Debating and Literary Fest


On March 19 2023, the last day of the DU Lit Fest, SFI workers gathered to protest against a speaker session with Dr. Subramanian Swamy and were allegedly physically attacked by unidentified persons.

The Delhi University Literature Festival, organised on Ramjas College grounds from March 17–19, has been subject to a series of allegations by organisations such as Students’ Federation of India and the All India Students’ Association, with the latter accusing the event of holding right-wing political affiliations. On March 19 2023, a protest by SFI during a speaker session with Dr. Subramanian Swamy was shut down by the beating and manhandling of the protestors by assailants, who the SFI alleged are affiliated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

“On 19, we decided to show our dissent with placards, and as soon as we marched towards the stage—we were some 20-25 activists—first the organising team members tried to stop us. After 10–15 seconds, almost 40–45 people, who may be students or may not be students, I don’t know what student wing they were affiliated to, but they were affiliated to RSS — for sure I know that — started chanting slogans like ‘Jai Shree Ram’ and ‘Vande Mataram’ and started pushing and beating us. They beat 5–6 of our activists pretty badly, including me, and pushed us outside the college gates. The security did not do anything. What was shocking for us was that a professor of Ramjas College itself, Chemistry Department, also started to beat us.”

Abhishek, SFI DU Convenor

In a press release, SFI alleged that the assailants “hurled abusive remarks on the students” and “physically pushed the female students”. Referring to the security officials as “mute spectators”, they accused them of not trying to stop the alleged attackers. SFI further described the program as “a PR event for BJP under the garb of a Literature Fest”, and alleged the use of “cheap tactics involving muscle power to silence them (the protesting students).”

The organising team of the DU Lit Fest has hit back at these allegations, stating that the event was “not politically motivated in any way” and was merely an expression of ideas which “did not belong to the political left.”

A volunteer and member of the organising team for the DU Lit Fest, who wished to remain anonymous, felt that the claims were “exaggerated” and “twisted into a narrative”.

Being a part of the organising team, I never felt that any political ideology or political party inspired us. Students, not just from DU, from various colleges and institutions, were very excited and joined. A lot of the authors that came to DU Lit Fest were the ones who had come to Bharat Book Club, which comes under Historical India, for their book launches. You will hear that they are rightists and all, but if you would’ve actually gone to the book stalls, you would find books from various ideologies and various authors.

– Anonymous volunteer at the DU Lit Fest

A student who volunteered at the Festival told us that it was but natural for the organisers to try to stop a “screaming” protest, even a peaceful one, at a large-scale event they had worked very hard to organise.

Similar sentiments were echoed on social media channels, where the apparent and presumed fest organisers called SFI’s videos “full of misinformation and misleading statements”, referring to the diversity in the rest of the talk sessions and the hard work put in by students behind the event.

Read also: AISA Organises People’s Literature Festival, Condemns DU Lit Fest as ‘BJP-RSS Propaganda’

Featured Image Credits: DU Beat

Sanika Singh
[email protected]

For those of you who love children’s literature, The Department of English, Dyal Singh College (Morning), University of Delhi, organised MADRIGAL 2016 – The English Literary Festival on the 15th and 16th of January, 2016. This second edition of Madrigal explored the theme of ‘Children’s Literature’ and traced its origin and evolution. For hundreds of years, many of the books written for children have dealt with complex and seemingly dark themes, yet the popular myth persists that such themes cannot be found in children’s literature. Madrigal 2016 looked beyond this glittery surface of happily-ever-afters to unravel the dark and not-so-happy side of children’s literature.

This two-day literary festival started off with guest-speaker Samina Mishra, a documentary filmmaker and writer, with a special interest in media for children. Her talk revolved around the festival’s theme and did away with the myth that this type of literature is all about roses and rainbows. She further talked about Indian writings and writers which are exponentially growing in this genre. She reached out to all the children and adults to read children’s books, as with age, a person’s perspective changes and so does the meaning of the story.

Samina Mishra

After her talk, the first day of Madrigal 2016 was lined up with many competitive and non-competitive events. One was ‘Poetries of Perception – Slam Poetry competition and Open Mike Recitation’. This event saw poets giving voice to their childhood fantasies to the darker side of childhood. Simultaneously, ‘FanFiction Fantasia – A Fan-fiction writing competition’ gave an exclusive chance to weave a story with one’s favourite characters or re-imagine one’s favourite books and fairytales according to their own wish. Whereas, ‘Spellopaedia – A Spelling-bee Competition’ tested participants spelling skills, the ‘Knit-a-tale – Spin-a-yarn Competition’ saw participants turn into expert story-tellers where their stories ranged from a serial killer abused as a child to long-nosed aliens! The first day of Madrigal 2016 wrapped up with the ‘Turn-Court Competition’ and ‘Enigma – Treasure Hunt Competition’ whose clues were based on all the popular books like Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Grimm’s Fairytales, etc.

Cosplay 1

The Second day of Madrigal 2016 started with a guest speech and book signing by Christopher C. Doyle – The author of the bestselling books, ‘The Mahabharata Secret’ and ‘The Mahabharata Quest: Alexander’s Secret’. His talk was a concoction of mythology, fantasy and science fiction. From giving useful pointers to aspiring authors to discussing his journey of a writer, he encouraged and inspired the readers and budding authors. Following this session were two plays – ‘Induction Lockout’ and ‘Charmstone’ and a musical – ‘A wild rumpus of fairytales’ which brought back popular characters from Harry Potter, Alice in Wonderland, Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Frozen and other fairytales. The Quiz Competition and Ad-Mad brought the creativity and tested the participants’ marketing skills. The day ended with the ‘Cosplay Competition’ where Sherlock and Cat-woman stole the show!

Christopher C. Doyle

A potent concoction of cultural, academic and literary events, this literary festival put to test the intellectual, oratory, artistic and creative skills of the participants.

Image Credits: Seema Marndi

While all colleges usually boast of their own fests in a very boisterous manner, we at NSIT believe otherwise. We truly believe that our actions will speak louder than words can ever hope to establish. But we’ll give our best shot at an explanation nevertheless. Colloquium – NSIT’s debut Debating and Literary Fest promises a feast for all those out there waiting for an intellectual space to interact in. If you miss this, then know that you’re truly missing a unique and once in a lifetime experience (well we know we’ll do this again next year, and the year after that, and keep getting better at it…but you get the gist of it right?) Scheduled from 29th to the 31stof March, the fest will be feature events like never before. For the first time in collegiate level,Colloquium will host a JPC – Joint Parliamentary Committee – an Ad hoc committee simulation to investigate into the matters of a national crisis (the provided agenda). The committee will be presided over by Smt. Sharada Subramaniam, Joint Secretary, Rajya Sabha. Apart from the classics and the usual plethora of events like the Conventional Debate and the Literary Quiz the fest will also have a case study competition Crack the Case. Continuing the tradition, after the immense success of NSITMUN ’12, the second edition of NSITMUN this time will have four committees to choose from and will be held as a part of Colloquium as well. The other major attractions are Graphic Novel – a one of a kind event, where one can interact with their comic idols, the first speaker for which is none other than Pran Kumar Sharma, the leading pioneer of Indian Comics and the creator of ChachaChaudhary, followed by AkshayDhar of Comic Addicts fame. The most awaited and premier event of Colloquium will bethe‘Panel Discussion’ with speakers like author Mr. AshwinSanghi and dancer par excellence Mrs. Mallika Sarabhai honoring us with their participation and sharing with us some wise words. So, rest assured, this is one fest you wouldn’t want to miss. So mark the dates on your calendar folks! For further information visit: colloquiumnsit.org/  ]]>