LSR’s Hindi Debsoc held its Annual Hindi Parliamentary Debate informally outside the college after it got cancelled by the administration a few hours before the scheduled time of the event.  

Tarkvyuh, the Annual Parliamentary Debate organized by Vaktritva, the Hindi Debating Society of Lady Shri Ram College for Women (LSR) was all set to take place on 18thand 19thFebruary 2020, when it was cancelled by the administration, on the night of 17thFebruary 2020.

The team hosted the event in an informal manner outside the college premises. While the preliminary rounds of the competition were held in Lodhi Garden near the college, the quarters, semifinal and final rounds took place at the LSR back gate. In a WhatsApp forward being circulated within the college groups, Vaktritva, the Hindi Debating Society stated reasons for the same. It says that they had to conduct the event in such a way to avoid compromising with their debating space.

According to the text, the administration had asked them to put the college teachers as judges instead of the adjudicators that they had chosen. The coordinators tried to explain that subject specific knowledge is not the only criteria of judgement in a parliamentary debate and that adjudication requires training and experience. However, the administration was adamant on their demand and the only alternative provided to the organizers was to cancel their event. The team mentions, “In a space which is for debate, discussions and exchange of ideas with students, accepting these arbitrary options without proper reasoning did not seem right to us.”

Allegedly the administration wanted to have scrutiny over the kind of motions being debated upon and when the event was taking place unofficially, representatives of the administration had forced the students to take down the name of the college or society citing copyright issues. Such interference is threatening to the liberal spaces that any educational institution upholds and the intentions seem tyrannical.

The coordinators and the members of Vaktritva have refused to offer any comments to DU Beat at this point, citing discomfort for the same. DU Beat reached out to the administration for their statement, but is yet to receive an official response from their end. This report will be updated as and when the parties comment.


Image Credits: Lady Shri Ram College for Women Website


Aishwaryaa Kunwar 



Both, Censorship and the Freedom of Speech require a delicate balance and immense intuitiveness. Many have argued on both sides, This piece aims to highlight what ideas stand out in this debate? 

Censorship refers to moderating the information and ideas that are disseminated in the society. After entering the web of the censorship debate, there is no escape. This fascinating, unsolvable mystery has questions that lead to more questions, gently treading the path between morality and legality. Everyone’s subjective notions of what is moral, acceptable, decent, and inoffensive are at interplay.

Now a question that would make Mr Pahlaj Nihalanijump onto his toes: Is censorship a good thing?

An infamous opinion piece, in the New York Times, ‘Free Speech Is Killing Us’, addressed the issue of noxious speech. Rebutting the idea of the Internet as a beacon of progress, it reminded the readers of the social media driven campaigns of Trumpand Duterte, the murder of Heather Heyer, the massacres in Pittsburg and Christchurch. “But what about speech that’s designed to drive a woman out of her workplace or to bully a teenage into suicide or to drive a democracy towards totalitarianism?” writer, Andrew Marantz, probed his readers.

Moving away from this, on another end of this spectrum there are moral policing and unnecessary restrictions being imposed. Banning of films representing the LGBTQ community, deletion of Twitters posts talking about casteism, unnecessary edits on several films by the former Chief of Sankar Board and being tagged as ‘anti-national’ for expressing dissent.

What such pieces necessitate are a need to draw lines around some content on the internet. But how easy is this task? Youtube’s ban on violent content resulted in reportage of the Syrian war being take down, Twitter’s rules about sexual content led to information on sexual health also being removed. Regulations can, therefore, close doors on several avenues to spread awareness.

A move criticised for its timing right before the General Elections, stricter social media regulations were put in place. The authorities claimed this was done to curb misinformation. This would require content deemed as “unlawful” by government will have to be erased from Facebook, Google, TikTokand other platforms. WhatsAppwill be required to decrypt encrypted data, to trace it to its original sender. Netflix, Hotstarand seven other platforms have begun self-regulation in attempts to avoid censorship. This played in favour of, our favourite mota bhai, Mr Mukesh Ambani, for obvious reasons.

Stringent censorship can be found in countries like China, Saudi Arabia and Russia. With more than 150 days of internet shutdown in Kashmir, how long before we enter the list?

Journalism, as an independent and impartial body, is not meant to serve the establishment. Its duty is to question, educate and be the voice of people. It was not birthed to be controlled. A democracy seizes to exist when its journalists, activists and reporters begin to live in fear. The ABP row and stepping down of two leading journalists demonstrated the heights of control over the press. The gruesome violence at the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo was also a dark day in the history of the press.

Free speech is an inextricable part and the cornerstone of a democracy. Dissent cannot be suppressed under the garb of censorship, because with changing times, the youth refuses to settle and rather demands what’s better. The New York Times piece warns against absolutism and how it cannot be used as an opt out from harassment. It is a right to be exercised with full responsibility. Use of force cannot be a medium to extinguish protests and silence voices of people.

