The arrival of DUSU campaigning has heightened the tension in the University campus. Several reports of misconduct and threats have surfaced on the internet, posing a risk to the safety of regular students and residents.

On Saturday, September 16th, the AISA (All India Students’ Association) stated ‘outsiders’ had been spotted within the university campus and that a student had also been attacked. Aman Rawat, an activist for AISA, was allegedly confused for another candidate, Aditya Singh, and was abducted, threatened, and physically assaulted by some strangers, according to a video clip the organisation uploaded on social media.

Aman, an AISA activist and a law student, was approaching the traffic circle near Daulat Ram and Ramjas College when he was confronted by a group of unknown people. Aman can be seen in the video discussing the incident and mentioning how he was threatened, saying, ‘They recognized me as an ASIA Activist and started beating me, they warned me that AISA activists should stop campaigning or else they will face the same thing.’ He further said that those who attacked him realized they had confused him for Aditya Singh, the candidate for secretary from AISA. However, they continued to assault him.

He was brought to a Black SUV car that was covered in ABVP posters, and that’s how we found out who is behind this because we can’t identify these outsiders who are doing campaigning for ABVP in the campus.” – Anjali, AISA DU secretary.

Anjali adds that this is not the first time their student activists have faced threats. “Numerous incidences involving intimidation of students at various colleges have taken place, particularly of female candidates who receive texts even on Instagram.

Additionally, she emphasizes one of AISA’s key goals, which is to protect the gender minority and particularly prevent trespassing and harassment events that frequently happen at females’ institutions like IPCW and Miranda. One of their demands in this regard is for a gender sensitization community against sexual harassment. The student organization calls for a campus free from danger and fear.

While the organization has filed an official complaint in the nearby police station, they are dissatisfied with how the administration and police refuse to take the appropriate actions.

This incident is not the only one; a third-year student was seen in another social media video with what appeared to be a gun during campaigning at Kirrori Mal College. According to a statement made by the student group, neither the college security nor the police took any legal action against the offender.

According to The Indian Express, the principal of the institution, Dinesh Khattar, stated that the gun-like device was a lighter and was in the possession of the proctorial board. Additionally, he assured that the students will face harsh punishment.

AISA, however, asserts that the student is an ABVP member. Aiyesha Khan, the AISA candidate for president, states in a video released on their Instagram account that there has been an upsurge in these kind of incidents across the university’s campus and in the surrounding areas.

The campus has been hijacked by outsiders, and there have been cases of assault and intimidation since the beginning of the DUSU elections. While preaching about free and fair elections, the University and Delhi police refuse to take proper action.” – Ayeisha Khan in the Instagram video clip posted by AISA.

There are alleged violations of the election rules and outside involvement, according to numerous student groups. Several acts of violence were reported during the elections in 2019 as well. The student groups argue that the ABVP maintains musclemen to threaten their activists. On the other hand, the ABVP has denied these accusations.

The campus stays crowded and tense as the election approaches, with roads covered in pamphlets and candidates passing in convoys. With the increase in these instances, there is growing concern about student safety, particularly for female students, and the security of women-only spaces.

In all, many groups demand quick and strong action against such mistreatment and violence in the university, as well as an election free of muscle and money.


Read Also – https://dubeat.com/2023/09/09/under-the-shadow-of-dusu-elections-a-stage-for-sexual-harassment-and-caste-based-politics/

Additional Source – https://www.newsclick.in/delhi-university-student-activist-explains-why-dusu-election-matters

Image Credits – Google Images

Priya Agrawal

Hindu college students face possible suspension for having protested against the decision to reduce the 3-day college fest ‘Mecca’ to just 1. They have been asked to pay a heavy fine; failing to do so may lead to their being barred from writing exams. The affected students have held a meeting with the principal, hoping for the withdrawal of the notice.

On April 20th and 21st, students at Hindu College held protests against the administrative decision to wrap up the three-day fest “Mecca” in just one day. Eventually, the authorities allowed for a two-day fest. On May 8, more than a week after the fest, the administrative body issued a notice suspending the protesting students for two months. The notice states that the protesting students blocked the principal’s way, not allowing her to go for a meeting. It further accuses the students of causing damage to college property as well as “maligning and misrepresenting the college on social and print media platforms”. Furthermore, the students have been informed that they would be barred from writing their semester exams should they fail to pay a fine of Rs. 10,000 by May 12th. According to the notice, the students would also be barred from holding positions of responsibility in the college.

Reportedly, 30–35 students have been suspended and fined. One of our sources informed us that some of the students who have been suspended were not part of the protest but were simply part of the general crowd. They alleged that these students had been arbitrarily named and punished by the college authorities. The protestors claim that the protest was conducted in an organised and orderly manner. One of the protestors stated that the students would organise a protest against the action if the notice was not withdrawn.

