College fest


Students’ Union of Lady Shri Ram College proposes cancelling Tarang, their Annual Cultural Fest in the current political scenario, however, receives arguments on both ends.

In a political scenario as such being faced by the country today- with unpopular bills being enacted into laws, unlawful internet shutdowns being imposed, students widely protesting across the country and many being victims of sheer violence by the Delhi police while others not being protected by them, the Students’ Union of Lady Shri Ram College (LSR) proposed the cancellation of Tarang, the annual cultural fest of the college, which was to be held during the first week of February.

Tarang is a platform for societies to organise inter-college competitions and for students to enjoy pro-nights with popular artists being invited by the Students’ Union. It is a commercialised event where sponsorships are raised to fund these artists (their fee, travel and accommodation), setting up of stages and food-stalls etc.

A General Body Meeting (GBM) was conducted by the Students’ Union on 9th January so as to discuss whether or not Tarang, a celebration, should be hosted in today’s political situation. The GBM entertained arguments from both sides- those who believed Tarang should take place, and those who felt otherwise.

Some of the claims of those against the cancellation of Tarang suggested that this cancellation would be a rather tokenistic action by the college and the students should instead actively participate in protests and carry out dissent during and beyond Tarang. Some believe that cancelling Tarang isn’t enough to represent solidarity if other DU colleges continue to host their annual fests. They believe that this would not guarantee any impact on the government and only be a huge waste of resources.

Students, particularly from performing societies, argued that these societies and the Organising Committee (OC) have worked tirelessly for months preparing for this event and with the cancellation, will also incur a huge financial loss given the sponsorships were raised several months prior. However, they suggested that if this loss is compensated for, they would not have any reservations against cancellation.

Other arguments were presented suggesting using Tarang itself as a platform of expressing dissent via art forms, moulding the agenda and theme of the event so as to make a political statement. They suggested removing the “celebration aspect” of the fest, particularly the pro-night.

These arguments were countered by the claims of students advocating the cancellation of Tarang. It was argued that in this grim scenario where public universities and fellow students are under attack, and where our democracy is in danger, it would be “insensitive” to hold Tarang, while the students of LSR affirm to support the students’ struggles. A commercial fest in such a scenario appears unfitting.

They believe that cancelling Tarang would be the most decent and bare minimum step by the students, making a strong political statement. Given that it is one of the biggest college fests in the country, it would also set a precedent for other colleges to take equally significant political stances in their capacities.

“My personal opinion is that we shouldn’t hold Tarang during these fascist times where students like us are protesting day and night, where brave woman of Shaheen Bagh have taken up the streets leaving the comfort of their homes to raise their voices against what is happening in the country. We cannot justify having a celebration when we do not know what is happening in Kashmir, Assam and people have lost their jobs, degrees, daily wages and lives. Dissent is never comfortable and we, as students of LSR need to look beyond the factor of our enjoyment. Tarang cannot be politicised so anyone believing that we can is just cannot look beyond their apathy, indifference and insensitivity”, quoted Prashansa Singh, Treasurer of LSR’s Students’ Union.

Some students also argue that this commercialised fest has also failed to be inclusive of the marginalised groups. It usually represents a homogeneous culture and most of the food stalls, etc. are not affordable for everyone.

The minutes of this GBM was shared by the Students’ Union across the students of LSR where in the opinion of the union was cited- “The union expressed that they do not feel appropriate to have Tarang at this point, given that it revolves around a sense of enjoyment by having pro nights and food fests. While going to protest is a choice, by cancelling Tarang – a student body initiative the students have the power to make a huge political statement against what’s happening in the country right now. Furthermore, protest and resistance are not meant to be comfortable and convenient. Students’ Union feels that even if Tarang moulds itself as a way of showing active dissent, it would be an appropriation of the protests happening on the streets in an enclosed safe space”.

The Students’ Union has suggested the release of a poll on the matter so as to collect the general opinion of the student body. However, this too is opposed by many students claiming that polls would fail to collect well-versed opinions. Some also argued that by favouring majority vote, we would be basically “oppressing” the minority, leaving no difference between ourselves and the very government we are opposing.

On an Instagram page “overheardlsr”, multiple anonymous messages were received suggesting that the GBM held by the Students’ Union on this issue was highly biased and appeared to be “threatening” to those who supported the hosting of Tarang. The Students’ Union allegedly seemed judgemental against the performing societies and did not allow easy arguments against their own stance.

