A ‘what if’ scenario imagining politicians as DU students. 

The great leaders of tomorrow are made in the great educational institutions of today. So, for satire’s sake, we tried thinking how it would be to place some eminent politicians of our nation as students in some eminent colleges of the University of Delhi. The results have been weirdly amusing, to say the least.

Manmohan Singh: He is the studious student who has it all sorted out. You can find him on the front seat with thick lenses focused on the words in his books, and the words on the blackboard. He arrives in class, studies diligently, and goes back home without anyone detecting a trace of his existence, as he hardly utters a word. He belongs to the species of nerds but finds it tacky to show off his knowledge.

Preferred course- Economics, Political Science, and Philosophy. 

Preferred college- SRCC, Hindu, Hansraj

Assaudin Owaisi: He is the one kid in college who can’t live without using his vocal cords to the maximum of their capability. The troublemaker student, he will always find himself in some sort of pickle, be it with the fellow students or the administration. Despite this rebellious attitude, you cannot expect him to align himself with one particular faction or group. Therefore, he also falls in the category of those students whose friend circle keeps changing every college year, not implying that he is a snake (saap in classic DU terms). 

Preferred course- Political Science, Law

Preferred college- Ramjas, Law Faculty

Maneka Gandhi: She is the classic feminist University of Delhi girl. You can find her tactfully expressing her opinions against misogyny and patriarchy through her carefully chosen words. Apart from issues related to women, she is be expected to show up at any/all protests surrounding threats made to the members of the DU fraternity face, with the venue, mostly being the classic Faculty of Arts. Mess with this student and you might end up paying a hefty price.

Preferred course- Sociology

Preferred college- LSR, Miranda House

Shashi Tharoor: He is known for his good grades, good looks, self-confidence, and charm, used to impress all the girls in the college; Shashi Tharoor easily falls within the bracket of students who have it all. He is usually self-obsessed and narcissistic in order to maintain his image, especially in the way he arranges his hair or the bourgeoisie language he uses. As mentioned previously, he is the Casanova of the college and is likely to have a girlfriend who meets his intellectual capabilities. However, when two intellectuals are together, a clash of opinions is inevitable. 

Preferred course- English, Philosophy

Preferred college- St. Stephen’s (isn’t that obvious?)

Lalu Prasad Yadav:  Our classic Bihari babu is an expert at everything pertaining to cattle and fodder, but, don’t underestimate him “inki girlfriend Rabri Vidhayak hain”. He is the kid that questions the teacher and mimics him behind his back for the sake of entertaining the whole class. He helped us understand the value of friendships in college; he says ‘I thought Nitish babu was my friend in the first year, but by the third year I realised he is a snake in lieu with that CR Modi’. No one ever trusts him with money as he always says it’s for his cows back home, but never returns it.

Preferred course and college – “arrey bhaiya kuch bhi dedo bas DU main le lo”

Yogi Adityanath: Hailing straight from Uttar Pradesh, this bhakt of Ram is the most religious kid on campus, with a passion for ‘renaming things’.  As a result of this, Jackson from class became Jai kishan! He’s always dressed in orange, a unique dress code that seems to be the fashion of the days. Don’t underestimate him by his size because he beats (quite literally) everyone in his love for the cow. He is a fresher to the college but has already made his presence felt everywhere.

Preferred course – B.Sc. mathematics

Preferred college – Hindu college   

Rahul Gandhi:  The baba himself, though it is too early for him to go to college, his mother still comes to drop him off. You can never spot him in class as he is most likely to be sitting somewhere doodling, or staring into space. No one takes him seriously even after he became the CR. People from the other class joke about him on their class Whatsapp groups. He is following family suit in standing for college elections, but honestly, he just wants to sit at home and watch Shinchan. However, he is surrounded by a lot of seniors who are saving him from trouble, but until when?

Preferred Course – whatever Mom says

Preferred college – St. Stephens (is home tuition still an option in college?)