What has happened is extremely wrong and arbitrary. Many of the students who are affected by this action were not part of the activity and had nothing to do with the protest. We strongly condemn this action. The protest was not organised by any political group. It was an independently organised protest by the students of our college.

– A student of Hindu College who wishes to remain anonymous

Later in the day, the student body held talks with the principal in order to discuss the concerns of both sides. One of our sources states that the outcome of the meeting is expected to be positive. During the meeting, students expressed their concerns, and the principal reportedly attempted to hear them out and responded to their demands. The students hope that the suspension order will be withdrawn, although there is still some ambiguity around the removal of the fine and the complete dismissal of the notice.

We reasoned with the principal that various students cannot afford to pay the fine as it is a humongous amount. Many of us live off less than Rs. 10,000 a month. It is cruel to demand such a large sum from students. We hope that ma’am understands our concerns and waives off the fine.

– A student of Hindu College who wishes to remain anonymous 

Some of the students have their exams scheduled in less than a week, and the possibility of suspension and the imposition of a heavy fine has caused outrage and agony among many. The students are deeply disturbed by the notice and are keen on resolving the matter at the earliest possible time.

Read also: Hindu College Students Protest for Annual Fest ‘Mecca’

Featured Image Credits: Keshavi for DU Beat

Tulip Banerjee
[email protected] 

On Wednesday, 29th March 2023, Delhi Police brutally detained student protestors calling for Delhi Police and the IPCW college administration to take accountability for the lack of repercussions towards the unidentified intruders at IPCW’s fest.

On 29 March 2023, the Students Federation of India (SFI) and All India Students Association (AISA) gathered around Indraprastha College for Women to protest against the incursion by unidentified men on the previous day, on the day of the college’s fest, demanding questions from the authorities for the same. The protest, which started at about 11 a.m., was interrupted by Delhi Police, and they started detaining the protestors hardly 20 minutes into the protest. There was a protest inside the college by the students of IPCW as well.

On 28 March 2023, during the annual fest of the college, several drunk men scaled the boundaries of the institution and harassed the women students. Students who were waiting at the entry gate formed a huge crowd on the verge of a stampede. Allegedly,  there were no security measures in place except the gate not letting the people in. Soon enough, several men started causing havoc by climbing the trees and walls and jumping inside the premises.

The miscreants were screaming slogans of “jai shree ram” etc. and were hooted on by all other men in the crowd. One of the IPCW people (either someone from admin or security) jumped on the wall to calm everyone down and then the gates were opened to everyone, irrespective of whether they registered, or had student or govt ids, as a last-minute emergency action.,” – Molina Singh, a student who was in the crowd.

The drunk miscreants who allegedly smuggled alcohol and drugs inside the campus also took to hooliganism holding placards displaying obnoxious and vulgar slogans. Students present there reported use of slogans like, “Miranda nahi chhoda to IP bhi nahi chhodenge” (We didn’t leave Miranda so we won’t leave IP either), “We are single”, “Hindu ka yeh naara hain, IP college humara hain” (Hindu raises this slogan, IP college is ours). The harassment and vandalism continued while several women were escorted out by the organisers. 

 The miscreants wrote vulgar and obnoxious texts and flashed them to the female crowd

According to the students, the hooligans also tried to scale the walls of the IPCW hostel post which the entire college was locked down with students inside as per the instructions of the administration. 

The harm was verbal. They also would not stop shouting slogans of a certain religion and grouping up, and they were approaching random friends of mine, or ogling others down. There were Dettol bottles in hands of volunteers who were nursing wounds, ambulances were called, and we heard that a certain man blacklisted on the first day of the fest due to harassment of students had entered again” – an attendant in conversation with DU Beat

The police personnel present there were not proactive in stopping the vandalism. While the police officials stated that an FIR was lodged against 7 men, the protestors sought a chargesheet of the same which was not provided.

Students, who assembled to protest the following day demanding answers from the administration, were manhandled. Students also reported being groped. Reportedly, some people were severely bruised due to the manhandling and then detained at Burari Police Station in an attempt to disrupt the protest. The detainees were later released. 

After releasing us, they wanted to deport us back to IPCW so that the authorities could abuse us more but we refused and decided to walk out of the police station to go back by ourselves. We were extremely, violently manhandled and the police wanted our details even though they had no criminal proceedings against us,” – Titas Goswami, a third-year student from Miranda House in conversation with DU Beat

A press release, dated 29 March 2023, by the SFI DU stated, “Women are being harassed and mishandled inside the campus. When they decide to register their dissent against it, they are again harassed and mishandled by the police.”

