The transition from school to college is more of a time of change than any other, but some things end up staying the same.

When looking at someone who is just leaving school and another someone who is already in college, the difference in age might just be a year, but the difference in the hopes, dreams, and everything else in between looks like one that might exist between two widely different people. Your classmates from school would rarely know this confident, pumped-up, college version of you, but the one thing that they would relate to are your ever-lasting rants, more importantly, your rants on our never-changing education system.

In conversation with Trisha Saxena, a 12th grader pursuing commerce without maths, and Rubani Sandhu, a first-year student from LSR, we find places where these two conversations converge at a single point and places where the conversations could not be farther away— a proper representation of your school-to-college transition, if you will.

Even though a lot of us go into college expecting it to be more freeing than school— that new sense of being an adult, of being away from home, and of being free with your own ideas and thoughts, none of us are really able to actually fathom the intensity if the difference that is brought into our lives with this transition. Being not so much about the academics and the non-academics, the college makes you want to crawl back to school sometimes, for school was so free of so much of this burden of responsibilities. But school can also never be what college is— that one place where you can be anything (yes, college is Zootopia).


Indian Education: Practical education?

The one question that strikes a chord, regardless of what you are studying and where you are studying— how practical is Indian education? There are some things that continue to haunt you for the rest of your life, and frankly, this is one of them.

“I see my batchmates struggling with integration, differentiation, calculus and not all of them want to be mathematicians.  I studied maths up until 10th grade and I can promise you I am never going to use Pythagoras Theorem in my real life. Why do we have to calculate square roots by hand when everyone has a calculator in the real world? If you want to teach us something, teach us about our finances, teach us real life skills— how to cook, how to open a bank account— things that will help us in the long run,” Trisha continues, speaking out for every kid who barely passed in maths, calculating useless stuff we could have very easily found out answers to using a calculator.

“I mean I sympathise with the fact that school makes us study a lot of things and frankly, a lot of subjects that might just turn out to be useless, but that is one area where college gets better. You get a choice. The education might still be largely impractical and rote-learning might still be the building block of every course syllabus, but atleast you get a choice in what you end up learning (even if it ratta).” says Rubani, giving her perspective on the college life.

College does end up giving us a lot of autonomy, in terms of it literally being about the subjects WE want to talk about (lord help the BAP kids studying non-discipline courses against their will), but wasn’t that what classes 11th and 12th offered us too? How much of a difference did it make? We just found new subjects to hate, and new classes to bunk, because at the end of the day, it is only the book we are going to be following, so what’s the point?


CUET and NEP— can they make things different?

“Atleast the government is taking some kind of initiative with CUET and NEP… But this is also a two-sided sword. A lot of my batchmates, including me, are now thinking that when we have to give CUET to get into colleges, then why do even have to give boards? What is the point? Why not just bunk the boards and spend our time preparing for CUET?” continues Trisha.

On the other hand, Rubani gives her opinion, “I think yes, it is not going to make a very drastic change in the way education takes place in India, but it is a step towards creating a single platform for all the students to be judged upon, regardless of their backgrounds or their boards. Obviously, this means that there is going to be a change in the way admissions take place in colleges and I think that is going to make a significant difference,”

Two very different perspectives, but both of them perspectives that are not ill-placed. Maybe CUET and NEP are a step in the right direction, maybe it all going to fall on our faces, but isn’t it too early to call the end result, placing bets when the coin hasn’t even been tossed yet? 


Is the Indian education system flawed?

“On a scale of 1 to 10? A solid 8.79… there is an immense focus on memorising and the teachers don’t want us to go beyond the scope of the NCERT. In all the boards in India, there are some key points that the examiners want and if you do not write them, you won’t get marks. But what if I have understood the concept and I just don’t remember that one big fancy word that you use in your textbook, does that mean I am dumb?” says Trisha.

“I don’t think the answer to this question really changes when we move from school to college. The education was and is flawed, and there is no way around that. However, much we try to incorporate projects and assignments, all of them still end up falling in that same narrow scope and we are still shunned for asking questions that might stretch beyond the prescribed reading,” adds Rubani.

So, does it really make a change— that move from school to college? College does give us a lot of practical skills, it does make us learn things like budgeting and saving, that we wouldn’t have learnt before, but then this isn’t a feat of the education system. We might be blaming the education system for more than what is due, but isn’t education that one place where we expected things to be different? Isn’t education the place where we are supposed to be free to ask questions in? Isn’t education that one thing that is supposed to uplift us and allow us to become better than becoming a shackle in our leg and a leash on our throat?


Manasvi Kadian

[email protected]

Here’s an analysis of the changes which contrived for the sake of sustenance in the world of radio which lead to an ultimate depletion in it’s content.

With the onset of diversifying broadcast and a promising future, radio alighted in India in the 20th century. The State held more confidence in it than television, which also made headway during the time, because the former was not anticipated to have the potential to corrupt it’s audience and can be easily used as a propaganda tool in the garb of spreading pedagogy.

Radio was very well received because of its feasibility and non requisite of literacy for access. News relayed through it penetrated across demographics- even the remote and backward rural areas. Such hefty popularity was exploited for the likes of people in power.

