As a young girl living in an urban metropolitan, sexism couldn’t possibly be starker to me. I see it leeching on my body when I leave the house, I see it in the eyes of the men staring at me on a bus, I can feel it making me conscious of my body every day, every second. But something about the entire Hard Kaur fiasco during Kamala Nehru College’s ‘Ullas’ showed me how sexism is so internalized in our systems, our minds, our lives – in a manner that spotting it becomes hard, even in the midst of controversy, where each detail is made to glare right into our faces.
Hard Kaur was told to leave the stage because of the swear words she used and a few obscene gestures here and there – but nobody raised any objection to how she made it a point to objectify the male performers on stage by asking them to show their chiseled midriffs to the crowd; nobody said anything about her comment on women being ‘sexy’ and men being ‘dirty’; no newspaper reported it, no righteous person in the crowd spoke about it. It was almost as if nobody really minded it – like it’s okay to insult one gender to praise another, like we need to ‘get back’ at people of one gender and blame them for all our problems – as if they are not affected by patriarchy at all. It seemed like men being ‘dirty’ was the only way women could be ‘sexy’; much like how women being timid and weak is the only way men can be assertive and powerful.
The categories of masculine and feminine and the social connotations attached with them are becoming more complex by the day. We live in a world where a woman who knows her mind is ‘loose’, a man who likes clothes, make up and kids is a ‘sissy’, anyone not associating with the gender binary is nonexistent and the sexes are always at war.
What was in fact, so offensive about Kaur’s language? How was it so offensive that it engrossed us enough to overlook the obvious sexism her statements reflected? What should really be angering us? Taking pride in being one of the best universities in the country, and even the world, how did we let this go unnoticed?
We’ve got to change this. We’ve got to get offended at sexism – every form it takes has to anger us, regardless of the gender identity it is targeting. Only then can we conceptualize the equality we have all set out to achieve – an equality that first requires us to notice its absence.
Shruti- the annual festival of I.P. College started on 27th January with events like Fantasista (Street Football), Folk Dance and On-the-spot Photography. In the morning the crowd turn up was low, but as the ‘Punjabi Dhol’ started to play on stage, a decent crowd started to assemble in the Sports Complex.
The Street Football League consisted of 6 matches and mainly 4 teams. The first match was between IGI (Indira Gandhi Institute of Physical Education and Sports Sciences) and I.P. College (Team 1). It was draw. Once again there was a draw between I.P. College (Team 2) and I.P. University. In the third match, I.P. College (Team 1) won against I.P. University (2-0). In the next match, IGI drew with I.P. College (Team 2). IGI won against I.P. University (1-0). Finally, I.P College (Team 2) won this league. Smriti Kandari was the best player.
On-the-spot Photography received entries from 13 participants. The themes were Motion, Vintage and Texture. The participants were required to submit two pictures for any of the mentioned themes. They were given one and a half hour to submit their photographs. Dr. Nitoo Das and Mrs. Anita Cherian judged this event. The students of I.P. College won this contest. Shivangi Chaturwedi stood first, Sukriti Dubey stood second and Ankita Jaiswal came third. ‘Tropes’ was another event wherein prior to the fest the theme was out which was-“Androgyny and Danger”. Mr. Vinod Verma judged this event. Raunak Chopra from Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) bagged the first position, Prerna Dangi from St. Stephen’s stood second and Sahil Ali (JMI) got the third prize.
One of the most anticipated events for the day was the Folk Dance, wherein 7 teams took part. Undoubtedly, the ‘Dhol’ and the typical Punjabi songs spread their magic with SGTB Khalsa winning the first prize with Gargi being awarded second. Mr. M.C. Nair and Mrs. Nalini Deka judged this event.
Fine Arts Society of Sri Venkateswara College organized the Folk Dance Competition on the 27th february 2014 at the main stage.
Due to the clashing nature of events with I.P. College for Women’s Shruti, the total number of participating teams were limited to four. Judges for the event were Rahul Gangani, Aruna Rao and Dr. Sushi Gupt.
The first team to perform was Shri Guru Gobind Singh College of Commerce’s gidda, followed by the performance of Kamala Institute of Higher Education & Advanced Technology, which performed Chirmi- Rajasthani Folk Dance. Other performances included Sri Venkateswara College’s Laavni and SGTB Khalsa’s Bhangra.