It was reported by the volunteers of the fest, that a footfall of 10,000 people was expected. While the admin rejected the idea of having external security, the 20-21 students themselves were reportedly asked to control it. The miscreants were vandalising the walls and the admin allegedly asked for all gates to be shut down. The gates were only opened up for the car of a professor to be checked in when the pushing and shoving happened and that’s when the stampede started. Reportedly, people also tried to harass the professor inside the car and started piling and falling up.

Men started purposefully pushing the girls and then piling upon them, emerging with victorious smiles. Volunteers had to drag the girls out. People started panicking and there were no medical facilities available. One of our volunteers broke her leg in the stampede. Some girls had panic attacks while the men were trying to touch them inappropriately in the pretence of helping them.” – an anonymous member of the organising committee


After the ruckus volunteers were asked by the principal to escort the girls out. We were told to inform them that if they wanted to save their lives they must leave. And during the ruckus, the police instead started hitting our non-teaching staff volunteers and guards.” – an anonymous volunteer

A video of the principal alongside some identified Union members enjoying and dancing while this whole ruckus has also surfaced once making the students question the Accountability of the administration even more. 

After the entire chaos happened, the administration gave permission to complete the fest with the remaining students. A video has also surfaced showing the principal dancing alongside some students.

Similar incidents have occurred most recently at Miranda House’s Diwali Fest and before at Gargi College’s Reverie 2020. The continuation of such occurrences makes it appear that fests at women’s institutions are in danger. Although the DU Administration and Police are skilled in detaining protesters past destruction, the lack of such security as preventive measures results in hazy situations.

Read Also: Discovering DU: Indraprastha College for Women

Feature Image Credits: Unknown

Hritwik Pratim Kalyan

[email protected]

Several students and activists who had  assembled to discuss  the ‘attack’ on NREGA were unlawfully detained by the Delhi Police. 

On 24th March, a peaceful discussion organized by ‘Collective’, a youth-led political organization at Arts Faculty, Gate No 4, Delhi University, on the subject – “Cutting NREGA, silencing people, Demanding right to work”, was disrupted by Delhi Police. This was followed by detention of several students and activists involved in the discussion. 

There was heavy police deployment on campus owing to prior protests by students on debarment of two students on account of BBC documentary screening. Soon after the session commenced, the police barged in and disrupted the proceedings. The speakers, which included Jean Dreze (economist from Jharkhand ), Richa Singh (NREGA union activist from UP) and Com. Somnath (Jan Sangharsh Manch Haryana) were also held at Maurice Nagar Cyber Cell till eleven in the evening. 

All the protocols were followed and the concerned security authorities including the nearby police station were informed. Right before the discussion began; the police demanded a written permission from the proctor – something that has never been required previously. The SHO then necessitated that the discussion would continue only if the use of mike was discarded, the assembly conceded. But, mere minutes after the introduction, the police imposed section 144, students were removed from the spot and some were taken in police vans”

– Sourya Majumder, the joint secretary of Collective, in conversation with DU Beat.

The police allegedly questioned the validity and importance of discussions on issues like NREGA in college spaces. They demanded that such matters which have nothing to do with the student body should not fall within the ambit of discussions on campus. Sourya claims the cops were condescending to the Collective members. Videos of police brutally dragging students into vans have also been circulating social media. At the police station as well, their behaviour was antagonistic.  

The police was very xenophobic in their approach during interrogation. They were very brutal with the students and the mazdoor union activists. They took our aadhar number – something which has never been done before. An international student was also detained and was heckled by the police. They tried to threaten to take his visa, deport him. Sadly there has been an unfortunate degradation in the treatment of people who are detained” – Anandita, a member of Collective.

So far no FIR has been registered in this case. People have greatly condemned this incident, pointing out that it goes on to show the criminal infringement of the democratic rights of people to assemble peacefully and discuss critical issues.

Rubani Sandhu

[email protected]

Image credit: DU Beat Archives

Read Also: PGDAV Evening Students Fined and Suspended for Organising a Peaceful Protest 

Rejecting the alleged ‘sham of DU Literature Festival’ which was organised in Ramjas College from March 17–19, AISA organised a ‘People’s Literature Festival’ on March 17, coinciding with the former.

On March 17, the All-India Students’ Association (AISA) organised a ‘People’s Literature Festival’ at the University Arts Faculty from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The festival enjoyed the attendance of hundreds of students and prominent speakers from the fields of film, academia, and journalism.

