Fashion societies


During Sabrang, the annual cultural fest of Deshbandhu College, extreme mismanagement led to disappointment among the participants of the group folk dance event.

On 5th March 2019, Riwayat the folk-dance society of Deshbandhu College organised Ruhaaniyat, a group folk dance competition as part of their annual cultural fest, Sabrang. The event saw extreme mismanagement on the part of the organisers due to which there was a time clash between the folk dance and fashion society’s event. Although, the event saw participation from 11 teams but only nine were able to perform, out of which Ramanujan College was disqualified.

Abhishek, the President of the Bhangra Regiment, the folk dance Society of Ramanujan College stated that the competition at Deshbandhu was cancelled by the teachers due to mismanagement after more than half of the teams had already performed. He stated, “Even our team was disqualified. According to them, we took time in microphone set-up when it was discussed with their co-ordinator before hand.”  Shubhanshi Bharadwaj, President of Nazaakat, the folk dance society of Gargi College claimed that it was one of the worst competitions they took part in. “While we were performing , we were asked to step down during the performance because of time constraints. Fashion societies were also waiting for their event to begin. In all this ruckus, two societies couldn’t perform.”

The Bhangra Society of Shri Guru Nanak Dev Khalsa College and Bhangra Inspire from Shri Guru Teg Bahadur Khalsa College even after waiting till 6 p.m, all ready with their outfits, were not able to perform at the competition. The President of Bhangra Inspire said, “The organisers started the fashion show abruptly and told us that we will perform after. But they continued with the fashion show for a long time. We asked them to let us perform since we had been waiting for long in our costumes. But we weren’t allowed.” Post this, the teams had a heated discussion with the teachers and the Student Union where the teams demanded that the event be cancelled.  But the Union opposed this and an announcement to conduct the event the next day was made. However, it became impossible for different societies to return to perform the next day for the competition. A week later, the President of Riwayat, the folk dance society of Deshbandhu College texted the members of Mridang, the folk dance society of Miranda House and Nrityakriti, folk dance society of Maitreyi College that they have secured first and second position respectively.

Shubhashini also stated that teachers were being extremely disrespectful towards the teams. She added “When the presidents of different societies went to talk to the teacher, she told them she will slap them or ask the bouncers to throw us out. It was so disrespectful and  disheartening to see a teacher behave this way.”

The President of Riwayaat accepted the occurrence of mismanagement. She said, “The event began extremely late because of the inauguration. Everything got delayed and the fashion society started demanding the stage to conduct their own event. All this led to a huge ruckus.” Talking about their decision to release the results a week after the even she said, “Other teams who had performed demanded that the results should be announced. We understand it was a mistake on our part  but it was our duty to disclose the results.”


Feature Image Credits: Rishabh Gogoi for DU Beat

Sakshi Arora

[email protected]


Last week, on the third day of Crossroads, the annual cultural fest of Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC), the runway became the scene of drama and subsequently solidarity.

The curious case of three results

Demeanor, the fashion society of SRCC, organised Fashion Walk, a fashion show competition. The problem started at the very beginning when the participating teams accused the host team of misbehavior. After the show, the organisers refused to announce the results live, but due to the pressure from all teams, they announced IVOGUE of Sri Guru Gobind Singh College of Commerce (SGGSCC) as a winner and Glitz, the fashion society of Kamala Nehru College (KNC), as the runner-up. This announcement was followed by heated exchanges between the participating teams and the organisers when the host team refused to release the score sheet.

During the exchanges, a member of Demeanor gave written a statement to Medha Singh, President of Glitz wherein they admitted a mistake in result announcement and declared KNC as first and SGGSCC as second.

Written statement given by Demeanor, the Fashion Society of SRCC.
Written statement given by Demeanor, the Fashion Society of SRCC.

Later in the day, the organisers announced another result on their Facebook page and cited ‘technical issues’ for the change. According to the new results, Glitz secured the first position and Prophecy, the fashion society of Lady Irwin College (LIC), emerged as a runner-up. IVOGUE was seen nowhere near the winners tally.

