History continues to celebrate Mahatma Gandhi as a figure of Indian resilience and struggle. Throughout the world, Indian history is seen as if synonymous to his name, and yet, in the shadows of that glory remain hidden the people who shaped the legacy of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.

Every year on 2nd October, the world remembers Gandhi, the man who fought the British and did it so artfully that they had no resort except to accept the man with a frail frame and a frightfully forceful firmness to not fail. Yet, it was not just Gandhi who was behind the framing of his Gandhian fame. It was the collective efforts of many behind the curtain, his many supporters and mentors whose benefaction made Gandhi into theman who was able to bring the British Raj to its knees.

The man who perhaps influenced Gandhi’s life the most was Gopal Krishna Gokhale. Gokhale was a great reformist and nationalist leader who influenced economic and developmental thinking. He was an influential and respected member of the Indian National Congress. He wrote recommendation letters for Gandhi to several lawyers in Bombay, in order to secure a juniorship in the latter’s name. He proposed the Natal Indentured Labour Bill to help Gandhi gain a legal framework and to assist him in his struggle in South Africa. In Gandhi’s own words, “If Gokhale had not played this stellar role, the South African problem would never have resolved.” It was he who convinced Gandhi to return to India from South Africa to serve his people, and to spend a year visiting every part of the country – every city, district and village, so that he may get to know the people he had come to serve. He sought a promise from Gandhi to not utter a word on Indian issues for one year till his discovery of India was complete. Gandhi wrote in his book, Satyagraha in South Africa, “Every word of Gokhale glowed with his tender feeling, truthfulness and patriotism. Gokhale prepared me for India.”

Though Gandhi’s views on women’s rights were closer to Puritan-Victorian expectations of women, the women who accompanied him shaped his ideologies, and helped propagate them. Perhaps the most relevant woman encircling the glory of the Mahatma was his wife, Kasturbai “Kasturba” Mohandas Gandhi. She helped her husband in South Africa by establishing the Phoenix Settlement. She participated actively in protests and civil movements, and spent most of her time serving in ashrams. Despite being of ill health, she joined many of Gandhi’s protests, and was jailed on several occasions, with the most famous one being her imprisonment at Aga Khan Palace. She later died at a detention camp.

Another important woman beside Gandhi was Sushila Nayyar, an Indian physician, veteran Gandhian, and a politician. Sister to Gandhi’s personal secretary, she played a leading role in several programmes for public health, medical education, and social and rural reconstruction in India. She was Gandhi’s physician, a part of his trusted inner circle, and she worked for the empowerment of women, while also advocating for family planning.

One more man behind Gandhi’s success was J.C. Kumarappa, the pioneer of rural economic development theories, who has been credited with developing economic theories based on Gandhism. When Kumarappa started working with Gandhi, Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya complimented Gandhi for the wonderful training he had given to Kumarappa. In response to the compliments, Gandhi had said, “I haven’t trained him, he came to me readymade.”

These people were some of the many spokes of the Mahatma’s wheel that spun a revolutionary movement. If Gandhi was the light of the candle, these people were his wax. However, history casts them in the shadows. The wheel would never have turned to drive a successful cause, in the absence of its spokes.


Feature Image Credits: Time Magazine

Shreya Juyal

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Online Petitions are all-pervasive. From Climate Change to opposing bills and amendments, nowadays, every movement begins on social media. Every day thousands of people sign hundreds of petitions to stand for varied causes. But, do these petitions ever accomplish anything?

The world today is undergoing various catastrophes daily which affect millions of people across the globe. Mostly, citizens watch the authorities remaining silent and wait for them to act on such disasters, expecting them to retaliate. In these cases, online petitions have become a simple solution which provides a platform that allows the people to contribute towards the betterment of the society, rather than just sitting around and waiting. Online Petitions give a wider meaning to the concept of Democracy. It is an appropriate way that gets the point across many, to reach the authority, and gain support from people all over the world. Many even believe that it has become an internet version of street rallies minus the commitment and efforts.

