When a 17 year old is convicted in one of the most horrifying gang rape cases or when a 19 year old goes on a shooting spree, killing 17 people in his school after getting expelled; we must ponder over how and why these youngsters have homicidal tendencies.

Jaques in Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’ beautifully explained the different stages of life, from infancy to death in the form of monologue. He associates the stage of youth with peart, passion and an innate push to build one’s reputation. That’s the beauty of being young – untouched by world’s pessimism and on the way to discover new horizons with ‘Carpe diem (seize the day)’ as the battle cry.

The foundation and progress of every state lies in the hands of its vigorous, vivacious youngsters, who are the torch bearers of the present and trustees of the future. They are crucial for national development as it is their toil and dynamic vision that runs the nation. It is observed that India has the relative advantage at present over other countries in terms of distribution of youth population. According to ‘World Population Prospects: The 2015 revision’ Population Database of United Nations Population Division, India has the world’s highest number of 10 to 24-year-olds, with 242 million—despite having a smaller population than China. As per predictions in 2017 by Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India; India is expected to have 34.33% share of youth in total population by 2020. Thus, it is evident that India has been blessed with the most valuable human resource for fostering economic, cultural and political development, quite magnanimously. But with such a huge youth population, there comes the onus of making them constructive parts of society. And, the whopping rise in juvenile crimes brings out a dark side of our ‘developing and flourishing’ society.

In recent years, juvenile delinquency has emerged as a disturbing trend world over. Petty crimes like pickpocketing, shoplifting etc. as well as heinous crimes like murder, rape, scams, etc. are being committed by juveniles increasingly. As per National Crime Record Bureau, a total of 41,385 juveniles were apprehended during 2015 out of which 40,468 were boys and 917 were girls. More worrisome is the fact of age- crime relationship, which states that these jostle between youngsters and the law and order peaks in adolescence. Subsequently, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) recorded that in 2013 of the 43,506 crimes registeredagainst minors; 28,830 had been committed by those between the ages of 16 to 18, which is more than 60%. Also, most of these crimes were categorized into heinous criminal acts. Owing to increasing brutality of juvenile crimes; in 2015, the Juvenile Justice Act was passed by the Parliament which allows for juveniles between the ages of 16 to 18 years to be tried in adult courts, if they are found to commit any heinous crimes.

It is true that adolescence is an age of thinking abstractly, developing our own views and yearning for identity and independence. Peer influence, acceptance and sexual curiosity get the better of their natural reasoning. But these physical and mental changes are not the only determinants that push them into the dark world of crime; rather it is largely the social and psychological factors that work behind the curtains. Sociologists Richard Clowardand Lloyd Ohlin expounded that juveniles develop different delinquent tendencies depending upon what opportunities areavailable in their surroundings. Consequently, some of the most common causes which are associated with juvenile crimes are – poverty, drug abuse, anti-social peer group, abusive or negligent parents, family violence, and child sexual abuse. These negatively affect the persona and psyche of the individual during the most vital years of his/her growth. Herbert Hoover quoted, “Older men declare war. But it is the youth that must fight and die.” Due to the limitation of opportunities, many youngsters fall prey to fascist and wicked ideologies of a few and act as their foot soldiers. Our education system and traditional family values also seem to be not making much difference when it comes to juvenile delinquency as according to the report of National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) on ‘Crime in India’ released in 2017, juveniles who went to school committed crimes more than those who did not. Media especially, social media also has given impetus, among the youth to the feeling of being noticed and recognized through any means.

All these facts and figures should alarm us as citizens of society as they highlight how we are failing to build a secure future for the youngsters. Intervention at an early stage is essential to make a significant difference. Governments as well as local citizens must initiate educational programmes that educate, enable and empower the youth to become productive elements of the society. A healthy family environment must be made a fundamental right of every child. Dogma regarding mental health issues must be completely removed. Sexual education as a part of health education; awareness about risks in substance abuse and the exposure to inappropriate explicit content must be imparted to every adolescent.

