Bihar had become a drought-hit area, and then recently got flooded, receiving 10% extra rain than usual. Arguably, was this a man-made calamity more than a natural disaster? Read on to find out the Bihari diaspora’s take on it.

In hard-hit Bihar, a bird’s-eye-view of state capital Patna made the city appear like a huge lake dotted with concrete structures. Posh low-lying areas like Rajendra Nagar and Pataliputra Colony were flooded. Private hospitals, medical stores and other shops were submerged in waist-deep water. In several parts of Patna, waterlogging had thrown normal life out of gear. Although the rains have stopped now, and waterlogging has receded in most parts, a closer look reveals a bigger picture than just a natural calamity. 

Owing to unexpected and torrential rainfall of 200 mm, almost all areas of the capital of Bihar have been flooded, with water entering homes, offices and other buildings, and standing on the roads. The social media was buzzing with netizens sharing videos of the flood affected area and making satire of #HowdyModi event in which the PM said, all is fine in India. 

Flooding in the city appeared to have been caused by a choked, damaged and dysfunctional drainage system, and delayed activation of pumps at the sump houses. The floods were so severe that animal carcasses were seen on several roads.

Dinesh Mishra, a civil engineer and flooding expert, while speaking to a national daily said, “The authorities have the resources, money and workforce to arrive at a solution. However, planning of drainage systems and efficient sump machines are nowhere to be seen. Authorities have pushed the city to the edge of disaster by misusing public money. Also, now, they all come up with the excuse of ‘climate change.’”

The state of Bihar has gloomed with tragedies this year. First the encephalitis outbreak in Muzzafarpur took hundreds of life in June 2019, then drought hit severel parts of the state in early September damaging agriculture, and then the recent floods have disturbed lives of millions of people in the capital city Patna. Floods are not a rare phenomena in Bihar, the Kosi river is infamous for flooding Khagaria and northern parts of Bihar every year, but the scale and intensity of this retreating monsoon’s flood was as big as the disastrous floods of 1987 and 2004 which took 1,400 and 3,272 lives respectively.

It was not only Patna but also towns like Kaimur, Bhagalpur, Araria, Banka, Munger and Muzzafarpur that faced the wrath of this catastrophe. A more haunting statistic suggests that 494 panchayats in 15 districts were submerged in water when the flood was at its peak. The death toll neared 120 in first four days. Lack of a robust political administration seemed to have aggravated the death toll and loss due to floods.

Rahul Kumar, a student of DU hailing from Buxar says, “What I think, is that the flood is a result of mismanagement and government failure. As a Bihari, what I think is in Bihar, government officials love good flood and droughts because they get chance to make money out of it. This is a man made disaster and not only the government, but we are also fully responsible for the same.”   

Suyash Jha, a fresher from the varsity who hails from Bhagalpur says that these floods have now become a routine affair. “The compound of my grandfather’s home at VIP Road, Laheriasarai get water from overflowing drains every year for the  last 10 years now. Despite several requests to the administration to work on the drainage system in the area no real action has been taken.”

Shivam Srivastava, a third-year student was in Delhi when the unstoppable rain started in Patna on 28th September.  He says, “It was really flabbergasting to see the Chief Minister say something like ‘Yeh toh prakritik apada hai, isme hum kuch nahi karsakte,’ (This is a natural calamity, we cannot help it,).”

Feature Image Credits: Rahul Kumar

Sriya Rane 

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The African country of Sudan is wrapped up in the ongoing political turmoil and civil war. While there has been a perpetual silence by the international community on the Sudan issue, recently the blue wave hit social media where people changed their profile pictures to blue to show support for Sudanese people. However, the whole picture has more to it having deeper intricacies.

  • How did all of this start?

Sudan gained independence in 1956, having a vast diversity of about 600 ethnic groups and over 400 languages. The northern part of Sudan is predominately Muslim, while the southern regions are mostly Christian and Animist. The ethnic divide led to two civil wars between North and South Sudan.

