When was the last time when a nation of fragmented opinions unanimously poured their emotions so genuine, so natural and so powerful. Well, it might strain your memory to reconcile until the demise of cinema’s greatest acumen Irrfan Khan moved an entire generation of cinephiles and more beyond. But, what made this man and his death not so trivial?

The world is a carnival of emotions and the celluloid is thus its biggest celebration. The silver screen has for long served as the recluse for all or most of our feelings, and its players inevitably become a part of our lives. The audience around the globe and our nation in particular adores its movie personalities, their influence caters to wider prospects and their presence ushers greater momentum. They feature on our walls and our device screens; our collective memories and pleasant dreams and cultivate our endeavors by endorsing them. But, dont these things cater to the conventional stars of visual grandeur-  those who feature in extravagant films with formulaic conventions, a stardom, a following and a fanbase of their own. While, it might be that we as a generation have evolved with our preferences and adjudication of cinema or perhaps, Irrfan superseded all of this to manifest a culture of a different kind, just as his roles, movies and nature.

On 29th April, the internet community rolled into sorrow as the social media feeds were flooded with feelings over the loss of our finest cinematic potential – Irrfan. Tributes, eulogies, nostalgia and prayers, he was all over, the 53 year old Irrfan was struggling with a neuroendocrine tumor, a rare cancer and hence left the world with his last performance in the March 2020 release ‘Angrezi Medium’. From juniors to contemporaries of film fraternities in Bollywood, Hollywood and Regional Films; composers to sports personalities and politicians, comedians to social media influencers; writers and scholars, everyone mourned the loss of this legendary persona. I found people who are generally technoverted and closeted in expression, remembering the man as if it was a personal loss, and hence it prompted me to discuss the various souls of this single shoulder, which embodied myriads of happiness, sorrow, catharsis, hope, belief, pain and reality as one.

The Pan India Icon

It isn’t surprising that a man who brought life to the character of Ashoke Ganguli in the Namesake as a first generation Bengali immigrant, uttered every word of Paan Singh in natural Chambali dialect. Umber Singh in Qissa cherishes every breath in Punjabi while Roohdaar haunts the streets of Kashmir with same vigour. Ranvijay Singh of Haasil resonates the North Indian political demography as Raj Batra of Hindi Medium does with regard to the typical Old Delhi shop-owner. Thomas in Mumbai Meri Jaan is the rare depiction of the South Indian vendor in the cinescape, and the same goes true for Saajan Fernandes who effortlessly anchors The Lunchbox as an about to retire widower in Mumbai. His last appearance as Keshav Bansal, a Marwari sweet shop-owner in Angrezi Medium marked the essence of his nativity in Rajasthan.

An Artist beyond Big Screen

Irrfan was more than a Bollywood actor, having done films like The Warrior, The Namesake, Inferno and Jurrasic World he is an established figure in Hollywood and has featured in Telugu and Bengali films as well and didn’t hesitate to involve in Short films like Road to Ladakh and The Bypass either. A trained dramatics student of National School of Drama, Irrfan was deeply involved in theatre and was a keen observer in theatre festivals even after gaining prominence. Irrfan started with television and went on to star in period dramas like Chandrakanta and Chanakya and hosted shows like Don and Mano Ya Na Mano. His iconic voice was more than enough to narrate films like Bajirao Mastani or dub over as Baloo in The Jungle Book.

Irrfan as an enthusiastic meme, which is popular with Indian Netizens.  Image Credits: Imageflip
Irrfan as an enthusiastic meme, which is popular with Indian Netizens.
Image Credits: Imageflip

Irrfan didn’t stop here, he went on to feature in television commercials like 7 UP, Hutch, Syska. His every Bollywood Party song or Podcast with AIB and collaborations with FilterCopy has negated stereotypes and was an enthusiastic volunteer for a perennially popular meme content.


A Literature Enthusiast

Irrfan Khan with Shamsur Rahman Faruqi Sahab Image Source: Thread Reader App
Irrfan Khan with Shamsur Rahman Faruqi Sahab
Image Source: Thread Reader App

I often wonder how many mainstream icons of such engagements engross with literature or other arts, while the quest goes on forever with disappointments, many a times I do come across someone like Irrfan, who reads Om Prakash Valmiki’s ‘Thakur Ka Kuan’ so enthusiastically, and passionately pens his feeling to great Urdu Writer Shamsur Rahman Farooqi, admiring his ‘Kai Chand the Sare Aasmaan’ and his eagerness on making a film on the same.

