The revised history syllabus for the fourth and fifth semester undergraduate students, which was approved by the DU Academic Council on May 26, has been ratified by the Executive Council on June 9, 2023. The removal of a paper on inequality, the elimination of the term “Brahmanization,” and the addition of matriarchal perspectives are some of the changes that have been introduced.

On June 9, 2023, the University of Delhi’s Executive Council, the apex academic decision-making body at the university, ratified the amended curriculum that had been approved by the Academic Council on May 26. The Academic Council revised the history syllabus for the fourth and fifth semesters under the new Four-Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP). A few of the changes include the deletion of the words Brahminization and ‘Brahmanical’, the removal of the paper on “Inequality and Differences”, and the introduction of matriarchal perspectives.

The revision aims to align the syllabus with the suggestions of the New Education Policy, NEP 2020.

-Shri Prakash Singh, Director, South Campus, in a report by The Indian Express

The phrase Brahminization has been removed from the fourth and fifth semester Generic Elective paper ‘Religion and Religiosity’, which has been renamed ‘Religious Traditions in the Indian Subcontinents’. One of the topics in the paper titled ‘Approaches to Brahmanization in the Early Mediaeval Era’ has been renamed ‘Approaches to Shaiva, Shakta, and Vaishnava in the Early Mediaeval Era’. In addition, the revised syllabus removed the term ‘Brahmanical’ from the fifth-semester paper on the Brahmanical Patriarchy. Furthermore, the title of the article has been changed from ‘Evolution of Patriarchy’ to ‘Evolution of Patriarchy in Early India’.

Apart from this, the paper titled ‘Inequality and Differences’ in semester four, which talks about the concepts of jati, varna, caste, class, and gender and their evolution, has been withdrawn.

Constructive suggestions are also given — there is now more diversity and more information. It was a unanimous decision and the changes were reported to the academic council way in advance. There is no dissent. Suggestions were given by the standing committee as well.”

-Dean of South Campus, DU, in a report by Jagran Josh

Furthermore, the paper Women in Indian History will provide fresh perspectives on matriarchy. The units that were previously centred around patriarchy will now also include discussions around matriarchy. The primary goal of this modification, reportedly, is to make students aware of and have a diverse viewpoint.

Image Credits: Devansh Arya for DU Beat

Read Also: Gandhi replaced with Savarkar in BA Syllabus; Row Erupts in DU

Dhruv Bhati
[email protected]

While the idea of fluidity in gender might seem new to people, it is not a modern phenomenon. Examples of bending identities from history and myth can pave the way for deeper perspectives on this long-established concept.

When I was first introduced to the concept of gender fluidity, the notion felt familiar instead of strange. As a devoted explorer of mythology and folklore, I had long been reading about Gods and mortals who transcended the confines of the gender binary. On the contrary, a well-received opinion today is that fluidity is a contemporary phenomenon. A 21st-century ‘invention’, even. Doesn’t this claim conveniently erase the rich history of fluid identities throughout cultures of the world?

For a brief overview, gender fluidity means flexibility in one’s gender identity or expression, or both. It’s about not feeling tied to a single gender label, allowing it to shift and change with time. It plays a significant role in understanding diverse gender identities. For centuries, if not millennia, traditions across the world have recognized and honoured gender nonconformity. As we celebrate Pride this month, it’s imperative to show appreciation and learn from them the vast ways gender can be perceived.

A recurring theme in Hindu mythology that I grew up fascinated with, is that of Gods and Goddesses often blurring the lines between masculine and feminine. The ‘Puranas’ recite various tales of this including one where Shiv merges with Shakti to become Ardhanarishwara, (Sanskrit: Lord who is half-woman) who is seen in many Southeast Asian sculptures. Another story is that of Shikhandi, who was born into a female body but always knew was a man and later entered the battlefield of Kurukshetra as one. It was also ordinary for Gods to turn into Goddesses to enchant ‘Asuras’! In Norse mythology, Loki is a famous gender-bending entity. In Greek myth, the prophet Teiresias spent seven years as a woman, and in Mesopotamian lore, the Goddess of fertility and love is depicted with both masculine and feminine elements.

