A breakdown of the Aarey Forest conservation movement of Mumbai, in light of the current global climate crisis.

The Aarey Colony protests began on 5th October 2019, after the Bombay High Court (HC) allowed the Mumbai Metro to
cut nearly 2,500 trees to build a car shed for the new Mumbai Metro constructions in the vicinity. The HC’s move was in line with
a fine technicality that the Aarey Forest was not really a forest after all, but it was merely an urban cluster and hence it could
be felled for the purpose of establishing the Metro infrastructure. This move was met with severe backlash, as Mumbaikars
and green activists around the country opposed the felling of 2,500 trees that gave the much-needed respite from pollution
and heat to the residents of the colony.

The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) began to cut down trees in the area merely hours after the HC order, at odd hours of night in another move that faced resistance from citizens and environmental activists. The Mumbai police arrested close to 29 people on the charges of allegedly obstructing and assaulting police personnel at this protest. Many people, including several celebrities, took to social media to express their support with the activists protesting in the Aarey Colony. After these events, a special hearing on the matter was scheduled with the Supreme Court (SC) and, as a result, Section 144 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was implemented in Aarey Colony. Although lifted for the hearing, the section was later reimposed after the hearing.

The Apex Court, this past week, restrained authorities from cutting any more trees in Mumbai’s Aarey. A special bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra and Ashok Bhushan said that it would have to examine the entire matter closely, and it extended the date of the next hearing to 21st October, which would take place before its forest bench. The court also ordered the Mumbai Police to release all the activists who were arrested in the past two days.

The SC recorded an undertaking by the Maharashtra State Government, where it was assured that no more trees would be felled in Aarey. The SC observed that “…it appears that Aarey was some kind of forest at some time,” taking note of the 2012 Management Plan for the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, which describes Aarey as an unclassified forest.

The Court further lashed at the Maharashtra State Government,  “Tell us how many saplings you planted? How have they grown? What’s the status of your forests?” The Apex Court’s question came after the Mumbai Metro claimed that it had planted around 24,000 saplings to replace the trees it had cut in Aarey. The court asked the state authorities to also produce a mandatory afforestation report.

Rishav Ranjan — the law student whose letter to the Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi, was converted into a suo motu writ petition for the matter — has requested MMRCL Managing Director, Ashwini Bhide, to desist from any construction work in the area until the next SC hearing on 21st October.

Complex climate change situations necessitate nuanced interventions. However, for the most part, India has resorted to afforestation without consulting local communities or conducting serious impact assessment studies. In light of the latest global climate crisis, a Global Climate Risk Index released at the Katowice summit in Katowice, Poland, in 2018 showed that intense cyclones, excessive rainfall, and severe floods could make India and its neighbours among the worst affected countries in the world. This leads to the conclusion that afforestation is not enough. The
effects of climate change in tandem with the development agenda require a two-pronged, well-researched, and balanced
approach that needs to be initiated by the governments at grass-root levels.

Featured Image Credits: India Times

Bhavya Pandey
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Sacred Games season two came out on the eve of Independence Day and Raksha Bandhan, a strategically positioned release date, or fate? (Only Guru Ji knows)

Our Web Editor, Shaurya Thapa commented that if Season 1 of Sacred Games was set in Kashyap’s Wasseypur world then Season 2 took inspiration from his No Smoking cinematic universe. This review begins on a comparative note because this whole show does the same. It is a comparison within itself, contradicting its characters, creating parallels with the previous season, mirroring the outer world, reflecting on the World’s political climate, driving on India’s history and dramatising on the didactic dilemma of this decade: Is this world worth saving?

Season two is packed with a lot of brand new information, twists and turns wrapped up in the eight hour long cinephile’s dream. It comes full circle with completing almost all the strands left loose in the first season. It is the story of a chase against time, personal conflicts, greater good and men in white tripping over red pills and drinks.

Guru Ji and his ashram, which was barely touched upon in season one, takes the centre stage this season. Kalki has less to do as Batya, but it is ominous, arbitrary and satisfactory. The angle of the third baap and Gaitonde’s Freudian obsession with his baaps make way more sense now.