However, to end the first civil war, peace was worked out with the Addis Ababa Agreement of 1972 giving greater autonomy to the southern provinces. But peace was short-lived.

A second civil war ensued after Sudanese President Jaafar Numeiri came to power and abolished South Sudan’s autonomy and imposed Sharia law throughout the country.

The war intensified as Omar al-Bashir took over as President of Sudan in 1989, after he led a coup that ousted the previous government. His tyrannous regime of 30 years saw deaths of several Sudanese civilians, ethnic cleansing against non-Arabs, collapse of the economy and instability in the nation-state. Later he was indicted by the International Court of Justice for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.


  • Tyrannous leader no longer in power; will that bring “Peace”?

Although the tyrannous leader was no longer in Sudan, ‘peace’ was a far-fetched dream for the country.

The civilians demanded an end to the military council led regime in the country and establish a civilian-led interim body and elections. The protestors wanted to pave way for the transition of power in the hands of the people through democratic elections. The military council and opposition groups originally agreed on a three-year transition to democracy, but talks soon broke down. Until 2011, Sudan was one country. That year, following decades of civil war, the southern section separated, becoming the world’s newest nation: South Sudan. Months after the country’s dictator Omar al-Bashir was ousted in a coup by the Sudanese military, a deadly power struggle has emerged between forces led by General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (Hemeti) and protesters calling for civilian rule, increased women’s rights, and an end to the brutal militias that have destroyed the African nation.


  • The Blue Wave

The recent uprisings and violence followed by an internet shut down brought the world’s attention to the Sudan crisis.  A military raid on a non-violent protest in Khartoum, the capital city, on 3rd June 2019 led to the death toll reaching more than 100. Social media became indispensable to propagate the plight of the Sudanese people to the world. Several posts showing the brutal protests started making rounds on social media. The world responded by using a blue profile picture to show solidarity with the Sudanese people.

Why blue? Well, it is reportedly said that it is an attempt to honour the memory of Mohamed Mattar, who died trying to protect two women during the bloody dispersal of the protest camp outside the military headquarters.

Interestingly, women are in the vanguard of the protests and voicing their opinions firmly. Having typically fled conflict zones, they are more vulnerable than most and have faced severe oppression.  The protests are setting new discourses about women’s rights and giving them a new face in the protests.

The UN Peace-making Operations commented post the uprisings, “The crisis has produced one of the world’s worst displacement situations with immense suffering for civilians. A sustainable political resolution of the conflict is also the only avenue to chalk out a viable exit strategy.”


  • Awareness or Pseudo Advertence?

Although awareness on the issue went viral on social media as people posted about it, there came up certain posts which claimed to help the conflict-affected people in Sudan and requested people to follow these accounts.

One such page which went viral on Instagram was @SudanMealProject which claimed to provide meals to starving Sudanese children on sharing its post. In less than a week, the account garnered more than 4,00,000 followers and was all over the social media. People posted and shared it without questioning its legitimacy in the misguided belief that it was an exchange for donation. Soon several similar accounts were made on social media claiming the same thing.

However, several people knew that it was a hoax, but shared it only for spreading awareness on the issue. Muda Tariq, a student of Lady Shri Ram college commented, “Many of my friends shared it despite knowing that it is a hoax, but it did generate awareness about the issue. However, blindly following these things makes it an exploitative process ends up trivializing the whole Sudan issue.”

Misrepresentation of intentions can be a host of misinformation. As well-informed citizens, we should question everything before actualising it. With the privilege of access to information, it’s the onus on the millennial generation to think and rethink before putting anything up on social media.

Sudan is battling through a huge political turmoil. Support, awareness through proper channels, and severe condemnation for such grievous violation human rights should be our role as responsible global citizens.


Feature Image Credits: Getty Images


Sriya Rane

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Dyal Singh College faces a big administrative crisis as the Principal’s office gets sealed over ongoing probe on financial and administrative irregularities.


