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Antiquity, the annual Academic meet of the History Department of Lady Shri Ram College was held on 16th February, 2013. One of the most awaited History fests in Delhi University, Antiquity truly lived up to its hype this year, with some brilliant lectures and academically intriguing competitions. The History Department President, Vidushi Singh, inaugurated the fest, and her inspiring speech left students truly questioning the true meaning of myths and legends in their life and their reliability as intangible sources of heritage. According to Vidushi, “As students of History, the one thing that we have come to realize is that it is important to question our identities and the myths and legends that create it. Only then can we stop reigning in our curiosity and enquire about the blind acceptance of certain myths that govern our lives. This is one of the prime reasons that made us choose Myths and Legends this year as a theme for Antiquity.”

Dr. Shireen Moosvi, renowned Professor of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) spoke about ‘The age of Akbar and the legend of Anarkali’. Her talk transported students to the reign of Akbar, and was immensely beneficial for the third year students who are currently studying Mughal India. Indeed, a ruler is truly defined by the supporters he keeps, and Dr. Moosvi clearly highlighted it during her lecture about Akbar. Her hypothesis about Anarkali also left the students spellbound. The second lecture was delivered by Dr. Narayani Gupta, renowned Professor of History at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. Dr. Gupta spoke on the legends surrounding Delhi. With a dash of humour and a couple of eye opening facts, she received a thunderous applause at the end of her speech.

The Quiz, which was the highlight of the fest, was one of the most challenging events. Sudarshana Chanda, the quiz master, one of the best quizzing students of LSR conducted the quiz. She has been conducting the quiz for the past three years, each year making it even more challenging and interesting than the previous one.  The Paper Presentation competition was held in the afternoon, and saw participation from students of LSR as well as other colleges, and departments other than History. The competition was won by students of Miranda House, whose presentation on ‘Bengal folk paintings’ left the audience spellbound. Some really intense and thought provoking presentations were presented, one of them by Flavy Sen Sharma, on ‘Women  in the Jatakas’. Flavy came second.

According to Diksha Jhalani, the Secretary of the History Union, “I feel Antiquity is the best platform for undergraduate students belonging to any and every field to come and display their talents as well as learn more about the subject. It is definitely by far the biggest event I have worked for.” Diksha has been actively contributing throughout the year to the Union activities, and the hard work showed in the excellent organization of every event in Antiquity. Madhurima, the treasurer of the Union, also echoed the same view, and was seen throughout the fest actively working with all the volunteers to ensure all technical glitches and other problems were solved.

Antiquity ended on a bright note, with all participants going back to their respective colleges learning something new about the discipline of history, and re- instating their love for the subject. The all- inclusive atmosphere truly makes Antiquity a unique experience for every student and it is hoped that Antiquity returns next year bigger and better!

Antiquity, the annual Academic meet of the History Department of Lady Shri Ram College was held on 16th February, 2013. One of the most awaited History fests in Delhi University, Antiquity truly lived up to its hype this year, with some brilliant lectures and academically intriguing competitions. The History Department President, Vidushi Singh, inaugurated the fest, and her inspiring speech left students truly questioning the true meaning of myths and legends in their life and their reliability as intangible sources of heritage. According to Vidushi, “As students of History, the one thing that we have come to realize is that it is important to question our identities and the myths and legends that create it. Only then can we stop reigning in our curiosity and enquire about the blind acceptance of certain myths that govern our lives. This is one of the prime reasons that made us choose Myths and Legends this year as a theme for Antiquity.” Dr. Shireen Moosvi, renowned Professor of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) spoke about ‘The age of Akbar and the legend of Anarkali’. Her talk transported students to the reign of Akbar, and was immensely beneficial for the third year students who are currently studying Mughal India. Indeed, a ruler is truly defined by the supporters he keeps, and Dr. Moosvi clearly highlighted it during her lecture about Akbar. Her hypothesis about Anarkali also left the students spellbound. The second lecture was delivered by Dr. Narayani Gupta, renowned Professor of History at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. Dr. Gupta spoke on the legends surrounding Delhi. With a dash of humour and a couple of eye opening facts, she received a thunderous applause at the end of her speech. The Quiz, which was the highlight of the fest, was one of the most challenging events. Sudarshana Chanda, the quiz master, one of the best quizzing students of LSR conducted the quiz. She has been conducting the quiz for the past three years, each year making it even more challenging and interesting than the previous one.  The Paper Presentation competition was held in the afternoon, and saw participation from students of LSR as well as other colleges, and departments other than History. The competition was won by students of Miranda House, whose presentation on ‘Bengal folk paintings’ left the audience spellbound. Some really intense and thought provoking presentations were presented, one of them by Flavy Sen Sharma, on ‘Women  in the Jatakas’. Flavy came second. According to Diksha Jhalani, the Secretary of the History Union, “I feel Antiquity is the best platform for undergraduate students belonging to any and every field to come and display their talents as well as learn more about the subject. It is definitely by far the biggest event I have worked for.” Diksha has been actively contributing throughout the year to the Union activities, and the hard work showed in the excellent organization of every event in Antiquity. Madhurima, the treasurer of the Union, also echoed the same view, and was seen throughout the fest actively working with all the volunteers to ensure all technical glitches and other problems were solved. Antiquity ended on a bright note, with all participants going back to their respective colleges learning something new about the discipline of history, and re- instating their love for the subject. The all- inclusive atmosphere truly makes Antiquity a unique experience for every student and it is hoped that Antiquity returns next year bigger and better!]]>