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives

Aditi Gutgutia 

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Day 1 of Rendezvous, the Annual Cultural fest of IIT Delhi started with the Lifestyle Prelims, the college fashion competition, which saw models strutting in themed ensembles and high heels. Galore, the Fashion Society of Maitreyi College delivered a body positive walk. “We want the heart high and the chest bigger,” they quoted. The society, anxious about probable mishaps such as tripping and slipping during the performance, complained about the dusty stage and careless placement of wires. A slight delay was experienced, owing to the inadequacy of housekeeping staff. Among the 13 participating societies were Delhi University’s Motilal Nehru College, Dyal Singh College, Sri Guru Gobind Singh College of Commerce, College of Vocational Studies and Hindu College. Due to the unavailability of a proper backstage area, inconvenience and congestion was experienced by the heavily costumed participants. The Fashion Society of Manav Rachna University emerged as the winner at Lifestyle, with their fashionable take on Sikhism. 

At the Western Group Dance Prelims, the blaring music surely impaired some auditory senses but the exuberant dance performances were a treat to the eye. The audience burst into hoots as societies dropped groovy moves. Peppy playlists combined with flashy lighting set the mood at the Seminar Hall of IIT Delhi. Outside, the venue, a chaotic queue of youngsters were seen behaving rowdily towards the gatekeepers who were reluctant to allow entry into the already-packed room. Gargi College, Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, Motilal Nehru College, Shivaji College, Hansraj College and IIT Delhi qualified the first round, with Sri Aurobindo College and Daulat Ram College in the waiting list. Gargi College’s Enliven bagged the first position at Kaleidoscope followed by Spardha of Shaheed Bhagat Singh College and Dance Club of IIT Delhi.

The Acapella competition contestants from 14 previously-shortlisted societies were spotted at Allegro, in their monotone society T-shirts. The audience of LHC121 also comprised non-participating societies and acapella admirers, who came to survey the performances. Encore, the Western Music Society of Daulat Ram College performed a medley of five songs. Euphony from Gargi College sent the audience into a state of idyll through their thoroughly rehearsed harmonies. Judges Joshua Peter and Akash Gadamsetty awarded the first position to Jesus and Mary College’s ECHO. Madhurima from Delhi Technological University bagged the second prize, and the third position was shared by Sri Venkateswara College’s Crescendo and Gargi’s Euphony.

The second half of the day commenced with the  inauguration ceremony and the lightning of the lamp by Deputy Director of IIT Delhi, Prof M. Balakrishnan. The ceremony was anchored by Shubendu Sumbli, an IIT Delhi alumnus. It was followed by a short speech by Prof Mausam, VP of BRCA and Prof Rajesh Khanna, Dean of Students Affairs. The inauguration event ended on a musical note with Harmononium performing on stage. It performed a wide range of songs including Chaakar, Fakiri, Jhakar and Gubbare which took the audience’s breath away. It later on, added Marwaari songs to pep up their set.

The Quizzing Club, IIT Delhi organised A fan’s notes, an open sports quiz. Over 50 teams participated in teams of two or three. Eight teams made it to the final round. The quizmaster was Ashish Kumar Rai, an alumnus of IIT Delhi.

The Literary Club of IIT Delhi organised a Slam Poetry Competition, Slam Blues. Twenty six participants were short listed for the event which was adjudged by Aditi Angiras, Indrajit Ghoshal, Saumya Kulshreshtha, and Ravie Solanky. The winners of the event were Seep Agrawal (1st prize, English), Ayushi Dwivedi (2nd prize, English), and Mohit Sethi (1st prize, Hindi). My Jottings, a Creative Writing Competition was also organised by the Literary Club of IIT Delhi. The results for it will be declared on October 15th.

In the prelims for the beatboxing event, a total of 33 teams participated in the prelims consisting of the Showcase Round and the battles. 16 teams proceed to the final round to be conducted on 14th October. The event was adjudged by Mr. Ishaan Nangia, Vice Champion of the first ever Indian Beatbox Championship.  For Battle of the Bands, Acid Pit was declared the winner followed by Mirage and Over Root Third.

The day came to a magnificent close with The Local Train’s performance, which swept the crowd of it’s feet. With songs like Choo Lo, Dil Mere, Aaoge Tum Kabhi the band ensured that the crowd didn’t lose their enthusiasm even for a single minute.



Day 2 was packed with back-to-back competitions and the events went on till the wee hours.