Going back to the dilemma we started with, one’s morality emerges from their upbringing, culture, values, and education. The same rules cannot hold true for all, which makes censorship an endless debate. While morality is where we use our discretion, the higher authorities have the onus of the legalities of it.

Feature Image Credits: Debate.Org

Shivani Dadhwal

[email protected]

A demand to introduce Maithili as one of the languages offered by the University has been raised by a section of teachers from the University of Delhi.

This comes into light after the Delhi Government had announced the proposal of having Maithili as a subject for the students whose mother language is Maithili. It will be taught as an optional subject for classes 8 to 12 in Delhi schools.

In a letter addressed to the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Yogesh Tyagi by Associate Professor Rajiv Kumar Verma  from Satyawati College, the latter puts forward various reasons for introducing Maithili as a part of the subjects offered by the University. 

He brings into light that during the academic session this year, Maithili Elective/Core were included in the language subjects. Further strengthening his stand, he said that the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) also introduced Maithili as an optional paper in which many candidates have been successful. 

Mr. Verma has been a former Academic Council (AC) member. 

The action has been perceived as a welcome move throughout the University.

Mr. Rajesh Jha, a member of the University’s executive council quotes, “Maithili is spoken in areas of eastern Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Bihar. This year, around 50,000 students had applied from UP and 15,120 from Bihar for admission in DU.” 

As of now, the University of Delhi’s Department of Modern Indian Languages offers courses in languages such as Tamil, Telugu, Assamese, Bengali, Kannada and Gujarati amongst others but not in Maithili. 

It is therefore expected that having the language would grab the interest of a large number of students studying in the University.

Delhi University Student’s Union (DUSU) President Mr. Akshat Dahiya also said that the introduction of Maithili will be a great inclusionary step for the students from Purvanchal and encouraged the move. 

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives.

Amrashree Mishra

[email protected]

Indira Goswami, also known by her pen name Mamoni Raisom Goswami was an Assamese editor, activist, poet, professor, scholar, and writer who passed away in 2011. The All Assam Students Association, Delhi in order to honour her, organises an annual national level debate. This year marked the second installation of the same debate. The event was held on Sunday, 18th November 2018, in Conference Centre, North Campus, DU. The debate form as the name holds was conventional. Students from all across DU and other colleges participated in teams both from same college and combined cross team. There were 12 teams that took part in the event.

The motion of the day was “This house believes that it is a disadvantage to tag North Eastern states as one homogeneous unit rather than different states in the social, political, or economic issues.”       

The event was adjudged by Dr. Bhagat Oinam, a professor in the Department of Social Sciences at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Dr. Rakhee Kalita Moran, a professor in the Department of English at Cotton University, and lastly Dr. Monirul Hussain, Chair Professor, Centre for North East Studies and Policy Recharge at Jamia Milia Islamia.


The winners of the competition with the judges.
The winners of the competition with the judges. Image credits:Rishabh Gogoi for DU Beat.

Dr. Oinam spoke to the participants on the arguments that were raised at the debate. He said “The point is quite relevant to our time, but there you cannot put a black and white statement about this news. It is not a mathematical argument, there are both strengths and weaknesses. One thing that came out was that if you homogenise North East India as a block, what you are missing out is to quit understanding the peculiarity and the particularity of the region. Whether its Manipur, or Assam,  their concerns are being ignored when you are using the word North East as a block. Yet also at the same time it is a fact that the region is very diverse. The other side of the story is that if you try to diversify them, then It doesn’t attract the attention of the people. There is a need to pragmatically, politically unify the people to make their concerns, and  demands heard in the larger population of the country. This is because the political canvas of the country is so vast within which North East representation is so small. If you particularise all of the communities concerns individually, then that may never be heard. That is also one concern.”

The competition was followed by a lunch, and prize distribution ceremony. The winners were a combined cross team of Devarnav Sharma from Hindu college and Arshia Amin from Jamia Milia Islamia. The winners got an individual trophy as well as a cash prize of INR 20,000.

 Feature Image credits: Rishabh Gogoi for DU Beat

Haris khan

[email protected]

Pragati, the Women’s Development Cell of Daulat Ram College, organised an Inter-College Debate Competition on the motion, “Women’s Empowerment lies in Women Choosing for Themselves” on 7 February, 2018.

The cell received over seventy registrations from various colleges across different universities and thus conducted a preliminary round for the top finalists.

The jury consisted of honourable guests like, Dr. Monika Vij (Associate Professor, Miranda House College) and Dr. Padmshree Mudgal (Associate Professor, Daulat Ram College). Dr. Savita Roy, Principal of Daulat Ram College along with Dr. Anita Garg Mangla (Convenor, WDC) graced the occasion with their enlightening words.

