the higher authorities, the budget session came to an end.

As the speaker for the Parliament, a faculty member, announced departure of the session, the group of dissenters went up on the stage to discuss the betrayal. But the accountable man in question chose to walk away.

The dissent erupted in the evening with a renewed fervour as Ananya Bhardwaj posted the entire story of the same discussion with Shreyash Mishra on her Facebook timeline, with the words, “…it was said explicitly by me that if he doesn’t find women in his panel, he should approach me. And of course, he never did. E-mails were written to him along with messages by women of the college to which there weren’t any replies.”

Naveen Kumar, the Leader of the Opposition posted on his Facebook account, “He rightly pointed out the fact that previous governments have been no better in giving women representation. Alas, he had to follow the same legacy.” Shreyash Mishra also announced that this was the “maximum number of women representatives in the cabinet”. Also exonerating himself, he said that the team could not harvest the incentivised and necessary number of women candidates willing to take up positions of responsibility. Kumar also mentioned in the same post, “Progressivism was talked about in his agenda but it clearly has not been interpreted well for progressivism stands for inclusiveness. But Mr. Mishra was anyway, proud to have given the maximum token representation so far.”

In the same post, Kumar works on subtlety. “Congratulations to his team, for not standing up to their promises, for reassuring Hinduites that Politics and Power is not a woman’s job and for not letting the voices be heard. Congratulations Hinduites, patriarchy will once again drive your student body around the vicinity of the boys hostel.”

As the new cabinet celebrates power, all Hinduites look forward to their exercising the same. Kumar writes, “With a hope that the same will not happen with the other agendas mentioned in your manifesto, and voices of students will not be suppressed by calling it an opinion of ‘a particular group’, I, Congratulate your entire team once again for indeed a very successful inaugural session.”

Disclosure: Ananya Bhardwaj has previously worked with DU Beat as a correspondent.

Feature Image Credits: Kartik Chauhan for DU Beat

Kartik Chauhan

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Does the blind admiration of supposed heroes contribute to the systematic problem ousted through #MeToo? Does the society become complicit in the trauma of survivors by condoning an abuse of power? Read on to know.

The second wave of the #MeToo movement in India, brought forth by the actress, Tanushree Dutta has gained momentum in encouraging survivors to oust powerful and famous predators. Comedy collectives, Model United Nations circuits, media houses, Bollywood, advertising agencies, and numerous other domains of the ‘sophisticated’ working class India have been put to contest of their unsafe, insensitive, and hypocritical attitudes towards sexual violations and misconduct. The inconspicuous nature
of the entitlement in the behaviours of renowned personalities has been brought to the spotlight in a way unlike ever before, as pointed out by Nikhil Taneja, the co-founder of Yuvaa, “I think
the biggest and most important thing #MeToo has done is to shift the shame from the survivor to the perpetrator. Earlier our news would say how one
more girl was assaulted. For the first time, it’s about how one more man has done something shameful. The onus is on men now.”
However, the perspective of the entire
situation becomes precarious when one finds the name of a person they believed to be ‘ideal’ or ‘perfect’ in the list of sexual predators. It creates a primordial sense of disbelief when the hypocrisy of one’s hero is thrown into the open, and their admirers often attempt to justify the events to themselves. There is nothing wrong with having a humane reaction of disbelief for people who built a façade of idealism and trust, and capitalised on it to acquire benefits for their social capital or business brand. But after the initial processing of the account
of the survivor(s), the responsibility to objectively acknowledge their trauma without siding blindly with the supposed hero also rests with the society. When Tanmay Bhatt, the co-founder and CEO of the comedy collective All India Bakchod (AIB), was removed from his administrative post from the organisation, the comments on the organisation’s statement regarding the same were full of hate-speech for the victims, and criticised the approach of AIB in holding Bhatt accountable for his silence despite the knowledge of Utsav Chakraborty’s actions.
Standing by your heroes when they
violate and traumatise another individual is a systematic way for the perpetrators to abuse their power, and acquire more of it. In fact, the reason
why the #MeToo movement has become significant for those who want to maintain anonymity because they fear stigma, the mental harassment, or the ruin of their professional careers, is due to the fact that their violators are at powerful pedestals and people either choose not to believe their accounts or they refuse to acknowledge it. It is this blind admiration, backed by, indifference which has caused the survivors to endure for several decades. The example of Alok Nath is fitting here.
If supposed heroes are not held accountable for their actions, then the
world will become prone to malice and destruction through illusions. In fact,
the presence of assualters from with
the community of artists, activists, and other peoplewho are involved in relatively philanthropic endeavours
informs the society of the danger that is hero-worship. It also breaks the stereotype which suggests that perpetrators are monsters who listen
to sexist Bollywood songs and reveled
a possibility of a hippie slam poet being
a sexual harasser.
Hero-worship contributes to a culture
of misogyny, abuse of power, and trauma and it’s about time we we start holding the artist accountable for actions, no matter how breathtaking their art is.