‘Nobody is a born criminal. Circumstances make him so.’

The family, society and the state must work together to provide a nurturing and healthy socio-cultural environment. Every youth is entitled to care and protection with an atmos of equality and social justice. The sooner we realize this truth, the stronger and more virtuous a society we will build and thrive in.

Image credit: Press Trust of India 

Ipshika Ghosh

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This piece aims to highlight how nothing is apolitical anymore; politics with its lasting presence is now even shaping the dating lives of the Indian youth.

In a day and age where the youth has risen up to combat the elements of fascism in the country, and uphold the values of democracy laid down in the Constitution; the personal is political, now more than ever. The integrity of Law and Order as well as the Government is being increasingly questioned; the youth today demands answers from a generation that has led them into the pits of a civilisation. However, one wonders, in these times, how does a 19 year old college student deal with their own partner; supporting something they’re out on the streets against? How does the youth navigate the landscape of relationships, dating, and attraction; in a politically charged climate with barbed opinions and perspectives oft en clashing against their own? The answer to the question rests within the reality we currently are entrapped in.

In today’s time, ideological differences take a backseat over, what is now, your stance on human rights. Triparna Dutta, a student of the University of Calcutta, said, “The stakes are high, blood is being shed. It’s impossible to date someone who doesn’t care about human rights, about dissent and the constitution.” A study by Gregory A. Huber of Yale University and Neil Malhotra of Stanford University showed that political affiliation is fast becoming a factor in how people choose who they date (Having a 3 per cent impact, the same as education), while shared race and religion have far more of an impact. Shared religious beliefs result in a 50 per cent increase in interest, while similar ethnicity is 16.6 per cent more likely to result in a match. Ann Philipose, a Delhi-based therapist, has dealt with a number of couples who increasingly worry that their partner’s values, reflected through political beliefs, don’t align with their own. The digital dating panorama is marked with a young and extremely diverse demographic.

Apps such as Hinge, Bumble, Tinder and OKCupid were only launched in India in the last few years, and given the extreme variations in socio-economic strata, it is hard to collect empirical data. However, Taru Kapoor, India head, Tinder and the Match Group, told The Print that last year, on 6th September, when the Supreme Court read down Section 377 and decriminalised homosexuality, the App saw a huge swipe surge showcasing how impactful political decisions are. In a generation that is gravitating towards the notions of woke culture and political correctness, the political views of their partner becomes a deciding factor in the relationship. Events of the past few months, where dissent and the right to peaceful protests is being challenged across the Country, solidify the notion that a relationship between two people with contrasting politics is hard to get by. One also has to acknowledge the mental toll State-sponsored violence has taken on the people at the forefront of the movement. A student revealed the detrimental effects of brutality by Law and Order harmed their mental health to the extent they had to break up with their partner, because they couldn’t sustain and emotionally invest in a relationship in such troubled times.

Amidst all this, relationships can also be a safe space contributing to a worthwhile aspect of politics and dating, being able to communicate to your partner about the authoritarian elements of the regime, and transform their apolitical stance to one supporting those who are marginalised. And well, if this fairy tale like-incident doesn’t happen, you can break up with them, with Republic Day approaching; break their hearts on 26th January. Let the Constitution seep into your love life, finally.

Image Credits: Jaishree Kumar for DU Beat

Paridhi Puri

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Millennials have come out on the streets to fight against the wrongs not just in India but all around the world. Read ahead to find out the reasons for the global protests.


All of us know about the protests going on against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) in various cities across India. But it is not just the Indians fighting for what is right, but people all around the world are standing up against what they think is wrong, and are demanding change from those in power. This is the reason why Jackson Diehl has termed 2019 as ‘the year of the street protestors’.


It is the season of discontent and unrest in seemingly everywhere. Countries from Lebanon to Spain to Chile, Paris, and India amidst many others are burning with the rage of the protesters who have taken to streets to oppose what they think is wrong. While some are fighting against inequality and corruption, others are fighting for political freedom and climate change. The triggers are different everywhere, but the igniting fuel is similar. It includes stifled democracy, stagnating middle classes and the conviction that things could be different.