Nipun Saxena, a fourth year student of National Law University-Delhi, has filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) regarding the Delhi Gang Rape case which took place on the 16th of December 2012. For Nipun, this incident acted as a trigger for filing this PIL. Being a concerned citizen and a stakeholder of the case, he claims that it isn’t solely about women rights but about the right of every citizen of our country to feel safe, be it a boy or a girl.

This is the first time in our country that a PIL has been filed by a student where the student himself will be arguing his case.

Q) What is a PIL? And to begin with if you could provide us with a general idea about the PIL filed by you?

Ans) A PIL refers to a Public Interest Litigation which is raised before the High Court or the Supreme Court. Any public spirited citizen can approach the Supreme Court of India to ensure that certain fundamental rights of a citizen are fulfilled. In this case we are contemplating three rights:

–        Right to life with dignity

–        Right against discrimination of women

–        Freedom of movement or carrying out trade and occupation.

The third right has been included for a simple reason which can be explained with an example- living in an ‘unsafe’ environment restricts women to take up jobs that will allow them to leave before a specific hour or before it gets dark. This eventually reduces their work efficiency and hence must be taken up here. In short, public safety is what we are targeting at.

Q) When and what made you feel it was imperative to file this PIL?

Ans) It was the incident which shook the nation that got me thinking about filing this PIL. It is something very common with women, especially among students traveling by public transport. A survey report shows that such incidents take place on an hourly basis around us, let alone daily basis. 86 such incidents have been reported in the past three months, out of which 30 have taken place in moving transport. And these are only the figures that have been reported! More so, it is unacceptable for the system to have tolerated such incidents. This clearly goes to show that the safety measures that are being taken are not adequate.

I feel the protests that took place were significant as something needs to be done, and there has got to be a starting point to it. This is how I am doing my work, by filing the PIL and researching on the issue to look for possible solutions. If everyone would do their respective jobs correctly, these incidents could be avoided.

Q) Who all have filed this PIL along with you? And who all are involved in it, apart from you?

Ans) Initially it was filed by Ankita Chaudhary, a practicing advocate in the Supreme Court, along with me. Ankita, the co-petitioner and I will be arguing for this case. There are also others who have been playing a major role in providing us with all the help that we require. To name a few, Akansha Seth (NLU-D), Devanshu Sajlan (NLUD), Avni Misra (Miranda), Brinda Shroff (Law Fac), Mishika Singh (Campus Law Centre) and Divya Srinivasan (NLU-D). I have also got a lot of support from my mentors in college, and I would also like to take this opportunity to extend my gratification to NLU-D for providing us with the research facilities in the library and also the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ranbir Singh for supporting us.

Q) What are the grounds on which this PIL has been filed?