A Devout Human

Among many reasons that prompted so many people from various walks to respond to the demise of this great actor was probably the humanitarian nature that was typical of Irrfan apart from being a brilliant actor. Attaining the stature he was endowed with Irrfan was humble in his approach, his confidants and acquaintances reminisce him as a person of natural instict who respected his work and humans, nature and creatures alike. He was a dedicated family man, who loved his wife and children.

Apart from being a volunteer for social causes. In 2015, the actor had visited Badanavalu, a village near Nanjangud, to support theatre personality and social activist Prasanna, who launched a movement to promote sustainable living, the actor spent night with the people of the movement and has continually supported causes for sustainable development and climate change.

Irrfan with Activist Prasanna Image Credits: Deccan Herald
Irrfan with Social Activist Prasanna
Image Credits: Deccan Herald

There might be many stars with social campaigning, a perfect rags to riches story, brilliant executioners in their own fields but there was something specific about this human, the man who will be cherished by generations for what he was and what he has left as his works.

Featured Image Credits: India Today

Faizan Salik

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Students of the prestigious University of Delhi institution, Miranda House, feel like there are a lot of differences in the so-called Arts and Science blocks of the college.

Miranda House is an Arts and Science college in North Campus. It offers eleven B.A. (Honours) courses, a B.A. Programme course, five  B.Sc. (Honours) courses and two B.Sc. Programme courses. The college building is broadly divided in such a way that the right blocks have labs and classes for students pursuing Science courses are conducted there, while classes for students pursuing Arts courses are conducted in the left block. 

Recently, a new building was constructed, which is also termed as the “Science Block” by the students. The building is equipped with better infrastructure and more facilities, as compared to the Arts block. Elevators are installed, as are sensor-driven taps which speak of better infrastructure. Science students are more than those pursuing Arts, and that their events are given more priority. 

Another fact pointed out by many students is ‘the Science canteen’. A comparatively small canteen near the front-gate of the college called the science canteen is located close to the Science block. There is another main canteen and other cafes in the college, but there is no such place called the Arts canteen in the college. However, the so-called Science canteen can be accessed by all the students, but the name given to it by the students is enough to raise a question.

A student of B.A. (Honours) Political Science said, “The Arts and Sciences divide becomes very visible by things like infrastructure and facilities in the buildings. While there is a lack of basic facilities like properly functioning fans in classes for Arts students which aren’t looked at even after repeated complaints, there are several rooms in the science block which are equipped with air conditioners also.”

The Wi-Fi network is another issue. It is the strongest in the science block while there is negligible to none network in other areas of the college. Wi-Fi works in almost all the rooms where science classes are conducted, and near the Physics Department where the network is the strongest. A recent survey conducted on the college campus for testing the quality of drinking water revealed that the Science block had the most suitable water for drinking, as compared to other places. 

Mani, a third-year student of B.Sc. (Honours) Physical Sciences said, “There are many instances which show this bias. The theme of ‘Tempest 2018’ was based on the technology where robots and gadgets adorned the campus. Many big scale events and competitions of the Physics Department are organized by D.S. Kothari Centre, which witnesses high footfalls and requires more space. Science Conclave, which is a three-day event with various competitions and international speakers sees mass participation. While there are no such events for the Arts department.”

Another student of B.A. (Hons) History who wished to remain anonymous said, “A general bias can be seen in the facilities for Arts and Science students. However, according to me the reason for this bias is the academic background and inclination of our ex-principal, Dr. Jolly. As she was a Science faculty, more preference was given to events conducted by science departments, and this could also be the reason for better infrastructural facilities in their department. However, with the appointment of Dr. Bijayalaxmi Nanda as the acting Principal, there are chances of change in the situation.”

All these instances make the differences between Arts and Sciences in Miranda House evidently foregrounded. A number of these issues were also put forward during the manifesto reading, but the Student’s Union hasn’t addressed any of them yet. The President of Miranda House Students’ Union (MHSU) has also denied speaking on the issue.


Image Credits: shiksha.com

Priya Chauhan

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University students, teachers and admin steps out in silent protest against non-appointment of the Hindi HoD.


On 18th October, Friday, the administration, teachers and students of Delhi University stepped out wearing black bands in a silent protest against the delay in the appointment of the Head for the Hindi Department. The post for the same has been vacant since the 19th of September when the former head’s tenure ended. 