Dyal Singh College, faces a big crisis as a part of the ongoing tussle between the Principal and the Chairman. It all started when, on September 24, 2018, Governing Body [GB] chairman Mr. Amitabh Sinha issued an order, sending the Principal on a ‘long leave’. The reason stated was alleged him of being guilty for the financial and administrative irregularities. The Principal, I.S. Bakshi was charged with serious allegations regarding the state of financial and administrative irregularities and was asked to avoid visiting campus during the inquiry against him. Despite the notice, Bakshi has been continued coming to college, chiding the allegations as “illegal” with mala fide intentions.

The tussle grew stronger when the Chairman overturned the decision of the college’s Election Committee to cancel the election of Rohan Awana, an ABVP member, as president.

Things escalated as Mr. Sinha sealed his office on Friday, claiming it had been occupied ‘without authority’. The Principal also received a letter from the college’s bank stating that no transactions will be processed with his signature, as they have been mandated by the GB to conduct all official transactions through the officiating or the acting principal.

In a letter addressed to the chairman dated October 10th 2018, the branch manager of State Bank of India, Lodhi Road stated that the appointment of the acting principal should be done in accordance with the prescribed guidelines of the Ordinance XVIII which states that in absence of the Principal, the vice-principal will act as the principal, and in the vice-principal’s absence, the most-senior teacher will take over the administration and financial duties. This stands for colleges other than those that are maintained by the Government Of India.

According to a report in Jagran Josh, the tussle between the Principal and Chairman is reportedly causing financial losses to employees. DSC teachers’ Association’s president PK Parihar stated that the money is not being transferred into their PF account because of which they are losing interest and the medical reimbursement of all, especially the pensioners, is under threat.

Following the sealing of the office, Bakshi will be allowed inside the college campus only after the convener of the inquiry committee, Mr. OP Malik, retired IPS officer and DGP, provides written information, according to recent sources on the issue.

Sources: The Indian Express, Jagran Josh

Feature Image Credits:  The Hindu, image of the notice from the college’s official website


Avnika Chhikara

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A crisis every DUite has been through, every semester, with the same level of regret, is the Mid-Sem Crisis. The crisis that keeps bugging you in the back of your head during those merry mid semester times, but you, the happy creature, continue to avoid it.

Mid semester is that part of the semester, when you start liking the college all over again after missing the lazy holiday times. The time when you’re brimming with the zeal to explore and have fun.

But, it is only then, when the realization dawns upon you, that college isn’t as fun a place as you wish to believe. This usually happens when all the teachers one by one, and then all at once; start firing their list of tests and assignments. You try to brave the attacks, but, the crisis begins when the firing takes a toll on the plans you had made for the semester.

Nights spent watching movies or tv series, are now spent writing long assignments and questioning the education system (Why do we need to write assignments!?).

The society practices that seemed fun, now feel like a burden, because test schedules keep bothering you at all times. You can’t find time to explore places and food junctions after college.

And, if you attempt to be the brave woman, who takes up the task to give equal time and effort to everything despite the crisis, you end up being a perpetually sleep deprived, baggy-eyed creature! Gloom starts sinking in.

Gradually the fearlessness in you starts to voice itself. Consequently, you attempt to disregard the Mid-Sem crisis very boldly. You do not give up on plans or watching movies late at night.

Despite the fun, you feel the constant pricking of the long list of tasks to be done. You poor creature decide to give in to the “Do or Die” situation. Prepare for the tests or write assignments in a day or two and breathe a sigh of relief! Furthermore, you perform the ritual of pledging to be a sincere kid the next semester and continue to follow the cycle for the future semesters.

But, my friend, I believe in you, for being the brave fighter, who follows all the steps of the cycle religiously and makes the “Mid Semester Crisis” the most popular DU phenomena!

Image Credits: campusriot.com

Priyal Mahtta