Ardhanarishwara sculpture in Mumbai, Source: Elephanta Caves Web,

While such beliefs provide significant insight into the perception of gender thousands of years ago and still remain a part of cultures worldwide, people may find it hard to see some sense of reality in it as it is lore, after all. This is why it’s essential to also discuss credible historical accounts of gender fluidity that go a little less far back into history.

Flourishing cultures have not only accepted but also revered the dynamic nature of gender. One of the more prominent instances is that of the Native Americans. In their societies, the existence of feminine men, masculine women, and transgendered people was ubiquitous. They were called “two-spirit” people and were considered strikingly knowledgeable. There were no rules regarding expression of identity and cross-dressing was routine. With the advent of the Europeans, this flexibility was no longer tolerated. The Mahus of Hawaii and Tahiti, who never put restrictions on gender identity, met with a similar fate after colonization. Certain ethnic groups in Madagascar would raise their boys with long hair and multiple piercings if they tended to show feminine traits and this practice is still prevalent. These are only scattered examples from a myriad of customs from all over the world.

While in some historical contexts, queerness might have had a negative connotation, it’s refreshing to realize that more often than not it was nothing out of the ordinary. Its acceptance sure did gradually plummet after the Euro-Western dominance, but its existence could simply never be questioned.

We’wha, a famous two-spirit, Source: Human Rights Campaign Web

For a modern interpretation, legends and lore about the fluidity of gender can be viewed through a lens of acceptance and inclusivity. These stories serve as a powerful reminder that gender has always existed along a diverse spectrum, and they should encourage us to pursue social structures that protect the dignity of all individuals, irrespective of expression or identity.

There will always be diversity in the human experience, let’s honour it. Today, as the modern world wrestles with the idea of accepting anything that is beyond the binary, remind yourself of this perpetual truth- Gender fluidity is as old as time itself.


Read also: How Ancient Mythologies Defy the Gender Binary

                   Gender Fluidity Around the World   

Featured Image Source: Medium


Arshiya Pathania

[email protected]

Student Politics is believed to be a product of the present times. Yet, there are historical pieces of evidence that suggest otherwise. Read ahead to find out more.

When the students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) protested against the punishment given in the case of the 2001 Parliament attack, students including Kanhaiya Kumar and Umar Khalid got arrested. When the Literary Society of the Ramjas College, University of Delhi decided to invite Umar Khalid to speak in a seminar on ‘Cultures of Protest’ in 2017, a fight broke out. What was supposed to be a peculiar argument turned out to be a massive protest, involving everyone from students to renowned political faces. Students have been a part of the political sphere for quite some time now but should students be a part of this political arena? When the involvement of political parties in student politics has increased for their benefit of expanding the core strength of the party, should students step into it? It is believed that Student Politics is a product of the current decade. However, student politics is not just ABVP or NSUI, it has a history that accounts for its greater place in the democracy.


There is no starting point but the late 19th century and early 20th century saw the students getting involved in political matters. The swadeshi movement that was led as part of the anti-partition movement saw active participation of school and college students. Because of this situation, the students who were found guilty were stripped of their scholarships, expelled, or fined. What followed this movement was a consciousness to protest against the unjust that was being served. The students like Khudiram Bose and Prafulla Chaki actively participated in politics. As the movements developed with time, people realized that violence could make the Britishers leave the country. The non-cooperation movement too saw a wide participation of students. They boycotted their schools and colleges that were government-affiliated to show their solidarity with the movement.

An indelible name in Indian history is that of Bhagat Singh, a student of National College, Lahore who had his roots running deep into politics. His commitment to ‘inquilab’  (revolution) inspired a wave of students across the country. His political ideologies did differ but the goal remained the same, to sleep in a free country. The students continued to march for freedom. They were fierce and focused. They did not cease until they achieved swaraj. This political involvement of the students gave rise to a certain culture of student politics that this country was about to experience.


India was deeply engrossed in realizing its new dreams that were to shape the country which was reeling from the state of shambles. The nation was disintegrated on the grounds of various socio-economic factors. Yet, the political breeze was always prevailing. Even during the demand for linguistic states, protests broke out across the country which again saw active participation of the students. Further, the Naxalite movement that started in 1967 saw enormous support from the students. With the onset of the recession, India was about to fall into the grips of an economic crisis. Students saw this as a threat to their future prospects of employment and this directed them to join the Naxalite movement. Political involvement of the students was well active in this period and continued to remain the same in the coming years.