Ans) The PIL has been filed on the following grounds:

Firstly, the State Transport Authority needs to be directed that public transport should be made safer for women. This can be done by cancelling or revoking the license of drivers and conductors who have made any violations.  These include the antecedents of the driver and conductor- if they have any criminal records pending; If the passengers allowed are over the seating capacity of the buses; not adhering to the route chart, etc. All these are a part of the rules mentioned in the Motor Vehicles Act, but are hardly followed. The bus in the Delhi gang rape case was a contract carriage bus which is not allowed to carry anybody apart from whose names are provided to the driver and conductors. These are usually the buses appointed by offices for their employees or schools for their students. For this bus, the permits had also been lapsed and yet it was being driven around.

Second is regarding the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, which was a term used by the Supreme Court in 1995. Basically, there are many cases wherein victims are traumatized and no medical assistance is provided to them, and even lawyers are not ready to fight their cases. These are more in cases of unwanted pregnancies. Therefore it is very important that such cases are taken up. The issue here is that seventeen years have passed and the central government has still done nothing to establish this.

Third ground is with respect to the practice of the “two finger test” carried out on a rape survivor to ascertain the previous sexual history of the victim. By this test the lady is portrayed to be of a “loose character” and therefore the rape is not recorded as a rape, but is left out by saying it was consensual. In India, this test finds its mention in a 15th century biologists’ book and to see that it is still being practiced in the 21st century with all the medical advancements is simply appalling.

Q) How is the response so far? And what is your plan of action from here on?

Ans) The very fact that the case has been admitted answered all our prayers. The additional solicitor generals are a part of this case and are appearing from the opposite side, which goes to show that the case is being taken seriously.

This case was admitted by the SC on 11th January, which also when we had our first hearing. The second hearing was on 1st Februray when the Additional Solicitor General of india, Siddharth Luthra, was representing the ministers. The next hearing has been scheduled for 8th March.

We are also carrying out a Public Perception Survey regarding the safety of women in Delhi. This survey is being circulated in every college in Delhi/NCR and also the BPO’s and other workplaces. The idea behind this survey is to know how many women have been subjected to such instances where they have felt unsafe and have gone through such instances. This would then be presented as evidence to the SC. Therefore, we need as much response from the people on this as possible to make this step a success.

Q) Do you think the whole hype initially surrounding this case has now subsided and would eventually have no impact on the situation? Or is it just the calm before a storm?

Ans) Sadly, our memory is very short lived. I am in support of peaceful movements, but the fact remains the same. Are you doing anything about it? During the major protests we saw in the capital, there were varying notions of justice which eventually led to nothing. And the idea of ‘prevention is better than cure’ puzzles me. I feel preventive justice is better than corrective justice. Also, I don’t think we need more laws to change anything. What we need is the implementation of those laws.

 

The link to the survey is: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dG9IemR0YWFHbGZHc0JLWnVWUFhPUFE6MQ

The Dramatics Society of SRCC is back with their annual theater festival, Histrionica 2013. This time, it is not only about theater. The four day festival includes: Charades-the stage plays, Aahavan- the nukkad natak, Just for laughs- the stand up comedy act, sum of parts- the skit competition, Shutters- the photography competition, Saaz- the musical night and Live wire- the rock night.

The dramatics society has worked hard over the years and has added gravitas and substance to the festival to make theatre accessible to all those who aspire to do it all well as those who watch it from a distance.

The festival starts with Sum of parts, the skit competition, on 14th February. An event for all those who want to bring out the actor within, Sum of Parts gives you a chance to be more than just a faceless member of the audience.
Shutters, the photography competition is a contest for budding photographers, organised in collaboration with the Delhi University Photography Club. This year, the competition will be online as well as on campus.

On 15th Feb, look forward to an afternoon of riotous fun and laughter in the event Just for Laughs, which is the stand-up comedy act. For all the theatre lovers, we have Charades, the stage play competition. English, Hindi and bilingual plays from all over Delhi University will be performed. From 16 plays, 8 were shortlisted, which are “12 Angry Men” by KMC, “Akka Amoli Anni” by Maitreyi College, “Attempts on Her Life” by LSR, “Baap re Baap” by Hansraj College, “Laal Pencil” by Dyal Singh College, “Norway Today” by Ramjas, “Saints and Sinners” by Ramjas and “Threesome without Simone” by KMC. A must watch in the festival, Charades has always attracted and enthralled the audience.