The enthusiastic participants brought forth a wide range of perceptions and thus engaged in fruitful arguments. The winners were awarded cash prize and certificates of merit along with vouchers. The prizes were as follows:
Best Team, Best Speaker, Best Interjection(Participants), and Best Interjection(Audience).

The event ended on a positive and happy note with a group discussion whereby all the participants, audience and the teachers voiced their opinions on the motion freely.

The art of debate involves mastering skills of obvious intrinsic value: the confidence to speak in public, the construction of a logical argument; and, perhaps most importantly, the willingness to hear others’ arguments and to respond to them. Model United Nations (MUNs) started off as a simulation of the workings and functioning of the United Nations, which gave young students from school and college the opportunity to discuss complex world issues, understand political conflicts and think of proactive solutions. In status quo, however, it has been reduced to a commercial competition, where students are solely motivated by the big cash prize, rather than looking forward to participate in a constructive debate and increase their knowledge.
When the MUN culture started, students would show up to the committee rooms dressed in loose formal clothes carrying big research binders that contained several printouts or handwritten articles from various charters and reports relevant to the agenda. The debate was constructive and followed a precise pattern, it was more about solving the problem rather than spending most of your speaking time alleging other delegates and creating unnecessary conflict. The awards were decided on the basis of how well a delegate understood the agenda and contributed substantially to the debate rather than a number of times they spoke in a committee. Lobbying in an unmoderated caucus actually meant displaying diplomatic behaviour rather than trying to assert your dominance by shouting. ‘Fake CV’s’ was a concept unknown to the world of MUNs and the participants did not actively look forward to getting a new profile picture after the conference.
The purpose of a MUN conference, ideally, is to research and arrive at a solution through negotiations, deliberations and cohesive decisions. In many cases, it has unfortunately been dumbed down to belittling the ‘opponent’ to bag the cash prize. With an overabundance of MUNs being organised in the circuit, many of bizarre committees and staggeringly high delegate fees in many, it’s a certainty that the culture has seen a significant shift over the past years.

Regardless of anyone’s motive for attending a MUN conference- be it to improve on spoken skills, an upgrade for the C.V, to attend the social events, or to simply get a new Display Picture clicked for Facebook; MUNs have left an indelible first mark on many young debaters. Those who have kept a traditional MUN’s sanctity intact should be lauded, and the ones who strive to indulge in meaningful learning experiences through a dialogue of relevant facts are praiseworthy examples. These conferences have been a stepping stone for a career in diplomacy and International Relations for many young speakers and enthusiastic research-oriented students. It hones speaking skills, encourages political awareness and develops leadership skills, and teaches the art of negotiation to students. Reducing it to just another competition undermines the value of this unique concept, and ensures the money-making part overshadows the learning experience gained. The question of its improvement begs to be a rhetoric, but there are plausible solutions nevertheless. Restricting on ‘socials’ and inviting only the serious candidates can easily be achieved by any organiser. The rest entirely depends on the delegates; their willingness to learn through constructive debating and greater emphasis on research can define newer, better paths for this concept.

Feature Image Credits: United Nations

Bhavya Banerjee

[email protected]

Vijeata Balani

[email protected]

Vaktavya ’17, the annual inter-college debating event of Shri Guru Gobind Singh College of Commerce, organised on 21st September 2017 was a successful endeavour full of fervour and elation. The remarkable event brought together the students of various colleges offering professional courses like BMS, BBE, BFIA, and BBA and provided them a platform to debate on the topic “Cashless, Paperless, and Digital India: A distant dream than a reality.”

The opening of the event was marked by a soulful performance by the Divinity Society of the college, followed by welcoming the Chief Guest Prof. V.K. Kaul, the esteemed judges Mr. Bidyut Dutta, Mr. Mohit Rai Goyal, Mr. Siddhant Jain, and Ms. Rekha Dhillon and the Principal Dr. J.B. Singh. After a strenuous debate session amongst all the competent teams, SGTB Khalsa College emerged as the winner of the event.

With 3 May 2017 being declared as World Press Freedom Day by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the American Center, New Delhi celebrated the month of May to raise awareness about freedom of speech. On the last day of the month, an event was conducted jointly by DU Beat and the American Center – Debate on Free Speech and Social Media – How much is too much? The event brought together debaters from the University of Delhi and the National Law University to speak in support of and against absolute freedom of speech on social media. The debate took place at the American Center, with an interactive audience and listeners who even stood at the back, surpassing seating capacity.