Feature Image Credits: DNA India

Anushree Joshi
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On 26th September 2018, DU Beat interacted with P. Sainath, Editor of People’s Archives of Rural India and the former Rural Editor of the Hindu who has won over 40 global and national awards for his reporting.

Here are excerpts from the interview:

Kinjal: You are the grandson of V.V. Giri, the fourth President of India. Your life could have been simpler owing to your privilege. What compelled you to undertake the kind of profession you have?

Sainath: I believe journalism is about reporting everyday lives of people. I don’t see what I do as some major sacrifice, I enjoy what I do, and I don’t suffer for it. The only thing that has been utterly miserable was breaking the stories on farmer suicide. Those have been heartbreaking. Journalists should be questioned as to why they cover urban India so much. None of the newspapers or news channels have a full time national level correspondent covering the rural aspects of the country. I think I am doing what should be the norm rather than what is the exception.

Kinjal: In the era of fake news how does one preserve the sanctity of journalism?

Sainath: I think there seems to be an illusion that fake news begins with social media. There has been fake news since there has been news. Technologically, the scope for it has become vast. The scope of fake news has enlarged considerably through social media, this comes from the people who have monopolies over sources of news media. The digital monopolies are the largest monopolies in history and they are greater and more dangerous than any other monopoly in the world. Literally, five to six people control all of this. What makes them more dangerous is that they own your personal data. No monopoly in history ever did that. While Hindustan Times had a monopoly in Delhi, they did not have your personal data and they did not own it. Digital monopolies not only have your data, they sell it and traffic in it. That’s what Facebook is facing. When I used to say this two-three years ago, people laughed. Now look at the current situation, Facebook is exactly doing that:leaking your data.

Kinjal: On 29th September 2018, the Central Government of India celebrated Surgical Strike Day across universities in the country including Jawaharlal Nehru University, your alma mater. What are your thoughts on military achievements being celebrated in academic spaces?

Sainath: I guess the government has to announce something because what else do they have to celebrate? So I guess they have to do something to keep attention away from their failures. Last month, a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) report said demonetisation was a complete disaster. It’s also a way of promoting a chauvinist sensibility. There is nothing to celebrate, the government might create another three or four reasons to celebrate the military. What have they done in industry and agriculture? 78 of the largest companies are filling for bankruptcy; dozens of the largest companies are in the middle of Rafael Deal. When you are in middle of all this, you have to find something to take away the attention from your failures. The celebration is not happening for the army, I am pretty sure that the armed forces didn’t ask for any such thing. It’s happening to push the sagging morale of its private prudence.

Kinjal: Within the Indian farming sector or the unorganised labour sector, who do you think is the worst sufferer?

