As you think of others far away, think of yourself (say, “If only I were a candle in the dark”). –Mahmoud Darwish (translated by Mohammed Shaheen)

At the time of writing this article, it has been 40 days since the commencement of Israel’s relentless retaliatory assault on the Palestinian people living in Gaza and the Occupied West Bank. Following the Hamas attack on October 7, 2023, Israel’s offensive has resulted in the tragic deaths of at least 11,000 Palestinian civilians, with over 20,000 sustaining injuries. 42 journalists and media workers have lost their lives, and the war has recorded the highest number of UN aid worker casualties in the history of the organisation. Craig Mokhiber, the former Director of the New York Office of UNHCR, who resigned in protest of the United Nations’ failure to intervene and avert the crisis, has described the unfolding humanitarian catastrophe as “a textbook case of genocide.” Yet, if one were to turn to mainstream media, particularly in the West, one would find a very different picture than this grim reality.

Indeed, the Western reporting of the Israel-Palestine issue has been marred by a series of “erroneous Western assumptions,” as Professor Amir Ali of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) called them in a commentary piece for the Economic and Political Weekly. From an ahistorical account of the situation as beginning on October 7, 2023, to the labelling of all condemnations of Israel’s actions as antisemitism, along with the ad-nauseum repetition of “Do you condemn Hamas?” Prof. Ali identifies these assumptions as reflective of “the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the West.” Underneath these apparent fallacies in logic, of course, lie much more deliberate and coercive forces of racism, Islamophobia, and the state-driven race for geopolitical gains.

In light of this active epistemic erasure, many have chosen to turn instead to Palestinian journalists, photographers, and activists, such as Plestia Alaqad, Bisan, Yara Eid, and Ali Jadallah, among others, who have utilised their social media presence to document the harrowing genocide as it unfolds on the ground. “My photos travelled the world, but my feet couldn’t touch my homeland,” reads the Instagram bio of Motaz Azaiza, one such Gaza-based photojournalist, whose photographs have indeed travelled the digital world and exposed the ongoing atrocities of the Israeli state. From highly graphic and excruciating images of dead or injured children to capturing the daily resilience of the Palestinian people, the social media posts of Gazan civilians like Motaz have struck the consciences of millions across the world. Amid active attempts to dehumanise victims of genocide, they have served as an unprecedented tool of personal documentation, humanising the statistics too often reduced to mere death tolls.

The democratisation of information dissemination via social media has brought out the face of a genocide like never before in history. Such is the power of online discourse that many experts have called it “a battle to control the narrative dimensions of conflict and war.” The meddling forces in this narrative battle include disinformation, online propaganda, and censorship by social media platforms. The latter is particularly pertinent in the current context, as numerous activists, journalists, and regular users have accused major platforms of shadowbanning or taking down Palestine-related content. Yet, the sheer magnitude of this online movement is evident in the fact that October saw 15 times more posts on Instagram and TikTok with pro-Palestinian hashtags than pro-Israeli ones, as reported by Humanz, an influencer marketing company founded by former IDF intelligence officers.

On an individual scale, this has translated to what I’d like to term ‘digital-user morality’ for the purposes of this article. Digital-user morality may be understood as a form of individual social responsibility that encourages the socio-politically conscious usage of one’s social media platform, however big or small, to create awareness about issues that matter. Emphasising the complicit nature of silence and ignorance, it calls upon individuals to speak out for what’s right and stand in solidarity with marginalised communities across the world.

The idea here is not to suggest that passive engagement in the form of a single repost or retweet is going to bring about a revolution. Rather, the objective is to harness online support and channel it into tangible forms of dissent and protest movements. With the widespread adoption of the BDS (Boycott, Divest from, and Sanction) movement and people marching in the thousands across the world, it is evident that the line between digital activism and real-world mobilisation is a thin one, and the former has a significant bearing on public sentiment about war.

As we continue to mobilise our voices for Palestine, it is also crucial to be cognizant of the pitfalls of virality and not forget the many ‘silent genocides’ unfolding in other parts of the world right now, such as the Congo and Sudan. Social media is a powerful tool, but it is a tool based on capital, after all. So, when the Palestine issue inevitably dies out its so-called time on social media, just as the Manipur issue did earlier this year and countless other humanitarian crises that seldom see the spotlight, remember not to let your activism be washed away in the transient waves of online attention.