It is a matter of concern that in the 21st Century, people have to rely on this strategy to have their voices heard, and make the administration recognize the needs of the people which are quite obvious. The fact that the number of online petitions is rising at a rapid rate is an accurate representation of how authorities, elected by us, don’t listen to our needs, leaving us helpless to the extent that we feel the need to engage in this rebellious method of harmless protest. Our constituency leaders are hardly put up for questions, they are closest to our concerns, and they hardly care.

But the question remains, do these petitions contribute to change? I would say- Rarely.

It depends on the majority of people who sign these petitions. When we take steps to bring about a change, there are only a few people who genuinely care about the cause, while the majority of people participate for the sake of participation and not emancipation. People sign these “petitions” to reduce their guilt of actions. They aim at achieving a slight sense of contribution, by investing barely two minutes of their time and consider it making a change. On the other hand, one might argue that such movements are instrumental in raising awareness. But, these petitions, arguably, also allow people to feel as though they have taken action when, in reality, they haven’t, and potentially have prevented individuals from pursuing more hands-on activism.

The answer, regardless, isn’t to stop yourself from supporting and signing the next viral campaign that you come across. One has absolutely nothing to lose from signing something they agree with, and nobody knows which appeal might defeat the odds, and provoke a real change. Instead, the answer is to rebel vigorously, as well as ensure that our effortless contribution online meets subsequent real development offline.

Feature Image Credits: BBC

Avni Dhawan
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Ever thought about capturing lights with physics and even with tossing your camera? Look no further, because there’s kinetic photography. 

Kinetic photography is also known as camera toss photography. However, that’s not all you need to do in order to take pictures. 

As complex as it sounds, it just needs patience, practice and the knowledge of some skills, and an inexpensive camera. Don’t worry about the quality of photos since kinetic photography can make pictures from an old camera look great too!

Owing to its dynamic nature, it’s recommended that you start out with a somewhat dark room with a single source of light and then experiment with more sources of light to play around with complexity in your shots.

As for the settings, use slow shutter speed and adjust the ISO and aperture accordingly. ISO is usually set low and aperture is high when the shutter speed is slow.

Before proceeding further, ensure that you’re in a safe environment and more importantly, ensure the safety of your camera. Then, press the shutter and go crazy! Swing your hands, go zig-zag! The best part of kinetic photography is the independence it comes with. You can also explore (with caution) tossing your camera in the air. 

Here are a few pictures which were tried by DU Beat photographers:













EXIF Data:

Shutter Speed: 5 seconds


ISO: 100


Photography by:

Surabhi Khare

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Saubhagya Saxena

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Movements that start on social media have a way of fizzing out into oblivion on their own, so it is important to analyse their impact, by following up on regular intervals. What happened to some of the men named in the movement? Read on to know.

Women from all over the world grow up experiencing one or the other form of sexism, and even harassment by the time they leave their childhood years behind. Men are either on the causal end of this, or in a vicious cycle experience it in the form of toxic masculinity themselves. The individuals who do not identify with the conventional genders are, in fact, more prone to assault and sexual humiliation in their lives. The evidence of such harassment seldom exists because there are no security cameras recording inappropriate groping in a crowded place, or seemingly casual grazing of the thighs by well-meaning relatives behind closed doors.

The #MeToo movement has been criticized as a witch-hunt that aims to further the character assassinations of celebrities, especially famous men, without substantial evidence to support the allegations. But allegations have been made, nonetheless, because a small fraction of the society decided to stand by imperfect feminism, instead of perfect misogyny and patriarchy in a fortunate and well-deserved change of events.

It is not only significant to stay informed on the subject of predatory behaviour perpetrated by the widely admired personalities, but it also becomes integral for the moral fabric of the society to hold the accused accountable to their victims, and for their actions. As the public not directly involved in the occurrences, one part to play is in following through once an accusation has been made. Here is a list of the some Indian celebrities who were ousted for their sexually predatory behaviour, along with the details of what happened to them, and to justice, in the aftermath of the allegations against them:

  1. Shamir Reuben (Writer/Poet)

According to a report published in The Quint on February 11, 2018, Kommune- a storytelling platform, for which the content and social media were headed by Reuben- suspended his association. Accused of predatory behaviour with minors since his ask.fm days, Reuben issued an apology through a post on Facebook.