With a slogan of celebrating ‘Krantikari’ literature in place of ‘Sarkari’ literature, the festival was organised in direct opposition to the DU Literature Festival, which was held from March 17–19, 2023, on Ramjas College grounds. The organisation alleged that the latter was hosted “with a whole range of BJP-corporate intellectuals”, who “spewed communal venom on the platform of a public university”, as accused by AISA’s press release and social media handles.

“Rather than calling for the cancellation of the Lit Fest, we wanted to bring about a positive campaign as an alternative” – Anjali, AISA DU Secretary.

Anjali further described the program as “an attempt to reclaim the democratic space of dissent in the University.”

The festival had a focus on “revolutionary traditions in literature”, hosting a range of interactive speaker sessions on the topics of resistance, cinema, media, caste, history, literature, and people’s movements. It featured a line-up of speakers such as ‘Anarkali of Aarah’ director Avinash Das, ‘Mooknayak’ editor and journalist Meena Kotwal, historian S. Irfan Habib, and professor Apoorvanand, among others.

The program also included an open mic session of poetry recitation by the University students, along with Professor Nandita Narain, who inaugurated the event with a rendering of ‘Hum Dekhenge’ by Faiz. The team of ‘Raschakra’ performed a theatrical reading of ‘Afghani Dukhtaran’, a play written by Purwa Bhardwaj and directed by Vinod Kumar, centring on the literature and resistance of the women of Afghanistan against years of oppression. The festival concluded with a cultural performance and songs of resistance.

Read also: IP College Lit Fest- The Artist, Society and A Pinch of Heroin

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat

Sanika Singh
[email protected]

If we turn the pages of our history, we will realise that our freedom struggle was an essential chapter in the history of the University of Delhi. It has been about 80 years since Mahatma Gandhi gave us the slogan “Do or Die”, and within weeks of the pronouncement of the slogan at the Bombay Session of 1942, protests started to take shape across the colleges of DU. From burning down an electric sub-station (by the students of Ramjas College) to marching in protest on 10 August 1942, against the authorities who jailed the Congress leaders the previous day (students of Hindu College, Indraprastha College, and St, Stephen’s College), DU was the political hub during the time. So, this culture of protest so firmly entrenched among DU students even today can be traced back all the way to our country’s struggle for independence.

Established in 1922, a time when India was engulfed by its struggle for freedom, both students and teachers were active participants in the anti-British movement. However, soon, the students realised a need for a union. It was in 1947, under the founder of the Delhi School of Economics, Vijayendra Kasturi Ranga Varadaraja Rao (V. K. R. V. Rao), when a provisional committee consisting of presidents of all the colleges was bestowed with the responsibility to draft the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) Constitution and take necessary steps for the creation of this institution. On 9 April 1949, DUSU came to life and was inaugurated by our first Prime Minister, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru. Since its inception, DUSU has become the first step toward the political scenario of the larger part of the country. Students belonging to various groups, having a range of ideologies, contest to be part of its panel. Some of the most notable student organisations that it represents are the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), Students’ Federation of India (SFI), Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Samiti (CYSS), All India Students’ Association (AISA), and many more.

Delhi University is as well known for its politics as well as for its historical significance and educational culture. Its political atmosphere is so important that at times, even mainstream political parties take keen interest in it. Nevertheless, it is worth noticing how the culture of protest and dissent was born in the sensitive pre-independence independence and how it has transformed since then to take its present form. Are the organisations doing their jobs correctly or are they just practicing dissent in the name of vote-bank politics? This is one of the most crucial questions we must seek the answer to.

The ABVP, a right-wing student organisation affiliated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), has had the most successful run in DUSU history in recent years. The root cause of this success can be traced back to the period of the Emergency in 1975, when DUSU once again became a centre of political resistance. Arun Jaitley, a former member of ABVP and Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), was elected as the president of DUSU in 1974. He is known to have played the most instrumental role in bringing reform to DUSU. Until 1973, colleges used to elect 10 DUSU councilors, who further used to elect the panel of DUSU. However, from 1973 this policy was transformed into ‘one-student, one-vote’, turning the system from an indirect to a direct democracy. Also, Jaitley is famously known for being the first satyagrahi against the imposition of an internal emergency. In 1977, Vijay Goel, who was affiliated with ABVP, became the President of DUSU. His focus during the campaign was the excesses that occurred during the emergency.

More recently, Nupur Sharma, a former BJP national spokesperson, was elected DUSU president as the ABVP candidate in 2008. This broke the ABVP’s eight-year wait for power in the DUSU, which had been dominated by NSUI. That year, the other three posts (Vice President, Secretary, and Joint Secretary) went to the NSUI.