Read Also: What’s Going on in Gaza and Why You Should Care

Image credit: @motaz_azaiza on Instagram

Sanika Singh
[email protected]

Much like a dystopian plot, a young and passionate 16-year-old girl full of fire has taken the world by surprise. Greta Thunberg, a teenager from Sweden has been in the limelight for voicing herself out on the issue of climate change. Dig in deep to know how she’s come into the centre all of a sudden.

Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old girl from Sweden, has emerged as a leading global climate change activist. She came into limelight after she started protesting outside the Swedish Parliament in attempts to call for stronger action on addressing the issue of climate change. Her actions led to a wave of movement which was later coined as ‘Fridays for Future’ wherein students organise a school strike in order to raise concern over climate change.

Due to her sharp words, she has gathered all the more attention with people coming out both in favour of her and against.

Amongst the people critical of her actions, there are various arguments proposed.

“She is highly divisive, while living her stolen dream pretty incoherently. She gives some people something to applaud, but nothing to learn from and emulate.” Quotes a writer on a web platform.

People talk about the rationality and practicality of actually following the path Thunberg is treading for instance-travelling by a zero-emission boat which has a multimillion-dollar expense and tens of crew just to transport one person. The idea revolving around her nomination  for the Nobel Prize is also under scrutiny by the people whose views do not resonate with the Greta-Thunberg-type-of-climate-change activism.

These people have brought ahead two key examples, one from China and the other from India.

The first example is of the “Stubborn Couple”, Mr. Fu Zhiqiang and Mrs.  Chen Ailan from Xinjiang, China who have been working on ground as environmentalists since 1983 and have planted an entire forest on their own. Working tirelessly towards their goal, the couple has left no stone unturned in giving back to the earth even when there are on a hard crunch for resources and money.

Image Credits:  Image Caption:
Image Credits: China Xinjiang
Image Caption: The “Stubborn Couple” in action

The second example is of Mr. Jadav Payeng from Majuli, Assam, who pledged at the young age of fourteen to plant a tree every day in order to treat the problem of soil erosion in his area. His consistent efforts over a period of 40-years have led to the creation of a 550-hectare jungle. Due to his efforts Majauli is free from the problem of soil erosion and ecosystems have been restored in the place with rhinos, Bengal tigers and elephants returning to their territories.

Image Caption: India TV
Image Credits: India Today

But here’s the catch.

He had been working ‘silently’ far away from the media glare and right onto field, taking action. No one brought his actions, and of many more people who are working away silently, to the forefront.

At the end of the day, it’s a conflicting state of emotions. On one side there is a Greta, single handedly bringing sudden global attention to climate change. While, on the other hand, there are others who devote their entire lives for the protection and conservation of the environment. It is not about a war between who is a true environmentalist. Everyone in their own actions is one equally.

The real question stands that what remains the purpose of this movement. Will the climate change activism boil down to addressing the following questions?

‘Is it about PR and power?’

‘Is it about name and fame?’

‘Is it about action or just rhetoric?’

It’s a strange turn of events, a unique, one of its kind crossroads ahead of many people who are wary, sceptical or all too clueless of what is happening.

In the end it’s wise to leave you on an unbiased note. What is your take, your view and your vision?Is there truly a middle path?

Feature Image Credits: Harpers bazaar

Amrashree Mishra

[email protected]

Online Petitions are all-pervasive. From Climate Change to opposing bills and amendments, nowadays, every movement begins on social media. Every day thousands of people sign hundreds of petitions to stand for varied causes. But, do these petitions ever accomplish anything?

The world today is undergoing various catastrophes daily which affect millions of people across the globe. Mostly, citizens watch the authorities remaining silent and wait for them to act on such disasters, expecting them to retaliate. In these cases, online petitions have become a simple solution which provides a platform that allows the people to contribute towards the betterment of the society, rather than just sitting around and waiting. Online Petitions give a wider meaning to the concept of Democracy. It is an appropriate way that gets the point across many, to reach the authority, and gain support from people all over the world. Many even believe that it has become an internet version of street rallies minus the commitment and efforts.