The Navnirman Andolan in 1974 was a movement led by the students in Gujarat against a hike in hostel food fees. Clashes between students and police provoked an indefinite strike across the educational institutions in Gujarat. This led to the resignation of Chimanbhai Patel. Nav Nirman Yuvak Samiti was formed during the movement. They demanded the dissolution of the state assembly and for holding fresh elections. Further, Morarji Desai went on a hunger strike, and then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi had to give in. The day the election results were declared was the same day when the verdict on the latter’s electoral malpractices came. In the same year, the Bihar movement was initiated by the students which were led by Jayaprakash Narayan. The political movement was against the anarchy in the state government. This movement led to the formation of Bihar Chhatra Sangharsh. However, the movement later turned against former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi (Sampoorna Kranti). As a result of all these, a national emergency was imposed by Indira Gandhi.

Emergency saw the suspension of all the democratic practices. This was resisted by all the sections of society, especially students. The government used repressive actions against the involvement of students in politics. This led to brutal consequences like the Rajan Case. P.Rajan was an engineering student who died as a result of torture in police custody during the Emergency in Kerala. Jailing and torturing the students because of their political support is a ‘trend’ of 1975 which found its place even in today’s times.


Student politics has its roots through the pages of Indian history. As the times change, people learn more. The knowledge of a twelve-year-old child would be merely numbers and letters for the same-age child ten years into the future. This enhancement helps in a better understanding of the world and leads to demand for a better place to live. The students’ participation has always been there but has increased with the increase in their capacity to comprehend. Nevertheless, student politics will always be present and never cease to grow for better democratic functioning.

Read Also: ‘Bhakts vs Liberals’: Who Wins in Divisive Politics?

Featured Image Source: Youth Ki Awaaz

Ankita Baidya

[email protected]

In a Delhi that is slowly forgetting its history, Karwaan, a student-led Heritage Exploration Initiative, aims to revive the love for Delhi’s heritage.

“We began our journey in September 2019, when we organized a heritage walk to Tughlaqabad Fort with one of the most famous history buffs in Delhi, Sohail Hashmi. Since then we have organized many walks and lectures by historians at heritage sites. Our basic aim behind this initiative is to promote historical sites among university students.” says Eshan Sharma, a second-year student of B.A. (Hons) History from Dyal Singh College of the University of Delhi (DU). Along with a team of five other students- Nishant Singh, Aditya, Abhigyaa Mittal, Mansi Rautela, Nandesh Yadav- they started the initiative. Since then, they have conducted several walks around Delhi, along with organizing lectures.

Eshan Sharma, the founder of Karwaan, said to DU Beat, “We saw that people do not remember their heritage; do not remember their origins. So, we started with discovering Delhi’s heritage along with one of the most renowned history buffs of Delhi and one of our mentors, Sohail Hashmi. We then conducted several other walks in the historical sites of Delhi.”

They noticed heritage walks in the city costs around INR 600 a walk, which is a tad bit pricey for students, they decided to keep the charges low- charging between INR 200-300 a walk, with the lectures being free of cost. 

Currently, stuck in quarantine, they have been organizing a series of online lectures on history. These Facebook Live Lecture Series, which started on 4th April and will likely continue till the 30th, are talks where they invite renowned historians and scholars. Running for almost an hour daily at 6 PM, this is also an attempt to promote #StayHomeStaySafe. 

“As we are all getting bored right now, we at Karwaan decided that we must do something to keep us engaged in these times. This is also when students can make the best use of their free time by listening to these great sessions. So, we decided to conduct a series of online lectures. So far, we’ve had speakers like Manimugdha Sharma, Sohail Hashmi, Rana Safvi and Vikramjit Singh Rooprai who’ve spoken on topics like decoding myths about Aurangzeb, Mughal Paintings and the fourth city of Delhi,” adds Sharma.

Operating mostly from Facebook, they choose only those historians who have garnered genuine interest in teaching students and indulging in a deep discourse about their chosen topic. Speaking of lockdown, Eshan says, “We might extend the online lecture series if the lockdown extends after May 3rd.” 