Harnidh Kaur, a poet claiming to be a feminist, and a writer from Mumbai, had extended support to the women thinking of pursuing legal action against Reuben. Sources reveal no further legal action has been taken against Reuben, despite the accounts of over ten women accusing him of lewd and obscene behaviour.

  1. Chintan Ruparel (Writer)

The co-founder of the popular storytelling platform, Terribly Tiny Tales, and a former advertising brain, was accused by Gauri Awasthi of inappropriate conduct in a professional setting. His former girlfriend, Shrutee Choudhary, then came out to share her own experience of abuse and toxicity with Ruparel. Accounts in double digits started a flurry over social media platforms as his former wife, and numerous women who attended his workshops, spoke up against him.

Terribly Tiny Tales removed him from his position as the Chief Content Officer on 8th October, 2018. According to Anuj Gosalia, the Chief Executive Officer and founder, Ruparel’s name was dissociated from the company’s lease officially on 3rd November, 2018.

Ruparel has not spoken on any social media platform regarding the allegations and his removal from the company, but the platform set up an Internal Complaints Committee, and reached out to its community of writers to encourage the reporting of any inappropriate behaviour on behalf of the employees’ part.

  1. Alok Nath (Actor)

Originally ousted by writer-producer, Vinta Nanda, and then named a habitual predator by personalities like Sandhya Mridul, Amyra Dastur, Navneet Nishan, and some other former colleagues, Nath has termed the allegations baseless. As per a report published in the Times of India, he hit the foundation of the entire movement by stating, “In today’s world, whatever a woman says, only that will be considered.” Following up with his publicly claimed outrage, Nath demanded a public apology from Nanda, and went on to file a defamation suit against her in the realm of civil law. By November 21, Nanda had lodged an official complaint at the Oshiwara Police Station in Mumbai, regarding the 19 years’ old incident. Alok Nath also faced expulsion from the Cine and TV Artists’ Association (CINTAA), and the Indian Film and Television Directors’ Association (IFTDA) promised legal action against the actor after he failed to respond to their notice concerning his misconduct. The legal proceedings are underway against the man who gained fame as the symbol of ‘sanskaar’ (values) in the world of celluloid.

  1. Gautam Adhikari (Journalist)

Despite his denial of the allegations made against him by multiple subordinates and colleagues, the founding editor of DNA resigned from his position as senior fellow at the Centre for American Progress (CAP) located in Washington DC. According to The Wire, the officials at CAP confirmed his resignation after an internal investigation was initiated in the issues concerning his conduct.

  1. R. Sreenivas (Journalist)

After over seven accounts of sexual misconduct and molestation were shared with regard to the Hyderabad resident editor of the national daily, Times of India, he was sent on an administrative leave on 9th October, 2018. According to The Print, Mr. Sreenivas resigned by 13th October, and was to be investigated by an internal committee of The Times Group (BCCL). As of December 1, 2018, the committee is independently investigating the former editor based on the substantial evidence against his inappropriate actions.

  1. Rajat Kapoor (Actor/Director)

Accused of sexual misconduct and forceful behaviour by women journalists and a few anonymous accounts on Twitter, the actor issued an apology for his wrongful actions towards ‘other human beings’. He did not accept outright responsibility for his actions. The actor’s work, titled ‘Kadakh’, was dropped from the lineup of the 20th edition of the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) festival in lieu with the allegations against the actor.

There are numerous other names which have been brought to question by the power of the movement. Women like Kangana Ranaut, actress, and Aditi Mittal, comedian, were also accused of toxic actions in a relationship, and forceful physical contact, respectively. Acclaimed singer, Sonu Nigam, offered negative criticism of the accountability in the movement while speaking up in support of the accused musician, Anu Malik. Debates and differing opinions continue to make a whirlwind, but the bottom-line of the #MeToo movement is to bring perpetrators down from the pedestal, and question them as effectively as possible.

Image Courtesy: Medium

Anushree Joshi

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