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The Tis Hazari court granted bail to DU Associate Professor, Ratan Lal, who had been arrested on Friday by Delhi Police responding to an FIR lodged against him in regards to the ‘shivling’ comment controversy. Read to find out more.


Delhi University Associate Professor, Ratan Lal, who was arrested on Friday night, 20th May 2022, after an FIR was lodged against him for making alleged objectionable remarks through a Facebook post, has been granted bail, on a bond of Rs. 50,000 and a surety of likes, by the Tis Hazari court.

The complaint, which was lodged by a Delhi-based lawyer, Vineet Jindal, alleged that Lal had recently shared a “derogatory, inciting and provocative tweet on the Shivling”.

The DU professor had been arrested by the Cyber Police Station, North under IPC sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and 295A (deliberate act to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion). The Delhi police had been seeking a 14-day judicial remand of Professor Ratan Lal in order to facilitate a proper investigation in the case, considering that they had received six complaints against him so far.

 

Appearing on behalf of the police, Additional Public Prosecutor, Atul Shrivastava, told the court that, “prima facie some comments have been passed that have the potential to disturb public tranquility”.

Accordingly the FIR was registered… the most important aspect, not expected from such an educated person, was after making such type of remarks, he has not stopped there, he has been defending himself through different videos uploaded on YouTube,” Shrivastava argued.

 

On the other hand, Professor Ratan Lal’s lawyers (Advocates Amit Srivastava, Aditya Kumar Chaudhary, Dr Satya Prakash, Sanjay K Chhadha, ND Pancholi, Rahul, Mukesh, Deepak Jakhar and Karish Kumar Mehra) had moved his bail application before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Siddhartha Malik, arguing that his arrest was in violation of the Supreme Court guidelines as mentioned in the Arnesh Kumar judgement.

What circumstances happened that you had to make an arrest? He was not a criminal or a habitual offender. He is a professor in a reputed college… You had proper time, you could have served notice, waited for a reply, and if there was an unsatisfactory reply then you could have arrested. This is contempt of Arnesh Kumar judgment and the officers involved in this arrest should face departmental enquiry,” Lal’s lawyer submitted.

 

On Saturday, 21st May, 2022, students as well as student organisations had held a protest outside Arts Faculty, DU against the arrest of Professor Ratan Lal. This included organisations cuh as AISA, Krantikari Yuva Sangathan (KYS), and DSU taking a stand in support of the professor. The students participating in the protest held placards saying “Stop attack on our teachers”, “Stop curbing democratic voices”, and “Release professor Ratan Lal”.

The FIR has been lodged against Prof. Lal under the section of blasphemy, an act which has no place in a country such as India which is not a theocratic state. Our constitution recognizes itself as a secular country, promoting all contending schools of thought, including those that are against institutional religions. Therefore, blasphemy must be decriminalized. It is only a tool in the hands of religious fundamentalists to quell voices who stand firmly against religious mongering,” said Noel Benny, SFI Delhi State committee member, while addressing the student gathering.

 

SFI Delhi also issued a statement in solidarity with the professor, condemning his arrest and the arbitrary action of the state.

This punitive action against Prof. Lal is characteristic of a Brahminical state. Brahminism since its inception as a hegemonic ideology has always violently suppressed its opposers… The current instance of using state machinery and constitutional provisions to penalize critics is only a manifestation of the oppressive ideology, which reaffirms that the state continues to follow the traditions of the Brahmanical order,” read the statement made by SFI Delhi.

 

Taking its decision, in addition to granting bail, the court directed the DU Professor to refrain from making any new social media posts or from engaging in different means of interaction such as interviews concerning the ‘shivling’ controversy.

In regards to this issue, Professor Ratan Lal had previously argued and made a statement that all he had done was impose a question to the general public as a student of history. 

People can be hurt by anything. Academic discourse cannot be sidelined on account of perceived hurt. I had asked a simple question to enquire if the so-called shivling was broken or cut. Mullahs and Pandits don’t need to comment on it. An art historian should answer this question,” said Professor Ratan Lal.

The court said that considering that the concerned remark by the professor had not been made with the intention of inciting any particular group or promoting tension/ enmity between people and had been made on a structure that was being claimed by different groups as different religious symbols, the court considered that “the post of the accused may be a failed attempt at satire regarding a controversial subject which has backfired, resulting in the present FIR.”

The presence of an absence of intention to create animosity/hatred by words is subjective nature as is the perception of the recipient who reads/hears a statement,” the court order stated.

The court also remarked that the feeling of hurt by one individual cannot be considered representative of an entire community or group of people. Thus, any such complaints should be considered in the larger context of the actual facts and circumstances.