Karwaan Heritage Walks, via Social Media
Karwaan Heritage Walks, via Social Media

The diversity of Karwaan’s attendees comprises of curious professionals, other historians and students beyond the history background. Talking of Karwaan’s expedition to various historical parts of Delhi, Eshan counts Tughlaqabad Fort, Mehrauli, Qutub Complex, a walk to Chandni Chowk and Jama Masjid. Karwaan also conducted lectures on Delhi’s history which gained a huge response from the attendees. “They take great interest in exploring and discovering Delhi,” Eshan continues. 

They plan on taking Karwaan to a higher level by launching their own history company in the future. “We are learning from the experts right now, we are inviting historians to the walk, hoping that someday we’ll lead the walk too.” 

Concluding, Eshan reiterates, any student can join them irrespective of their educational background. “They can learn at Karwaan, suggest changes; if they want to hear a speaker, we are just a message away. This is a great way to make their lockdown worthwhile!”

Interested students can check their Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/karwaaninitiative or Instagram handle @karwaanheritage.

Featured Image Credits: Karwaan’s Social Media

Satviki Sanjay

[email protected]

Anandi Sen

[email protected] 

On the occasion of World Heritage Day, we take some time out to point the spotlight on lesser known monuments which are rapidly headed towards disintegration due to constant neglect.

Long queues neatly separated by steel railings. Constables stationed outside and inside the premises. A two digit price ticket for Indians and a three digit price ticket for foreigners. Tour guides who speak better English than you, seated in anticipation just after the air-conditioned ticket counter. Spick and span washrooms. Expensive audio guides. Well-manicured gardens. Informative placards stationed after every five metres. The Qutub Minar, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is lavishly groomed as a tourist spot, and meticulously well preserved as a monument. One could almost call it “pampered”. And why shouldn’t it be? Having towered over the capital’s skyline for nine centuries, it is a reminder of the country’s architectural supremacy and the city’s rich cultural heritage, aweing every single person seeing it for the first time.

A couple of minutes’ walk from the Minar along a secluded, peaceful road dotted with some posh nightclubs, designer boutiques and leafy canopies suddenly opens up to the bustling cacophony of a messy mini metropolis, Mehrauli. On the Mehrauli roundabout, opposite a noisy bus depot, lies a domed structure, visible to every passer-by courtesy its huge size, but acknowledged by none, except for some adventure-seeking tourists. There are no constables, long queues, tickets or ticket counters, tour guides, manicured gardens and most importantly, tourists.

The monument itself is run-down. A few vagabonds sleep inside the circular corridor. Four children play cricket in the courtyard. Some tobacco and paan hawkers have set shop inside the premises. If you look closely at the dirt stained informative placard at the entrance, it reads “Adham Khan’s Tomb”. Locals refer to it as “Bhool Bhulaiya” and it is well known only as a landmark, helpful perhaps while giving directions to delivery boys, and certainly not as an important heritage site, in spite of being built by one of the greatest rulers of the subcontinent, Mughal emperor Akbar.

Despite being in close proximity to the Qutub Minar, the treatment that most of the monuments and heritage sites in the Mehrauli and Hauz Khas area receive is a far cry from the one received by the Minar. Some have it worse than Adham Khan’s Tomb. Rai Pithora, the once grand citadel of the Rajputs lies in shambles and some of its boundaries are even used as garbage dumps. Most of the Sultanate era baolis or stepwells reek with stinking green water and are a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

There are hundreds of historical sites peppered across the city, in Old Delhi, Zamrudpur, South Extension, North Delhi, Central Delhi, Tughlukabad, Palam to name a few. Many of them are recognized by the Archaeological Survey Of India, but still find themselves in miserable conditions. Some are not recognized and remain unidentified even by the locals. Apart from being uncared for, they also fall prey to two menacing issues – vandalism and encroachment.

“X was here”. “Y loves Z”. “Long live the X party”. Acknowledgements of romance and pledges of loyalty to political candidates scribbled on the walls or pillars greet the beleaguered tourist who visits the monument once in a blue moon. Besides this, climbing atop delicate structures as well as sticking advertisement posters on the monument’s walls also count among the rampant acts of vandalism undertaken by irresponsible citizens.

In areas like Mehrauli, Chandni Chowk and South Extension where heritage sites exist simultaneously with residential areas, encroachment into the monument premises is common. Homeless people use them as shelter. Children use them as playgrounds. Residents use them as garbage dumps. According to ASI rules, construction within 100 metres of a monument protected by ASI is prohibited. But it is hard to implement the rule in a populous city like Delhi where unauthorized constructions are prevalent. In fact in a recent report by ASI in response to a Right to Information (RTI) application, Delhi ranks first in the country in terms of monument encroachments with the number crossing 300.