Sainath: I don’t like ranking victims. The fact that someone is more miserable than you doesn’t mean that you are in great joy. A Dalit woman who is an agricultural labourer carries the triple burden of caste, class, and gender. She belongs to the bottom rank in the class society. In India more than 60 percent of agriculture is done by women, but we don’t recognise them as farmers. They were doing livestock and dairying and now they are forced to do crop agriculture. Let’s suppose the male farmer has committed suicide or migrated because there is no possibility of work in farming for him, or the woman has lost her husband due to suicide or migration, that woman is now suddenly looking after the kids and livestock with full burden of crop agriculture which was initially not her work. She is also negotiating with the money lenders and the bank managers, dropping the kids at school, and what not. But, even after all this we do not recognise them as farmers, rather we recognise them as a farmer’s wife. The suicides of women farmers are not even counted. Women farmer suicides are counted as general suicides. The largest group in the Indian society committing suicides comprises of women in the age group of 14 to 29. Most of the women in the countryside are agricultural labourers. Our prejudices towards women don’t allow us to see them as property owners. Secondly, they do unrecognised and unpaid work in agriculture, as a result of which the work participation data shows that women’s participation in work is falling. It’s funny because women labourers have doubled but the work participation rate is decreasing because the only accepted work is paid work. This is also because anything women do, you call it unskilled labour.

Kinjal: Can you talk about Nation For Farmers, and what you intend to achieve from it?

Sainath: We don’t intend to achieve anything for ourselves. The All India Kisan Sangharsh Co-ordination Committee (AIKSCC) has called for a big march in Delhi from 28th to 30th November. When that happens, farmers all over the country will partake, and that will grab everyone’s attention. Our concern was, how do we, in the middle class, make ourselves relevant to the farmers’ cause in a sincerely, acutely, democratic, and serious struggle. We want students for farmers, corporate professionals for farmers, and the like but with nonpartisan banners. Theatre artists and musicians will be performing in Delhi on the days leading up to the March. There’s a paucity of time, but there’s huge interest in the public. We’ve set up a website called Dilli Chalo, where you can write in any language and about anything pertaining to this issue.

Kinjal: You talked about the middle class, that they are aware of their dependence on farmers but nevertheless reluctant to support their cause. Where do you think this insensitivity is stemming from?

Sainath: You are socialised by media that doesn’t show you the faces of farmers or poor people. Pick up a newspaper and show me how many faces of ordinary Indians appear on it. There are hardly any. It’s the same as how we develop an insensitivity walking home every night over people sleeping on the street. It’s how we deal with beggars, by shielding ourselves. That kind of withdrawal comes to the middle class very easily, especially the upper middle class. I’m not saying that they’re unethical people, I cater to them by writing in English. If I thought they were completely incapable of empathy, I would go do something else. But then there’s what I called the Nero’s Guest Syndrome – our party continues while the devastation continues. We have managed to create a world into which the reality is obfuscated.

Kinjal: Do you think loan waivers are used as a political gimmick to offer a simple solution to a complicated problem?

Sainath: The loan waiver is not the main issue of the agrarian crisis. It is a temporary relief, not permanent solution. By diverting the attention and making it look like the farmers just want waivers, they are dismissing the waivers given to Vijay Mallya, NPAs (Non-Performing Assets) worth INR 7,50,000 that come from big business and corporate houses.

Kinjal: When you reach out to people in rural areas, how do they perceive you? How do you make yourself one of them?

Sainath: They need to believe that you’re there out of concern and are not a parachute journalist. Every story that I write, I take photos and send them to the people featured in that story.

Kinjal: As a student of JNU, exactly what was it that compelled you to join your line of work?

Sainath: I come from a freedom struggle family. I grew up meeting and being amongst people who spent 15-20 years in British prisons. My grandfather spent 14 years in a British prison. The values of that generation are what inspired and drove me.

Feature Image Credits: Rishabh Gogoi for DU Beat

Interview taken by

Kinjal Pandey

[email protected]

Interview transcribed by:

Anoushka Sharma

[email protected]

Nikita Bhatia

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On September 20, 2018 India decide to launch a sex offenders’ registry in an effort to curb sexual crimes against women. However, this might do more harm than good as the government seems to have done minimal research before implementing this. It’s time that we take a hard look at this country’s shoddy criminal justice system.