Feature Image Credits: India.com

Shaurya Singh Thapa

[email protected] 

Haris Khan


In the world of “Alternative Facts” and viral WhatsApp forwards, propaganda is a powerful political tool. Propaganda and advertising are inextricably linked and are often difficult to identify.

Propaganda is deliberate manipulation and distortion of facts, popularised through mass media, with the intention of convincing the general population something that may not necessarily be the truth. Propaganda may not always be outright lies, sometimes it means stereotyping, projecting a negative image of a particular community based on a sole incident, hate-speech, fear mongering etc. Conversation regarding propaganda, what it represents, and the kind of influence it holds is more relevant today than ever before. Many experts credit Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 United States Presidential elections to propaganda. By discrediting the entire western liberal media, projecting himself as a highly successful businessman, and calling him an ally of the blue-collar working class he won people over despite having no political experience. In truth Trump is far from what a successful business person looks like. He inherited his wealth and has multiple failed ventures under his belt, some of which include Trump University, Trump Magazine, Trump Steak, Trump Casinos, and Trump Vodka. He plans on introducing tax-reforms that would give tax breaks to billionaires, which is the last thing a blue-collar ally should be doing. Closer home propaganda would mean the endless WhatsApp forwards circulated some of which spread lies and hate about certain communities and groups. Messages like “UNESCO has declared the Indian national anthem, flag, Prime Minister, etc. to be the best” are classic examples of propaganda. Their aim is to placate the masses regarding where the country is heading, perhaps distract people from bigger problems.

Two big questions that come to mind are: first, if propaganda is just psychological manipulation, then is advertising not propaganda? And secondarily, is all propaganda bad? While there is a slight distinction between advertisements and propaganda, the former encourages people to consume certain goods while the latter is a way to cause change in the long term thought process of people; propaganda and advertising are co-dependent tools. Propaganda can be spread through advertisements while advertisements can use propaganda in order in influence consumer behaviour. The greatest example of propaganda in advertising is the “Diamonds are Forever” campaign. Diamond company De Beers, had a monopoly on the diamond market and consecutively they wanted to influence the demand as well. Careful marketing, including articles about Hollywood celebrities and their engagement rings, ad-campaigns correlating a man’s love for his sweetheart, even his personal success to the size of the diamond on his fiancés finger made rounds. Marilyn Monroe coquettishly singing “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friends” influenced and underlined the importance of diamonds. Diamonds are far from rare and cannot last forever; they can very well be chipped, shattered, and damaged. But the propaganda and advertising in this campaign was so thorough that even a century later people continue to regard a big diamond as the ultimate token of love. Our spending habits, our voting patterns, and our lifestyles are influenced by advertising and propaganda, more so than we will ever know.

However, propaganda and advertising are not always bad. Anti-smoking, anti-drunk driving campaigns are all forms of propaganda as well. They instil fear in the mind of viewers are can often exaggerate the influence of smoking on one’s health, but their impact on society is positive. This form of propaganda discourages a lot of people from taking up the habit of smoking. During the Second World War the “Rosie the Riveter” campaign that showed a woman in a blue shirt and red bandana flexing her muscles was also a form of propaganda that encouraged women to participate more actively in the war effort by working in factories and industries. The “Dunkirk Spirit” and the “Keep Calm and Carry On” posters are also examples of British propaganda that helped boost the morale of the people and contributed to the victory of the Allies and the ultimate defeat of the Nazis and Fascists.

In 2018, the context of propaganda has changed. Propaganda is not an exclusive tool of governments anymore. Media houses, political candidates, and anyone with enough resources can contribute to propaganda and spread hysteria, panic, and hate. Our world is not solely the world of televised advertisements and posters anymore. Alternative facts, viral stories, and a personalised Facebook feed that strategically shows you posts similar to your beliefs is a dangerous combination that makes us all vulnerable of believing in fake news. In order to identify problematic news pieces here are a few steps we can take-

1. Believe news sourced from verified media outlets only– a large number of small websites, blogs, and pages have popped up that share misinformation or deliberately distort facts in order to incite hate or fear. Most of these pages are paid by political parties and their purpose is to advance a particular ideology. Following unbiased and verified media outlets, and believing their stories exclusively would be a good way to not engage with these propaganda tools.