In Paris, protestors have been marching on the streets to show their opposition against the controversial pension reform introduced by the government. The country’s complex pension system has been shaken up by Emmanuel Macron, who promised to do so in his 2017 election campaign. The earlier attempts made at reforming the pension scheme were made in 1995 by president Jacques Chirac, but he failed to do so after continuous strikes which continued for three weeks. Paris has been witnessing transport strikes for two weeks and every day lakhs of protestors come out on the streets across France to show their opposition.

Massive waves of protest across Chile, Lebanon, and Egypt were ignited by government’s corruption. Starting in October 2019, the Lebanese asked for the government’s resignation and change of political establishment, after allegations of corruption against the government and its failure to provide basic economic and social rights. Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned on October 29, 2019, but anti-government demonstrations are still going on in the country.


The protests in Chile started after a hike in transport fare was announced by the government. It started in October 2019 and is still going on. The mass anti-government protests in Chile are organised to denounce the high costs of living, privatisation of water, rising electricity prices and other social issues. The politicians reached an agreement on November 15, to organize a referendum in April 2020 where Chileans will vote whether to replace the current charter of rights (Magna Carta) from Pinochet’s dictatorship and for a new legislative assembly.

In Guinea, opposition activists have been staging demonstrations since October 14, 2019. They allege that President Alpha Condé, who has been in power since 2010, is positioning himself to change the constitutionto then run for a third presidential term in late 2020. Condé has publicly called for a constitutional referendum on December 19.


In Hong Kong, protests began over a bill that would have allowed criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China in certain circumstances. The mass action in Hong Kong in the summer of 2019 led to the withdrawal of the controversial legislation, but the protests themselves continued. The demands of the protesters have now expanded to include complete universal suffrage, an independent inquiry into alleged police brutality, and amnesty for demonstrators who have been arrested.


The widespread protests going on in India against the Citizenship Amendment Act have gained global attention. Students from various universities along with other people have been coming out to the streets each day to show their opposition to the act, which they consider to be unconstitutional and islamophobic since December 4, 2019. The protests began in the north-eastern states and spread to all the other regions. India currently is witnessing a period of turmoil, which might lead the world’s largest democracy into shambles, with the government using anti-democratic means to deal with the protestors throughout the country. Although, the imposition of Section 144 CrPC, curfew, lathi charges by police and internet ban in various places has not reduced the rage in the blood of protestors.


The use of tear gas, water cannons, and rubber bullets have been some of the common practices adopted by the authorities to suppress the protests in all the cities throughout the world. But, it is still not enough to suppress the voice of today’s youth, which is burning with rage.


Feature Image Credits: ANI

Priya Chauhan

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Here’s a piece on how each of your actions matter and you at an individual level can bring up the changes for a brighter and better future by your own little deeds.

The Sustainable Development Goals have suddenly gained their required attention and have become the talk of the town.
But the question arises, what are they and how do they concern us? Are they just a matter of concern for international authorities like the United Nations which where behind its inception or can we do our part in executing them?

Understanding SDGs:
The SDGs are a set of 17 goals unanimously adopted by the member nations of the United Nations in order to make the vision come true of a world where the planet is protected and people live a life of peace and happiness in all spheres. These are also known as the ‘Global Goals’ and were created in 2015 with an aim in mind to achieve them all by 2030.

It might sound overambitious and all too daunting to aim to achieve every single one of them but here are some ways in which we can do our bit to achieve them.

SDG 02: No Hunger
Cook some food, go out and offer it to someone in need. Who knows one kind action on your part might just turn into the most wholesome and healthy meal a person gets in their entire day.

SDG 03: Good Health and Well Being
Take out time for yourself.Take a day off, read a book or just eat healthy. It’s the small actions that build strong bridges over the course of time.

