mandi house


Mandi House Metro Station turns out to be a quintessential hotspot for every history-forager as a photo-exhibition on the 1947 Partition opens the door to a far-off reality.

 After a long day at college, one might want to escape the exasperation and break away from the monotony of metro journeys. Here is some respite- get off at Mandi House, take the escalator and find yourself in the world of others’ reality, learn what happened during the partition.

Further, here’s the answer to every “Why should I go to the exhibit?”:

One knows more about the “What?” and “Why?” of the partition, but it’s time to delve into the “How?” of the partition.

There exists a different 1947 and independence in many hearts, away from the rejoiced call of freedom and the attainment of autonomy. “I was traumatised. I was standing there, not knowing what is happening. He- the gunman- was only ten feet away…. he shot at me few times… He missed (everytime). So I started running, ” expresses Ali Shan. Zafar Afaq Ansari further quotes, “I feel like I am a bottled plant, a bottle can be kept here… here… I have no roots.”

According to the 1947 Partition Archives, the Partition gave way to the world’s largest mass human displacement as nearly 1,50,00,000 people associated to the basic need of shelter as a luxury. These affected lives found no place in the public archives, hence 1947 Archive’s creation is a multidimensional textbook.

It introduces and harnesses the latent power of Citizen Historians, comprising of volunteer movement. History bids farewell to lousy lectures as 500 people from over 20 countries become historians, with 1000 interviews in 9 languages- history becomes everybody’s story.

Learn about Usha Bhardwaj’s anarchical holiday in Kashmir and her memories of almost leaving her brother behind on the platform.

Read about Paramjit Kaur Dhanao’s life during the Partition as she narrates her struggle of being separated from friends and family due to borders.

Witness the clenching of jaw as Narinder Kaur Oberoi tells the readers about an incident where a father had to kill his own daughter, fearing the brutality along the borders the awaited their journey, and as Gopi Bhatia mentions the month long communication snap from her father during the period of severe rioting.

Abdus Salam, Adarsh Saran, Puran Dang, Mohinder Singh Chadha and many more have their stories along the walls of Mandi House Metro Station, making its readers rethink the idea of ‘celebrating’ 15th August and wonder how lines along landmass affect lives.

 Image Credit: www.1947partitionarchive.org

Priyanshi Banerjee

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On 20th January, 2020, Young India Coordination Committee called for Rally from Mandi House to Jantar Mantar, against Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA)-National Register of Citizens (NRC)-National Population Register (NPR), two days prior to Supreme Court’s hearing on the issue, along with All India Students’ Association (AISA), Krantikari Yuva Sangathan ( KYS ), Students’ Federation of India ( SFI ), All India Students’ Federation (AISF ) among others from Universties all over Delhi. 

20th January, 2020, observed a mass rally of students marching from Mandi House to Jantar Mantar at 1 p.m. against CAA-NRC-NPR. The rally was called for by Young India Coordination Committee along with multiple student organizations like AISA, KYS, SFI, AISF, Jawaharlal Nehru University Student’s Union (JNUSU), JCC, Joint Forum for Academic and Social Justice, Karwan-e-Mohabbat, Shaheen Bagh Protest Committee (United Youth Brigade), We the People among others.

Harsh Mandar, prominent Social Activist, said, “We are fighting against hatred with our love and Constitution. The Young India is showing us the hope and we will take back our India.”

Hundreds of students belonging to different universities like University of Delhi (DU), Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) and other student organizations joined together to raise slogans of Azadi against the undemocratic and unsecular rule of the Government and against CAA-NRC-NPR.

They chanted slogans of “Inquilab Zindabad” (long live the revolution), “BJP hoshiyaar” (stay alert BJP), “Secularism Up-Up, Communalism Down-Down”, and sang popular songs improvised to create tunes of resistance. 

N Sai Balaji, National President, AISA, said, “Young India is one such powerful platform which not only unites all students and youth but today has shown that they won’t get divided by hate. But have unitedly launched a campaign to defend citizenship and defend the Constitution.” 

These protests are being held simultaneously in cities like  Mallapuram, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Delhi, Pune, Ahmedabad, Patna, Kolkata, Allahabad, Varanasi, and many others against CAA-NRC-NPR.

“Just after two days the Supreme Court is going to hear the petitions challenging CAA so by this rally and across the country we are trying to give this message that this march means a public declaration, that this public is not in support of CAA, specifically the students, the young people of this country. We are against this CAA. We are born in a secular and country and will not let them (the Government) destroy the secular fabric of this country. India cannot accept secularism on religious lines,” quoted Kawalpreet Kaur, Delhi President, AISA.

The rally was followed by talks addressed by prominent speakers such as Harsh Mander, Umar Khalid, Gauhar Raza and Professor Ratan Lal among others at Jantar Mantar.