2. Examine financial and familial ties between the media houses you follow– is a particular news channel presenting a biased version of current events? Are you seeing a spike in the number of one-sided stories they are publishing? Doing a small google search on whether that media house is financed by a major politician or their family member would be another good step that could give you additional clarity.

3. Notice leaders who discredit media outlets that speak against them– If a political candidate speaks against any media house that highlights their problematic behaviour, calls them fake news or tries to question their legitimacy, it is a sign that they are trying to control the narrative around them by discrediting free media. It is an alarming sign that should not be underestimated. By effectively discrediting press, one silences their opponents or at least makes their words redundant- this is a common tool employed by authoritarian leaders, and one we must watch out for.

4. Name calling, generalisation and stereotyping– When people in the public eye try to call their political opponent names, use racial or derogatory slurs for them, try to generalise the behaviour of fringe groups and extremists as that of the whole community, use lone incidents in order to stereotype a group, it is propaganda at its finest. These things when done repeatedly over an extended period of time can make most people hateful and prejudiced. Such irresponsible behaviour should always be called out and discredited immediately, especially if made by people revered and followed in the public eye.

It is impossible to avoid all forms of advertising and propaganda- the two are deeply rooted in modern society. What we can do is keep ourselves alert and informed. By being conscientious, responsible, and considerate we can reduce the negative impact of propaganda.


Feature Image Credits: The Advocate

Kinjal Pandey
[email protected]

There is no doubt that, each year, Delhi University attracts acclaimed personalities from across the various fields. So, it was no surprise that on year 2016-17 the varsity was host to an array of journalists, social activists, politicians, comedians, business tycoons and Bollywood actors who visited the campus. We take a look at all these visits of 2016-17:

  • Dr Shashi Tharoor attended SRCC Youth Conference

September 2016.

The eminent author and former diplomat shared his personal experiences in Delhi University and spoke freely on controversial issues such as secularism and the current national leadership, while also entertaining questions from the audience. Many other distinguished personalities like Colonel Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, bestselling author Anuja Chauhan , comedian Papa CJ and director Prakash Jha were present to grace the event and speak to the young audience.

Read full article here


Dr. Shashi Tharoor at SRCC

  • Anurag Kashyap goes candid at Hindu College.

October 2016

Noted filmmaker Anurag Kashyap was cordially invited to an event “Update  Democracy” organized by the Hindu College’s Symposium Society in association with Polit. Anurag candidly talked to students about things as varied as censorship, finding the right career path, and stories from Anurag’s college days. He spoke exclusively to DU Beat before the event and said, “Right now, there’s a whole lot of chaos and a lot of noise and we don’t really know what people want. Who gets heard is decided by who’s the loudest – whoever can afford to create more noise, gets heard.”

Read full article here


Anurag Kashyap at Hindu College

  • P. Chidambaram attends Blisspoint ’17 at Sri Venkateswara College

January 2017

On 23rd January, 2017, former Finance minister P. Chidambaram arrived at Sri Venkateswara College as a chief guest for Blisspoint ’17, the annual fest of the Economics department. The minister spoke about the origins of a liberal economy, since the theme of the fest was ‘Celebrating 25 Years of Economic Reforms’. His speech, laced with advice for the younger generation, seemed befitting for an audience comprising economics enthusiasts.

Read full article here


P. Chidambaram at Sri Venkateswara College

  • Durjoy Dutta attends  Zion’17 at Jesus and Mary College

February 2017

On February 21st, 2017 Mercatus, Marketing Society, Jesus and Mary College organised their Annual Marketing Convention – Zion’17. Mr. Durjoy Datta , bestselling novelist, an entrepreneur and screenwriter was present in a capacity of  the Guest Speaker. During the event Mr. Durjoy Dutta enthralled the audience by his sense of humor and success story. He talked about how he was able to come out of his work life to do something he is passionate about.