SDG 04: Quality Education
If you are reading this article, consider yourself as the fortunate ones who have had access to not only education but internet and other facilities too. Take out an hour everyday or every alternate from your schedule to teach the children of the labourers working around you. One hour might be insignificant to you but it holds the might to bring changes in the life of a child.
SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
It’s time to bring into action the words we learnt in childhood. ‘Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.’ is the need of the hour. Smallest acts such as carrying paper or jute bags are actions which can bring amazing changes not only in one’s actions but the environment too!

SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
Take the public transport! Having sustainable cities is vital for our survival. Small actions which can lead to reduction in pollution emissions or walking the distance are some of the tiniest changes which maximum positive benefits!

SDG 14: Life below Water

Quit straws and plastic bottles! These are two of the things most popular amongst usage but at the same time equally harmful if not more. Explore new alternatives like paper straws and support people bringing such unique initiatives across.

These are just a few of the many Global Goals ahead of us, ones which call and demand action from each one of us. This article is here, to get you brainstorming on how you can do your bit in achieving the goals for a sustainable tomorrow.

Imagine each one of us taking these steps even if that’s just once a week. What monumental changes we can bring across!

In the words of Ban Ki Moon, “Sustainable development is the pathway to the future we want for all. It offers a framework to generate economic growth, achieve social justice, exercise environmental stewardship and strengthen governance.

Get up, get going. The world awaits you!


Image Credits: United Nations Development Program

Amrashree Mishra

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DU Beat spoke to Avinash Chanchal, Programme Specialist of Greenpeace India, about the global climate crisis and the student movement that has emerged to fight against it.

Juhi: All over the world, red flags are being raised about climate change and its consequences. How bad do you think is the situation in India?

Avinash: There is a climate crisis in India, especially with respect to air and water. In 80% of India, where air pollution calculating mechanisms are available, the air has been found to be below the standard health rates. Rivers in India are also much polluted and many small ones are even drying up. Erratic weather changes and heatwaves in India have gotten worse and studies show that we only have eleven years before it gets too late.

Juhi: Do you think the Government is adequately dealing with the climate crisis?

Avinash: The situation is not black and white. Recently, the Government has started to invest in renewable energy, and they are taking certain steps to combat climate change, but they need to do a lot more. The state Governments also need to realise the importance of this crisis and take actions against it. The Government also needs to prioritise climate preservation over big corporations.

Juhi: Do you think the general population of India is aware of climate change and the steps that need to be taken to combat it?

Avinash: Recently, more and more people have started to raise their voices, asking the Government to take action against climate change. In India, we have always had the indigenous people fighting to protect their “jal, jungal aur zameen” (water, forest, and land) but now, even the people in the cities have started to realise the need for preservation of the environment.

Juhi: What do you think about the recent emergence of the global student-led movement against climate change?

Avinash: The best part about this movement is that it is a citizen’s movement. The next generation is going to be the one to face the hard consequences of climate change, and have decided to take action against it. Greta Thunberg has managed to inspire students all over the world. Greenpeace stands in solidarity with the strikes being organised in September by students world over. They deserve a lot of credit.

Juhi: Many people in India work in industries that are harmful to the environment. And unlike big corporations such as McDonald’s, and Starbucks, the average Indian shopkeeper cannot afford to use paper bags and straws, instead of plastic. How realistic do you think, the goal to combat climate change is?

Avinash: We have always said that the move towards renewable energy needs to be phased out, creating new jobs in that sector. Also, investment these days in fossil fuel and coal mines is bad for our economy. As far as plastic is concerned, until 25 years back, before globalisation brought in big corporations and their plastic, Indians had managed to survive by using goods made out of bamboo sticks and banana leaves. Paper is not the only alternative to plastic. So, our climate preservation goals are very much possible.

Juhi: What has Greenpeace India recently been working on?

