With both achievements and adversities on its plate, DU completed 100 years this year. Is this milestone praiseworthy or an indication of stagnation over the years?*
100 years since the birth of one of the most prestigous educational institutions in the country. 100 years since history started soaking itself within the red walls of different corners of Delhi. 100 years since students’ voices began to gain prominence among the masses. Happy 100th birthday, University of Delhi. Thank you for being a rosy dream that took its time to reveal the thorns of hidden behind the petals of (in)excellence.
Surviving 100 years in this changing world is, indeed, an accomplishment. One that deserves congratulations. However when the world was changing, did DU care to change for the betterment of the base of its foundation, the students? To an extent favourable by the administration? Yes. To an extent aspired by the student community? No. DU is yet to be the university I was promised on my admission, yet to be the institution 70,000 students are sold as a dream every year. DU is so much more than the brand name it provides and we as students are being turned into believing the supremacy possesed by this clout alone.
Despite acting as the womb for students’ holistic development for a century, negligence towards their issues and demands is still a concern unaddressed. Despite acting as the breeding ground for student politics for a century, arbitrary assault and detainment of protestors is still seen. Despite claiming itself to be a melting pot of students from nooks and corners of the country, discrimination yet persists with stereotypes attached to each state, each community and each individual. I agree to the fact that such revolutionary changes can come about only gradually but wasn’t 100 years enough for the same? Will there be change in the next 100 years or will sluggishness be DU’s return gift to its students?
To DU, I say: instead of having pompous shows to ascertain your glory over other academic institutions in the country, maybe consider listening to the woes of your students. Listen to students who demand their rights through the medium of protests in front of Arts Faculty. Listen to the students who have to spend numerous hours looking for internships after graduation because of the lack of skill-based programmes. Most importantly, listen to the Professors who make DU what it is. The sea of expectations never ceases, I agree but does that mean even the basic ones should be ignored? If you ask me if I’m proud to be a part of DU, my answer would surely be positive. Yes, I’m proud to be a part and to become an alumnus of DU but…And this but always remain. DU, precisely, DU administration, it’s time for you to make your birthday resolutions. I hope you don’t break them like every other promise of yours.
*This article first appeared in our physical newsletter Volume 16, Issue 5. Don’t forget to grab your copy of the latest edition of our newspaper every Wednesday!
Featured Image Credits: Devesh Arya for DU Beat