On 16th, Saaz promises to be a star-studded night devoted to the beauty of the classics. Histrionica does not only approach the youth of Delhi, but also the families who like to go out together on a Saturday night and have a nice time. If you happen to be a lover of classic music, Saaz will not disappoint you.

Aahavan, the street play competition will be held on the 17th. From the catchy songs to the human formations that leave the audience in awe, this form of theatre has the ability to engage the audience from the very beginning and holds their attention till the end. The shortlisted teams which will be performing are: ” Aakhir hum bhi insaan hain” by Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, “Abbey, Teri toh!” by Maharaja Agrasen College, “Darte Kyun Ho Pappu Mia?” by Daulat Ram College, “Naadaan” by Hansraj College, “Reservation Leela” by SGTB Khalsa Colege, Hindu College, “Ye Kaisi Saza” by Dyal Singh Eve College and “Yeh Gandi Baat Hain” by PGDAV College (D).

After Aavahan, the audience will witness the Battle of the Bands, called Live wire: The Rock Night. A treat for rock fans and music enthusiasts, look forward to scintillating performances by the upcoming artists of Delhi.

“The only festival that celebrates the artistic you, and lets you discover new horizons. Histrionica is about you, me and us. Four Days of celebrating life”

A fest that inspires such a plethora of emotions must definitely be something special. At the Dramatics Society of Shri Ram College of Commerce, Histrionica is nothing less than the unifying edifice on which the society is built. In the field of dramatics, and more specifically, in DU theatre, such tales of passion are what sustain the spirit of the art that they perform. And it is this spirit that shall be celebrated with full gusto, at HISTRIONICA.

Since its inception  in 2004, it has been the endeavour of the Dramsoc to not remain confined by the proverbial mould of DU festivals, and hence, DIFFERENT has always been synonymous with Histrionica. It is the only festival of its kind in Delhi University, where the entire Dramatics community of DU celebrates and rejoices in each showcase as an expression of some unique creative idea and thought. And this year, Histrionica goes one step further.

Histrionica 2013, which will be taking place from the 14th to the 17th of February, promises to be the Mecca of all theatre lovers and the Holy grail of all music enthusiasts. To put it in their words, they’ve got “a li’l something for everyone.” From Charades, the Stage Play Festival, to Aahavan, the Street Event, they’ve got it all. Not only theatre, the festival this year round has a distinctly musical note to it. Livewire, a Battle of the Bands followed by a star band performance, and Saaz: the Classical Music Night will surely delight our music lovers. Apart from theatre and music, Histrionica also has a lot to offer to amateur photographers in DU. In association with the Delhi University Photography Club (DUPC), they are organizing SHUTTERS, a photography competition. And for all those who have secret dreams of acting or just like to have a bit of fun, SUM OF PARTS, the Skit Competition guarantees both. Last but not the least, comes JUST FOR LAUGHS, a comic afternoon with one of the best stand-up comedians of the country.

Looks like Histrionica 2013 is the place to be at? So follow them on their facebook page and website to know more exciting details, and also watch this space for more.

www.facebook.com/Histrionica.SRCC

www.histrionica-srcc.org

Do you ever suffer from the common case of mild hysteria coupled with pangs of self derogation and just a tiny dash of “all-hope’s-lost”?

Well, then you’re probably a 3rd year student at any one of the colleges across Delhi University. But brace yourselves, for the waves of nostalgia that’ll wash over you in the final months of your life as an undergraduate are about to hit you, and hit you hard.

How could a poor soul deal with all of this at once without any sort of guidance and yet be expected to come out of it with flying colours (read marks)? We know it’s a stretch and that’s why we decided to help our brothers/sisters with a little sense of direction on how to go about this mammoth task.