Indian government’s solution to any crisis has always been a temporary one, to silence the masses when they protest against the government’s lack of action. After a nationwide outcry over the rape and murder of an 8 year old girl, the central government decided to launch the National Database on Sexual Offenders on September 20, 2018. It would contain names, addresses, photographs, fingerprints, DNA samples, and PAN and Aadhaar numbers of convicted sex offenders. It would also contain the personal details of people arrested or charge sheeted for sexual offences. It will only be accessible by certain law enforcement agencies and would not be made public. National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) has taken the responsibility of maintaining the records. Juvenile offenders might be added to the list too. With this, India joins the list of countries who have maintained such a registry including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.

According to the government, this sex offender registry would help to conduct background checks and police verification of prospective employees, tenants and speed up investigations. Offenders would be added to the registry the moment a complaint gets registered. According to a report in The Indian Express, the database contains more than 4.5 lakh cases.The sexual offences have been divided into three ‘tiers’ based on whether they pose a low, moderate, or high threat to society. Tier 1 will include those who are deemed unlikely to engage in criminal sexual conduct but are suspects in cases. They will end up being on the registry for fifteen years. Tier 2 offenders will include those who have raped people they know or are directly related to. These people will stay on the registry for 25 years or longer. Tier 3 includes gang rapists, people who kill and brutalize, or those in a position of authority over victims.

When you think about it, naming and shaming the sexual offenders might look like an absolutely great idea. However, when you closely examine the consequences and implications of this step, it might appear to be deeply problematic. Firstly, let’s think about the effects on people who would want to report about the sexual assault. According to 2016 government data, out of 38,947 cases of reported rapes in India, the accused was known to the victim in almost 95 percent of the cases. There is already a huge problem of underreporting sexual violence in India due to the victim-blaming and stigma attached to it. They are often discouraged from filing complaints against their perpetrators who they happen to know. This would further make people apprehensive about reporting sexual violence involving close family members and acquaintances. Furthermore, with the onus of evidence always on the victim and the concept of due diligence being a farce, several more cases of sexual assault go unreported.

Secondly, in India, the percentage of recidivism among arrested according to the data collected by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) for 2016 is only 6.4%. The NCRB does not have disaggregated data regarding the recidivism rate specifically for sexual offences, as stated by them in response to a Right to Information application sent by Amnesty International India, dated February 16, 2018. There is no basis for this database to be maintained.

Thirdly, this registry and maintaining of records would lead to social ostracisation of the offenders who might have spent years in jail, serving their sentence. This would lead to them not getting employment opportunities and housing. This might in turn, increase chances of them being a repeat offender, defeating the whole purpose of the registry. It can prove to be dangerous, especially for juvenile offenders who have their whole lives ahead of them. Harassment and violence against former offenders would obstruct their rehabilitation and their reintegration into the society.

Next, the names of the offenders would be linked with their Aadhar numbers. Now, we know the nuances of the Aadhar debate, how it is very easily accessible and violates the privacy of the citizens, now a Fundamental Right guaranteed by the Constitution. With the Indian Government inviting bids from private companies to create a registry, it is highly likely that this database would be accessed by them without consent.

Lastly, India’s age of consent criminalizes sexual activity below 16 years of age. There are high chances that false rape cases might be filed against kids who are just experimenting sexually.

It is important to understand that we need resources to speed up investigations and the never-ending trials at court. Resources are needed to provide support to the survivors. The police officers need to be properly trained when dealing with sexual assault cases. The allocation of such resources, instead of being channelized to creating a sex offenders’ registry should be aimed at the prevention of the crime.

Feature Image Credits: Feminism in India


Disha Saxena

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You’re on a tight budget. But that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying life, should it? So, we here, have got your back. No, we don’t loan money, but yes, we can get you a list of places to visit when running on a tight budget.