At Tatva, the Fusion Band Competition, bands presented their creative compositions. The amalgamation of Hindustani Classical and Western tunes combined with an interactive stage presence enthralled the audience. Parameters performed a combination of Hindustani classical music, western rock and rapping through their compostion, ‘Alone’. The competition was adjudged by instrumentalist, engineer, and producer Yatin Srivastava. In his small feedback speech, he pointed out that no society exceeded the time limit and that the bands paid careful attention to music mixing. He also advised the bands to use a better stage presence for livlier performances. IIT Delhi’s MoonShine won the first prize. The second position was bagged by Parameters from the College of Vocational Studies, followed by Amity University’s Metronome who was the second runner-up. As announced by IIT Delhi’s Music Society, Ruhaaniyat, the top three best performances were Sri Venkateswara College’s Where’s My Bag, followed by Five One Nine from Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College, and then Black Beat from Ramjas.

Sprightly vocal percussions left the crowd spellbound at the second round Beat Boxing Competition of IIT Delhi’s Rendezvous’18. The shortlisted 16 participants were adjudged by Ishan Nangia, Sri Venkateswara College student and Vice Champion of the first ever Indian Beatbox Championship. At the LHC Informal Stage area, a large crowd of beatboxing enthusiasts turned up despite changes in the event’s schedule not being properly conveyed. Aranya Banerjee, received a congratulatory hoist for bagging the first position. The winner received a cash prize of Rs. 5000, followed by first runner-up Jatin Pant who received a prize of Rs. 3000.

An exciting array of performances focusing on a multitude of poignant themes ranging from menstrual and religious regression to Indian education policy, displayed all day from the morning to the evening in Mimansa, the street play competition. Out of the 12 finalists, the team of Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, Natuve won the event with the title of overall best performance as College of Vocational Studies and Maharaja Agarsen Institur of Technology followed. The best actress went to Shivaji College whereas the best Actor was a student of Maharaja Agarsen Institute of Technology. Best music was unsurprisingly won by Sri Venketeshwar College; best director was won by Hindu College; best entertaining play went to the hosts, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. The event was sponsored by Theatreleela and adjudged by Varun Sharma, director and owner of Theatreleela.

The highly anticipated Campus Princess pageant was also organised. The event was judged by Viren Barman, Peter England Mr. India 2016. The judge acknowledged the extensive participation of 51 contestants this time when he said, “I was trying to take a picture but I couldn’t fit you all in the frame!”. Last year’s title winners were also conducive in enhancing the morale of the contestants as they shared their own experiences with everyone and narrated their transformation stories after winning the title.

Far from all this, the atmosphere was an absolute envelope of peace at Aagaz, the group Indian Classical Music competition was organised. In the baritone and the soft yet bold lilting of the participating 15 teams from across the state, the audiences were left swooning. Girls took the first two positions as Alahyaa, the Indian Classical Music society of Daulat Ram College and Sangeetika of Kamla Nehru College won the first and second positions respectively, with Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Khalsa College in the third place.

The Debating Club of IITD hosted the annual edition of its freshers’ parliamentary debate titled Debutant. Constituting five rounds, a plethora of debating themes were up on offer as twelve teams from a variety of colleges, including but not limited to CBS, JMC, Ashoka, and Hindu, finally made it through to the prequarters stage.

The KTM roadshow was another contrast to the peace. With breathtaking stunts defying the laws of gravity, the performers left the audiences’ jaws wide open. As their tires dusted gravel around, a crowd of a hundred students found a thrilling experience becoming real.

Another interesting event of the day, the Comedy Hunt was also organised. Judges Milind Kapoor and Anubhav Singh Bassi, renowned stand-up comedians themselves laughed heartily with a crowd of 500 students cheering for the participants sharing their ridiculous stories. Mohak Arora was named the winner of the event. Most stand-ups focused on deeper social causes, striking just the right balance between conedy and reality.

During the late hours of the evening, Barkha Dutt was in conversation with Prashant Kishor at the Dogra Hall. In the beginning, Prashant Kishor talked extensively about his personal equations with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. He also spoke about his bond with Rahul Gandhi. He believes that BJP is going to lead in the 2019 elections. He further said that it’s good to have an ideology. However, he asks the youth to not get intoxicated by it. After the session, when asked by one of the audience members whether it’s possible for commoners to enter politics, he says, very frankly that it is very difficult to enter politics if you don’t happen to have a popular surname. Prakash Kishor also very cheekily mentioned that the country could have done without demonetization. At the end of the interview, he mentions that he would have loved to work with LK Advani for he believes that he’s a great campaigner.

Follwing this, the final rounds for Lifestyle and Kaleidoscope were organised, and the day culminated in fervour and renewed energy for the next day’s events.


Feature Image Credits: Rishabh Gogoi for DU Beat


Ananya Acharya
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