The debate was moderated and judged by Karnika Kohli, Social Media Editor of The Wire, Craig L. Dicker, Cultural Affairs Officer at the Embassy of the United States of America, and Richard E. Pinkham, Director of Programs, North India Office at the Embassy of the United States of America.

The speakers covered a wide range of ideas and topics to support their stance, from allusions to Reliance JIO to details of legal cases. They were asked challenging questions by Ms. Kohli in response to their statements. Additionally, the engaged audience members also gave their inputs and asked the debaters to flesh out their arguments. The passionate speeches left the audience, as well as the judges, in a dilemma with regard to which side to support. As Mr. Dicker stated, he felt “like a ping pong ball” which bounced from side to side with each speech.

At the end of all the speeches, the judges deliberated to announce Abhinav Hansa Raman and Bhishm Khanna of the National Law University as the winners, who argued for and against the motion respectively. The conclusion of the event was followed by a high tea. The entire debate was live-streamed on Facebook and garnered thousands of views.

“It was immensely gratifying to welcome such intelligent students to the American Center so they might contest the appropriate limits of free expression in the realm of social media. I will not be surprised if sometime before long our participants are ?debating the same issue as part of a policy-making exercise. For now, our audience was very fortunate to be able to hear such bright minds argue both sides of this most topical issue. Our thanks to partner DU Beat for organising this excellent session.”
– Richard E. Pinkham

As DU Beat is a platform that has fiercely supported freedom of expression for a decade, it was a privilege to be able to conduct this debate, especially in the current political environment. With mainstream Indian thought becoming increasingly homogenised and peripheral voices being silenced, the debate offered a broader look into the idea of freedom of speech and expression as a whole. A similar scenario is visible in the US, where occurrences of hate speech have become more numerous since the Trump administration came into power. Therefore, this debate could not have been held at a more apt time about such a pertinent subject. We are certain that the event offered food for thought to everyone present and forced them to re-evaluate their presence on social media.


Feature Image Credits: Alex Arthur for DU Beat

Vineeta Rana
[email protected]

Vimarsh, the Hindi Debating Society of Sri Venkateswara College held its Annual Debating Fest, Manthan, on 14 March 2016 . The event began with lighting of lamps by Professors Dr  Ram Kishor Yadav & Dr Mukul Sharma followed by a conventional debate on the topic, ‘English is the only ladder for success ‘ which saw participation from various colleges of Delhi -NCR. Raghav from ARSD College was adjudged as the best speaker as well as the best interjector by the judges Shubhanshu Kumar and Jyoti Kumar. Gopal & Anurag Singh  from Delhi University won the best team award.

Manoj Tiwari Manthan 16 by Vimarsh Sri Venkateswara College
A talk show on the topic ‘Moral education is the need of hour’ was organised in which views for and against were discussed by the panelists. The panel included Indian political cartoonist and activist Aseem Trivedi, Indian historian & former JNU Professor Mridula Mukherjee and Dr Punita Sharma, professor, Sri Venkateswara College. Panelists differed on major issues and highlighted their views by chanting slokas, giving examples, citing facts etc. Students too put forward their views in the question answer round.

Manoj Tiwari Manthan 16 by Vimarsh Sri Venkateswara College

Famous Bhojpuri Actor, singer & M.P. Manoj Tiwari’s visit was the highlight of the event. He was welcomed by Administrative Officer, Mr Virendra Kumar. The actor shared motivational words with students and also sang some Bhojpuri songs. Principal Mrs P. Hemlata  Reddy  presented Manoj Tiwari with a memento and expressed her good wishes for Vimarsh. President Anchal Bawa thanked every one for the success of this  enriching event which finally brought the curtains down.

By Aakash Pawar, Media Head, Vimarsh
Pictures by Aishwariya & Aakash Pawar

A talk show on the topic ‘Moral education is the need of hour’ was organised in which views for and against were discussed by the panelists. The panel included Indian political cartoonist and activist Aseem Trivedi, Indian historian & former JNU Professor Mridula Mukherjee and Dr Punita Sharma, professor, Sri Venkateswara College. Panelists differed on major issues and highlighted their views by chanting slokas, giving examples, citing facts etc. Students too put forward their views in the question answer round. Manoj Tiwari Manthan 16 by Vimarsh Sri Venkateswara College Famous Bhojpuri Actor, singer & M.P. Manoj Tiwari’s visit was the highlight of the event. He was welcomed by Administrative Officer, Mr Virendra Kumar. The actor shared motivational words with students and also sang some Bhojpuri songs. Principal Mrs P. Hemlata  Reddy  presented Manoj Tiwari with a memento and expressed her good wishes for Vimarsh. President Anchal Bawa thanked every one for the success of this  enriching event which finally brought the curtains down. By Aakash Pawar, Media Head, Vimarsh Pictures by Aishwariya & Aakash Pawar]]>