One might attribute this to the domino effect. Once a person vandalises or encroaches, and is not reprimanded, others follow suit and soon the number rises. “Doing the same in heavily guarded and respected sites like the Humayun’s Tomb and Red Fort would be unthinkable for even the most desperate of vagabonds and mischief mongers. So why aren’t the rest of the sites as heavily guarded?”, said a professor of sociology at the University Of Delhi on the condition of anonymity, questioning the unequitable treatment of monuments by authorities. These issues would have been nipped in the bud had there been stricter measures and punishments against them when they started coming up initially. The goal now should be to limit any further damage and if possible, allot funds for the refurbishment of the damaged sites.

Why should lesser known heritage sites be refurbished if they don’t attract any footfall? Well the very reason these sites don’t attract people is because they aren’t refurbished. With nothing worthwhile to see, nothing worthwhile to read, nothing to transport them back to the past, there is no incentive for them to visit. Add to the fact that many decrepit monuments are located in secluded and unguarded areas, thus making them unattractive to potential tourists. And even if they do not attract as much tourists as other well-known monuments, they need to be well maintained and well preserved for the sake of historical and cultural integrity. India’s rich culture and heritage is what makes it so unique, admirable, respectable, and the neglect of historical sites sabotages this reputation.

Nevertheless, the ASI has done credible work in handling an extremely long list of heritage structures. In fact, even the meticulously handled affairs at well-known historical sites is something that they need to be lauded for. Non-governmental organizations like INTACH and the Aga Khan Trust have done well in complimenting the work done by the government and have helped fill up loopholes. As citizens, it is our duty to provide constructive criticism and awareness so that the ones who wield the power and authority to take action know that their job isn’t done yet.

Feature Image Credits: Panasonic 4K Imaging Club

Araba Kongbam

[email protected]

The Indian National struggle for Independence was filled with illustrious, intelligent and astounding leaders. While history has been kind to some who are well known with a legacy of their own, unfortunately there are plenty who haven’t received the praise and recognition they rightfully deserve.

Among many such towering leaders and social reformers was Vithalbhai Patel, one of the most prominent and esteemed champions of the Indian freedom struggle whose contributions are forgotten and also have been unjustly overlooked by historians.
Born in Nadiad, in the Indian state of Gujarat, Vithalbhai was third of 5 Patel Brothers. Vithalbhai entered the Middle Temple Inn in London. Returning to Gujarat in 1913, Vithalbhai became an important barrister in the courts of Bombay and Ahmadabad. Despite the fact that he seldom truly accepted Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy and leadership, Patel joined the Congress and the freedom struggle.

He didn’t have any specific regional base for support but was a greatly influential leader who fuelled in the nationalist struggle by his fiery speeches and publications. Patel grew immensely popular and respected by his oratorical mastery and scintillating wit, both of which enabled him to belittle the British officials. He was an astute and practical leader throughout his life.

In a short span of 60 years of his life, Vithalbhai rose to become the first elected President of the Central Legislative Assembly in India (chamber of elected and appointed Indian and British representatives with limited legislative powers). As the President, he set established practices and stratagems for conducting business in the assembly. Apart from this, he also had won a seat in the Bombay Legislative Council and as the member of the council he played a crucial role in drafting 2 bills before the council- the Bombay District Municipal Act Amendment Bill and the Town Planning Bill. Patel, initially a powerful Congress pioneer who became the Chairman of the Reception Committee of the Special Session of the Congress held in Bombay in August 1918, contributed greatly in the proceedings of legislative affairs for the welfare and wellbeing of Indians, even under the British rule.
Vithalbhai’s approach to politics was simple. He had no demur to the use of any means provided the end goal was achieved. Only the objective and the goal remained constant and that was India’s freedom. On the other hand Gandhi Ji’s approach was more spiritual and moral.
Hence, when Gandhi Ji had prematurely aborted the Non-Cooperation movement due to the Chauri- Chaura incident, Patel left the Congress and formed his own “Swaraj” party with leaders like Chittaranjan Das and others who were unhappy over the abandonment of the Non-Cooperation movement by Gandhi Ji. The Swaraj Party sought to thwart the British rule by crippling the government after gaining entry in the councils. There was also a salient polarity between Vithalbhai and Vallabhbhai. Vithalbhai was inclined towards arriving on conclusions based on his own analysis and didn’t ever let anyone influence his judgments, however Vallabhbhai devotedly followed the advice of his “guru” Mahatma Gandhi; mostly without questioning their rationale. Later on, Vithalbhai traveled to various places in the United States of America and Europe where mayors of important cities usually received him. When he was in London, the relations between the British and Ireland began to deteriorate and the Irish leader Eamon De Valera who came into power wanted Patel to act as an arbitrator between Ireland and the British Empire.