Each team was given a time limit of 10 minutes to perform. The first position was bagged by Kamala Institute of of Higher Education & Advanced Technology and the second prize went to Sri Venkateswara College.
The group Indian Vocal competition, ‘Goonj’ was conducted by Sri Venkateswara College (SVC) as part of Nexus 2014. Eleven teams from various colleges like SRCC, Hindu and LSR participated with a maximum of 14 team members each. The teams were given a time limit of 10+ 2 minutes.
Sangeetika of Kamala Nehru College won the first prize. The team has obtained five wins in the current season already, with Nexus 2014 marking the sixth one, and were visibly ecstatic. They sang a fusion of Karnataka and Hindustani songs. They believe the key to their immense success this year is the fact that they practiced a lot and “We ensured we participated in every competition we could. We didn’t want to let even a single opportunity go by.”
Gargi’s vocal group ‘Samranjini’ and Daulat Ram College’s ‘Alhaya’ tied for the second position. The group from Sri Venkateswara college also performed as a non- competing team as a conclusion to the event.
The event was adjudged by Dr. Avinash Kumar who holds a Ph.D in Classical Music from the Faculty of Music. The internal judges for the event were Dr. Muralidharana Rao and Mr. KV Giri from the faculty at SVC.
A rock night with Papon and the East India Company, a night full of dance with DJ Nucleya of Sunburn fame and Mohit Chauhan’s voice to wrap-up the three day fest – major events at Mecca 2014 in one line.
Along side elaborate crowds in the evenings, the fest was also rife with food and several informal events.
The Annual festival of Hindu College, Mecca started on 20th February. Deputy Commissioner of Police, S.P.S Tyagi, was invited as this year’s chief guest for the opening ceremony. The topic for this year’s festival is “Brilliant Bharat”, celebrating the cultural diversity ever present in Hindu as well as an emphasis on uniting these feelings of brotherhood. Following this formal commencement of Mecca, the cultural show kick-started with a semi-classical dance performance by the Indian Dance Society, Adrita. This was followed by another enthralling performance, with Iskcon mustering heavy support as their Hare Krishna Mahamantra (Search for Happiness) were chanted and danced to by the engaged audiences.
Angaraag Mahanta who is more famously known to us as Papon performed at Hindu’s Rock Night along with his band East India Company on the first day of Mecca 2014. A large crowd turned up cheering as Papon stepped on the stage and took a hold of his mike. He started the performance with songs like Khumaar (performed by Papon in Coke Studio) which talks about how a guy is passionately in love with a girl but has to spend a difficult day waiting for the night to come when he can see her.
He also sang many of his more famous songs including Dinae Dinae, Kaun mera from the movie Special 26, Kyon from Barfi! And Jiyein kyun from Dum Maaro Dum. However, what really got the crowd going were Papon’s little quirks and jokes as he explained the meaning behind his songs and how in life everything figures out in the end and you find what you are supposed to be, like he did despite being a college dropout.
The second day of Mecca 2014 saw Nucleya take over the stage in collaboration with MTV Indies. Performing for the first time in Delhi University, Nucleya kept the audience on their feet for almost an hour long set. A bass heavy electronic artist from New Delhi, he played all his major hits including StreetBoy, Akkad Bakkad, Bangla Bass and also a remix of Bollywood tracks like Dum Maaro Dum and the Sound Trippin produced Tung Tung, which the audience enjoyed immensely.
After the first day that featured Papon and the East India Company, the closing act of Hindu College’s Annual fest Mecca 2014, was all about Mohit Chauhan.
The popular singer of Silk Route fame, came on stage at quarter to six and the crowd went crazy. He started the concert with his Rockstar single, ’jo bhi main kehna chahoon’. Even in the first song, he made sure to interact with the audience making them go ‘ya ya ya’ in order to match the lyrics. Maintaining the romantic mood of the song, he went on to sing ‘Kuch khaas hai’ and then Yeh dooriyan followed by Tum se hi from Jab We Met.
