Trigger Warning: Hate Speech, Islamophobia

Umang, the fest of ENSO, the Entrepreneurship Cell of Dyal Singh College witnessed stand-up comedian Vivek Samtani make Islamophobic remarks through his jokes. Consequently, the stand-up comedian along with ENSO issued a public apology followed by condemnation posts by the Student Federation of India (SFI).

On 22 April, 2024, stand-up comedian Vivek Samtani performed at Umang, the societal fest of ENSO, the Entrepreneurship Cell of Dyal Singh College. However, the performance was interrupted by hate remarks, targeting the Muslim community, as can be observed from this video that has been circulated widely across social media. However, soon enough the comedian issued a public apology on stage, followed by ENSO issuing apologies on their social media handles as well. 

Post the event, SFI Delhi University issued a press release dated 24 April, 2024, condemning the Islamophobic comments passed during the event and urged, “strict action against perpetrators”.

The Press Release quotes that:

“By trivializing acts of terrorism and reducing Muslims to caricatures of violence, these so-called “jokes” contribute to the stigmatization and marginalization of an already vulnerable community. In a country where Muslims are routinely targeted and demonized, such rhetoric only serves to fuel hatred and intolerance. It has no place in our universities and should be condemned unequivocally by the student community!”

The Press Release also draws upon the recent pre-election speech by the Prime Minister in Rajasthan:

“This insidious narrative has been actively promoted by certain political leaders, including the Prime Minister, who has made derogatory remarks referring to Muslims as “infiltrators” and accused them of “producing many children” to skew demographics.”

The Press Release concludes with, “comedy cannot be employed as a tool to pass off such dehumanization.”

Aditi, Delhi University Convenor of SFI confirms that ENSO of Dyal Singh College sought an apology from the stand-up comedian after the event and he did so, as can be observed from this video. She adds that,

“ENSO has ensured that they do not support such hateful remarks that have been advocated by the stand-up comedian, Vivek Samtani. SFI has put out a statement that we understand ENSO’s statement of apology but hold the comedian responsible for his speech. We might go ahead with an FIR against the comedian.”

An excerpt from SFI’s statement supporting ENSO’s action against the comedian reads that:

SFI Delhi University welcomes the statement issued by ENSO of DSC against the Islamophobic remarks. We welcome their acknowledgement of the seriousness of the matter and their commitment to rectifying the situation. It is encouraging to see swift action taken in response to the offensive comments made during the stand-up comedy performance.”

Reaching out to team ENSO as to what conspired during the event, we were able to gauge that the society had forewarned the comedian before his performance to not pass any “offensive comments” or use “foul language” since such remarks would be considered  derogatory within an educational setting. The performance ensued with jokes pertaining to ‘ college drama – academics, relationships and the usual with Islamophobic comments sprinkled through the set. 

A member of ENSO, in conversation with DU Beat, mentions that:

“The comedy performance by Vivek Samtani was a closed event with around 200-250 members seated within the auditorium. However, before inviting the comedian we had researched upon his previous performances to make sure that nothing ‘problematic’ would ensue. But after his offensive remarks, our members sought a public apology from the comedian on stage which he rendered at that moment. Not just that, ENSO has posted a public apology to all on their Instagram handle and we have reached out personally to people to issue apologies. Post the event, our team had a conversation with the comedian within the conference room regarding his offensive remarks and the comedian even contacted us personally after leaving the college to check if the situation within the college had not worsened. However, members within ENSO have been receiving hateful messages ever since this event occurred, even though we are trying our best to resolve the issue.”

The public apology issued by ENSO on their Instagram page mentions that:

“We are deeply sorry for the recent incident at our event. Please know that we condemn the artist’s actions and are committed to rectifying the situation. We want to clarify that we do not support the offensive comments made by the artist. Despite our warnings to him, things didn’t go as planned, and we took immediate action. We have no personal affiliation with the artist however, we have asked him to issue a public apology as well.”

While the 15-second clip of Vivek Samtani’s performance has taken over the Internet, student bodies are willing to correct the situation so that such hateful instances do not arise within educational spaces in the future.

Read Also: The Hidden Economy of Hate

Featured Image Credits: Bharish for DU Beat

Priyanka Mukherjee

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Astitva – The Dramatics Society of Dyal Singh College (M) organized Expressions’17: The Annual Stage Play Festival on 24th and 25th March, 2017. The preliminary round of Expressions’17 was held on 10th March, 2017 in which about 35 teams of various colleges auditioned. The two-day stage play festival saw the best 10 stage play productions out of the 35. The Judges for the festival were Sweety Ruhail – Theatre practitioner, director designer and a graduate from National School of Drama (NSD) who had worked with Kingdom of Dreams in past and Rajesh Nirmal – Ex Member of Kirori Mal college’s Dramatics Society, Masters from Hyderabad University in Design in Direction, Professional writer of Takseem which was performed at Constitution Club.

Maitreyi College’s 'Daag-e-Daaman'
Maitreyi College’s ‘Daag-e-Daaman’

The first day of the festival kick-started with Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies (SSCBS) stage play – A Shaggy Dog Story which tugged at the heartstrings of the audience with its simple yet, inspiring story of 15 year old boy suffering from Asperger’s syndrome. The visual treat continued as College of Vocational studies (CVS) presented Play That Goes Wrong, an epitome of ‘comedy of errors’ where Abhas Sharma from CVS managed to earn Best Actor accolade. Next in line was Maitreyi College’s Daag-e-Daaman, a play which rightly earned a Special Mention by the judges for unfettering the women issues and busting out the misogynistic undertones in our so called technologically advanced and modern times. Kirori Mal College’s – The Curious Incident of a Dog in the Nighttime, an adaptation of the novel by Mark Haddon and based on the script by Simon Stephens was staged next. Day 1 of the festival wrapped up with Hindu College’s – There Stands Another, a play which beautifully portrayed the relationship of two people.

Tsering lhamo of SGTB Khalsa in The Bear
Tsering lhamo of SGTB Khalsa in ‘The Bear’

Day 2 of Expressions began with SGBT Khalsa’s – The Bear in which Tsering Lhamo won the Best Actress Award for her performance. Following this was Delhi College of Arts and Commerce’s (DCAC) – Gasha, a play which represented the childhood innocence amidst kashmiriyat, CRPF,RAW, AFSPA and the consequent bloodshed. Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s (M) stage play – In Love With Shauhardh, an adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ was staged next and Shubham Chaudhary received a Special Mention from the judges for his performance. Kirori Mal College’s – Pillowman, a dark comedy which asks some hard-hitting questions about the usurpation of rights and freedom while asking “if the pen is really mightier than the sword?” Pillowman won the Best Direction for its spectacular direction which glued the audiences to its seats till the very end. Expression’17 ended on a high note with Ramjas College’s Stage Play – Evam Indrajit which focussed on the existentialist question. Overall, Expression’17 brought myriad range of emotions and great performances on one stage, concocting an unforgettable experience for the audiences which left them asking for more.


Image Credits: Xposure – The Photography Society of Dyal Singh College, Morning.

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