Umar Khalid, popular youth Social Activist and former student of Jawaharlal Nehru University, told DU Beat, “Young India today wants jobs and education. It does not want divisive laws like CAA or NRC or NPR. When we demand education, what does the government tell us? That spending on education is a waste of taxpayer’s money. But our money is not gonna be spent on putting us through an exercise in which we will be forced to prove our citizenships. They are using our money to strip us of our rights and we cannot allow that to happen. The government does not have that right. The government is here to serve us, not lord over us. Citizens also have rights. We are demanding those rights-  right to education, right to employment, right to healthcare.”

Dipankar Bhattacharya, General Secretary Communist Party of Indi (ML), suggested that the country is fighting it’s second freedom struggle.

“This law has been brought to divide people based on their religion and if we allow them to do this, tomorrow it will lead to caste discrimination.” he further added.

Feature Image Credits: Gyanarjun Saroj for DU Beat

Aditi Gutgutia

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On the 19th December 2019, the entire country came to the streets to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), and so did the citizens of the capital city of Delhi.

Initially, there were supposed to be two marches. The first protest from the Red Fort to the Shaheed Park, starting at 11 a.m, and the second protest from Mandi House to the Parliament Street, starting at 12 a.m. IA cautionary precursors, people shared numbers of legal help and emergency protocols for protests on social media to spread awareness. However, as people all over Delhi were enthusiastically choosing where to go, it turned out that the protest at the Red Fort was denied permission by the Police citing security reasons.

On the morning of the 19th, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation gradually started closing all the pivotal stations near the protests: Jamia Milia Islamia, Lal Quila, Jama Masjid, Vishwavidhayala, ITO. Soon, the Mandi House station was closed too. The Protesters heading to Mandi House received tips that police were arbitrarily detaining protesters before the protest had even started.

Meanwhile, Delhi Police had already started detaining people at the Lal Quila as well. Among those detained, Yogendra Yadav, a political leader, was also present.

Soon, the police spread out of Mandi House where they continued to detain protesters who had gathered nearby. Further news of Internet and Airtel and Vodafone network blockades, the shutting down of 21 metro stations, and 100 road blockades aggravated the sense that the government was actively trying to quell another peaceful protest before it even began.

It was found out that the detained were being taken to Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Bawana in Haryana, far away from the location of the protests.

Through word of mouth and WhatsApp, the protesters who were not detained and those who had gotten off at adjoining metro stations were told to assemble at Shaheed Park. However, even this was met by a police blockade and lathi charges,  including one very close to Barakhamba.

In a remarkable show of student solidarity and organization, against a Government actively trying to quell them by blocking their options, various student political parties and others got together in the spur of the moment. The protest which had already changed destinations thrice, finally led to Jantar Mantar.

Finally, after a shaky start, the protest at Jantar Mantar proceeded powerfully. The ground was heavily blockaded by the police, with a water cannon in place, in case things go awry. The land was echoing with the cries of ”Gali Gali me nara hai, Hindustan humaara hai” and “Modi-Shah ki Tanashahi, Nahi Chalegi-Nahi Chalegi”.

People were carrying creative posters saying “Student Unity Long Live”, “Orange is the New Black” and “Media more like Modia”.

There were people from all walks of life, from students to middle-aged men and women, united for a common cause. Among those present were parties like Krantikari Yuva Sangathan, Students’ Fderation of India, All India Students’ Association, and Communist Party of India. Eventually, the metro stations of Rajiv Chowk, Barakhamba Road, and Janpath, the three closest to the protest grounds were also closed. Despite that, people still managed to come in heavy numbers and join the protest.

Amongst heavy police presence in Jantar Mantar, the protests carried on for hours where the voices of our generation and those against the fascist government were heard loud and clear throughout Delhi and the Nation.

Feature Image Credits: Scroll

Satviki sanjay

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Prabhanu Kumar Das

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In response to the abrogation of Article 35A and Article 370, the nation saw countrywide protests being organised by various organisations.

Student leaders, political figures, and dissenting students took to the streets of Mandi House  to make their way to Jantar Mantar to protest the abrogation of Article 35A and Article 370 which granted special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The protest was supported by organisations including Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), and All India Forward Bloc (AIFB).

The move has left people confused and shocked. People have been vocal about their dissent through social media. The varied reactions, some celebratory and some condemning it have made Delhi the hotbed of protests and celebration rallies this week.

“There’s a new way of misogyny in the air after the abrogation. There are memes and posts about men wanting to marry a Kashmiri woman. Does this mean they intend to kill all our boys? There has been excitement over the prospect of buying land. So, it was never about the people, was it? Only the land,” said a Kashmiri woman.”I’ve been here for 10 years. I went to university here, I got my first job here. I’ve never come out for a protest ever before but the latest news forced me out of my house. I need to be seen, I need to be heard.” added another Kashmiri woman on the conditions of anonymity.Amidst placards, posters, and media personnel running around to take interviews, a few protestors drew graffiti and wrote slogans on the road as leaders from the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Lenininst) spoke about the issue.

Shortly, a counter protest by unknown people began outside the barricades. They unfurled the national flag and waved it high while shouting slogans demanding ‘azaadi’ (freedom) from ‘anti-nationals’. Their display of hyper nationalism found itself in slogans praising the nation as the police and CRPF forces formed a tight, protective circle around them. The counter protesters also chanted aggressive slogans like “desh ke gaddaro ko, goli maaron saalon ko” (shoot all the traitors of the nation).