 

This controversy also launched a lengthy discussion on the concept of tolerance as it exists in the Indian culture and the array of opinions that people might have on this subject.

It is observed that Indian civilisation is one of the oldest in the world and known to be tolerant and accepting to all religions. The presence or absence of intention to create animosity/ hatred by words is subjective in nature as is the perception of the recipient who reads/hears a statement,” the court remarked.

The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate also commented that with India being a country of more than 130 crore people, there can be 130 crore different views and perceptions on any given subject.

The undersigned, in personal life, is a proud follower of Hindu religion and would call the post to be distasteful and an unnecessary comment made on a controversial topic. For another person, the same post can appear to be shameful but may not incite the feeling of hatred towards another community. Similarly, different persons may consider the post differently without being enraged and may in fact feel sorry for the accused to have made an unwarranted comment without considering the repercussions,” said the court, talking about how different people might view the controversial post differently.

 

https://images.assettype.com/barandbench/2022-05/95080cc7-8d4c-4537-9525-eb04df387e6d/State_v__Ratan_Lal.pdfThe judge noted that the anxieties of the police could be understood and had not been completely ill-placed as they were only trying to accomplish their task of maintaining peace and order amongst the people. However, the court made its decision considering all the facts that were presented before them.

It is true that the accused did an act which was avoidable considering the sensibilities of persons around the accused and the public at large. However, the post, though reprehensible, does not indicate an attempt to promote hatred between communities,” they stated.

 

Additional Resources:

https://images.assettype.com/barandbench/2022-05/95080cc7-8d4c-4537-9525-eb04df387e6d/State_v__Ratan_Lal.pdf

Read Also: DU Professor Booked for his Remarks on “Gyanvapi”

Featured Image: @profdilipmandal on Instagram

 

Manasvi Kadian

[email protected]

Here are a few words by Anoushka Sharma, Editor-In-Chief, DU Beat, sharing the experiences which built her journey, as she bids adieu to this family. While this journey comes to an end, the memories last forever. 

On 6th July 2018, while scrolling through my Facebook feed, I came across a post by DU Beat which read “DU Beat is hiring Correspondents”. Back then, I was very hesitant to apply, but applied anyway and today I can proudly say that was the best decision of my college life.

I was recruited as a correspondent in July and soon began my love for writing news reports and covering protests. I remember talking to my Editor and giving her ‘live updates’ from the Delhi University Students’ Union vote counting day in September 2019. I remember being with my fellow DUBsters, walking in the heat all tired and hungry, covering every nook and corner of the place, and then leaving with a big smile on our faces because we had covered the vote counting day properly (even though the results did not come out during the day).  I was soon promoted as a copy-editor and then began my journey of being on countless WhatsApp groups, calls, discussions, and meetings. It took me some time to realise that the two DUB WhatsApp groups I had on my phone were now nearly 12, and the mailbox which seemed empty, was now flooded with unedited articles, graphics, and photographs to be scheduled for the day.  Antaragni, the cultural fest of IIT Kanpur was the most memorable event for me. It holds so many memories for the team. That was the outstation coverage which made me realise that this DU Beat is not just any organisation, but my new family. There are many instances like this, which I could probably talk about and not write, because if I start doing so, this goodbye note would not end.

Apart from being attached to this place to almost at an unhealthy level, this place has given me a family. DUB has made me a better writer, a team player, and most importantly, a better person. I can never be grateful enough to this organisation for teaching me patience, responsibility, time-management and the importance of upholding values. DU Beat has been the highlight of the three years I spent as a DU student. I have attended more Monday meetings than my AECC lectures and lost sleep on the countless cycles of print edits. I joined this organisation to improve my writing skills, I still don’t know when my passion for writing expanded towards for the organisation and its members.

My tenure as the Editor-in Chief of this organisation has been the most rewarding experience of my college life. The team has given me so many opportunities to learn and grow. The members of the team (who I also refer to as ‘my kids’) are extremely talented and creative. The team of 2019-20 has achieved newer heights this year- hitting 50K Instagram followers, interviewing celebrities, and being nominated for the prestigious Ramnath Goenka Awards, to name a few.  When I joined DUB, I wasn’t really sure about collaborating with new people, but today, I can confidently say that I trust my team more than I trust myself. Over the last one year, this team became my support and my priority. With them, I learnt the importance of delegation and management. Teaching the team has been one of my fondest memories here and I think not a single day has passed by in my journey as a DUBster where I didn’t check the WhatsApp groups talking about new ideas and projects.