Read full article here


Durjoy Datta at Jesus and Mary College

  • His Holiness the 14thDalai Lama graces Jesus and Mary College

February 2017.

Dalai Lama addressed the students of Jesus and Mary College on February 7th, 2017. In his short speech, his Holiness spoke about how institutions like various colleges in Delhi University have blossoming potential to produce compassionate human beings, he then went on to express his undying adulation for Mother Teresa and also touched upon relations between China and India.

Read full article here


His Holiness at Jesus and Mary College

  • Romila Thapar examines the idea of Heritage at Miranda House.

February 2017

On 15th February, 2017 eminent historian Prof. Romila Thapar along with Prof. Kumkum Roy participated in a conversation on ‘The Many Meanings of Heritage’ in an event organized by the History society of Miranda House. Pertinent questions on the idea of heritage were raised and addressed by the two speakers.

Read full article here


Romila Thapar at Miranda House

  •  Najma A. Heptullah inaugurates centre for North East studies in Miranda House

Dr. Najma A. Heptullah, governor of Manipur and Prof. Dinabandhu Sahoo, Director of Institue of Bio resources and Sustainable Development (IBSD) celebrated the second edition of annual North East Fest, Leirang organized by Miranda House’s North East Cell on 27th February. The guests inaugurated the IBSD centre for North East studies in Miranda House.

Read full article here


North East Fest at Miranda House

  • Bollywood at DU

Delhi University takes pride in producing some of Bollywood’s most famous actors, singers and directors. Perhaps, that’s one of the reasons why the campus is abuzz with the attendance of Bollywood hot-shots throughout the year.  While some came to promote their movies, perform during fest session or simply to visit their alma mater. Here is a glimpse of who all visited the varsity from film industry.

Actress and theatre veteran Ratna Pathak Shah inaugurated Reverie 2017,  the annual cultural festival of Gargi College. Actress, model and an alumna of Gargi College, Urvashi  Rautela also visited Gargi College and reminisced about college days when she was a part of Enliven, the western dance society. Sanya Malhotra of Dangal fame also visited her alma mater Gargi College on the third day of the fest.

Singers like Armaan Malik,  Shalmali Kholgade, Raghu Dikshit, Jasleen Royal of Love You Zindagi fame, Prateek Kuhad, Anish Sood, Kanika Kapoor and Jubin Nautiyal and Sukhwinder Singh serenaded the crowd at Delhi University through the fest season.

Lucky Ali, with his evergreen voice, performed his classic commercial as well as indie hits of the last two decades at day 3 of Tarang- annual cultural fest of Lady Sri Ram College. Musical maestro Kailash Kher performed with his band Kailasa at Nexus, Sri Venkateswara College’s Annual Cultural Fest on 25th of February.

While most star nights went on pleasantly,  Diljit Dosanjh’s concert was cut short with just a couple of songs due to the unruly crowd and various circumstances for safety reasons at Confluence- The annual cultural festival of Hansraj College.

Actor Alia Bhatt and Varun Dhawan promoted their upcoming movie, Badrinath Ki Dulhania, at Hindu College on March 3rd.

Actor Akshay Kumar, Tapsee Pannu and Manoj Bajpayee arrived at Gargi College ?on March 27th, to promote their upcoming action spy-thriller – Naam Shabana.  Apart from the usual song and dance, Akshay Kumar also emphasized on the importance of Martial Arts for girls and women. ?


Ratna Pathak Shah at Reverie 2017


Alia and Varun showing their moves at Hindu College


Dazzling the DU stage


Lucky Ali serenading the crowd


Akshay Kumar and Tapsee Pannu at Gargi College

Picture Credits: DU Beat Archives

Niharika Dabral

[email protected]