It is a matter of concern that in the 21st Century, people have to rely on this strategy to have their voices heard, and make the administration recognize the needs of the people which are quite obvious. The fact that the number of online petitions is rising at a rapid rate is an accurate representation of how authorities, elected by us, don’t listen to our needs, leaving us helpless to the extent that we feel the need to engage in this rebellious method of harmless protest. Our constituency leaders are hardly put up for questions, they are closest to our concerns, and they hardly care.

But the question remains, do these petitions contribute to change? I would say- Rarely.

It depends on the majority of people who sign these petitions. When we take steps to bring about a change, there are only a few people who genuinely care about the cause, while the majority of people participate for the sake of participation and not emancipation. People sign these “petitions” to reduce their guilt of actions. They aim at achieving a slight sense of contribution, by investing barely two minutes of their time and consider it making a change. On the other hand, one might argue that such movements are instrumental in raising awareness. But, these petitions, arguably, also allow people to feel as though they have taken action when, in reality, they haven’t, and potentially have prevented individuals from pursuing more hands-on activism.

The answer, regardless, isn’t to stop yourself from supporting and signing the next viral campaign that you come across. One has absolutely nothing to lose from signing something they agree with, and nobody knows which appeal might defeat the odds, and provoke a real change. Instead, the answer is to rebel vigorously, as well as ensure that our effortless contribution online meets subsequent real development offline.

Feature Image Credits: BBC

Avni Dhawan
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At first, the idea of having gender-neutral washrooms in a university space may seem drastic; however,  we cannot let this kind of conservatism become an excuse for the administration to keep wearing the cloak of queer-invisibility and remain conveniently ignorant.

Any transgender person usually experiences their first episode of invisibility in deciding which washroom to use. While they may not overtly fit in to use the gender-aligning washroom, using the other washroom can feel violating and uncomfortable.

When a person transitions gender, it is not a quick process. It takes months if not years before the secondary sex characteristics of the person’s correct gender start to appear. While we wish for a better society where open-acceptance and inclusion of queer people exists, it undeniably will take us some time. Using gender-confirming bathrooms can possibly lead to abuse, humiliation, and assault. Imagine being laughed at, questioned or beaten up for attempting to meet a very basic need. Such a situation demands universities to build gender-neutral washrooms, at-least one if not many.

Jody L. Herman, Williams Institute Manager of Transgender Research conducted a study on “Gendered Restrooms and Minority Stress: The Public Regulation of Gender and Its Impact on Transgender People’s Lives.” This scientific study found that 70 percent of transgender and gender-nonconforming respondents experienced problems in gender-specific restrooms in Washington, D.C., with people of colour and people who have not medically transitioned often faring worse than others.

Following the lead of Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in their celebrated decision of building gender-neutral hostels, the University of Delhi (DU)  can do the same. Keeping the binary washrooms intact, a gender-neutral washroom could be installed so as to avoid any confusion and possible abuse. While the administration might think that the transgender and non-binary population is “minuscule”, it is not the case. Many transgender people stay in the closet in fear of societal and parental rejection. Not only would building gender-neutral washrooms ensure that a significant amount of fear and discomfort that they experienced using the non-aligning washroom went away, it would ensure that the needs of transgender people are recognised and acknowledged.

Feature Image Credits: BlogTO

Raabiya Tuteja

[email protected]

The University of Delhi has witnessed innumerable harassment cases in recent times, despite a greater sense of awareness. Here is a look at the unfortunate number of such incidents to shed light and much-needed awareness on the same.

Women across the world bear everyday harassment, catcalling, and heinous crimes. However, one would assume that women are relatively safer in a campus space like the University of Delhi (DU). Unfortunately, innumerable harassment and assault cases have taken place in this renowned institution. According to a Gender Study Group report of DU in 1996, “Nearly 38.1% of the women student respondents (hostellers and non-hostellers) have experienced harassment in the form of leaching, commenting, and molestation.” These numbers reflect how commonplace everyday harassment of women is.