I have been fortunate enough to work with a team of departmental heads who have given their best to train the team and produce better each day. These six people have been the closest to me all throughout and this journey wouldn’t have been smooth without them. More than that, I am extremely proud of the copy-editors at this organisation. They are the most hardworking bunch of people I have ever had the opportunity to lead (though I troubled them by faltering on deadlines, and in fact my copy-editor had to pester me for two weeks to write this note). Copyeds, you guys will always have my heart.

For any person who comes across DU Beat, it’s just an organisation, an internship opportunity, a media platform, or a newspaper. But for me, DU Beat has been an experience. This is place where you get to work with the most talented bunch of University students who come together to take a stand on student issues, and define the truer sense of journalism. Facts, ethics, and credibility have always remained the guiding principles of DU Beat, the baton which I hope the upcoming batches will uphold with care.  This place reflects the hard work of each and every person who works as a correspondent/designer/HR manager/ marketing executive/photographer/videographer/video-editor to report objectively and tirelessly round the clock to produce the eight pages of newspaper you see on Wednesday, and the content that is uploaded on our digital platform daily.

I wish I had the opportunity to tell all of this to every member personally, but with the Coronavirus pandemic, I’ve still not been able to get over my missing ‘lasts’ from this organisation- the last fest coverage, the last meeting, the last team picture, and the farewell.

DUB has been the primary recipient of my attention since the last two years and I haven’t regretted a single moment that I spent here. To DU Beat and all the people I had the honour of working with, thank you for everything.

Signing Off,

Anoushka Sharma

Editor-in-Chief 2019-20

As people in India and the world become the victims of boredom caused by the coronavirus lockdown. This article analyses the way our lives have and will change post one of the largest lockdowns in modern human history. 

The Industrial Revolution changed a lot of things for humanity. And the postindustrial world not only gave us every amenity within the reach of our hands but also took away our most prized resource, time. As we finished the 20th century and moved into the 21st century numerous technological advancements took place. Even though the world is closer than it ever has been but communication between humans isn’t at an all-time high.

Thus more people today are socially awkward as they just can’t put their thoughts into fluent communicative expressions. The only reason to blame, lack of communication. People avoid any effort to communicate with their peers and choose to delve into their virtual realities, just because it’s easy and as humans, we always want to do activities which require minimum efforts.

This pandemic has shown us how unprepared the whole was to deal with this pandemic. However, on the positive side, this pandemic will be a life lesson for many nations about the importance of medical readiness when the global focus was only on military readiness.

The Broken Myths

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Image Captions: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the nation in a televised speech about the coronavirus outbreak on March 19, 2020. 

Image Source: Ajit Solanki/AP

Not only communication but this lockdown has also changed many other perspectives that we had built up in our minds.

Eating out had not only become a part of our daily lives but also was thought to be inseparable. I used to think in this manner but since the beginning of March, I had to desist from doing so and so far so good. Most of us had some kind of domestic help for daily chores. But this lockdown has let people understand the importance of labour as now when we are doing all the household chores. This has led many to understand the importance of labour.

Indians themselves assumed that we just can’t abide by the rules and that we do not care about punctuality that much. But this lockdown and various activities related to it suggests otherwise. Not only are the people understanding the importance of rules but abiding by them. People have become so responsible that they are not even shying away from reporting of their family members of misconduct.

For instance, a man in New Delhi’s Preet Vihar recently reported about his son. When he learned that his son had evaded medical screening at the Delhi airport he took immediate action and called in the authorities.

Furthermore, Indians are now more sensitive to public hygiene. People now are conscious of their cleanliness not just at their houses but also on their streets. Hopefully, we see lesser incidents of people spitting, littering and urinating in open public spaces. Thus understanding the importance of hygiene.

NEW DELHI, INDIA - MARCH 27: Delhi Police personnel offers hand sanitizer to a homeless man on the third day of the national lockdown imposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to curb the spread of Coronavirus COVID-19  near Akshardham temple foot over Bridge, on March 27, 2020 in New Delhi, India. They also distributed food to the workers and the homeless on the road. (Photo by Raj K Raj/Hindustan Times/Sipa USA) (Newscom TagID: sipaphotosten686356.jpg) [Photo via Newscom]

Image Caption: New Delhi police officers provide hand sanitizer to a homeless man on the third day of India’s national lockdown.

Image Credits: AJ K RAJ/HINDUSTAN TIMES/SIPA USA

The Indian Police has had a history tarnished with doings like third-degree torture, lack of readiness, corruption, etc. However, the police around the country have been doing a tremendous job. Going as far as entertaining people in different ways to motivate them to stay at home. Additionally, the medical profession which till some back was seen as a money-making field but now people are understanding the courage it takes be a medical professional in times like these.