Patel’s health began to worsen in Europe and as his last political move before passing away in Geneva, Switzerland, he signed a statement composed by Subhash Chandra Bose which declared Gandhi as a failed leader and called for a militant form of non-cooperation. On his deathbed, he left a will in which he gave away 3 quarters of his money to Bose for promoting India’s militant struggle. However, Vallabhbhai had questioned the veracity of Vithalbhai’s signature on this will when he saw one of the copies. As a result there was a case, which went on for a year leading to the courts judgment that his legal heirs could only inherit Vithalbhai’s property.

Image Credits: News 18 (Hindi)

Abhinandan Kaul

[email protected]

Looking at recent election campaigns, and the political climate of the country in general, several things come to light, one of them being the twisting of historical facts.

In his novel 1984, Orwell says, “Who controls the past, controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.” 

Speaking at the Banaras Hindu University, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said, “Putting together our history, embellishing it and rewriting it is the responsibility of the country, its people and historians.”

Of course, efforts to do this have been underway for a few years now-during its first tenure, the culture ministry under the BJP Government set up a fourteen-member committee to present a report that will help the government rewrite certain aspects of Indian History, to prove that Hindu scriptures are not myths and that today’s Hindus descend directly from India’s first inhabitants from thousands of years ago. 

India, unfortunately, is no stranger to such practices. Read Indian school textbooks, and you’ll see omissions of history from the dark days of Indira Gandhi’s tenure as Prime Minister. In textbooks from Rajasthan, you’ll see a watered-down version of Ambedkar’s fight against the oppressive caste system, where instead of representing him accurately as a vehement opponent of the caste system ingrained into the then prevalent structure of Hinduism, he is portrayed as a “Hindu Social Reformer” akin to the likes of Dayanand Saraswati and K B Hedgewar, the founder of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Nehru said that Mahmud Ghazni was a lover of art (the same Mahmud Ghazni who destroyed idols and temples in India). Gandhi is praised and hailed as a reformer and father of the nation but nowhere do we mention his obsession with the caste system

This cherry-picking of facts is incredibly problematic. It is the job of historians to present facts as they are, good or bad. However, politics is a different game altogether, and when contentions in History come into the political realm, things get ugly. Integrity is a crucial part of historical method, except no compulsion is there on politicians to be morally prudent.

When politicians are allowed to twist facts in order to pursue a particular narrative, they not only change what people think happened in the past. The key to the future lies in revisiting history, thus, history becomes an incredibly powerful tool to influence people’s emotions and actions. 

Coming back to the status quo, that is exactly what the current government is doing. Historian Romila Thapar says “if the Hindus are to have primacy as citizens in a Hindu Rashtra (kingdom), their foundational religion cannot be an imported one.” It aims to revisit history in a manner where it establishes the current Hindu majority as indigenous. That, of course, comes at a cost, which here are the core values that make India what it is. That is precisely why it’s best to ensure that History is left outside of the political realm. It is far too dangerous a tool to be left in the hands of people like politicians, who’re guided by principles that primarily benefit themselves.
Image Credits: India TV

Khush Vardhan Dembla

[email protected]

It’s been almost 100 years since this revolutionary slogan surfaced in the battle of freedom and over the years the landscape has changed, but the non- redundancy of  tyranny and resistance to it simultaneously, still calls for shouts of Inquilab.

My early encounter with the groundbreaking term happened as a kid when my mother would read from the local urdu daily called, The Inquilab. I asked her what the title meant and she smiled and replied with one word- “Revolution.”