Connaught Place, New Delhi

Want to get a glimpse of the cosmopolitan culture that the Capital has to offer? Then this should be a definite item on your bucket list. It offers everything, from shops with loaded showcases to sunglasses that cost less than a dollar. An added attraction is ‘Gupta Ji ka Fire Pan’ if you want to experience fire burning in your mouth. Lying in the center of the city, this place is easily accessible and is generally crowded.

Image Credits: NDTV
Image Credits: NDTV

National Zoological Park

Planning a day-long outing with your gang of friends? Then this probably is the most interesting place you can visit. Placed at a pebble’s throw from the Purana Quila, this place offers you prepossessing sights at very nominal rates.

Image Credits: Delhipedia
Image Credits: Delhipedia

Majnu ka Tila

If all that you need is a nice café, a glimpse of the Capital’s night life, some excellent momos and an insight into a Tibetan Settlement, this is exactly the place you need to visit.

Image Credits: D for Delhi
Image Credits: D for Delhi

Chandni Chowk

An Epicure? Wanting to satiate your lust for food with some authentic cuisines of Delhi?  Then put a tick against Chandni Chowk. Here, not only do you get a glimpse of what Delhi is like in reality, but also, you can rapture your senses with the delectable cuisine the place has to offer. An added advantage is the fact that you can always pay a visit to the iconic Red Fort. However, you must brace yourself for the crowd you are going to find, irrespective of the time or day in which you’re visiting.

Image Credits: Time
Image Credits: Time

Qutb Minar

Just in case you’ve fallen short of photos to upload on your social media handles, pay a visit to this place. A ‘selfie’ next to the iconic minaret will get you a hundred likes in a jiffy. More importantly, you’d be able to strike off a huge item from your ‘Things to do in Delhi’ list.

Image Credits: NDTV
Image Credits: NDTV

Nizamuddin Dargah

If Qawwali is your jam, you might want to pay a visit to this place. The enclosure that gave birth to some exemplary Qawwalis like Kun Faya Kun and is home to the ‘Nizami Brothers’, this place has everything you need if serenity and sanctity is what you’re looking for.

Image Credits: DU Beat
Image Credits: DU Beat

India Gate

If all you have is a metro smart card and a hundred rupees in cash in total, this is the place you should choose to visit without a doubt. Located at a stroll’s distance from the Central Secretariat Metro Station, this place is of ‘monumental’ significance. An ice-cream bar at this place is among the few ‘cheap thrills’ you would want to indulge in.

Image Credits: Cultural India
Image Credits: Cultural India

Agrasen ki Baoli

Remember the last scene from the fame-fetching Bollywood movie ‘Padmavat’? Care to visit a similar, but a non-identical place? Agrasen ki Baoli is one place which is bound to encapsulate you in a silent stupor when you witness its magnificence.

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 Image credits: LBB

Feature Image Credits: D for Delhi

Aashish Jain

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17 years ago, no one had heard of Islamophobia. While some scholars claim that Islamophobia existed in premise before the terrorist attacks of 11th September 2001, others counter that argument by saying that it increased in frequency and notoriety during the past decade. But the focus of this  article is whether Islamophobia exists within the student community of the University of Delhi (DU).

“Why do you wear this?”, “Can you take it off?”, and “I want to see your hair!” In the last two years as a student in DU, my friend Wasila had been at the receiving end of many such remarks. In conversation with DU Beat, Wasila Nizami, a student pursuing Political Science Honours in Miranda House, questioned, “If the student community in the country’s most liberal environment holds this kind of mindset, what will the rest of India think about those who wear headscarves over long, black dresses?” When asked whether she has tried to bring this to the notice of the authorities, she answered, “Forget the authorities. Even those who claim to represent us-members of the Students’ Union-would not respond appropriately to allegations of Islamophobia.”