  1. If you’re currently buried under a huge pile of projects/assignments/tests that need to be submitted within the next few days and the only way anywhere seems down;
    • Do not panic. Take deep breaths and try to organize the work and get a strategy in place even if you eventually end up not following your game plan. It just feels good to think you’re growing up.
    • For once, pay attention to the work and don’t just mindlessly copy from the nerd in class. This might be your last chance to take away something from three years of graduation.
  2. If the entrance exam results are driving you up the wall because you know you deserved more than that girl who didn’t even study;
    • Blame it on your bad luck. Tell everyone around you how you burnt the midnight oil trying to crack this one and how it was unfair on God’s part to put you through this. Not only will it help you get over the pain, but God might just take pity and turn your luck around.
    • Don’t depend solely on God’s benevolence and make alternative plans. Just because you didn’t clear this one entrance doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. Be open to alternative avenues and a little exploration.
  3. For if and when nostalgia hits you;
    • Throw a get-together/party/picnic that’ll be the best memory of the three years past and the one story that you’ll tell your future generations proudly.
    • Accept that it’s almost over, tell the people around you that you’ll probably miss them and snap out of it. There’s no better way, honestly.

Disclaimer: These are general life rules and not written in stone. Try and mold them according to your needs/situation. The least that Delhi University teaches its students is ‘jugaad’.

 

Surya Rajappan
[email protected] 

Image source- www.anxiety.com

Tomorrow, 14th January 2013 Delhi University and the Mind and Life Institute has organised a dialogue with His Holiness, The Dalai Lama to discuss Science, Ethics and Education. Apart from Dalai Lama, Professor Dinesh Singh: Vice Chancellor of University of Delhi, Arthur Zojonc: President of Mind and Life Institute, Richard J. Davidson: Professor of Psychology Wisconsin-Madison University, ThuptenJinpa:  Scholar neuroscience studies, Stanford University, Tania Singer:  Director Mask Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and brain sciences will also be present to talk about these topics.

The venue has been fixed at Convention Hall, Vice-regal lodge, University of Delhi and the first round starts from 9 am to 12:30 am and the second from 1:30pm to 4:30 pm. To participate in the event, the interested Delhi University Student has to send a write up of 100 words on why he/she wants to be a part of the discussion. We can say that it is a once in a life time opportunity to see and hear his holiness talk about the topic which so closely relates to us.

 

Aishwarya Chaurasia
[email protected] 

A lot of mortals, Mayans, their descendants and otherwise believe that the world shall meet its end on the 21st of December of this year that has gone by, viz. 2012. As always there is the ardent group of the nay-sayers, the non-believers, the sceptics. These members of highest pig-headedness as well as optimism are found in generous dosage across the face of planet which is apparently approaching its long-forecasted doom.

The supremely intelligent coterie of people, the powers that be at Delhi University however are those who belong to the yet another category of people, the most commonly found – the sloths. If our sources are to be believed, news is that all checking of examination answer-sheets has been put on hold. This affects courses from the undergrad level, and taking its path through the post-graduate courses infiltrates the doctorate programmes. The process of checking the answer-sheet will slowly begin only after the 21st of this month, after every agency confirms that life will go on.

Our source informs us that the authorities at the University feel that in the event of the apocalypse, the declaration of results leaves no one in good stead. One one hand, it calls the teachers to check scores of answer sheets, which may all be to no avail, thus expending their energies in vain. The other concern being that they “wish that the students end their time on Earth without the additionally depressing knowledge of their scores”, though exceptions may abound for the sundry genii who populate the University in peaceful cohabitation. For them, we offer our commiserations.

Every college of Delhi University has a culture of its own which defines it. The culture is as instrumental in getting the college a ranking on the glossy pages of the most-prestigious education magazines, as it is in getting its students to feel what they do about the dynamics of the subject that is, “college and me”.

One of the most unfortunate things that could ever happen to a student, all strapping him up for the big-bad world is that he finds himself fenced in by people, fellow students he is not able to associate with. (This statement is made, notwithstanding the age-old adage- “It’s all in the mind”).

Following is what the self-confessed misfits had to say about the college they are still struggling to adapt to the ethos of.:

Shri Ram College of Commerce:

I have always been rather flippant about things and more creative and subjective than moulded into a thought frame which gives me opinions about what’s happening in this world in general. Encountering people by the dozen everyday in college, who would kill to glamorise their CVs and who swear by the “B-plan and Case Study lexicon” in all their discussions, and with little encouragement by the college authorities to talk about activities I could more relate to, like music and Art, I have just never been able to feel that sense of belongingness to this place, or more precisely, to the crowd. Also, the course (in my case) has never been an incentive to feel happy about the place.

