With the world undergoing drastic socio-political events, how far have we come from the Roaring Twenties? 

“History shall witness the rise of glory,

The roaring twenties have arrived.”

Little did they know, what they had in store;

Death, gloom and misery. 

The advent of the 1920s can be barely called a period of happiness. The deadly aftermath of the First World War to the rise of fascism, paving the way to the heinous murder of humanity; the 20th Century has been historically glorious and well-recorded. However, the 21st century and especially the beginning of the 2020s has been anything, but, glorious.

January 2020 was characterised by an impending World War 3, courtesy USA and Iran. February 2020 was rather gruesome in the National Capital as a pogrom was carried against the very nerve of Indian Muslims. As the doom of humanity befell us due to a man-made epidemic, we did not know what was in store for us. The futility of man comes forth when something as big and threatening as a natural pandemic visits us. Eerily enough, the 1920’s and 2020’s draw several similarities, right from a life-threatening virus to political turmoil:


  • The Pandemic


The 1918 Spanish flu which lasted for over two years infecting over 500 million people is eerily similar to the recent pandemic of COVID-19. Both originating from China, the Spanish Flu and Coronavirus caused/ing large scale hysteria and havoc. The beginning of 2020 surely did not expect the recreation of something so ghastly. Till date over 100,000 cases have been reported of coronavirus and the number is predicted only to accelerate. 


  • The Economy 


Angel Gurría, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Secretary-General, says, “Even if you don’t get a worldwide recession, you’re going to get either no growth or negative growth in many of the economies of the world, including some of the larger ones, and therefore you’re going to get not only low growth this year, but also it’s going to take longer to pick up in the future.” Similarly, the end of the 1920s was characterised by the infamous Great Depression of 1929. Widespread economic depression gradually enveloped the entire world economically and socially. 


  • Rise of Right-Wing Populism 


The 1920’s served as a bedrock foundation to the Weimar Republic, paving the way to the rise of Adolf Hitler, ultimately the epicentre of right-wing. The 20th Century was largely dictated and influenced by the aftermath of Holocaust and World War II economically, structurally, socially and politically. The 2020s haven’t been too politically different, either. With a majority of world leaders belonging to the right side of politics such as Bolsonaro in Brazil; Trump in USA; Modi in India; and most of Europe. The comeback and domination of their side of politics are similar to the rise of right-wing populism back in the day. 


  • Anticipating World War III


Iran and the US have been at a war-like situation by retaliating with constant airstrikes back in January. Recent news suggests Iran has refused help to the US in lieu of the Coronavirus outbreak, both of the Nations reporting accelerating numbers of casualties after Italy. The pandemic is also being considered a distraction from the impending crisis. 20th Century has been largely motivated and dealt with wars, World War I and World War II have shaped the consequences of several nations, acted as a catalyst in projecting newer policies and international treaties. 


  • Racism and Casteism


The Ku Klux Klan or the American White supremacist hate group systematically targetted African Americans. Racism and subjugation of individuals on the basis of their colour and race was dominant. Caste was a major factor in paving the way towards concrete legislative measures in the newly formed Indian Constitution. However, just as legal changes do not equate to social changes, till date, racism, casteism, rampant classism and xenophobia have still thrived. 

Sharanya Vajjha, a student of history and politics says, “Some problematic notions never cease to exist. Even when concrete developments are made, certain regressive beliefs continue to haunt mankind.”


  • Feminism


The discourse surrounding women’s rights and feminism gained momentum right about in the 1900s. The first wave of feminism laid down the focus on women’s legal rights and Right to Vote. Gradually, it incorporated the idea of reproductive rights, sexuality, domestic violence, rape and the social domain of feminism. Yet again, it would be wrong to equivalent legal milestones as social milestones. Till date, harassment, rape culture, incessant casual sexism, workplace harassment, unequal pay, abortion rights, intersectionality and marital rape amongst others remain certain issues which are yet to garner social and legal attention and escalate into concepts of the bygone era.