Oodles of food
So many performances and so many activities do definitely leave our stomachs growling a bit. However, the numerous food and beverage stalls at Mecca indicate that the coordinators of the event had already foreseen such hunger. Making it an essential condition to avoid the embarrassment of Mecca 13’s lack of food joints, the Organising Committee seemed to really prep up the event this year around.
The cluster of food stalls in and around the Cricket Tree (C-Tree) had been converted into one of the major hangout spots of the festival. From the street favourites, Bhel-puri and chaat, to extensive preparations of Kathi Rolls and Shawarma’s, to elaborate wholesome lunch meals, the food stalls seemed to offer something for everyone. Yes, there was ice cream, a variety of popcorn and ‘Bangs‘ of flavour as well.
Apart from playing host to several major competitions, Mecca also included some informal events to engage the heavy traffic present at the college. These events, such as Face Painting, Paintball and Lazer Maze brought out a lighter side of the festivities.
Lazer Maze, a beat-the-clock gaming concept by the Start-up company Ent-Innova, involved an intricate heist mission, with its simple design creating quite a buzz around the college campus. The organisers were pleased with the response, considering their respective events were held at the same time as the major competitions. Paintball however, did not get the desired response as the Hindi lawns remained relatively deserted throughout the fest.
First Position: Gargi College for Joota Second Position: Hansraj College for ‘Rihaai’ and SGTB Khalsa for ‘We, the people’ Third Position: Lady Shri Ram College for Jaha neelam hai Insaniyat and College of Vocational Studies for Lajja
Presenting a relevant cause using music, the final day of Hindu College’s Mecca 2014 began with a concert against racism. It saw performances by three bands of north-east Indian students.
The songs being mostly in their native languages, aimed to present the array of wide culture north-east India possesses. In an attempt to sensitize the youth towards the ‘different’ Indians and to highlight the gravity of racism they faced, Sh. Pradyot, the King of Tripura delivered an awakening speech towards the end of concert.
“We are more informed about the happenings of the world, than we are about those eight states of India. Hindi is just one language spoken in India, not the only language. We all need to make an attempt to understand and warmly receive the students who leave their hometowns and culture behind for better opportunities, only then we shall be able to see the rich cultural heritage of north east India and its importance in Indian economy and socio political system.” the King remarked.
The musical mood continued as the finals of the singing hunt ‘Mecca Idol’ were scheduled for the next slot. Post the prelims, nine participants from colleges like Lady Shri Ram College for Women, Kirori Mal, Maitreyi, Shri Ram College of Commerce, Miranda House and IIT Delhi performed in to a packed auditorium. The audience hummed along the Sufi tunes of songs like ‘nit khaer manga’, ‘lagan lagi tumse..’, ‘tere liye..hum hai jiye’ and ‘Roza’.
The first prize was won by Sarim Ali from Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College whose song ‘Teri Deewani’ had taken the event to new heights. The competion ended with a musical performance by Aria & Alankar – the music societies of Hindu College.
Featured Image: Sh. Pradyot, the King of Tripura. Image Credit: Abhay Makhija for DU Beat
One of the lively most events of Hindu College’s ‘Mecca’ was the ‘Nukkad Natak’ – The street play competition held on the concluding day of the three day long fest. The event saw participation from 12 Delhi University colleges including Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC), Shaheed Bhagat Singh (morning and evening), SGTB Khalsa, P.G.D.A.V, Daulat Ram College and Delhi College of Arts and Commerce (DCAC).
The competition saw budding college actors exhibit confidently and openly their feelings on serious issues like prostitution, weak judiciary, poverty and corruption.
The four hour-long competition was judged by Sh. Vipul Pachori, an eminent theatre personality from the National School of Drama. Team Kshitij from Gargi college bagged the first position for their play ‘Joota’, followed by a tie at the second position between Hansraj College for ‘Rehaayi’ and SGTB Khalsa for their play ‘We, the people’. Meanwhile, the third position was credited to teams from Lady Shri Ram College for their play Jaha neelam hai Insaniyat and College of Vocational Studies for their production Lajja. Mr. Pachori provided valuable feedback to all the teams so as to improve their future performances.
“The performance at Hindu for us, was our third one of the day. The crowd was amazing, and results have only multiplied our happiness and boosted the morales” said Gurjot Sidhu, a participant from Hansraj College.