Mrinalika, a DU graduate and civil services aspirant, on the issue says, “I have now started socializing with more people. I am connecting with my school friends with whom I had not spoken for years. Not to forget about increased family times. I am trying new dishes and personally have started liking home-cooked food more.”

While the lockdown is helping us to reconnect it also puts a huge strain on us mentally. Psychiatrists around the world have pointed out that mental health issues, including anxiety and depression, are spiking among patients as well as those who have never faced any such issue.

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Image Caption: Health officials check temperatures of drivers at the Tamil Nadu-Andra Pradesh interstate border on the outskirts of Chennai, on March 24, 2020. 

Image Source: Arun Sankar/AFP via Getty Images

With uncertainty on the future events related to the lockdown and the coronavirus pandemic, this situation keeps getting worse. In most of these situations, doctors say, the prime problem is the absence of socializing by the patient.

Numerous people who were mostly on the move before the lockdown are facing obsessive anxiety and fear which has led to acute stress reactions.

The Classic Reruns

The rerun of famous daily soaps by the state broadcaster, Doordarshan has seemingly brought back the 90s. After seeing Indian sitcoms like Dekh Bhai Dekh, Office Office, Sarabhai vs. Sarabhai, etc. I cannot help but think about how versatile and unique the Indian television was before it was invaded by rather senseless ‘saas-bahu’ shows that not only lacked depth but also were short of creativity. These Indian classics also showcase about how original their concepts were.

It is because of this, that classics like Ramayana could amass more than 546 million impressions, even though this was the daily soap’s rerun. It would be amazing if present Indian daily soap producers could understand the importance of originality and hence work towards achieving it. As is being done by various OTT series like Panchayat, The Family Man, Special Ops, Made in Heaven, etc.

Work and Studies from Home

Coronavirus 3

Image Credits: An empty road in Mumbai, Maharashtra state, the country’s financial hub. The state shut down nonessential businesses and trains until the end of March.
Image Source: Imtiyaz Shaikh/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

One of the biggest changes that we are witnessing, especially in India, is the surge in the popularity of work from culture. This practice has not only made it easy for the employees but is also proving to be beneficial for the employers. As Tata Consultancy Services’ COO NG Subramaniam, puts it, “We do not need more than 25% of our workforce in the office to be 100% productive.”

To add to this, Rajesh Gopinathan, the CEO of TCS, said, “We will now be following the model of 25/25 or 25% workforce will be in the office for 25% of the time. It can also be 25/50 but the matter of the fact is that now it will never be 100/100.”

Sweta, an HR employee based in Gurugram, says, “I have become more efficient while working from home. The amount of time is the same but the efforts are lesser and the results are better.”

Various universities including the Delhi University have been forced to notice lacklustre condition in using and operating electronic and internet-based mediums. Be it online classes or the talks of holding semester exams online, varsities have faced a lot of hurdles. However, it has also made way for better and more technology-based educative mediums in the future.

In a life so fast paces this lockdown has given us a lot of time reflect, reconnect and reinvent. Thus, even though the lockdown is a result of a horrific pandemic but still it has changed and will keep changing our lives in many drastic ways. Whether these would be beneficial or not is yet to be seen.

Featured Image Credits: Getty Images

Aniket Singh Chauhan

[email protected]

Did you know Shalimar Bagh Metro Station was named after two monuments of the same name in Lahore and Srinagar? Or did you know that it’s not the Indian National Army but India’s second airlines company that gave its name to INA Metro Station? Here, we talk about a quizzing initiative from a DU student that aims to tell the story behind every metro station.

 

‘Ever travelled on the Delhi Metro? The 229 stations carry a thousand stories.’ reads the bio of an Instagram handle called Delhi Metro Quiz (@delhimetroquiz). It’s a page that attempts to bring out these stories behind every station through the medium of quizzing.

While some might just quizzing as a ‘nerdy’ activity, the University of Delhi does have a thriving culture of quizzers with expertise in various fields. Shivam Sanoria, a second-year student from North Campus’s Cluster Innovation Centre (CIC) decided to have a fun initiative through which people could get to know amusing and informative tidbits of information every day.

The Delhi Metro Quiz is also relatable for college-going students as the Delhi Metro is undeniably the most popular mode of transport for a majority of Delhi’s college students. Shivam’s curated questions and facts only tell us that every time we get down on a metro station, there’s a part of history that we’re stepping on. Shivam has been running the page, along with his peer and fellow quizzer Shubham Jha who helps in formulating the questions. Jha is currently a second-year student from Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies.