Lady Shri Ram College:

I longed to find nutcases of girls around me in the campus, but in vain. The girls were (with no offence meant) always prim and proper, with hair in place, and a certain “LSR twirl” on their tongues. The fantastical college world I had imagined for myself in my dreams came crumbling down when I first set foot on the grounds of this institution. I almost resigned, calling “this” part of the world extensively phony. Though I still feel lost, I think I have come to terms with the culture of the college.

College has a huge role to play when it comes to shaping the person you would be. When they regurgitate the idea of, “choosing course over college”, they’re not entirely wrong, as when the chips are down, you have the refuge of your books at least because if the college refuses to choose YOU, you’re in for trouble for the next three years of your life.

 

Vatsala Gaur
[email protected]

Image credits: Additi Seth
[email protected] 

India, with its cultural and linguistic diversity, has among the richest traditions of theatre in the world. Nearly every language, every region, has its own form of theatre. In an attempt to bring all these onto a common platform and learn from the various traditions in theatre characteristic to different Indian languages, the Shakespeare Sabha of St. Stephen’s College initiated Bhaasha, a Multilingual One-Act play competition in 2011.

In addition to this attempt, Bhaasha was also initiated to reflect the idea that that language, while being an important tool of theatre, is not the be-all and end-all. Bhaasha is the manifestation of our belief that theatre transcends language.

The idea of a multilingual theatre competition is pretty new to Delhi University and was conceived only last year. In its first year ‘Bhaasha’ was a bit of an experiment and entries were restricted to within Delhi University. We received wide and enthusiastic participation and the audience was treated to a feast of theatre over two days. The Shakespeare Sabha entered two non-competitive entries. The first was a short mime and the second, was ‘Ibn Batuta’, far more elaborate and wider in its scope. The production embodied the spirit and the underlying idea of ‘Bhaasha’. ‘Ibn Batuta’ featured seven regional languages. Actors recited poetry in Punjabi, Malayalam, Rajasthani, Manipuri, Tamil, Bangla and Urdu evoking themes and emotions varying from pathos to revolution. The concept and execution of the play was widely acclaimed. Of the competitive entries, it was Shunya, the dramsoc of Ramjas College that carried the honours with its brilliant play, “Bang! Bang! You’re Dead!” The honour of best director went to Aarushie Sharma and Heena Aggarwal of Ibtida (Hindu College) for their play “Us Paar”.

Having tasted success with our experiment, we have looked to expand the scope of Bhaasha. In only its second Bhaasha has gone national and much to our relief, multilingual. The entries this year are diverse in character and presentation.

This year, we open with ‘ABOHOMAN’, a play by St. Stephen’s based on an episode from the Mahabharata followed by ‘WHAT THE HELL’ – a comedy of emotions by Ibtida (Hindu College) inspired by Jean Paul Sartre’s ‘No exit’. Next up is ‘KUTTE’, Vayam’s (Shivaji College) adaptation of Vijay Tendulkar’s comment on the modern workplace. We wrap up the first day with Ankur’s (SGTB Khalsa College) take on Manto’s ‘THANDA GOSHT’.

First on 6th November is ‘LAAL PENCIL’, Astitva’s (Dyal Singh College) play on the association of a girl with her red pencil. Jadavpur University, Kolkata present their play ‘HARADHAN PRAMANIKER PROSTHAN’ – a growing up tale that connects six drastically different lifetimes together.  Following this, is ‘NOISES OFF’, a play by SRCC about the multi-fold, quieter behind the scenes narratives that play out their stories even before the real tale can begin. Last year’s winner, Shunya (Ramjas College) then presents ‘SAINTS AND SINNERS’, four stories, of four unscrupulous men. The concluding performance is that of the Hansraj Dramatics Society. Replete with songs, the play revolves around the passionate misery of Topan Lal Keshwani.

A brilliant experience and a celebration of Indian theatre, Bhaasha has been a treat for the audiences, performers, judges and organisers. We expect Bhaasha 2012 to be twice as good, twice as entertaining. And we hope that in the years to come Bhaasha will grow further and its underlying idea will come to fulfillment.

 

Visit their Facebook page for more details, http://www.facebook.com/Bhaasha.SSC.