Avinash: We have many campaigns going on right now against air pollution and for renewable energy usage. We don’t want big corporations to get their hold on renewable energy; instead, we want to empower people with it. A while back, we also started a sustainable agricultural model in Bihar, which was 100% ecological. It has turned out to be a great success. Overall, we are able to do what we do, because of our volunteers and supporters, who come from all age groups. We need people to realise that the climate crisis is an immediate one and that dealing with it cannot be postponed.


Feature Image Credits: LiveMint

Juhi Bhargava

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Social media is a modern-world tool available in the hands of today’s youth, and they find solace in the sea of information found in it.

To connect or to disconnect from social media has been an intensely debated topic, especially among today’s parents and the youth. While a majority of the parents think that using social media is a waste of time and a major distraction, most youth believe that it is a useful tool since it provides a virtual medium for people to get connected with each other, engage in discussions, share information, etc. As a socially active youngster, I am of the opinion that one of the best advantages of social media is that it connects people at the click of a button, with the right source required by them at that particular point of time. This click makes life very easy and comfortable, especially for the teenagers who enter into a new phase of their lives, i.e. university life. These confused teens find solace in the sea of information found on social media.

To learn and unlearn by one’s own experience is a thing of the past, as with the improved network of social media, experiences of successes, as well as experiences of failures are available for guidance. To select a course or a college away from home takes tremendous courage, and that courage comes from the information and knowledge-base provided by social media. “Before taking admission in any college, I went through videos a million times. I saw all the fest coverages and everything. It helped me a lot in knowing what will come my way,” says Bhumi, a first-year student, pursuing B.A. (Honours) Philosophy at Daulat Ram College.

Apart from empowering the students with knowledge, social media also plays an important role in connecting people; more so in making an outstation student feel at home. With the virtual connect, social media enables them to speak and stay in touch with their loved ones back home, and at the same time helps them in making new friends. “Social media helped me to connect with my friends, and most importantly to bridge the distance between me and my family. Also, as a byproduct of its well-connected nature, it helped me to settle in a city with a sense of ease in the sense that I wasn’t only able to establish, but also maintain new contacts in the city,” opines Aditya Nath, an outstation first-year student from Jharkhand, pursuing B.A. Programme at St. Stephen’s College.

Getting the right type of accommodation is a very crucial thing for outstation students who do not manage to get into hostels, and with the advent of social media, students are easily able to find paying guest accomodations(PG) and flats to live in, with the ratings and experiences of seniors recorded on various networking sites. In the words of Avilokita, an outstation first-year student from Chattisgarh, pursuing B.A. Programme at St. Stephen’s College, “Social media, especially Facebook really helped me a lot to find a good PG with a good environment to live in, because being new to the city, it is very difficult to find a safe and secure place where a student can easily adjust.” Social media has also played an important role in increasing the availability of opportunities for students, since all information regarding clubs, orientations, fests, competitions, etc. are circulated on applications like Instagram and WhatsApp. At the same time, it is a saviour for students who take part in sports or extracurricular activities, since they can catch up on all that is taught in the classes they miss by getting notes and questions from their friends through networking apps.

Thus, to conclude in the words of the famous Greek physician Hippocrates, “Everything in excess is opposed to nature.” Truly, nothing in excess is good. Therefore, it is important that each one of us manages the time spent on social media efficiently and usefully, so as to harness the maximum benefits from this gainful resource.

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives

Abhinandan Krishn Kaul

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The two-day long India Youth Conclave 2019, consisting of workshops, interesting panel discussions, and internship fairs, ended on a high note today. 

On 31st August 2019, My Captain organised its 10th India Youth Conclave at Dilli Haat, Janakpuri. Many young people, including aspiring entrepreneurs and budding content creators, attended this conclave, which began with a workshop on entrepreneurship and digital marketing by Ruhan Naqash, the Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of My Captain.