At its heart, despite all its nuclear bomb threat to Mumbai and Sartaj Singh’s race against time to prove his masculine heroism, Sacred Games is the story of Ganesh Gaitonde. His rise, his fall, his obsessions, his pre-occupations, his business, his enemies, his love, his life, and Mumbai is what makes the revolutionary plot. He has the best lines, direction, writing, acting and side characters. Season one’s ferocious Kantabai and frivolous Kuku take a back seat as compared to the new characters- RAW agent Yadav Sahab, and conflicted JoJo.

Characters in this show don’t pop up out of no-where; they rise out of a connection and become important eventually. Parulkar, Trivedi, and Bhonsle all make appearances in Gaitonde’s formative years to become an integral part of the Sartaj Singh plot. Dilbagh Singh’s involvement in the annihilation plans is ambiguous yet it connects all the dots. Zoya or Jamila’s involvement becomes a full circle and even a minor mention of Anjali Mathur’s father’s death gets an explanation.

The traje(dy)ctory of Inspector Majid Khan is the most surprising of all. With chilling dialogues like “Musalman ko uthaane ka police ko kya bahaana chahiye” and “Majid Khan hone se Parulkar ka banda hona behtar hai” and an equally disturbing scene of a young Muslim boy being forced to “Say It” and eventually being brutally lynched, the show takes a much-needed stand in today’s time. What is even more tantalizing is that among that mob we know one character, a devastated boy who is finding his peace in the brutality of a religious war.

On the other end of this spectrum stands, the almost comical parodies of real-life people. We can easily see the inspiration behind them and how easily the writer’s incorporated them into the story. Ram Gopal Verma and Osho are the influences woven strongly into the story with brilliant writing.

The end is a rollercoaster. The viewers have to scratch the reality away from the imagination. They are stuck together side by side, one striving on the other’s existence, one is real and the other is the influencer. The red pill and tripping play a major part in the culmination, Sartaj is still running on them, making hasty decisions, delayed realisations and maybe even mistakes.

The takeaway from this open end is that the detonation of the bomb doesn’t even matter. The world is killing itself, it is moving towards mass destruction with corruption steeped into its being. The use of a real-life footage in the background during Guru Ji’s convincing ‘let’s kill everyone and bring about Satyug’ speech fuels my conclusion that even without such Guru Ji’s involvement in our real life, American mass shootings are on a rise, Palestine-Israel conflicts is still alive, the Middle-East war seems never-ending and India-Pakistan are still on the Colonial crossroads. Adding to this, without Guru Ji we still have Rohingya annihilation, Sri Lankan bombings, New Zealand mass killings, and climate change. So that bomb, really doesn’t matter, we will get to the end of the world even without it.

Feature Image Credits: Business Insider

Sakshi Arora

[email protected]


The 2008 Mumbai attack is globally recognised as an important part of the history of India, it may not seem unusual at first, but the traction is problematic.

For Indians, sweater weather brings with it clouded memories of the Mumbai attacks of 2008; broadcast tributes can be found aplenty, people get clicked while the bullet studded walls of Leopold Cafe provide a backdrop, and the ones that were directly affected are forced to relive the trauma. The media coverage expected this year is perhaps tenfold, since this year marks the ten year anniversary of the attacks.

It’s important to mark the bloodiest days in history and remember them from time to time, honour the unsung heroes, pay respect to the innocent, and learn from past mistakes. The Mumbai attacks are, globally, the most well recognised and empathised terrorist attacks in India. However, a brief history lesson on the deadliest terrorist attacks in India highlights several ones that exceed the 26/11 attacks in terms of quantum of lives lost. It’s diabolical to evaluate the damages caused by terrorism in the utilitarian sense of the world; any loss of lives is appalling regardless of the number. The only mildly troubling aspect of the attention given to 26/11 attacks is that the international media coverage given to the attacks due to the number of foreign lives threatened and lost. The attacks were meticulously planned and executed along the most famous tourist spots in Mumbai, including the Taj Hotel and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. Since high profile tourist spots were targeted by the infiltrators, many foreign lives were lost on the Indian soil and that is primarily why the bombings garnered international traction and interest. The New York Times or the BBC were obviously not as interested in the 2006 Mumbai train bombings or the stream of deadly violence prevalent in Assam since decades. The modern world is such that European and American lives are often given primacy over the Rohingyas of Burma, the Syrians forced to abandon their homes due to genocide funded by Uncle Sam, the Hondurans fleeing political unrest, and the millions plagued by starvation and unemployment. India has long been stung by foreign (and even domestic) forces propagating violence and instigating fear.