1) Kawalpreet Kaur harassed at Satyawati College: Kawalpreet Kaur, a student activist from All India Students Association (AISA), accused of being manhandled and silenced while being present at Satyawati College for a panel discussion on women’s safety. The accused were believed to belong to Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

2) Professor harassed student at Daulat Ram College: A first-year student from Daulat Ram College accused a professor of the Political Science Department of harassing her. He was believed to have made multiple inappropriate remarks on the appearance of the student, along with making several advances to meet outside the college premises. The incident came to light when the student filed an First Information Report (FIR), following which protests broke out in the college.

3) List of sexual predators in Indian academia: Raya Sarkar, a law student, compiled a list of sexual predators in Indian Universities. She claimed to have put-together the list with inputs directly from the students themselves. The list generated intense debate on social media. Some accused it of being ineffective and baseless while others hailed it as a revolutionary idea that gave an agency to the voices of victims.

4) Sexual harassment at Ramjas College: In 2007, the Vice-President of Ramjas College, B.N. Ray, was accused of sexual harassment by male students from the college. The victims, all of whom hailed from the North-East, banded together to speak out against him. It was in 2017, approximately a decade later, that a subcommittee of the College Complaints Committee (CCC), set by the directions of the High Court, found him guilty. It is alleged that Mr. Ray continued to be on the college payroll until retirement in 2015, even though he was not allowed to step into college.

5) Priyadarshini Mattoo’s Murder: On 23rd January 1996, Priyadarshini Mattoo, a final year student of University of Delhi’s Law Centre was murdered by Santosh Kumar Singh, a graduate of the Law Centre. The accused had sexually and mentally harassed the deceased on multiple occasions following which she was provided police protection, but the accused killed her in her home with 19 injuries on her body and attempted rape.

6) Pavitra Bharadwaj suicide case: On 30th September 2013, Pavitra Bhardwaj of Bhim Rao Ambedkar College immolated herself in front of the Delhi Secretariat. She later succumbed to her injuries on 7th October. She had accused then Principal, G.K. Arora, and another colleague, Ravinder Singh, of sexual and mental harassment in her suicide note. After multiple protests by the Delhi University Teacher’s Association (DUTA), the principal was suspended. However, his suspension was later revoked; an action which generated an outcry.

7) Harassment during Crossroads 2017: A Miranda House student, Meghna Singh, was sexually harassed during KK’s concert at Crossroads 2017, the annual cultural festival of Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC). When she returned home after the concert she noticed white spots on her black trousers, that were evident semen stains. The student received a lot of flak and was trolled on social media. Meghna’s incident generated a lot of buzz and created a conversation about harassment in college fests.

8) Semen-filled balloon pelting around Holi: Students from Lady Shri Ram College for Women (LSR) and Jesus and Mary College (JMC) were pelted with balloons that were allegedly filled with semen around Holi. A woman in Amar Colony was pelted on the head with a semen-filled balloon on 28th February 2018. In response to such deeply disturbing events, the LSR Students’ Union organised a protest on 1st March, along with students of JMC.

9) Bharti College student harassment case: A final-year political science student of Bharti College wrote to the Vice-Chancellor accusing one of her professors of sexual harassment. The student did not approach the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) because of its non-functioning nature. The Committees Against Sexual Harassment (CASH) of the University which later changed to ICC, is a presence only on papers in 70% colleges of the University.

10) DRC Students harassed by Bank Employee: A first year student from Daulat Ram College was harassed by an Indian Overseas Bank employee, who worked on the campus branch of the same. The accused had earlier helped the victim when she was having trouble with funds in relation to her mother’s operation. He later offered to drive her to college, since he lived in the same area. The incident was shared with an ABVP activist within the college and an FIR was later filed against the accused.

11) Rape threats against Gurmehar Kaur: Gurmehar Kaur, a student from Lady Shri Ram College (LSR), protested against ABVP during the Ramjas controversy which took place in early 2017. In response, a year old video of her speaking for peace as a part of her “#ProfileForPeace campaign” was dug out and used to mercilessly troll her, even by known public figures. Kaur was branded as an “anti-national” and received multiple rape threats on social media. She subsequently dealt with the issue with courage and is now an activist and published author.

12) Aditi Mahavidyala Student harassed: In January of 2016, a student of Aditi Mahavidyalaya accused a visually impaired professor of harassing her by sending her inappropriate text messages. She added that he sent her inappropriate videos and called her at odd hours. The student said that the college principal, Mamta Sharma, had been unsupportive after which she decided to reach out the police. The principal dismissed these claims and said that the matter had been referred to the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) for further probing.