Jesus and Mary College held it’s annual fest, Montage, on the 20th and 21st of February. The tagline this year was ‘Bigger, Bolder, Better’, but many were left slightly disappointed as Montage didn’t rope in any big ticket celebrities this time.
Star Night with Nasha
The star attraction on day one was the concert with Akhil Sachdeva and his band, Nasha. The sufi rock band originating from Faridabad is popular among youth for their soulful tracks. Their performance slowly amassed a good number of people, with the crowds swaying to popular songs like ‘Main tenu samjhavaan ki’, songs from bollywood movies like ‘Aashiqui 2’ and ‘Ajab Prem ki Gajab Kahani’ and even their own compositions like ‘Nasha’ and ‘O Mahi Ve’.
Hindi Dramatics ‘Awaz’
First Position: SGTB Khalsa College for We the people Second Position: Shivaji College for ‘Bas Samajhney Ki Baat Hai’ Third Position: Kirori Mal College for Company Raj
First Position: Hansraj College for Holi Second Position: SGTB Khalsa College for Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay Best director: Ramjas College for Private Ear
Western Dance ‘Chimera’
First Position: ‘Zenith’ – Daulat Ram College Second Position: ‘Verve’ – Sri Venkateswara College
Battle of the Bands
First Position: Red Shorts Second Position: The Hansraj Project Third Position: Conundrum
First Position: Hansraj College Second Position:Gargi College
Indian Music (Group)
First Position: Gargi College Second Position: Kamala Nehru College Third Position: Hindu
Western Music (Group)
First Position: Lady Shri Ram College for Women Second Position: Sri Venkateswara College Third Position: Gargi and Jesus and Mary College
Apart from these, individual competitions were also held. Other events included a colourful kite show and an exhibition by Snapshots, the photography society of the college.
After the first day that featured Papon and the East India Company, the closing act of Hindu College’s Annual fest Mecca 2014, was all about Mohit Chauhan.
The popular singer of Silk Route fame, came on stage at quarter to six and the crowd went crazy. He started the concert with his Rockstar single, ‘jo bhi main kehna chahoon’. Even in the first song, he made sure to interact with the audience making them go ‘ya ya ya’ in order to match the lyrics. Maintaining the romantic mood of the song, he went on to sing ‘Kuch khaas hai’ and then Yeh dooriyan followed by Tum se hi from Jab We Met.
He had just commented on the number of people before him and those on trees and hostel floors when a group of guys jumped on stage and interrupted ‘Pehli baar mohabbat ki hai’. After the issue was solved, Mohit resumed with ‘Dooba dooba rehta hoon’. In addition to this, there were reported cases of people jumping walls and barricades in order to be able to attend the concert.
Mohit Chauhan ended his performance, the day and Mecca 2014 with the vibrant Sadda Haq.
Arijit Singh performed in Miranda House for their annual cultural fest Tempest 2014 and delighted the crowd with an amazing performance. While the college authorities tried their best to limit the number of people entering by entry-by-passes-only procedure, fake passes, policemen, uncontrollable crowds and bouncers seemed to have surrounded the college today.
The college banned entry after 3 PM as mentioned in the passes, but students (with or without passes) relentlessly lined up outside the gates hoping to get in. The authorities were strict enough to deny entry to its own students as well after 3 PM. But in the process to control the numbers, participants and performers were kept waiting outside as well. At around 4:30 PM gates had to be opened for cars to enter. But along with the cars came hoards of students trying to seize their chance to get inside. Bouncers tried to stop them, police bared lathis and several students got injured and some had to be rushed for the medical care. Even though they succeeded in closing the gates and keeping out many students, eventually the authorities gave up and opened entry to one and all – anyone with or without a pass or even a college ID for that matter could now enter the college premises.
However, once the performance began, the crowd had the time of their lives watching Arijit Singh perform live. He opened with ‘Tum Hi Ho’ from the movie ‘Aashiqui 2’ and went on to sing all his famous numbers including ‘Raabta’ and ‘Dua’. The performance lasted for an hour and a half but the crowd seemed more than satiated. “It was so good that even in this crowd the songs touched my heart and I had goose bumps,” said Amishi Sindhwani from IP College for Women.