If we look at the last 10 years, the NSUI has only held the President’s seat only twice. This does beg the inevitable question of why the ABVP has found so much success. During the internal emergency, it can be credited to the country’s political atmosphere, which helped in garnering support. In its initial days, it is safe to say that people were more focused on work than their political inclinations and other interests. But what about today? Is it functioning the way the students desire or is it enjoying an undue dominance? Is it standing for the students and working for their demands, or are they too invested in getting memorandums signed in the name of vote banks? On the other hand, the left-wing parties, which emerged as a force to content with in DU politics quite recently, have centred their existence around fighting for or against various issues through protests and rallies. In this respect, their innovation and resourcefulness is beyond compare.

But the larger question remains: are any of the organisations working for the students, or has their functioning been overcome by their self-interest and blinded by lofty goals of perhaps being a part of the ‘real deal’?

But what is the real deal now, apart from the “glorious” past that DUSU holds? Since 2019, DUSU elections have not been held and even for this year as I type this out, there is no clarity or instruction about them. For a Student’s Union that has not seen elections in the past three years, to term this period as worthy of congratulations to the DU fraternity is a disaster in itself that reflects what sort of bizarreness surrounds DU politics today. At nearly every step the recommendations of the Lyngdoh committee (set up by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) in 2006 as per the direction of the Supreme Court to reform students’ union elections and to get rid of money and muscle power in student politics), are sidelined. Even a short conversation with those batches who have witnessed the famous DU elections is enough to know the huge amounts spent to buy students’ votes with freebies.

Every party in this arena carries its burden of faults. With major players being invisible throughout the year, some parties have engaged themselves in constant show politics. earning a name for themselves as “far protestors”. Be it any event or protest, you are most likely to see the same faces appearing everywhere, carrying faulty lies around.

But what’s the real issue here? Are parties facing problems in mobilising the students of DU? Or has its flame died down? Maybe it has just become a mere shell of what it used to be with constant clamping down on dissent at the college level. Though efforts by left parties in the form of reading circles can’t be ignored, ABVP too has attempted to mobilise students. But the fault of parties lies majorly in being unable to maintain a connection with the students. Even with these events and attempts to get closer to the students’ community, student parties cling to rigid ideologies rather than adapting to the circumstances, often barring those without political influence from engaging in what remains of student politics at the university. Indiscriminate fights and beatings do the rest of the work of turning students away from politics, with only 39% voting recorded in the last elections.

One of the biggest shortcomings of the DUSU is the exclusion of various colleges, especially ‘women’s colleges’, whose students have been visibly political in their stance. The absence of political presence on these campuses is clear exclusion by the administration and the silence of student parties over this issue makes clear their lack of concern over diverse representation in their parties, which is often stressed upon by them to win brownie points.

With fringe protests occurring only for some matters chosen specifically to grab as much attention as possible, the majority of student issues largely remain ignored. So, it is the right time to question what is being done of the legacy DUSU had in the name of power and politics and, more importantly, to start a conscious and organised movement to politicise (or rather, repoliticise) DUites.


Image Credits: Times of India

Ankita Baidya

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Kashish Shivani

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Throughout its storied history, Delhi University has gained a reputation as a political university. This article takes a look at the political perception of DU and its credibility.

If there is one thing you know about me, reader, it is that I absolutely love telling stories. In fact, I was indulging this exact habit a few weeks ago in a conversation with a friend as I regaled him with the ridiculous tales of DU politics I’d come across during my first month as a correspondent at DU Beat. As I finished my story about yet another instance of some student organisation appealing to their college’s admin on some glamorous student issue that would be great for attracting votes, he laughed and said something that would stick with me for a while. He told me, “Man, you’re a DU student, of course you get dragged into political events.”

“What a strange remark,” I thought, “And really? With JNU right there?” Therefore, I decided to try and figure out why universities like DU have been entrapped in prisons to the politics of the time and here we are. The answer? It starts – just like DU – in the 20s.

Delhi University was established in 1922, with just four affiliate colleges: St. Stephen’s, Hindu College, Zakir Hussain College and Ramjas College. A place like Delhi University, with the space for intellectual stimulation and debate that it offers, was always going to be an incubator for students that cared about where their country was going and were ready to do something about it. Thus, it is not a surprise that students of the varsity were actively involved in the freedom struggle. St. Stephen’s and Ramjas actively participated in the Non Cooperation and Civil Disobedience movements. Hindu College was at the front of the nationalist movements in the 20s – it is the only college since 1935 in Delhi to have a student parliament. This parliament gave a platform to leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Subhash Chandra Bose, Jawaharlal Nehru and Motilal Nehru. The people that walked the halls of these institutions – students and staff alike – were nationalists.