The ball wasn’t entirely in the court of international media houses. The fate of the accused was addressed by the Supreme Court in this case, but there remain tens of other terrorism cases dated decades back, that await verdicts.

There is no doubt that all matters of national security, in any part of the country, are to be given equal importance and priority. In the status quo, sadly, privilege plays a huge role in the action taken by the respective authorities. Perhaps that’s why the valleys of Kashmir witness day-to-day bloodshed, the children of Chattisgarh live in fear of Maoist insurgencies and Cow Vigilantes continue to haunt the streets of Uttar Pradesh- unchecked.


Featured Image Credits: Indian Express


Nikita Bhatia

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Boasting of a huge array of events, Mood Indigo, the annual cultural festival of IIT Bombay kicked off on 23rd December 2016 with a number of scintillating performances and speaker sessions. Based on the theme – ‘One soul, one fest’, the Mood Indigo team likes to recognise themselves as ‘A Bombay Chronicle’. While the line up of events on Day 1 was overwhelming it saw competitions like Conchord, Drum circle, and other light events among others. While the star performances of the ‘Livewire Nite’ featured Crown The Empire, Skrat and others, the first day of the fest had quite an exquisite line up with speakers like the young and dynamic novelist, Durjoy Datta.

Some of the highlights of Day 1 are as following:


Vogue: The fashion show 

Mood Indigo’s Vogue, touted as India’s largest college fashion show, was an extravagant display of glitz, glamour and gloss. The event saw eight teams compete in two rounds. The first round, based on the theme ‘Raga Invasion,’ was an expression of the influence of music on fashion and saw participants drawing inspiration from Michael Jackson and punk rock to Indian classical. The second round, based on the theme ‘Asymmetric,’ was an array of seemingly conflicting shapes and patterns coming together in harmony. The event was judged by Sonnalli Seygall, Karan Berry, Leon Vaz, Vikram Singh Bawa and Instagram fashionistas, Isha Kanani and Meghna Kaur Kaushal. The judges were enthused by the energy and confidence translated into the show on stage. Pearl Academy, Delhi walked away with the first place, while the Faculty of Architecture, Manipal took second. Faculty of Architecture also took the title of ‘Best Design,’ while Tanvi, from Thakur College of Science and Commerce was adjudged the best model.

A video posted by DU Beat (@du_beat) on

The winners, Pearl Academy, Delhi’s fashion team, told DU Beat that they were thrilled to have won first place, having least expected it. “The hard work paid off, what with having sacrificed our vacations to participate and put in our best”, said a team member. Their entry for round one focussed on flowy outfits in earthy colours of deep red, orange and yellow, while they used asymmetric white frills in the second round.

Catch a glimpse of the #MannequineChallenge we gave to the winning team!

Durjoy Datta on love, break-up and success 

Having had an adventurous personal life himself, an accomplished novelist, Durjoy Datta spoke to the students at IIT-B about his idea of love, relationships and break-ups. While talking to the crowd, he discussed how his initial years involved a cynical attitude towards love and how his personal journey helped him pen down his books. On being asked if he believes in the idea of a perfect relationship, he said, “I do believe that there is something such as a perfect relationship. My idea about love has changed a lot in the last few years.”


Image by Hitanksha Jain
Image by Hitanksha Jain

Varun Agarwal: Love, Startup and Anu auntie

Filmographer, entrepreneur and best-selling author, Varun Agarwal was another speaker at the fest who highlighted the importance of finding the right passion and pursuing it. Using his own life events as examples, he stressed on the importance of living life to the fullest, by pursuing one’s passion while taking bold risks in the face of challenges. The right passion in his view is something that is obsessive and which one wouldn’t mind doing for free, pursuing it for the experience rather than the money. Money will eventually follow, if you earnestly follow and take forward that, which you are passionate about.

He said that the current generation is suffering from the “Steve Job’s syndrome” of following the masses in choosing their passion. It is important, however, to choose passions independently of society’s and media’s influence. Confidence, that insulates one from being deterred by the numerous judgmental “Anu aunties,” is the key.

It wasn’t surprising that the audience was in raptures by the end of the talk, eagerly asking questions and partaking in numerous jests against fellow spectators.