The workshop began with Naqash asking the audience about how many of them planed on becoming entrepreneurs and he was amazed by the number of raised hands. He told them that as entrepreneurs more lessons come from failures than from successes. He also provided the audience with facts like how nearly 90% of startups fail, something that left the audience in dismay. He focused on the ideology of “customer being the King” and said that in entrepreneurship, it’s all about the idea and listening to the target market. He also focused on how one doesn’t really need investments in start-ups if that holds back some young minds and said a good idea requires zero investment, something which the audience fairly agreed upon. He shared his own journey as an entrepreneur, the story of how he got an idea of online workshops and educational seminars in his first year of college and how he went door-to-door in his college hostel gathering his friends to assemble with him on the idea and not keep it a secret confined to him. The room full of young entrepreneurs seemed highly satisfied and inspired after the workshop, which was very interactive. Many present even shared their ideas of start-ups with Naqash.

A Photography Workshop conducted by Rahul Singh Manral took place at the same time. The session took off from his experience as an engineering dropout, and covered his journey till here. He believes that his trip to Egypt in 2013 was a revolution in his career. His session was filled with motivational quotes and the audience could really connect with his light sense of humour.  When asked about the importance of rules, Manral said, “The Importance of any rule is to know it, but it is your responsibility to break it.” In his technical session about photography, he explored the development of light in photography and also shared some modern wildlife and action photography. Lastly, he ended his session by focusing on the fact that modern photography is not only restricted to Social Media, rather, his end goal is to make people want to do something when they look at his photographs.  You can check out more of his work on his Instagram here

The conclave also featured a great line-up of comedians. The show took-off with comedian Manekas Singh Mehta delivering some self-depreciation jokes. His set also talked about Punjabi and Delhite norms and was worth a watch. Next, Onkar Yadav talked about a lot of things ranging from childhood memories to the dating problems one faces in their college period, in his well-known dry sense of humour. Kushagra Shrivastava also delighted the stage with his presence. He talked about religion, tinder, and sports and even interacted with the production team and photographers. It was a show filled with laughter and even some very mature and well thought out jokes, which left the audience wanting for more.

A Creative Writing workshop with Dhruv Sehgal was organized after this where aspiring writers in the audience were familiarised with key concepts on how to write better. The audience was initially star-struck, and was keen to listen to the speaker’s journey and learn from the same. Sehgal said that one of the most important aspects of writing is observation. He said that observing content is free and that good writers can find content in the weirdest places. He stressed how “everyone has a story” and that a blank page is the most important instrument of a writer. He talked about the competition in writing, that being a writer for web series, your competition is not just Bollywood or Hollywood but other content providers like Facebook and Instagram as well, so to overcome that, one should be relatable to the viewers and focus on their unique style by being truthful. Dhruv insisted that rules are very important, contrary to the “rule-breaking” millennial generation as the real challenge lies in showing one’s creativity while following the rules and not while breaking them.

The Rap Battle followed next, which saw many young and enthusiastic students taking to the stage to beatbox and rap their original creations. From solo performances to duets, the performers were full of energy. This open platform gave many students a stage to showcase their talent which they don’t really get to otherwise since rapping is still an upcoming art form in India, and many people are yet to get acquainted with it.

The Psychology workshop with psychologist Prerna saw many students of Psychology in the audience. Prerna talked about how empathy and compassion are important when dealing with patients with mental disorders. She also narrated many incidents from her personal life where she emotionally went through a hard time when dealing with patients of sexual abuse and patients who had violent tendencies. She told the audience that if they wanted to pursue a career in Psychology, then they must follow their seniors and be strong when dealing with their patients.

During the YouTubing workshop, fans went crazy for famous YouTubers Sana, Shraddha Gurang, Kanishk Priyadarshini, Gaurav Taneja, and Himadri Patel. They inspired the audience with their personal stories of the rise to stardom and talked about how to make it big on YouTube. They talked about how YouTube, unlike Facebook and Instagram, provides them with a platform where they can post descriptive videos and how it is possible to build a huge community on it considering that the audiences know what they are looking for. On being questioned by an audience member on how to cope with negative public ideas of making a career out of YouTubing, the panel encouraged him and told hopeful YouTube stars that it is initially difficult to make a career on social media but that hard work and passion pay off in the end. This workshop concluded the first day of the conclave.