Cases of failed justice for harassment committed against the Muslim students in DU has driven home a feeling amongst the affected that they are not respected by those who follow other faiths within the varsity. Shabnam Sultana, a student pursuing History Honours from Ramjas College, told DU Beat, “Most college departments refuse to accept that religious bullying takes place in their campuses.” Speaking on her own troubled experience as a student following the tenets of Islam, she remarked, “From the time I take the e-rickshaw to college to the time I take the e-rickshaw to my PG, I feel concerned about my own safety because my hijab gives out my identity.”

Even to outside observers, it is becoming evident that this premier institution has a tendency to ostracise and single out students belonging to the Muslim community. Jahnavi Sharma, a PhD scholar in JNU and a DU graduate, told DU Beat, “In canteens, classrooms, and common rooms, a Muslim student might be singled out and called a Pakistani or the ISIS. It might be said to evoke laughter or might be meant as a joke, but it’s not. It actually amounts to bullying and tormenting.”

Should we treat every attack on a Muslim student as Islamophobic? If a Kashmiri student is assaulted, is this a form of political violence or an Islamophobic incident? But not only in terms of their physical attire, Muslim students feel a sense of discomfort even in terms of the intellectual scenario prevailing in the varsity. They do not feel comfortable discussing terrorism in class, and most are of the belief that there is no safe space or forum on campus to discuss the issues that affect them. Arshad Jawid, a student pursuing post graduation from the Department of Statistics in DU, said, “Muslim students, even at the post-graduate level, hesitate to engage in political debate, let alone contest the DUSU elections.”

A professor at Miranda House told our correspondent on conditions of anonymity, “Sometimes, even the professors can be the perpetrators of Islamophobia. I have had Muslim students coming to me with stories of professors who espouse views that malign an entire faith.”

Our question of whether Islamophobia exists in DU or not was met with mixed reviews, as was expected. But as we conclude this article, we realised that the question we started out with is not important. What is important is to acknowledge that our universities are places which are meant to provide a safe space for all students to engage in debate and discussion, free from the fear of persecution, harm, and bigotry. Islamophobia or not, the first step is to accept that there’s a problem. This issue plagues the student community of DU, and hence we won’t get answers to this problem in the news studio debates with Arnab Goswami nor will we find the answers in Patricia Mukhim’s editorials. The answers will materialise when students start walking out of classes, demand the resignation of professors with parochial mindsets, and stage protests to draw attention to discrimination on campus.

17 years ago, no one had heard of Islamophobia. Now even when we hear of it, isn’t it ironic that we choose to ignore it?


Feature Image Credits: Artist Unknown, Image has been  taken from Feminism and Religion

Vaibhavi Sharma Pathak

[email protected]

In a recent letter to the PMO and other ministries, the University of Delhi (DU) has stated that the construction of high rise buildings in the North Campus area would be inimical to the varsity.

The University of Delhi wrote to the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Defence etc. stating that construction of high rise buildings and transferring the plot of land in North Campus to a private
player would be harmful to the varsity. Earlier this week, a letter sent to these ministries requested revoking of the transfer. It highlighted that a no-objection certificate was not obtained from the University, which is a prerequisite to building anything in the campus area. According to the Zonal Development Plan, no tall building can be constructed in the North Campus area of the University.
According to the University, the builder had also made false claims related to environmental clearance. The letter stated that the University should have been given the first right to acquire the land before the then government acquired it in 2001. This was because the land has a historical background and had originally belonged to the Ministry
of Defence. The land also falls under the boundaries of the area encompassing the North Campus of the University.
It was also noted that three hectares of land was acquired for public purposes by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) in 2001. However, in 2008 DMRC utilised one hectare of land and transferred the rest to a private builder instead of offering the same to the University.
In a statement by Anil Aneja, Chairperson of Equal Opportunity Cell of the University, questions were raised on the proposal to construct a 39 storeyed building on the land. He told the Times of India, “The plans violate the Master Plan of Delhi, which states that no tall building shall be permitted in the North Campus area of the university. This will also violate the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, and the building could become a nuisance for girl students as there are four women hostels in the proximity.”

(With inputs from The Times of India)

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat

Anoushka Sharma
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