Unfortunately, with the current global pandemic, the metros have stopped moving as everything has come to a halt. This quarantine is what gave Shivam time to think about this initiative. ‘The page started on 4th April, but the idea was cooking in my brain for a long time, as I wanted to conduct a quiz on Delhi metro stations. So, when I got time (due to quarantine), I thought why not do it online?’ he says.

From historical incidents behind a particular station to the life details of the person after which a station is named, Shivam’s quiz has been covering various aspects of not only the metro network but also the city’s culture. And the passion behind the questions can be seen from Shivam’s own love for quizzing. As he puts it himself, ‘I’ve been into quizzing for 5 years, from school time itself…and it’s one of the most important things in my college life.’

You can check out Shivam’s work and can gain some knowledge about the Delhi and India channelised via Delhi Metro  on The Delhi Metro Quiz’s Instagram page.

 

Image Credits- DU Beat Archives

Shaurya Singh Thapa

[email protected]

 

The first reaction to North-East Delhi riots, protesters gather at Jantar Mantar for a sit-in protest to demand peace.

Following the riots in the North-Eastern part of Delhi for the past three days, hundreds of protesters gathered on a short notice for a sit-in at Jantar Mantar on 26th February. A quiet crowd was observed comprising not just students but also professors, journalists and many others from different walks of life. People raised slogans such as “I am Ashamed” or “Kab tak mareinge ek dusre ko? Tham jao, bas karo! Iss nafrat ko khatam karo (How long are we going to fight among ourselves? Calm down! Let’s end this hatred)” under the banner of ‘Delhi Wants Peace’.

Multiple speakers addressed the crowd that had gathered there. Vrinda Grover, a lawyer and human rights activist, talked about the role of Delhi police in insuring impunity for the rioters. Navsharan, Karwan e Mohabbat member, addressed the efforts made to ensure availability of medical teams for the injured during the riots. Dipankar Bhattacharya, member of Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), discussed how riots are an attempt to undo the Delhi election mandate. Many other speakers were also heard.

Kavita Krishnan, member of All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIWPA), told DU Beat, “College and university students can play a very big role in mobilising for peace around your colleges and wherever you live. The first thing that you can easily do is go with some flowers or sweets and meet your neighbours. Especially where Muslim students and Kashmiri students are staying. Meet them, understand that they are vulnerable, offer them your friendship and solidarity. Even where there aren’t students, if you know of any locality close by, better to go door to door, whether Hindu or Muslim, distribute sweets and flowers and ask them to be a part of an initiative for peace. Tell them to stop their neighbours from being violent, and protect those in danger.”

Deepika Shergill, another protester, talked about hope in such trying times. “If you’re talking about hope, I actually feel very hopeless and helpless. I’m here as a very concerned Delhi person, a very concerned Indian. I’m trying to find a way how I can make myself relevant to bring this to a stop. When I see that your generation has taken to the street, I do feel that you guys are taking charge. But it’s going to be a long battle. But at least there is a battle; one is not sitting back. Everyone is out here because we all are concerned and I think I take my hope out of it.”

Shahbaz Ansar, a reporter at The Press, also shared his views from a journalist’s perspective. “Mere kayi aise friends hain jinke baare mei abhi tak report nahi hui hai; jinke personal accounts maine sune hain. Jaise meri ek friend hai Sushmita Sinha. Voh kal gayi Jafrabad aur fir tear gas ka usko samna karna pada aur even harassment ka usko samna karna pada. Bohot log yeh saari baatein likhte nahi hain kyunki unke parents pareshan ho jaayeinge. Toh mujhe lagta hai ki jo journalist bohot zyada mehnat kar rahe hain aur in sabh cheezon ko face kar rahe hain aur voh ground pe jakar dekh rahe hain, unse jab aap baat karoge toh voi sare aapko khul kar bataayeinge ki jo police hai voh mili hui hai rioters ke saath. Toh yeh bohot hi alag situation hai kyunki jab rioters ke sath police mil jaati hai toh samajh lo that you are being ruled by criminals. (I have many friends whose encounters haven’t been reported; who’s personal accounts I’ve heard. For instance, I have a friend Sushmita Sinha. Yesterday when she went to Jafrabad, she had to face tear gas and harassment. Many don’t write about these experiences as it might disturb their parents. So I think that the journalists who work hard, face everything and observe everything from the ground would openly claim that the police have joined the rioters. This is a very different situation because when police joins the rioters, then we may conclude that we are being ruled by criminals).”