Chomsky believed that what one can achieve in totaliter system by force can be achieved by propaganda in a democracy. Especially during the Second World War, the West and The Third Reich started radio wars. Joseph Goebbles who was the murderous propaganda manager for Hitler, actively monitored the spread of Nazi white propaganda through radio. After that it was used by the USSR at the outbreak of cold war, then by Communist China and later by Indira Gandhi during the emergency of 1975. Some also label ‘Man Ki Baat’ by Prime Minister Modi- an attempt at propaganda mongering.

With time and technological advancement, the power dynamic of politics shifted to capitalism and propaganda of consumerism started to spread. Advertisements took over, and the purpose of radio changed from information relay to source of entertainment. The golden days were here. Song requests were made and two way communication in real time began. Commercialisation of radio opened new skies. Lover’s spat was reconciled and letters were read in studio rooms.

With time radio kept on adjusting to suit the changing needs of the society to sustain in the market but the competition not only from other FMs started to increase, but the incoming of new media threatened radio altogether. How many of us tuned in to radio to listen to news on Vividh Bharti? Many turn to radio as the last resort in case of network issues when they are not able to access Podcasts and Spotify which have taken over. Perhaps because of this desperate attempt to retain  the listeners, the content of radio has become the slave of the owners and capitalists.

There are more advertisements than songs and even the songs are repetitive and mostly redundant, and fail to suit the likes of today’s urban youth. The Radio Jockeys(RJs) who are quintessential to radio have taken to new media platforms of YouTube and Instagram to promote their content. RJ Naved from radio Mirchi conducted a vox pop sponsored by tinder, and it couldn’t be far from a scripted buffoonery. This RJ is famous for conducting Mirchi Murga which also is cringy, scripted and far from comical content, aimed at garnering laughters. Another RJ Raunac from Red FM, took to YouTube to criticise Jawaharlal Nehru University’s (JNU) fee hike with totally falsified facts and misinformation. He also does voiceover as a ‘bauaa’  who prank calls people. Such obvious scripted content topped with lame jokes have become a normal occurrence for radio content.

The nonsense on radio is engineered with a certain economy which manipulates people into buying not only the nonsense, but also the product put for sale. Radio has once again become a passive medium which uses music while propagating consumerism. From winning wars to selling products radio has had massive transformation in its purpose over the years, but the takers have changed. People in the metro cities may have moved on, but those in the countryside still resort to radio as a means for what urbanites may call ‘cheap aesthetics,’ they call ‘cheap entertainment.’

Feature Image Credits: India Today

Umaima Khanam

[email protected]

Nineteenth century called and they want their classics back because contemporary culture has no room for them, or wait, do they?

After ample endeavours by countless people who desired to comprehend love let’s just add a marginal attempt to give that pursuit a whirl. With time the construct of our perception of love has changed. A chronocentric argument which is often contrived is that love of the older days was more meaningful than what it is today.

A connoisseur of classics would perhaps by all means list the nineteenth century Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, which bewitched us body and soul, on the top. What sets this novel apart is its rebellious narrative axised around love to counter class hierarchy and associated pride. It was not just love but the struggle of love in those times. The fallacy of the aforementioned argument lies in the reduction of it to battle great art set in times to counter Orthodox but with the layer to suit the likes of generational battle where older times of classical culture has to be viewed in superlative forms. If you make it boomer versus millennial, you my friend have digressed. Great contents on love have emerged in those times and still continue to surface up. Of Course deterioration also happens but absoluteness of disgrace for expression of love in today’s time comparatively is not acceptable.

From Mir Taqi Mir’s composition, Dil laga ho jo jee jahaan se uthha maut ka naam pyaar ka hai ishq” to the twenty first century extracted quatrain from Vikram Seth’s poem, ‘Through Love’s Greatest Power,’

“To sneer at love, and wrench apart

The bonds of body, mind and heart

With specious reason and no rhyme:

This is the true unnatural crime” we have come a long way. These two expressions of love are so dynamic yet so beautiful and far from ordinary.

But ordinary love also has a charm of its own.” After all, I am also just a girl, pretending to not like clichéd flicks, secretly hoping to have one for my own.” It’s already an achievement that chick flicks are somewhat considered guilty pleasures and not normalised to be constructed into a reality.

Clinking teacups in London or gulping Bordeaux in France, the backdrop of the falling sunset, beverage and in love in the bourgeois public sphere has been romanticised enough.

So where did we fall short between Faiz’s notion of mohabbat (love) and answering if, ‘is it better to speak or die?” (Dialogue:Call me by your name) on celluloids?

The answer lies in popular culture. Mass reproduction of ideas of say Shakespeare or resorting to making of remixes rather than original compositions or making raps which demean some socially deprived groups have been sold and deemed successful which is problematic. A movie director spews that if you don’t have the liberty to slap each other and be violent with each other then he sees no LOVE there. On the contrary another movie surfaced which debunked f the myth that in the name of love you are not given the license to domestically abuse your own wife.

Love for God is used to justify honor killings and ignite riots to cause social unrest. Such normalisation of violence and other social evils in the name of love is problematic.

Expressions of love over the years through art has widened the horizon for how far reaching it actually is. This expression defines the transition which love faces over a period of time surviving Orthodox, archaic elements, tokenism, false glorification and plurality.

Feature Image Credits: New Indian Express

Umaima Khanam

[email protected]