These cases are a handful amongst all the incidents of harassment and violence that take place on campus. A significant number of cases go unreported, unbelieved, and silenced. Most colleges lack an efficient and systematic Sexual Harassment Redressal Committee which further alienates victim’s and breeds complacence and silence towards harassment. Often authorities and friends do not believe the victims narrative or remain neutral which adds to the problem. The problem of trolling is prevalent as is obvious in the case of Gurmehar Kaur and Meghna Singh, both of whom were mercilessly shamed on social media. Mr. B.N. Ray who was found guilty by an ICC almost a decade after the accusations against him were first made; shows how time-consuming and draining such legal proceedings can be, which is something which deters a lot of victims from coming forward. With the rise of activism and awareness in students, resistance against sexism and harassment is strengthening. Hopefully, the cohesive efforts of students will lead to the University becoming a safer place.


Feature Image Credits: Nazariya

Kinjal Pandey | [email protected]

Prachi Mehra | [email protected]

Sara Sohail | [email protected]



Most of us know Veganism to be a new fad that advocates not using animal products for food or lifestyle, including clothing, medication and cosmetics. What most of us don’t know about this new fad is that:

1. It has it’s origins as early as 10,000 B.C. and was the central ethic at the heart of Eastern Tantra and Western Magic, the mother of all modern religions today.

2. Not just that, it is the single thread, the moral lesson, that holds the story of creation together through the cyclic apocalyptic floods that come as Mother Earth detoxifies herself regularly over periods of time called Yugas or eons.

3. That ancient sciences of both Yoga and Alchemy hold veganism as a prerequisite to rise and shine like the Sun and summon our soul mates to satellite around us creating our own spiritual solar system here on Earth.

4. That the nuclear reactions in a star as it matures from its first main sequence of converting hydrogen into helium until its seventh main sequence of producing the heaviest element Iron, is a fractal equivalent of an individual here on Earth raising their Kundalini energy through their seven chakras, which cannot be done without veganism.

5. That as per the Law of Sevens, as we do raise our Kundalini through the seven chakras by practicing Ahimsa or Veganism, we are actually making our way through the seven levels of afterlife we will be sent to, the three lower Hells, the fourth transition level and the three upper Heavens as mentioned in many Vedic and Hermetic scriptures.

6. This law of sevens isn’t just limited to our seven Chakras and our spiritual place in Heaven or Hell, it pervades all of creation from the seven colors of visible light (VIBGYOR), seven sounds of the audible spectrum (Sa,Re,Ga,Ma,Pa,Dha,Ni), seven existential needs, seven levels of consciousness, to the seven main systems and master glands in the human body that make it function as a whole together.

7. That unless we go vegan, we will never experience the full potential of our personal and professional life because as the Kundalini energy moves along our spine it activates our chakras and their associated glands to peak performance one by one.

8. What we refer to as our elusive sense of intuition or sudden spurts of inspiration which account for our most magical experiences of being alive is actually our sixth sense, our ability to communicate with nature working pathetically. As our Kundalini moves up, those states of being guided by nature become more sustainable until we are in constant two-way communication with nature.

9. Normally we only see and hear about 1% of the bandwidth of the visible and audible spectrum. Many other animals see and hear outside of their spectrum and respond to it as well. We are kicked out of this network because of our violence towards other sentient beings, our spiritual siblings. Once we resume loving relationships with them we are welcomed back into this network by Mother Nature.

10. So, if you want to discover all your spiritual soulmates to fulfill your purpose of existence with them, experience the big L love or become the next great inventor or artist, there is only one way to go, and that’s Veganism.

Sukrat Bajaj, the Creative Director of Vegan World Media, a publishing house dedicated to producing cutting-edge vegan content says that – “Whether we know it or not, we are all tantrics, little magicians, doing tantra in our everyday lives, the question remains only of our awareness.”

Vegan World Media is looking forward to working with student activists from every college to help spread the beautiful and magical message of Veganism. They have decided to offer their books to students at 50% of their online prices on Amazon, while helping student activists make money on the side.

Interested students may write to them at [email protected] and leave their name, college, contact information and phone numbers.