A year in this space has made me question my personal notions- what kind of diversity do we have? And is the presence of diversity the same as accepting it- those who bring it to the University of Delhi (DU)- with open arms? Read a take on the culture of shaming in a space meant for diversity.

For a University situated in the Capital of a nation that sells itself to globalisation with the tagline ‘Unity in Diversity’, cultural, economic, and social diversity is always a good self-promotional point. However, if you have been in DU for even a semester, the rose-tinted lenses wear off soon enough. We may have students from all over the country and beyond, but our academic and cultural spaces have not learnt the rhetoric of respecting the history that comes with different family and socio-economic backgrounds.

An average day in an English literature classroom in a  college considered ‘intellectual’- like Lady Shri Ram College- involves professors coming in class, throwing names of critics (mostly foreigners, usually white), and expecting students to have read them. An academic space is meant to challenge you, and to inform you about things you were formerly ignorant of. But the sighs of disappointment, ‘how do you call yourself educated’, and steely eyes filled with judgement when one is unaware of what the professor is speaking of; all are methods of shaming that do more damage than the promised ‘good’. 

It is unfairly ignorant to only speak of professors and classrooms as the harbingers of this attitude, since our own friend circles play a significant role in this process. We, as young-adults stepping outside the comfort of our homes, seek a sense of self-worth and validation from our friends. When belittled for listening to a certain kind of music, or for not having watched or read a movie or book considered ‘high art’, it is inevitable to lose faith in our intellectual capabilities. To be told that you need to have done specific, mostly privileged, and expensive things in order to fit in, is not only elitist, but also a form of childish bullying that all of us have been subjected to.

Most of us have not grown up with our fathers playing vinyl records of Bob Dylan or The Beatles to us as kids. The tag of a Grammar Nazi (wrong on every level), that we wear as a badge of honour will never encourage somebody to learn better English, but will be a reminder of the inefficiencies in their background. It says something about their history, over which they did not have active control, but it defines you as a person- an elitist who does not wish to be kinder and more empathetic.

To recognise that there are conditionings different than your own is a significant aspect of mental maturity that DU colleges fail to instil in us. Challenging us academically or giving us a plethora of resources to learn from is the thing one seeks, but DU’s rather popular culture of shaming us into learning is psychologically flawed, and ethically problematic in a time when we are learning and unlearning the caste, class, and cultural privileges and meritocracy. It is true that DU is not the only place where the culture of shaming is prominent and propagated, but when I think of DU, I think of diversity. To have diversity comes with the need to accept it, and I know our classrooms can change for the better. Arundhati Roy said, “To love. To be loved… To try and understand… And never, never to forget.” (If you have not read her, it’s okay. Take this as my recommendation, if you were looking for one?) I hope, DU does not forget its role and duty to diversity- intellectual and of all kinds- and understands that we are all learning, and we can do with a little kindness.

Anushree Joshi 

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On 9th February, 1964, four young men from Liverpool performed on The Ed Sullivan Show and made millions of fans worldwide with their simple love songs, mop-tops and pretty faces. The Fab Four were a rage among the ladies and their concerts saw thousands of female fans screaming and crying, with only a handful of men that consisted of the lads and the media.

Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr reunited to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the show that launched The Beatles into the world and completely changed the music scene. They performed Hey Jude, With a Little Help From my Friends and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, while many other stars from the music industry covered iconic songs by the band such as Let it Be, Here Comes the Sun, Fool on the Hill, Yesterday etc.

We bring to you 10 not-so-famous, but wonderful songs by The Beatles that you would surely love:

1. For No One

2. Oh! Darling

3. Help!

4. I Feel Fine

5. I Want You

6. It’s All too Much

7. Nowhere Man

8. Real Love

9. Rocky Racoon

10. Searchin’

Though the mop-tops have disappeared, the pretty faces have withered away, and Harrison and Lennon are long dead, The Beatles continue to live in our hearts as they have immortalised themselves in their music.

Dinosaurs have supposedly been extinct for a million years but if truth be told, they did make a fleeting comeback during the 1970s. For how else can you describe a cultural phenomenon as humongous and anomalous as Led Zeppelin the likes of which the world had never seen and is yet to see again? They were Dinosaurs indeed.

With a quartet as talented as Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham at the helm, Zeppelin was always meant to soar but few could have predicted that the foursome would go on to redefine idol worship. They were the biggest band in the world and went on to sell millions of records. Stories of orgies and excesses involving the band abound and perhaps moulded the quintessential rockstar image. But is Led Zeppelin with all its mystic and rawness, the greatest band ever to grace the Earth.

Led Zeppelin is best known as a hard rock band but a deeper scrutiny reveals a plethora of different styles in the band’s body of work. The band explored genres as varied as blues, folk, country, metal, ballads, reggae and even punk. For every Dazed and Confused there is a That’s the Way, for everyKashmir, there is a House of the Holy. The point here is that Zeppelin as a band explored music like few other bands have done. The other band most frequently cited as the greatest ever are the Beatles who themselves have a wide ranging catalogue. However, the Beatles were never a hard rock band. They were more like a pop-rock group. The Beatles despite having one of the most accomplished catalogue there is, lack an out an out stadium shaker a la Dazed and Confused.

Moreover, Led Zeppelin were much better instrumentalists than the Beatles. Each member of Zeppelin would easily make it to the top five of his respective category. The same cannot be said of the Beatles. However, there is a strong consensus on the fact that both Zeppelin and Beatles were greater than the sum of their constituents.

No band can claim to be a great rock band unless it can play live. Led Zeppelin were one of the greatest live acts there ever was. Beatles on the other hand would not last ten minutes on the same stage with Zeppelin. The raw energy of a Zeppelin concert was hardly matched by anyone either before or after them.

On strength of all the above I come to the rather bold conclusion the Led Zeppelin were and are the greatest band in the world.