A century later, individuals still scramble for basic human rights, war and hysteria are rampant. The real question here is, are we supposed to go back to the 1920s or travel our way into the future? 

Feature Image Credits: Brand Culture

Anandi Sen 

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In a press release dated 19th March 2020, Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) released a set of demands for the Vice-Chancellor regarding COVID-19.

In the midst of the global pandemic, DUTA has released a set of demands for the working conditions of the DU faculty regarding COVID-19. The statement contained five sets of demands brought forth by DUTA, pertaining to the management of the faculty and teaching done by the university regarding the pandemic.

DUTA has requested the administration of a few colleges that are still insisting that teachers working on ad-hoc and guest basis should necessarily be present in the College to desist from doing so and not request the physical presence of the teachers, and instead adhere to e-learning and online resources to continue with the teaching in the university, and to not discriminate ad-Hocs and guest teachers in relation to the preventative measures put forth by the university to prevent the spread of COVID-19. They have also asked for financial compensation for guest teachers who are making themselves available through e-resources during their assigned teaching hours, and to use the online resources and assistance that they’re providing to students as a record for the payment. DUTA also insists that the semester exams and activities be pushed back and rescheduled accordingly, as e-resources and online classes can not compensate for in-class lectures and that various students of the university residing in other parts of the country do not have access to a stable internet connection. The organisation has, therefore, urged the administration to make an example of the other universities who have pushed back and/or rescheduled their exams and semester schedule for the same purpose. They have also urged the administration to think of the students and teaching faculty of SOL and NCWEB, and ensure that the stipulated contact hours are met, and also to keep in mind the financial need of the guest-teachers of these organisations. Lastly, DUTA has urged that the University implements similar preventative measures to reduce the contact points of non-teaching staff as it has for its teaching faculty and to decrease in theworking days and staggered working hours for those on duty, to prevent the spread of the disease for this section of the workers of the university as well.

We hope that the University responds by providing necessary institutional help to all sections of the University in this hour of crisis,” the press release stated.

The university has suspended classes till 31st March to provide relief and prevent the spread of COVID-19 amongst students and faculty and urges students to practice social distancing to stay healthy.

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives

Shreya Juyal

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Different countries have adopted an array of preventive measures to fight the novel coronavirus outbreak that had surfaced in December 2019 in China, which later spread to different parts of the world.

Many countries that have been severely affected by the coronavirus crisis have taken steps such as drastic lockdowns and strict travel restrictions. Citizens were ordered to stay inside and popular tourist spots such as Rome now seem deserted. Berlin and New York have set a limit for public gatherings, which is 50 people, to fend off the virus. A similar limit of 20 people has been imposed in New Delhi.

Italy’s government has ordered shutdowns across the country after the confirmed cases surpass 41,000. The UK government has been reluctant in adopting such strict measures, and schools, restaurants, and pubs are still open in London. Sports events such as Bundesliga have been shut down until further notice. 

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has travelled to more than 165 countries including India. The efforts of the Indian government in curbing the pandemic from spreading have been applauded worldwide. Schools, colleges, and movie theatres have been shut down across the country. Citizens have been advised to self-quarantine at home. All passengers returning to India from international flights were screened to check for possible symptoms of the virus. Everyone has been advised to follow social distancing, which drastically reduces the chances of the virus spreading further. 

All universities across India have been closed due to the coronavirus crisis. Teachers of Delhi University are permitted to work from home alongside which online classes for students are also being conducted. Study material is provided to students on a weekly basis, and the varsity has been shut till 31st March 2020. Students were also asked to vacate the campus, and many PGs adopted the same measure and asked students to leave at the earliest. Tejasvi, a student of Lady Shri Ram College opined: “The pandemic will be more widespread if necessary measures are not taken now, and at a personal level, all w can do is practice social distancing and washing our hands after returning home.” 

Feature image credits- NBC News

Suhani Malhotra

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