In the 70s, Indira Gandhi’s government declared the Emergency and the country grappled with an authoritarian regime that refused to listen to the opposition. In such a situation, it seems you can always count on the youth of a nation to bring their fire and their impassioned appeals for change. And they did not disappoint at the time either! Delhi University saw the rise of the two major student organisations, the National Students Union of India (NSUI) and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP). The former is the student front of the Congress while the latter is backed by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Alongside them, other student organisations such as Students Federation of India (SFI) and All India Students Association (AISA) also arose, albeit nowhere near to the dominance of the NSUI and ABVP. At the time, the ABVP regularly campaigned against the government, establishing itself with its anti-authoritarianism and anti-emergency protests. This period of tension culminated with the arrest of the Delhi University Student Union (DUSU) president at the time, Arun Jaitley. As Shraddha Iyer declares in her piece for DU Beat, “The arrest of Arun Jaitley had one implication for students: the centre fears their ability to mobilise against them.”

Delhi University has since been home to all kinds of political debates and discussions between different ideologies. While most students do not buy into the exact ideologies of the numerous student organisations waiting to spend lakhs to buy their votes, there is a general acceptance of free ideals and a willingness to raise their voices in favour of what is right and against what is wrong.

In 2020, with the controversial CAA being passed around in the Houses of Parliament, there was a line of protests across the nation. At the forefront? The young minds of one of the country’s most respected universities. DU students did not shy away from arranging mass protests against the bill. They showed, very adamantly, that the majority of the next generation of this grand nation did not agree with the kind of administration that was being set in place for the future that they were to inherit. They claimed that the CAA was unconstitutional as by excluding Muslims it went against India’s core tenet of secularism, Against the central government’s repeated attempts to shut them down – some of which were ridiculously dirty – the students raised their voices even higher. The protests were disrupted by the pandemic in the end, but the students had proved that 50 years on from the events of Emergency, the students of Delhi University were still ready to fight for what they cared about.

Alongside these admittedly impressive showings of power by the students, the dirtier side of student politics has also flourished. Student politics are seen as a platform before taking the next step and joining politics at the government levels. Every year in September, the DUSU elections take place at the university. The campuses are gripped by election fever as lakhs are spent by student organisations to butter up the newest batch of students. There is a frenzy for power and authority as the streets are filled with processions of people proclaiming slogans of their respective affiliations. Student organisations feel that the September winds bring back importance to the always prevailing student issues and decide to launch protests across campuses. As I write this article, on September 14th, there are protests taking place in various colleges such as Ramjas, Shyam Lal College, Zakir Hussain, Lakshmibai College and more. All of them are carried out by the ABVP on issues ranging from fee hikes to, for some reason, a boys’ common room. There are seemingly infinite wads of cash thrown by all organisations at alcohol, parties, trips to the water park and fast food for students in a bid to secure their loyal votes.

It gets darker, there are regular reports of politically incited violence on the campuses of the University. It is particularly harsh for the candidates in the running for the positions of the DUSU. In September 2019, the ABVP alleged that the NSUI attacked their candidate for Joint Secretary. Two days later, the NSUI alleged that the ABVP attacked their candidate for vice-president. In 2022 alone, there have been multiple allegations against the ABVP by the NSUI and SFI accusing the rightist organisation of violence.

In the end, it seems my friend was right about DU being political. It may be a perception that’s a little too absolute and dismissive, but it is right to some extent. Delhi University can be a political hotbed. However, more often than not, this is a direct consequence of being a space for debate and discussion of different ideologies right at the capital of the country. Hundreds of students from different backgrounds from different parts of the nation attend this famed university. That kind of exposure brings with it intellectual debates and discussions hidden within the fun of campus life.

All DU ever asks its future students is one thing: what are you willing to stand for? For the pre-independence students of the university it was freedom. For the students in the 70s it was anti authoritarianism. For the students in 2020, it was a sense of secularism and unity. As the elections roll around and the exaggerated showings of student support start, DU and its historically active alumni now ask you, dear reader, “what will you stand for?”

Read also: Prisoner to Political Parties

Featured Image Credits: The Hindu

Siddharth Kumar

[email protected]

This June, remember to hold onto your anger and pain as you set out to celebrate your pride. Pride was, never a celebration alone to begin with. It was and will always, remain a fierce riot.

When I joined DU Beat, I was a lost correspondent with too many opinions on Netflix and zero knowledge about graphics ideation. But one thing I knew for sure was that I wished to write stories rooted in my immediate cultural experiences. Stories about people. Stories about students. Stories about queerness.

