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When it comes to fashion, it would be safe to say that the northeasterners know how to do it right.

The people from the northeastern region of India have a distinct sense of style, which is something that the fashion- conscious students of DU can learn from. We talked to several fashionable northeastern students and they shared
with us the following tips:

1. Wear a tiny necklace with a small pendant (say, a ring) which looks cute and is practical, as opposed to big pieces. Accessorise, but don’t over-accessorise. Usually a silver necklace goes with all skin tones.
2. Dress according to your body. What looks good on a T.V. star may or may not look good on you. Take into consideration your physical aspects like height, body shape, and skin tone.
3. Take inspiration from wherever you can, but adapt it to suit yourself (in the case of the Northeastern people, South Asian dramas being the inspiration).
4. The price of an outfit doesn’t guarantee quality. You can get outfits for a few hundred rupees, provided you look in the right nooks and crannies. They suggest places like Sarojini Nagar where you can bargain to your heart’s content or H&M which conducts sales every now and then.
5. Choose comfort over everything else. A compliment lasts seconds, but you’ll be wearing what you are donning for the whole day. You won’t look good if you don’t feel good.
6. Finally, experimenting with your wardrobe is the key. Girls can switch between skinny jeans with crop tops and pleated skirts with collared shirts, while boys can switch between khakis with shirts and shorts with vests.

The people from places like Mizoram and Nagaland have access to thrift shops from where they can get a tee for as little as INR 10! That makes that an outfit in less than INR 50. Unfortunately, there is little scope for that happening in Delhi. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t let your inner northeastern fashionista come to the fore. Look good, have fun experimenting, and most of all, be comfortable.

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat

Maumil Mehraj
[email protected]

It is early July 2015 when Martha, a student from Nagaland studying in Hansraj College, got called “Chinese” by two men as they rushed past her in a bike through BD Estate,  a relatively posh area near North Campus. Three months later, during election campaigning for the Delhi University Students’ Association (DUSU) elections, Martha spotted one of those two men, garlanded and surrounded by a gang of loud sloganeers who were going from one college to another. He had his picture on hundreds of the same posters pasted on walls, behind e-rickshaws, and even on streetlight poles. In Vijaynagar, an area densely populated with North-Eastern students of DU, he was seen calling his Northeastern “brothers and sisters” to vote for him to see “progressive” policies implemented by DUSU. So much for duplicity and dissimulation.

During the campaigning for DUSU in August 2017, one candidate fielded by a particular student political unit went ahead to claim in his speech, “The North-East people are benefiting because of the quota which helps them get into DU.”

This perfidiously flawed statement made by a student political leader who believes in the existence of a “quota” for North-Eastern students is as vulnerable to laceration as is the laceration of a ripe tomato by a razor-sharp knife. Seeing this incredulous level of awareness of political leaders in DU, it is not startling that out of 20,000 North Eastern students, less than 5,000 cast their vote in the DUSU elections. These statistics were shared by the North East Students’ Society.

“During DUSU elections, tall promises are made for NE students. But nothing is ever done,” remarked Dr Kamei Aphun, Professor of Sociology at Delhi School of Economics. However, sometimes, student political leaders hesitate to even raise the issues of Northeastern students, let alone make tall promises. The issue of the murder of a 20 year-old student studying in Delhi, Nido Tania, provides evidence for the same. On 29th January 2014, Nido Tania died of severe lung and brain injuries from a racial attack inflicted upon him in a South Delhi market. It had led to a national debate on discrimination against ‘Northeasterners’ in Delhi’s educational institutions.

As activists and students expressed their outrage over Nido’s death with candle-light vigils all over Delhi, only a handful of the student political units took up this issue  in the DUSU elections of the subsequent year. “Were they afraid that they might lose their vote bank of “mainstream” Indian students if they pressed this issue too much?,” questions Tenzin, a DU graduate from Zakir Hussain Delhi College.

Alana Golmei, founding member of the Northeast Support Centre and helpline, says she gets half-a-dozen distress calls a week. The existence of such a helpline again makes us question the approachability of  student political units at DU and the DUSU, at large.

Samson Marak, a DU graduate, recounts a painful experience, “When I was a fresher in Ramjas College, I had faced racial abuse numerous times. This one time, mustering up all my courage, I remember marching into the DUSU office to complain about the abuse I was facing. I should have known better, for the first thing that the people did there was make fun of my dyed blonde hair.”

It is perhaps wishful thinking to expect much from student political units when even central authorities have been ineffective in assimilating this ethnically distinct population of students. In 2007, the Delhi police published a much-criticised booklet, advising migrants from the northeast to avoid wearing revealing clothes and to not cook their native foods, such as bamboo shoots and fermented soy beans, for fear of upsetting their Indian neighbors who were unfamiliar with those smells. “Campaigners at the DUSU elections, just after the publication of this booklet didn’t seem to have much of a problem with the same. They went  as far as espousing this booklet in their manifesto readings”, testifies Jordan Warbah, a Hindu College graduate who was  in his final year of college then.

When asked about this bone of contention between DU student politics and ‘Northeasterners’, Sanjay Hazarika, Director, Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research, Jamia Millia Islamia made an important observation. He said, “It takes great courage to do what North-Eastern students in Delhi are doing. Their ancestors might have opposed the idea of India by holding onto an impossible dream of freedom and separation, but many younger people these days are engaging with the idea of India and reshaping it.”

Highlighting the role that student political units of DU can play in creating a more inclusive student community, he added, “The wider arena of student politics needs to recognise this phenomenon. The process of building goodwill and understanding remains a work in progress.”

 

Feature Image Credits: Hindustan Times

 

Vaibhavi Sharma Pathak

[email protected]

Four students of The College of Vocational Studies, Delhi University, have been suspended and an ex-student’s entry in college campus has been banned after they physically assaulted a fellow student in the campus. Going by the evidence available the college committee has taken the decision pending the completion of the inquiry. D Hriinii, a student of CVS, was walking out of the college after his classes on Friday when he was attacked by a group of youths waiting at the gate, said his brother D Apao. Hriinii. He was rushed to a nearby hospital.

A student shared some details about what had happened. Hrijni was the fourth student from the northeast beaten up that day. Three girls and a boy were playing cards in the field when a basketball hit them. The boy called some of his friends and they beat the guys who were playing basketball. Later they beat up Hirijini though he was not involved. Another student from northeast was also beaten up

A FIR was lodged where seven students were named. According to the principal of CVS, the college will take austere action against the students. “Of the five students named, one is an ex-student and he will not be allowed inside the campus. Three students who were identified — one from third year and two from first year were suspended with immediate effect till further orders. We are trying to identify one more student as they have just given his surname,” said the principal.

The SHO and ACP visited the college and met the students from various states of the northeast including the coordinator. The students alleged they have named seven students in the FIR and action has been taken only against four so far and that more students were involved in the assault.