Day two of the India Youth Conclave organised by My Captain began with Naqash speaking to the audience about the story of My Captain.
He launched the My Captain app and discussed ideas about revolutionising online education. “To make online education sexy is my aim,” he said. He spoke about how the app works by removing barriers, making learning fun, and explaining concepts using practical examples.
The next speaker was the founder of Pet Street Cafe, Sonali Wadhwa who is an animal activist. Her team is her family. She spoke about her love for dogs and how dogs were her mental cushions, she narrated her story of Pet Street Cafe that went from two pet shops to a pet resort. “Being lost is part of the process,” she said.
“If you are not fearless enough to explore. You will not find what’s right for you,” she added. Wadhwa, ho is also a feminist, had this to say to the feminist hater: “If anyone hates the word feminist, I am sorry about you.”
With a six-year experience in Psychological counselling, Manvi Khurana, the founder of Karama Centre for Counseling & Well Being, explores the horizons of sexuality and the taboos that revolve around it in her enthralling session at the IYC’19 Delhi. Tracing sexuality back to the primary school Biology classes when a diagram of phallus served as the erotic recreation, how the myths and conjectures pertaining to masturbation make a crucial topic as sexuality turned into a giggle shot and Karma as somewhat of queer affirmative form.
Manvi further stresses on a sex-positive outlook and asks the youth to perceive it from a perception that carries the responsibility of being one, while claiming of being hopeful and optimistic of the future, she ends with a positive note in her valedictory words for the young audience”The future is bright cause the future is you.”
In the next session, popular author, celebrity journalist, live show host & motivational speaker, Surabhi Verma retrospected on her varied professional career as she talks about her 2018 release ‘And She Quit Her Job’. An alumna of Dayawati Modi Academy, Meerut and Kalindi  College, University of Delhi, Surabhi emphasises on the essence of being a good writer. he recalls about the 2012 Delhi gang rape which generated huge national outrage and how the incident propelled her to pursue journalism. Working rigorously to get a diploma in Media & Journalism from Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, after cracking the entry to The Hindustan Times, she quits her first job owing to a certain introspection and then goes onto OYO Hotels as a content writer lasting there for 3 hours. While her third job at a media house provided Surabhi with opportunity to meet her childhood icon Kareena Kapoor Khan, after interviewing a series of celebs and working as a TV presenter at the Doordarshan she leaves this job as well and starts working on her  book ‘And She Quit Her Job’, Surabhi has worked with esteem organisations like India Today, ECI, ACMA & FSAI and has a reputed social media presence to her credit. She suggests the youth to be evolutionary & experimentative with their choices and asks them to give time to themselves, being grateful for what they have. She further quotes:
“Overnight Success is nothing and never let your circumstances take hold of your life, you are the master of your own life, do what you want to make of it.”
She ends her address with Maya Angelou’s lines:
“You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise.”

The event later witnesses a very fruitful discussion between prominent writers like Dhruv Sehgal, writer, Little Things, Raunak Ramteke, senior writer, Filter Copy, and Anuj Gosalia, CEO and Founder, Terribly Tiny Tales.

The panel discussion predominantly focused upon essentials of writing as a process, choosing a target audience and making the content relatable. Structure of videos is talked about and its relevance. How a writer should never forget what essentially the story is and it will only work if it surprises itself and the audience. Anuj Gosalia and Dhruv Sehgal said, “Writing should not be result-driven, but process-driven, and it’s the process that can make or break you as a writer.”

They recount the incidents that made them writers and they share their words of wisdom with the audience comprising of writers on how to enter the industry. The 25-30 minute long panel discussion gave key insights on how important it is to not be a yes man in the industry and how much quality feedback is valued. Dhruv Sehgal said, “I just emailed Varun Grover, writer of Sacred Games, a few days back regarding what could have been done differently in the season two and he literally replied saying that he was the first one to give a feedback which astonished him.”