The ‘secret’ score sheet

“There can’t be any technical error that the first team is nowhere in the new results. By announcing us as the winners unofficially and changing the results thereafter is not justified in any way. In all probability, mark sheets were fudged. The results have been announced twice, both times without the judges, hence, no one knows which result is the correct one,” Chayan Jain, President, IVOGUE, contended.

Kunika Sharma, President of Galore, the fashion society of Maitreyi College commented, “The calculations didn’t run in hundreds, it was basic addition and subtraction. They (the organisers) want us to buy this excuse of ‘technical glitches’ and ‘miscalculation’ which took hours to rectify. However, we are not that naïve.”

After repeated attempts to get in touch with Demeanor, the fashion society of SRCC, a member of Demeanor, on the condition of anonymity, briefly spoke to DU Beat and said, “There were some calculation mistakes which is why we released two results. A simple situation was escalated because the participants turned very aggressive. We had to lock ourselves in a room for our safety.” When asked about their refusal to disclose the original score sheet, the member said, “We are not bound to disclose it” and disconnected the call.

As a common practice, the score sheets are shared with the participants so that they know where they are lacking; this uncanny defensiveness about the marks sheet points to something disingenuous.

Things get heated up

Responding to the allegations of manhandling the organisers, Medha Singh, President of Glitz, the fashion society of KNC, attested, “When we insisted on about having the scoresheet, the organisers locked themselves up inside the room. When we started recording all this, they came shouting at us and tried to snatch away our phones.”

She further added, “They called bouncers and female constables to heckle us. Who gave them the right to call force on female participants? That’s legally wrong. They sought female constables because we weren’t budging without checking the scores, not because we manhandled them. At the end of the day it’s seven teams against one college why would that be?”

“A major part of hosting an event is hospitality, if you can’t treat your guests with basic decency, literally shout “Shut up” at them, and refuse to engage in a conversation, then you lose the moral right to accuse them of getting angry. By blaming teams of being rowdy, when they were merely asking for a look at the score sheet, you are shifting the blame,” Chitra Dabral, President of Prophecy, the fashion society of Lady Irwin College said.

“As participants who have paid the registration fees, and that too an exorbitant amount of more than INR 1200 which is way more than any DU college, we refuse to be treated like a liability. The organisers even asked a stand-up comic who was there as filler to make fun of us,” Muskan Vohra, a participant told DU Beat.

A DU Beat correspondent who was covering the event saw Abhijit Ganguly, the stand up comic, make pointed remarks at girls who belong to these fashion societies, calling fashion shows useless.

The Award Wapsi

The suspicion of unfairness and misconduct of the hosts prompted the winners (KNC and LIC) to give back their awards in a show of solidarity with the rest of the teams. They used #UnitedWeStand to renounce their prizes.  Explaining their decision to return their second position, Chitra Dabral, President of Prophecy, the fashion society of Lady Irwin College, said, “By not accepting any validation from SRCC we want to signify that if you don’t respect us or our fraternity then we won’t respect your awards. It’s as simple as that.”

Why this incident is important

At first, this incident seems like a petty altercation fueled by competitiveness. However, if you look beyond the accusations and counter-accusations three things emerge at the surface. Firstly, the possessiveness towards one’s performance. This stems from the insecurity that prevails in the fashion circuit, thanks to the widespread norm of choreographer-led rigging. Secondly, the insensitivity that some organisers display without any pretense which comes from the confidence of knowing that they can get away with it. Thirdly, #UnitedWeStand displayed that despite the competitiveness there is a sense of community between the societies and this is something that needs to be celebrated.

We as consumers of the art that performing societies in DU make should be aware of things that go onstage as well as the backstage and we should stand up for what’s right. When art that takes months of hard work gets disrespected then it’s time to get involved.


Feature Image Credits: PV Purnima for DU Beat

Niharika Dabral

[email protected]