Over the years history taught us with the valor and greatness of our freedom fighters against the rules of colonial British. One such was an episode which happened on 8th April 1929 outside Delhi’s Legislative Assembly where an announcement with regards to the Public Safety Bill and Trade Dispute Bill had to take place. This law enforcement would result in protests being labelled as ‘illegal’ and imprisonment of any individual without any trial (present day Kashmir). To impede such draconian laws an explosion happened outside the assembly and “Inquilab Zindabad!” was clamoured in the air by  legendary Martyrs Shaheed Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt. This chapter in history marked the highlight of the immortal slogan.

Many fall victim of crediting the origin of the famous slogan to Shaheed Bhagat Singh himself, however it has its roots in Mexico where people resisted against more than thirty years of dictator Porfirio Díaz with “Viva La Revolution!” which is Spanish for “long live revolution!.”  This travelled across oceans and inspired Urdu poet Maulana Hasrat Mohani in 1921 to give the world it’s catchphrase which was given new heights when used by Bhagat Singh and is very dominantly used in today’s time of protest linguistics: ‘Inquilab Zindabad.’

However some self proclaimed nationalists and others sprew skepticism over the use of this phrase by today’s youth which stands in resistance to the party in power. They claim the present protest culture to be flawed and opposed to true nationalistic approaches. Few arguments extend to mark the use of Inquilab as mere instruments of capitalism and accuse commercialisation of Inquilab amidst the protest culture. With commodified Inquilab on t-shirts, wall posters, etc there’s a taint on the visionary and glorious phrase of revolution.

The people who are worried over the selling of Inquilab although ironically (or hypocritically- which it has a limit) also buy the products which are of the umbrella company which sells nationalism quite openly.

Image Caption:  Image Credits: Twitter
Image Caption: Patanjali products endorsing nationalism.                                 Image Credits: Twitter

Big words are so quickly attached to the small scale sellers of the roadside who sell the so called ‘nationalism’ to people and on the contrary big businesses bloom with marketing and manipulation without much hindrances. There also is a possibility that some consumers buy the merchandise to be woke wannabes but nothing can undermine the greater cause that Inquilab has brought in the line of protest culture.

Since its inception about a century ago resistance has flourished from the youth- Inquilab has travelled time, distance, and unfortunately to some extent: Marxism, but undeniably it’s a spirit and motivation to unite and call for in times of change for progress, and in all healthy spirit will echo from the public to counter malign forces of power today, tomorrow and more hundred years of time to come.


Feature Image Credits: Frieze

Umaima Khanam

[email protected]

From time immemorial, India has been the land of numinous and unsolved mysteries. Mysteries which are diffcult to explain leaving huge question marks in our minds.

Indian texts like the Vedas, Mahabharata, and Ramayana are loaded with fanciful tales of divine beings, their forces, and epic battles between them, which are claimed to have taken place long ago. Their adventures are generally perceived to be mythological sagas that are taken as allegories. These texts mention extremely powerful Gods who fought off evil forces with superhuman abilities, flying craft s, and weapons resembling those of modern ti mes. Hence, can we be certain that all these enigmatic sagas were allegoric or did they occur in reality?

Vimana Technology

The word “Vimana” which can literally be translated to “traversing” has various meanings ranging from its use to describe a temple or palace to mythological flying craft s in various ancient Sanskrit Texts. Mentions of these flying machines are run-of-the-mill in ancient Indian Sanskrit texts. The Vimana has been described in ancient texts as craft s of various types. Some were land and seafaring vehicles, while others flew sometimes all the way to the moon or further.

• Time Travel Technology

Just as Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar makes reference to a “Miller Planet” (An ocean planet orbiting extremely close to a black hole), on which 9 hours are approximate to 63 Earth years (Due to close proximity to the Black Hole), the Mahabharata also has made a reference to a similar concept in one of its many stories about King Kakudmi of Kusasthali (ancient name of Dwarka, Gujarat), who along with his daughter Revati , travels to heaven to meet the Creator, Brahma, to seek advice for a suitable groom. When he returns to Earth, he’s surprised to learn that many ages have passed, as just a few seconds in Brahamalok was described equivalent to thousands of years on Earth. A concept similar to Einstein’s Theory Of Relativity, explaining that ti me runs differently on different planes of existence.