Feature Image Credits: Aditi Gutgutia for DU Beat

Aditi Gutgutia

[email protected]

In a recent press release, the University of Delhi (DU) released out a statement condemning the sexual harassment that occurred during Gargi College’s annual cultural fest, Reverie. 

In a recent press release dated 12th February 2020, the University of Delhi released an official statement condemning the sexual harassment that occurred during the college’s annual festival Reverie on 6th February 2020 and standing with the female students and employees of Gargi College in their fight against the incident. In the statement signed by the University’s Registrar, Professor Tarun Kumar Das said, “The University strongly condemned the hooliganism, trespassing and any other incident that violated the modesty of the students, and appealed to the law enforcement agencies to take strong action against the culprits.”

In the statement, the University claims that it sought action taken report from the Principal of Gargi College as soon as it heard the news regarding the incident, with the University’s Proctor meeting with Police personnel and requesting them to deploy policemen at the gates of every college on 11th February 2020. The Proctor also allegedly met with the Deputy Commissioner of the Police (North) and the Dean Students Welfare and Presiding Officer (ICC) of the University on 12th February 2020 at 3 pm to discuss the measures that were to be taken regarding the matter immediately.

The University insists that it is doing everything to harbour a sense of safety amongst students and ensure safe and secure academic campuses for the university and is at a constant vigil for the same. The University had also issued an advisory for all colleges and institutions associated with DU concerning the safety and security of its female students and employees on 10th December 2019 and had constituted a Committee on Women Safety and Security to strengthen the safety and security of female students and employees on 15th January 2020.

“The University reiterates its resolve time continue to work towards ensuring a safe and secure college life for female students in particular. The University appeals to all to take all necessary steps to ensure the safety and security of our female students and employees and respect their dignity,” the press release stated.

Students of Gargi College, University of Delhi, experiences hooliganism, trespassing, and sexual harassment during their annual festival Reverie that took place on 6th February 2020, due to poor administration and lack of proper security. Students of Gargi College have been observing dissent demonstrations against the act, and the College and established a Fact-Finding committee to find evidence and information for reporting it to official personnel. Student and teacher organisations of the university- Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA), Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU), Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthu Parishad (ABVP), National Students’ Union of India (NSUI)- have condemned the incident and held demonstrations across the campus in support of the female students and employees of Gargi College.

 

Feature Image Credits: Sanyukta Singh

Shreya Juyal

[email protected] 

 

 

 

The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) celebrated the National Youth Day at different locations in Delhi, including Faculty of Arts (University of Delhi) and Mukherjee Nagar. It commemorated the 157th birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda and organised several competitions and programmes including a Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) awareness session. 

ABVP celebrated Swami Vivekananda’s 157th birth anniversary as the National Youth Day. In remembrance of the great saint it organised programmes at various locations  which included Faculty of Arts (DU), Mukherjee Nagar, and Kalkaji.

In the forthcoming week, ABVP will be organising various symposiums as well as recreational functions like painting competitions and art exhibitions, highlighting based on Swami Vivekananda’s life.

It also held a CAA awareness session, Shri Prafulla Akant, National Joint Organising Secretary, ABVP spoke about busting myths surrounding CAA. “Students, today, must brave the rough-hewn road to success. They must be wary of the political opportunists intending to waylay unsuspecting students and retard their career progression by exploiting them for their partisan political ends. The students must avoid palavers and judiciously engage in debates on consequential issues to achieve a meaningful denouement”, he said in the press release.

As a tribute to Swami Vivekananda at Delhi University’s Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, Shri Sriniwas, National Joint Organising Secretary, ABVP, said, “There is an impending need for a contemporary construction of Swamiji’s thoughts. He was an ingenious thinker with a unique appraisal of India’s intractable problems and devoted a sustained effort towards discovering native solutions for the same. His exceptional ideas that form the bedrock of modern India, still continue to inspire millions to choose the path of selfless service towards the nation.”

At the programme being held at Faculty of Arts, Sidharth Yadav, Secretary, ABVP, Delhi, said, “Swamiji’s endeavours and his missionary zeal to foreground the veritable truth about India’s unique history and culture served to raise India’s stature in the eyes of the world. He was one of the few original thinkers of modern India whose ideas will continue to provide thought-leadership to posterity.”