 ‘Livewire-Nite’ highlights


The enchanting tunes of Crown The Empire, Skrat and others got everyone’s foot tapping, as the ‘Livewire Nite’ ensued a rather musical tone to the day, making it the perfect way to draw close to Day 1 of the fest!



This four-day extravaganza stretching from 23-26th December is all set to witness some big gigs, including a finale performance by the Bollywood Composer trio- Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy.


Riya Chhibber ([email protected])

Abhinaya Harigovind ([email protected])

Swareena Gurung ([email protected])


Feature Image credits: Prateek Singh

Picture credits: Hitanksha Jain, Gerush Bahal, Harshit Thukral and Prateek Singh for DU Beat.


Some things come to you from much unexpected places. Read to learn how a stroll in the largest slum in the world changed my view towards life.


While you move in the Sion-Bandra Link, take a left to Sant Rohidas Marg. What you will witness is a locality that is one of the largest slums of the World. A mirror to the picture of India, Dharavi is one of the places which very well known to most of the Mumbaikaars. I visited the place as a part of one of our college project. The experience that I had is worth sharing.

We got out of our vehicle as we thought that touring the surroundings on feet would be easier. As we proceeded along the dingy by lanes of the place, it felt like visiting the characters in the film Slumdog Millionaire. One of my friends asked “What moves this place? There is no sanitation facilities, no proper roads, it’s just some pukka houses.” As we moved along the road we found a group of men sitting and chatting up below a tree. The plastic chairs on which they sat had marks of broken pieces in its handle. Probably, someone would have brought them years back. On asking them about the neighborhood one of them replied “Everything is available here” in a broken Hindi with a deep Marathi accent. The men worked in the shops nearby. One of them worked in the tannery nearby. “We often sit and chat up on holidays only” remarked another man as he got up to go to the sabzi market nearby. After he left, the other one confessed that they were all unemployed, searching for work. Some of them worked in local shops where there parents worked too for a meagre sum of money. ‘Disguised Unemployment is not limited to agriculture’ is something my civics teacher had said me in my school days. Now I was seeing this in real.

We decided to walk on. Just as we had moved a few steps we saw a little girl with a school bag coming out from her home. We decided to followed her and start a conversation with her. Jumping over little pass ways which were used for multiple purposes by people from washing clothes to playing caroms, the girl proceeded to a masjid which she called her school. On asking about what she wants to become she pointed to a boy dancing in a reality shows on one of the channels and said “I want to a dancing star like him.” Most of the teaching at primary levels here happen in local municipality schools or Madrasas said a shopkeeper who sold stationary near the Madrasa.

As we wrapped up our walk and returned we had probably known the answer to the question. Beyond the not plastered walls, small dingy rooms, primeval state of living of humans and animals together, lack of toilets, proper sanitation facilities there was something that has kept this place moving forward from 1922. It is the Hope of a better tomorrow.


Srivedant Kar

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Mumbai, India’s financial capital recently banned the slaughter and sale of meat for four days, starting this Thursday, following a demand from the strictly vegetarian Jain community. This sparked an outrage among the meat-eaters already upset by a permanent beef ban imposed this year. Ever since this news broke out, people have taken to social media websites to display their outrage.

Having moved to Mumbai just four months back from Delhi to study at Xavier Institute of Communications, this news has brought a large amount of disappointment for me and many others like me. While adjusting to the food habits of a new city was difficult enough, it has been made unbearable by this temporary meat ban taking away food joints like ‘Bademiyaan’ or ‘Delhi Darbaar’ that proved to be saviours in several homesick situations.

India is a land of diverse cultures and religions and I respect every religious community. However the question is, by what means can the government or the civic body dictate people’s eating habits? After all, it’s a particular individual’s prerogative to decide what they should or shouldn’t eat. There are approximately 39 religious communities in India and if things continue this way one can expect some sort of a ban every day of the year. Anarchy has become a part of the Indian democracy; anyone with ‘religious sentiments’ can impose his/her thoughts on the people of this country.

Being a Delhiite and Punjabi at heart I don’t go around imposing meat on anyone, so why should anyone be given the right to decide what I consume for breakfast, lunch or dinner? Important question here is are eating habits more important than issues like water crisis, traffic congestion, and rodent menace among others that Mumbaikars have to face on a daily basis?