The absence of the HoD has led to multiple complications not only regarding issues with the researchers but also causing a delay in the announcement of dates for M.Phil and PhD admissions, despite the issue of notification.

This position has been vacant for almost a month now since two proficient members of the department- Professor Sheoraj Singh Bechain and Professor K.N. Tripathi, have demanded claim for the said post, both refusing to back off. The question of seniority arose within this given situation.

The teachers and students demanded the appointment of Professor Bechain as the new HoD. Professor Bechain is the senior-most member of the Hindi faculty. He is one of the few Dalit professors in the University of Delhi. He has written multiple books on anti-caste and Dalit literature including Samajik Nyay Aur Dalit Sahitya and Mera Bachpan Mere Kandhon Par, and has also been awarded by the Hindi Academy of both Madhya Pradesh and Delhi governments. 

It must be noted that no Dalit professor has been appointed as an HoD in the past 70 years in the Delhi University. This has given rise to numerous questions alleging the University of exercising discriminatory practices against the Dalit community. As a result, the teachers and students stepped out in a silent protest march from the Arts Faculty to the Vice Chancellor’s Office demanding appointment of Professor Bechain as HoD in “the interest of social justice”.

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives

Aditi Gutgutia
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This article attempts to probe into the reasons that have long rendered humanities as a discipline to be looked down upon.

“When my relatives ask me what I’m studying, it generally ends up in an awkward situation when I tell them I’m pursuing a Bachelors of Arts in English”, said a second-year English Honours student from Daulat Ram College when asked about the reaction of her other family members on her choice of career.

Humanities has, for a long time suffered the scrutiny of conventional minds. The conception that it is good for nothing prevails even in today’s millennia. Students having an inclination towards the discipline struggle to explain it to their parents and society and are more often than not, forced to study traditional courses. Not only does it result in the deterioration of one’s personality, but it also results in frustration that is unhealthily harboured for a lifetime by the students. This article shall look into three reasons as to why humanities are looked down upon.

1. It is thought to be “easy peasy”

It is a truth hard to digest that subjects such as philosophy, English, Political Science, Psychology, etc, are thought to be “very easy” despite their extensive and in-depth readings. Not only does the older generation hold this view but students of our generation into fields such as engineering are often seen/heard making fun of Arts students. The next point will elaborate on why the discipline is a victim of such a stereotype.

2. The subjectivity in and of the discipline

The un-objective nature of the subjects that a Bachelor of Arts course offers acts as a major force of demotivation among students (and their parents). Students who are just out of the school system, used to the lenient marking face a tough time since the subjects welcome a variety of interpretations and are never graded too high, like sciences. Despite this, the subjects are thought to be easy and viewed as rather ones that don’t require too much time. A third-year student studying Philosophy recalls, “Some elders in my family believe that I have a lot of free time since I’m doing arts. My parents and I have stopped making them understand what the subject really asks for”.

Non-arts subjects can be (in comparison) easily be moulded into questions with multiple choices but such a circumstance is difficult to achieve when Philosophy, Hindi, etc, are cases at hand. And though it is true that objective approaches are being given more priority nowadays and continuous attempts are being made to transform subjective choices into objective ones to make things easier, the truth boils down to one simple fact – the true spirit and essence of the subjects that the discipline of humanities consists of, is in its subjectivity.

3. It doesn’t offer an immediate outcome like sciences or commerce.

The scepticism surrounding the discipline seems to stem out of the Darwinian approach of survival – that man will go to any extent to survive and that life is a test of survival of the “fittest”. This “survival” in today’s time is dependent mostly on a financial basis. And studying humanities doesn’t exactly guarantee a job prospect immediately after the completion of the program. This creates a feeling of insecurity and doubt in students and parents. Gradually, it leads to pressure and frustration and the student taking his/her own life.

Humanities, as a discipline teaches life’s philosophy, the art of critiquing and analysing stuff, and a lot more than books can ever hold. It teaches one how to look at the broader picture of life rather than focusing on short term gains and losses. And though all these values do not directly culminate into a monetary outcome, it teaches us also to be patient. Money and jobs are important, no doubt, but at the cost of what?


Feature Image Credits: Portland Community College

Akshada Shrotryia
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Let’s hope that in the future, people get rid of the contempt that they have for those pursuing arts stream, and treat this career option with the respect that it so truly deserves.