I never viewed queerness as something that was associated with a sexual identity but rather as something that served as a deviation from a set norm. Queering of narratives, discourses, readings and even something like non-linear documentation of time always interested me. As a marginal figure in my most immediate circles while growing up, I felt the need to understand and by extension empathise with anything that occupied a position of marginality around us.

Ever since I stepped foot into DU, I realised that there are hardly any places more queer than those afforded by educational spaces – where marginal social identities offset hundreds of students from the larger crowd of normal adherence. And such varsity spaces become intersectional convergence points for glorious bonhomie – and sometimes sites of extreme cruelty. Taking pride in visiblising intersectional identities in university spaces like ours are more often than not the share of a privileged few – their economic and social position allowing them affordances most are denied. The same identity that becomes the pride of a select few – comes at a cost for others. For most people of such social minority identities, making common knowledge of your lower caste identity comes at the cost of having your narrative being baited by upper caste saviours, your gender identity becomes a double edged sword in your path of progress and your sexuality a constant site of speculation and amusement for those around you.

But amidst the pride colours, pride watchlists and other glittery extravaganza is the overlooked loneliness of growing up queer. To survive a childhood of conflict with your truest point of self-identification, knowing that perhaps the biggest truth about you will always be held as a questioned truth by those around you and eventually coming to a city this big and finding yourself lost amidst a sea of unknown faces – each presenting to you hierarchies of power previously unknown to you. You are immediately swept into a whirlwind of heterosexual college romances, and your heart yearns for that singular same-sex romance that you only see in your annual token queer Netflix romantic comedy and before you know it you have set sail on the flood-prone waves of the hookup culture. Eventually your life is a string of making your way from one bed to another, from looking for ‘spots’ and asking for ‘places’.

But every year in June, corporations and allies around you urge you to forget this language of heartbreak and make you drown in their definition of a glitzy celebration of queerness. To all those queer souls lost this Pride month – to you I say, remember Pride began as a protest, a riot to be precise. Take the anger in your heart and hold onto it – for being queer comes at great pain of surviving a staunchly heterosexual society. To all the allies planning your next pride march, make sure to administer a consensual hug to the next queer you meet this month – queerness is a struggle with loneliness and for all your good intent some loneliness of the self that will take this community an entire life to overcome.

Anwesh Banerjee

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The Maulana Azad National Fellowship Scheme provided 5 years of financial support to minority scholars.

On 12th January 2022, members of the SFI (Students’ Federation of India) demonstrated against the government’s discontinuation of the Maulana Azad National Fellowship Scheme in front of the Ministry of Education, as well as at the University of Delhi and Jawaharlal Nehru University. Also part of the protest were members of the All India Students’ Association (AISA), Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Students’ Union (MSU), Krantikari Yuva Sangathan (KYS) and JNU Students’ Union, as well as students from institutions across the capital. The Maulana Azad National Fellowship was launched in 2009 and provided financial support for five years to students from six notified minority communities: Buddhists, Christians, Jains, Muslims, Parsis and Sikhs who were pursuing MPhils or PhDs.

While the government has claimed the decision to roll it back was taken because it overlapped with other schemes, opponents have argued that this justification is invalid, as students cannot benefit from more than one educational scheme in any case. They have also pointed out the discontinuation of other government aid such as the pre-matric scholarship for SC, ST, OBC and Minority students. They see this decision as part of a larger attack on minority scholars.

Shakir, a PhD student from DU, and a recipient of the MANF, told edexlive.com that following the decision he will essentially have to stop my research, or rush through it to submit it soon.” 

My academic journey will stop here. There are costs associated with being a research scholar that I cannot bear without this scholarship.” – Shakir, in conversation with edexlive.com

The protestors have alleged that they were manhandled by the police, being dragged across the road and shoved into buses despite demonstrating peacefully. Several students sustained injuries, and over 100 were detained at the Mandir Marg Police Station.

As far as I saw, all of the policemen at the protest were men and they seemed hostile right from the beginning. They soon began to push and shove us around, including the female protestors, and even those who were not seriously injured came out of the experience battered, both physically and otherwise.” – an MA student at the demonstration.


The student is not a member of any student political organisation, but attended the protest as she fears that the discontinuation of the MANF and other schemes like it will prove disastrous for her career as a scholar.

Feature Image credits: DU Beat

Shriya Ganguly

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As Ambedkar turns 129 years old, the symbols of his legacy begin to matter more than ever.

Dr B.R. Ambedkar continues to be a guiding light for the people of India. Before the 70s, a large part of his work on Dalits and their emancipation was not known to the general public, post which it was published by Dalits activists seeking enlightenment through his writings. The thoughts and methods manifested by his work, to counter the entrenched system of caste in India, is called Ambedkarism.