Guest Post by Anubha Goyal

Image source: rediff.com

Verve, The Street Play Society at Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies is proud to present “MANTHAN 2013”, which aims to harness the power of street theatre to arise a sense of responsibility and cognizance about sensitive issues within the society. Over the past six years of its history, different colleges across Delhi have come together and performed street plays with various alluring themes at many public places, all with an aim to reach out to people and get them thinking. The largest and the most extensive street play festival in Asia, MANTHAN, is widening its expanse this year to a month long fest spanning across 3 cities-Delhi, Mumbai and Chandigarh. Manthan will incorporate ‘nukkadnatak’ performances from various college teams and professional groups on the plethora of social issues plaguing our nation. The highlight of the event is the unique socio-cultural initiative, titled the ‘Street Play to Schools’ programme, undertaken with the purpose of promoting Street Play culture in future college students and to create awareness at the same time. Spanning from 6th February – 15th February 2013, the school programme was host to a volley of excellent ideas and synergetic performances by reputed colleges in various schools across Delhi. The School programme had the following schools and colleges as its participants:

  • Bal Bharti School, Pitampura- Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies and Lady Sri Ram College
  • Sardar Patel Vidyalaya- Daulat Ram College, Sri Ram College of Commerce
  • St. Mary’s School, Safdarjung- Atma Ram Sanatan Dharma College
  • Delhi Public School, Rohini- Hansraj College
  • Sri Guru Nanak Public School, Adarsh Nagar- Miranda House
  • Mira Model School, Janakpuri- Motilal Nehru College
  • Ahlcon International School- Hindu College
  • Mount Abu Public School- IP College
However, this is just the beginning. Taking off from the grand success of the school programme is the first-of-its-kind ‘Street play to NGOs’ programme. Through its launch, Manthan plans to touch the deeper roots of the society by performing street plays in slums in association with various NGOs across the Delhi-NCR region. The schedule for the performances at NGOs is as follows: 18th February 2013- Arya Anathalay, Daryaganj 19th February 2013- Bachho Ka Ghar, Daryaganj 20thFebruary 2013- Prabhaat 21st February 2013- Blind Relief Association Commencing from 25th February is the main event of the festival with each day modeled around a unique theme; plays relevant and pertaining to that particular theme will be performed on that day. At the conclusion of the performances, an open discussion about the theme will be held with the audience under the esteemed presence of eminent personalities from the field of theatre, performing arts, education, media, social and political activists, etc. The event is being promoted as a free-for-all event that promises entertainment and at the same time raises the specter of social evils haunting the nation and drives home a serious and meaningful message of bringing about social changes. Manthan’13 is privileged to present to you its title sponsor – Sun Foundation. An initiative of Vikramjit Singh Sahney, Padma Shree, Sun Foundation has brought self reliance and betterment to the lives of thousands of lesser privileged women and children through their initiatives like Surya Kiran Centres for Women, Taare Zameen Par for specially abled children and Save The Girl Child Campaign among others. Follow the link below to get a sneak peek into Manthan’s endeavor to usher in change. http://www.facebook.com/Manthan.cbs?fref=ts   Ek Khwaab Jo Maine Dekha Hai, Khud Hi Mein Janma Hai… Badlaav Ki Wo Soch Hai, Khud Hi Mein Dekha Hai.   -Manthan 2013. Aao, Ek Khwaab Ko Janm Dein.]]>

After the completion of all regional qualifiers for the Red Bull Soapbox Derby, this weekend will see the National Finals taking place in Mumbai on 2nd December. The first of its kind in India, the Derby is here not only to challenge all that is conceptualized of cars but even of, who can make cars.

In the road leading towards the Finals, the organizers traveled with the participants all over the city, filming reactions to parking their car-like (and yet not quite) creations. The finals will see seventy teams competing against each other for the grand prize and possibility of representing India in the World Finals in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The Delhi regional qualifiers which had been adjudged by motosport and rally circuit veterans, Mr. Ashish Jha and Mr. Gaurav Gill saw the team ‘Armored’ (USIT, IP) winning the first position who will now be competing in the National Finals representing the city. The hosts of the finals will include the familiar faces of Cyrus Broacha, Jose Calvaco and Ramona Arena, while the judges will comprise of Rannvijay Singh, Lisa Haydon and Kunal Vijaykar.