As the valley spends its third day without any communication channels, reports and rumours of protests, stone pelting, and death in the rehion leave the Kashmiri students in Delhi distressed.Students are yet to hear from their families back home. Reports of curfew and increased military presence has only added to their fears and worries.

The abrogation has left Ladakh as a Union Territory without its own legislature. Students from Ladakh spoke against the decision. Mohammad Ali, a student from Jawaharlal Nehru University said,“The MP proudly smiles and boasts his hapoiness on TV, he say the people of Ladakh are happy, but let me tell you that they aren’t. There have been protests because we don’t welcome this move. Bifurcating the state only puts us in a more vulnerable position. Ladakh’s ecology is in danger due to climate change and rising tourism. The abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35A will only damage the ecology further as outsiders will try to set up their companies. Tell me, how do you take such a major decision without asking the people? Is this what Indian democracy stands for?”

Many students chose to cover their faces at the protest or chose to not show up at all. Fear of being recognised and reported grips the Kashmiri diaspora in Delhi. “As a Kashmiri woman, my fears have only increased this year. First it was Pulwama, and now this.” The suddenness of the abrogation has left students torn between the legalities and the emotions it provokes. “It’s unconstitutional and undemocratic, that’s all I can say,” said a university student. “They’ll have to lift the curfew someday, and when they will, there will be bloodshed. I am terrified of that happening.”

Feature Image Credits: Noihrit Gogoi for DU Beat


Jaishree Kumar

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 Malang 2016 – ‘The Performing Arts Festival’, a flagship event of Vayam Performing Arts Society, concluded on 18th March 2016 in a grand style at LTG Auditorium, Mandi House. The 10 day festival which began on 9th March 2016 has turned out to be a promising event in its very first edition, with performances by 23 Art groups, the event tried to redefined the concept of social welfare driven by art.
The festival witnessed many power-packed and enlightening street play performances by top-notch campus theatre teams across prime locations in Delhi including Nehru Place, Janakpuri, Kamla Nagar, Rajouri Garden etc. for the initial days. The festival reached its climax at the three day long culmination at LTG Auditorium where performances across stage theatre, music, dance, photography, poetry and films were showcased on one stage.
Prominent performances by external art groups included ‘Draupadi’ (featuring Rakesh Bedi and Himani Shivpuri), ‘Aurangzeb’ (directed by K.S. Rajendran), Piano recital by Guinness Record Holder Mrityunjay Sharma, Contemporary dance by Sadhya Group, ‘Tauliye’ by Jazba Theatre Group, ‘Bijli Bittoo’ by Ambidexter Productions and ‘Secular’ by Doodling Thoughts. The hosts entertained the audiences with their acclaimed productions ‘Syaahi’, Jeevita Chellave’ and ‘Bade Bhai Sahab’.
With the support from 15 organisations including SAIL, Skoda Auto, Khadi Gramodyog and LIC,  the festival also got feaurured in various national dailies like Delhi Times, The Hindu, Deccan Herald, Mint and Amar Ujala. on the social welfare front, the festival was able to collect an amount of INR 27,852 for farmer families in distress. With its well established campus wing in Shivaji College and professional wing based in Delhi and Mumbai, Vayam’s aim is to be a driver of social change by means of art.
Picture Credits: Prateek Bedi, Department of Financial Studies, DU 
Riya Chhibber
All rights reserved by Zabeeh Afaque

Known as the cultural hub of Delhi, Mandi House contains some of the finest art institutions in India- National School of Drama, Kathak Kendra, Bharatiya Kala Kendra, FICCI, Russian Culture Centre to name a few. It boasts of being alma mater to some very successful artists in India and is a budding ground for many more to come.

Because of the centrality of its location and the huge crowd it attracts, a large number of food joints have come up in the past and continue to do so now. Let’s look at some popular joints here-

1)      Shri Ram Centre Canteen

The canteen serves lip smacking Chinese food at affordable rates. It is a favorite among students of Shri Ram Theatre and other students in the vicinity. Hugely popular is the spicy singapuri chowmein and refreshing beverages like sweet lassi.

2)      Bengali market

You’ve probably been living under a rock if you haven’t tasted the chhole bhature of Bengali Market. This place boasts of being one of the oldest markets in Delhi, and one of the most modern too. Nathu’s, Bengali Sweets, Costa Coffee are some of its famous eateries. While Nathu’s are affordable to a student’s pocket, Costa Coffee is slightly expensive but gives a good ambience and experience, which makes it worth.

3)      NSD Canteen

If you have cravings for home made food instead, you can always go to the NSD Canteen that serves delicious Indian Thali , rajma chawal, kadi chawal , etc. The canteen however, is not that spacious and will not give you the desired ambience of quietness as it is always in a hustle bustle.


Corrigendum: This image has been clicked by Zabeeh Afaque for HT City.
Copyright All rights reserved by Zabeeh_India

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