Nuclear Technology

The “Drona Parva”, which was the seventh book of the Mahabharata consists of one of the weirdest and unexplainable stories which describe the crisis of war. Although this theme wasn’t unusual, since the central story of the epic itself was based on a battle between two sets of cousins, the book gives us some descriptions, which are similar to the aftermath of a nuclear war. The book mentions explosions so powerful, that leave animals screeching in agony, metal armour melting onto the bodies of the troops, pregnant women losing their babies, as well as a scarlet cloud in the sky which resembled flames of a fire, all of which sound like descriptions of nuclear war and its fallout. A theory was also formulated, suggesting that the Harappan Civilizati on may have been destroyed by such a nuclear event. There have been finds in Mohenjodaro of skeletons of a family holding hands and appear to be flattened as if they had died of a sudden occurrence. Some unverified accounts also say that some radioactive ash was also found initially when the site was excavated. However, the veracity of these accounts can’t be examined since there isn’t any evidence to support them.

Whether these stories of advance technologies in ancient Indian texts are a reflecti on of the past or just allegories, they surely do evoke a great amount of inquisitiveness.

Feature Image Credits: Ancient History Lists

Abhinandan Kaul

[email protected]

The third day of 1971 India Pakistan War marked some extraordinary efforts by the jawans & mahilas of our nation, this story of Bhuj airport often slips below the pages of history and today it’s recapitulation gets extremely essential. 

Ever since the great political upheaval of the division of erstwhile British India in 1947 resulted into the creation of Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the two nations have endured a great sense of acrimony that has garnered international recognition and massive surveillance of the two on each other’s activities. The two nations have an age-long history of skirmishes and the second edition of this tussle was witnessed in 1971 amidst the Bangladesh Liberation War.

The 1971 Indo Pakistan War was significant in many ways, be it as the largest military surrender after World War II; as one of the shortest wars of history or the first of a kind that resulted in a nation-state on the basis of language. The 1971 war was perhaps the first time when all three Indian forces fought together and once again provided testimony for the greatness of our defense administration. 

With the leadership of someone like Army Chief Field Marshall Sam Manekshaw, the Indian Defense has a long list of valiant heroes whose stories have become an inevitable part of our lives. The 1971 war was no different and gave us some great war heroes that we can cherish all the more (seemingly ignoring the horrors and bloodshed that war endures, the cataclysmic effects are not to be discussed here). One such hero was Squadron Leader Vijay Karnik & the women of the Village of Bhuj.

It’s 8th December, two days since the war has found the bugle; both the belligerents have employed their best to retaliate one another, when fourteen Napalm Bombs were dropped from a squadron of Sabre Jets at the Indian Air Force Strip at Bhuj, Gujarat. The attack stripped the runway in bits and hence useless for the air force commandment. 

The Border Security Force who is normally entrusted with the responsibility in such cases was already engaged on the field, squadron leader Vijay Karnik with 50 IAF and 60 Defense Security Corps personnel were amidst an unpleasant state when local villagers from the village of Madhapur, Bhuj took the responsibility of repairing the airstrip and within the next 72 hours completed the assigned task. 

What is significant about this event apart from the short duration in which it was achieved, is the will and dedication of 300 amateur villagers who are clouded with the state of war and most of them were women. Yes, the mahila shakti was the force behind the army’s successful campaign. After the sarpanch, Jadhavjibhai Hirani asked the villagers for support, the village women wholeheartedly volunteered for the almost impossible task and did it within 72 hours, without thinking much about their lives they did their job continually someday without food and water away from their homes and family. The officers also had to take care of their security and ensure that the operation is carried without any casualty, this was ultimately achieved and was celebrated on 11th August at 4 pm when the first combat aircraft took from the airstrip successfully. 

Three years later the then Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi did offer gifts to these women, they humbly turned it down saying, “What we did was for our country.”

A war memorial called Virangana Smarak made under the aegis of the Central government was dedicated at Madhapur village of Bhuj in 2018 to commemorate the brave deed that the residents did for the sake of their country. This story will also be told again on the celluloid with Ajay Devgn in the lead role in ‘Bhuj: The Pride of India’

This anniversary of the 1971 war we salute the heroes and the heroines of the war and thank them for their service. 

Faizan Salik

[email protected]

Image Credits: thebetterindia.com

Image Caption: The Women of Bhuj 1971 at Virangana Smarak