In a wreath laying ceremony held at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Durgesh Kumar, President, ABVP-JNU, said, “It is imperative to keep alive the right to dissent in campuses across the country. In today’s polarised atmosphere, one that has split the student community into half, it is equally important to pursue dialogue and deliberation for solving contentious issues. Our temples of learning must not become havens for partisan political adventures. JNU needs to embrace Swamiji’s ideas for the root and branch eradication of centrifugal forces from our beloved campus.” His comments come after the recent violence allegedly caused by ABVP activists. While students at JNU have been protesting over the fee hike issue, the violence has escalated the political tensions.

 

 

Feature Image Credits: Anonymous

Sriya Rane 

[email protected]

Who is to be blamed?
The year’s old fame of Delhi University has now turned into sham when thousands of its professors are on roads protesting about the incompetence of university administration. The professors, who have worked relentlessly for years and who have taught the sharpest brains of the country, teach with insecure minds. Approximately 4500 teachers in Delhi University are serving on an ad-hoc basis. This means that they are appointed for a fixed period of 4 months and are reappointed as per the whims and fancies of the college administration.
One of the major reasons for this uproar has been the 28 August circular, which has created a history in itself. Never before had the administration been so cruel to its teachers. The Delhi University assistant registrar in the circular addressed to Principals, Directors, Colleges, and Institutions informed:
“The colleges are…advised to fill up the permanent vacancies at the earliest and till permanent appointments are made, colleges may appoint guest faculty, if required, against new vacancies arising first time in academic session 2019-2020”
This means that the rejoining of the existing 4500 ad-hoc teachers is at stake since the circular clearly states the appointment of guest faculty instead of ad-hoc faculty. The entire teaching fraternity was taken aback. They were earlier hoping for permanent appointments instead of ad-hoc and now they even fear to lose their ad-hoc jobs. Some ad-hoc teachers have been teaching for more than ten years now and have a dependent family. One line of the circular was enough to make them experience sleepless nights.
Here it is important to understand the difference between ad-hoc and guest faculty. The ad-hoc teachers extract a salary as is fixed by the University Grants Commission and are given voting rights equivalent to permanent faculty. Apart from this, they are also involved in all the academic and extracurricular activities of the college/institution. Whereas on the other hand the guest faculty are expected to come, deliver a lecture and go. They are paid a nominal amount per lecture delivered and have no voting rights.
The Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) took the cause of teachers and left no stone unturned to stop the implementation of such draconian circular that deprived teachers of their fundamental right to life and livelihood. Since August, they have been demanding the withdrawal of this circular, but the Vice-Chancellor turned deaf ears. The teachers when went unheard decided to boycott all the Delhi University examination invigilation and evaluation duties and resolved to protest at the VC Regal Lodge. This created a deadlock in the university and without faculty, the colleges are having a tough time in conducting the university final examinations. Who is to be blamed for such ruckus? Did the Vice-Chancellor overlook or is it the administrative inertia? Or is it the politically vested interest of few that have brought the entire education system to a halt? Why is it that whenever the ad-hoc teachers demand permanency, they are instead made insecure about their ad-hoc jobs?
Earlier also, when the voices of ad-hoc teachers strengthened for permanency, the teaching roster was changed from 200 point to 13 point. The reserved category posts as per the 13 point roster would reduce and thus the entire focus and efforts shifted towards getting the 200 point roster back in implementation. After winning this long fight with administration, now when the teachers demanded permanency, they were deprived of their existing jobs and they demanded the continuation of their existing ad-hoc jobs, forgetting about being permanent. Many questions arise. Whether the professors at the most prestigious university deserve such insecurity? Don’t they have a right to life and livelihood? What are the reasons behind the administration’s inaction and government’s delay in filling up the permanent posts? These unanswered questions are probably the reasons for the declining education system in India.

Mansi Babbar
Assistant Professor
University of Delhi

Feature Image Credits: Yudu Ushanandani

Delhi Queer Pride Parade 2019 witnessed a colourful celebration of love and inclusiveness, on Barakhamba Road. The march was also led against the regressive Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019. 

24th November, 2019 witnessed the famed Delhi Queer Pride on Barakhamba Road. The pride had dual motives this year, to celebrate love and inclusivity as well as protest against the regressive Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019, commonly called the Trans Bill. 

The march began from the intersection of Tolstoy Marg and Barakhamba Road till Janpath, and went even further. The entire road was lit up with rainbow coloured balloons, pride flags, and high-spirited people. 

Posters against the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019, the allegedly homophobic government, and depicting the struggles of the community were seen in abundance.

In a majority of states across our country, LGBTQIA+ rights and dignity are not fully protected by the law, and, in fact, there are fierce movements that seek to oppress and marginalise them and their social relationships. One such movement, being the Trans Bill. 