Modern-day protestors, primarily the ones resisting the Constitutional Amendment Act, 2019, chant his name and claim his legacy as an advocate for equality and freedom. But is this devotion pure and absolute?

The Claim for a Sacred Legacy

Ambedkar’s revered status in civil society has always been known to every citizen of India. For a long time, his legacy was closely held by members of the Dalit community and several left-wing parties.

Hindu-nationalist leaders have used his image to claim their solemn adherence to the constitution, claiming that “No Government has, perhaps, given respect to Babasaheb the way our Government has” (Quoted by The Time Magazine). This reverence, they claim, extends to the annihilation of caste as well. Experts believe that BJP’s newfound love for the Dalit leader comes as a part of their attempt to woo non-upper caste Hindus. BJP also claims that Ambedkar’s thoughts are closer to their ideology than the left, citing his opinion on Article 370 and the Uniform Civil Code. However, the former is not true, as is clearly mentioned in the manifesto of his party, The Scheduled Castes Federation. Dalit activists, on the other hand, believe this to be an appropriation of Babasaheb’s legacy. As CAA protestors march forward chanting ‘Jai Bhim!’, the author of India’s constitution finds himself on both sides of the wall.


His legacy has been appropriated to an enormous extent. 2 years ago, a statue of him was painted saffron and repainted to blue in a village of Uttar Pradesh. Throughout his life, Ambedkar criticised socialists and Gandhians for revering Gandhi as a ‘Mahatma’, a concept he abhorred. It is, therefore, safe to say that he would’ve hated the current absorption with his images and statues. During Dalit protests against the dilution of SC/ST (atrocities) Act, and against the Constitutional Amendment Act of 2019, his pictures have been widely used as a part of the symbols of truth and constitutionality. However, whether Ambedkar himself would have approved of this shall continue to be a matter of dispute.

Dalit Movements

Prasant Jha, in an article for Hindustan Times, said “Dalit society is ahead of Dalit Politics”. Commenting on Mayawati and the current flagbearers of Dalit politics, the author expressed grief over a lack of debates and conversations about the oppression which continues to persist. Atrocities against Dalits have increased over the years. Activist Ram Kumar told Hindustan Times that assertion is the reason for this rise. “In my father’s generation, if a Pandit came along, he would sit on the chair, and the rest would sit on the floor. And now, if a pandit comes, he can sit with us, or can stand and we keep sitting”, he added.

But countering these atrocities, one of which is Rohith Vemula’s suicide, there are Dalit students marching against the VC of the Hyderabad University, carrying Ambedkar’s photo in their fierce hands. There are thousands of students who are able to complete their PhDs under government allowance. The act of studying is an act of protest for them. Within the hostel rooms of such students, Ambedkar’s photo hangs on one of the walls.

Constitutionality of Protests

Ambedkar deemed protests unconstitutional during his final speech in the constituent assembly, in the year 1949. “We must…hold fast to constitutional methods of achieving our social and economic objectives. It means we must abandon the bloody methods of revolution. It means that we must abandon the method of civil disobedience, non-cooperation and satyagraha. When there was no way left for constitutional methods for achieving economic and social objectives, there was a great deal of justification for unconstitutional methods. But where constitutional methods are open, there can be no justification for these unconstitutional methods. These methods are nothing but the Grammar of Anarchy and the sooner they are abandoned, the better for us.” But if there are no constitutional methods left to achieve justice, protests can be deemed as constitutional. I, for one, do not think that when the Supreme court fails to deliver justice, as has happened a few times, people should stop and do nothing. Unconstitutional methods should be condemned. This was one of the reasons why Ambedkar, at times, criticized communists as well, as their use of violent means did not please him. As quoted in a paper by Ramadas V, “His disagreement with the communists was not on their aim of creating a socialist society but about the use of violent means to do so”.

Towards Annihilation

As the ship of time sails, India’s median voter becomes more nationalist than ever. Ambedkar believed that Hinduism equates to Brahmanism, which is inflexible and rigid. In such times, the dream of annihilation seems unattainable. But for disenfranchised Dalits, for exploited Muslims, for depressed minorities, the image of Ambedkar is a symbol of activism. A symbol of their living hope against tyranny and subjugation. The question of hero-worship, a warning posed by Ambedkar back in 1949, continues to linger. But for a Dalit robbed off his dignity and right to protest, hero-worship does more good than harm.

As saffron hands stifle you, chanting ‘Jai Bhim!’ might be the most empowering thing to do.

Feature Image Credits: The Scroll

Kuber Bathla

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