Against many odds and the better judgement of snoopy uncles and aunties, I decided to take up arts stream. My entire extended family was obviously unhappy with my decision, however my father’s confidence in my decision instilled me with courage and hope.

In my second year now, I am so glab about the decision that I made. This is so because it gave me the liberty that no other stream would have been able to. Here I would like to talk about liberty in two aspects- liberty of choice and liberty in thoughts. While talking about the former I would like to say that the sheer amount of options that I have to explore myself and career choices leaves me grateful. My college life is not just about studying my course and trying desperately to pass the examinations. This is because the arts stream gives me the opportunity and time to actually hone my hidden talents and try out something new. Had I taken up anything else, maybe all that I wanted to explore would have been restricted somewhat. Also the amount of career choices that I can take up in my future is ample. Most of these choices are unexplored by the vast population of this country. Hence the cut –throat competition in these fields remains absent leaving a lot of doors open.

Talking about liberty in thoughts, I would like to say that I have learnt to empathise with everyone, to raise my voice against any wrongdoing, to fight for people’s rights and has made me a concerned citizen and human being. I have learnt to question any regressive tradition and reason with irrationality, and learnt lessons on how to maintain my moral ground and never leave it no matter how testing a situation is.
Thus I am being shaped into a liberal in a true sense by my teachers, my course and my books. These perks should be discussed often so that more and more people become aware of this.


Feature Image Credits: Fear from Exams
Anukriti Mishra
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Turning inspiration into reality, the art exhibition by Strokes seized imagination and hopes over two days! 

“The world is but a canvas to our imagination.”

-Henry David Thoreau

Art is all-pervasive, and the students of SGTB Khalsa College portrayed their imagination beautifully across the broad horizons of their college. Strokes, the Fine Arts Society of SGTB Khalsa College, organised their annual art exhibition, Duende, on 17th and 18th October 2016, to display the work of their zealous artists. The event was set up at the heart of the college, the famous Jannat, and attracted eyes and interests throughout the two days. The area was adorned with a variety of shapes and forms of paper craft hanging above the people, giving a shade of ethereal beauty to the contiguous area.

With more than thirty paintings displayed, decorated and placed in the structure of a circle, each painting spoke a unique story, and wove a beautiful aura amidst the sublime atmosphere. Themes such as life style, new beginnings, fire and ice, sacred love and many others were captured. The inspiring paintings were a fascinating visual to behold. The live painting session gave bystanders a chance to get their portraits drawn. The artistry displayed was exquisite and gave birth to some brilliant pieces. The creative streak did not end there. The visitors were also invigorated to see a quirky craft station set up. With bookmarks, paper corners, envelopes, cards, dream catchers and many other handmade products, Duende did justice to transcending the essence of art across a multitude of platforms, which piqued interest and praise.

A member of the society, summarises the experience on the first day, “The turnout was huge even on the first day of college after the mid semester break. People who visited the exhibition were astonished by the work done by the artists which further increased the enthusiasm among the members.” With a combination of a unique theme, stirring paintings, and personalised stationery and activities, the members of Strokes set high aesthetic standards that moved the audience.


Saumya Kalia

Image Credits: Saumya Kalia for DU Beat

Criminology is a social science that is concerned with the scientific study of crime. A criminologist is a social scientist who specializes in the study and control of crime. Criminologists gather and analyze statistics about crimes and the people who commit them in order to identify patterns of criminal behavior but are not on the front lines fighting crime like police officers.

In India, criminology is a dveloping field. Criminology careers can be divided into three broad categories: Law Enforcement Criminologists, Professors and Academic Researchers, and Correctional Officers and Social Workers. Students who are interested in this field usually study psychology or sociology at the undergraduate level before earning a masters degree in criminology. If one doesn’t end up working directly in criminology, he/she can use the background to work in social services or law enforcement.  NGOs, banks and teaching are good options too.Both undergraduate and postgraduate courses in criminology are offered by various institutes. The basic requirement for getting admission at the undergraduate level is Class 12th with either arts or science and at the postgraduate level is to be graduated with science or arts subjects.

Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Science (NICFS) in New Delhi, University of Madras(Chennai),Lucknow University, Banaras Hindu University are some of the institutes that offer  courses on criminology.

Analytical skills, good understanding of psychology, sociology, good data collection ability and an empathetic and sensitive attitude towards the needs of the society and a desire to construct a safe society are the essentials skills of this field.