For many LGBT+ people, Pride is the one time of the year when they can be out and proud about who they are, and whom they love. It’s the one time of year that they can stand boldly in the streets with other queer individuals, proclaiming that “we are fully human”, and deserve to be celebrated and uplifted just like everyone else. Even in cities that are seen as LGBT+ friendly, it is still an incredibly subversive experience to get to march in parades or attend festivals where hundreds upon hundreds of LGBT+ people are letting their lights shine before all people without fear. Pride is often the beginning of the process of healing from the trauma inflicted on us by our heteronormative, patriarchal society.

A student from University of Delhi (DU) under the conditions of anonymity said, “Pride is the time where I can take out my mom’s saree and try it, not behind my bedroom’s closed door but out in the open in the streets, and be loved for it.”

The streets witnessed various scintillating performances on the beats of the dhol and drums playing. The parade was echoing with slogans like “Pyaar karne ki azadi, Modi se azadi” and “Jai Bheem”.

The major concern of the pride was to raise awareness against the resistance being faced by one part of the LGBTQIA+ community due to the Trans Bill. 

India’s Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2019, contradicts the rights and protections laid out in the country’s supreme court’s NALSA verdict of 2014. It also upholds the humiliating process of submitting an application to District Magistrate for a legal recognition of one’s transgender identity, which means to first register as a transgender, then submit proof of surgery to get identification as male or female. The bill also says that sexual violence against a trans persons will be subjected to a  punishment from 6 months to 2 years, in comparison to 7 years crimes against heterosexual women. It also rejects reservation and affirmative action for trans, intersex and gender nonconforming people in health, education and employment.

Student unions like All India Student Association (AISA) were also seen being part of the parade along with students from all over DU and other universities. 

However, the Pride didn’t only see participation from one age group. People from all walks of life had come together for pride, from school children to middle-aged men to the elderly. 

Delhi Queer Pride is a time where everyone steps out of the shadows and declares that they will no longer be forced to suppress their truest selves because of the heterosexual fragility and fear. 

Feature Image Credits: Noihrit Gogoi for DU Beat

Chhavi Bahmba 

[email protected]

 

The Delhi metro is arguably the most important element in a student’s life, especially when she needs to get to that 8 a.m. lecture. Read further for a guide to a more satisfying metro experience.

The metro is the most frequently used mode of transport for most of us students at the Delhi University, and for so many others. So much so that many of us spend long hours everyday on the metro itself. If this ride plays such a prominent role in our lives, it might as well be a rather satisfying experience, if not entirely pleasurable. To ensure this, we must understand and respect the personal space of those travelling with us.

  • Let’s begin with a very basic, yet overlooked issue- do not request people to make room on the bench when there clearly isn’t any. 

Everyone on the metro is already crammed up. There is no point fitting six people on a five-seater bench when no one is comfortable. Which brings me to my next point. If you can, please stand. Stop eyeing younger passengers into giving you their seats. They probably had a worse day than you. Be a little more compassionate towards us, please.

Note: For those of you standing and holding on to the handles for support, maybe try wearing a deodorant? I don’t blame you for having sweaty armpits; we live in Delhi, I’d be surprised if you didn’t. But now that you’re shoving it in so many faces, might as well be a little more considerate of the others around you. After the long, tiring days everyone goes through, sniffing at smelly armpits is really the last thing they need. 

  • Moving on, try to avoid too much PDA.

 I mean, call me orthodox but watching a couple snuggling up in a corner while having your own nose deep in your course book can be highly irksome (?). Sure you’re generating enough heat to warm up the entire metro in this winter season, but kindly spare all the single people out there. They don’t need this kind of negativity in their lives. 

  • Please do not throw up in the metro. 

Again, I understand, it’s a genuine problem. But you cannot ruin the already-melancholic mood of the metro, and then conveniently exit at the next stop. You don’t just throw up. If you feel icky, you get off at the next station and get yourself some medicines. But you don’t wait for it to get worse. It’s about your health only, you see? 

Now there are other issues to be kept in mind. 

  • Listen to Rini Khanna and Shami Narang when they ask you not to eat in the metro or play music.

Trust me, ketchup smells disgusting. We know you want to enjoy your burger to the fullest, but nobody wants to smell that ketchup. No offence, but you don’t even have the best taste in music. Man created earphones for a reason. Now is the right time to flaunt your airpods. 

There is so much you can do to while away your time in the metro while not encroaching upon anyone’s personal space (unless the metro is jam-packed, in which case you can only pray). So let’s try to make our journeys more peaceful and satisfying for all of us.

Feature Image Credits: Hitesh Kalra for DU Beat

Aditi Gutgutia

[email protected]