The discussion also shed light on the lack of vernacular languages in the mainstream content. They say that adding regional and local languages makes the content very relatable, very easily. However; they as position holders in media company are still finding ways to integrate regional beliefs with content made for masses.

Gurmehar Kaur, writer and a Literature graduate from Lady Shri Ram College, enlightened the audience filled with young adults about her journey with politics, war, and writing. She spoke about how student unions and writing paved the way for her to have a political opinion. Being just an 18-year-old from Jalandhar, when she first entered the University, she recounted the events that led to her being who she is now.

She started with shifting the attention from content creation on the internet to the violation of human rights, internet and cellular blackout being faced by the people of Kashmir, and how dire their problem is. She spoke of how important student politics has been in her life and how it was such a powerful tool specially in such a politically-aware city. On being asked, how dirty student politics has become by an audience member, Gurmehar answered: “Student politics is very imperative for each student. It gives you an opportunity specially after 2014, to have a different opposition and perspective which national politics might not provide you.”

She told DU Beat, “I believe even if you’re not contesting or part of a political party. You’re still a voter and have an essential role. Students must vote and ask the right questions to their leaders.”

She even shared her experience while writing her two books, The Small Acts of Freedom and The Young and Restless. She adviced all the budding writers to know that their first draft will not be great and that is acceptable. She encouraged all to tell their truth and how you’re only a writer when you write and not when you get published.



Feature Image Credits: Hitesh Kalra for DU Beat


Akshat Arora

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Avni Dhawan 

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Juhi Bhargava

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Stephen Mathew
Md. Faizan Salik 

Chhavi Bahmba

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The dominant response of the urban college-goers on social media to the BJP’s victory in the 2019 elections has been to cry foul at the electorate that voted for the party. It is not just incorrect but also lazy.


Disclaimer: I did not vote for the BJP. I have had heated discussions with BJP supporters trying to prove to them why I don’t concur with their views and why, in my opinion, the Modi-led government did not do a job good enough in its first term to deserve a re-election. I used to be a supporter initially but things changed.

Regardless, the typical response of the urban college-going students – who would mostly identify themselves as perhaps being more on the liberal and the non-right side – to the election results on social media was almost a uniform rebuke of anyone who voted for the BJP, accompanied by cries of fascism and predictions suggesting virtually the end of democracy.

Among the many social media posts, some called shame on the voters for electing this government back. Others showed images of Mohammed Naeem moments before being violently lynched to death, of Mohammed Akhlaq, Gauri Lankesh and others and were shared as Instagram stories with captions urging voters to remember them before they voted.  It is true that the multiple lynchings and killings of dissenting voices by groups sharing ideologies similar to the ruling party or those affiliated to some of its members, and the silence of the dispensation over such acts can be reason enough for someone to not vote back a government – this was one of my reasons, at least.

However, to say that these can be the only metrics of judging whether the government should be voted for or not is quite dogmatic. To say that those who voted for the BJP did not vote for ‘development’ but ‘hatred and bigotry’, even if the voters themselves say that the former was the determinant, does not just imply that only one kind of electoral preference – one that is anti-BJP – should exist but also denies the agency to the voters to make their electoral decisions themselves by condemning those choices. It’s also highly patronising and arrogant to tell someone that you couldn’t have voted because of X reason because I’m telling you that you voted for Y. Who are we with our high-handed privilege to tell people what is right for them?

There can be tons of reasons as to why people might have voted for Mr Modi’s party. As writer Mahmood Farooqui argued in an article published on The Wire, “Many voted for him (Modi) despite acknowledging his policy failures. Some voted for him because he could defend the country, some because he had made the country proud internationally, some because he worked very hard and they saw him as honest, and some because there was nobody else on the horizon. Many people voted for a leader who they genuinely believed was doing good for the country and would continue to do good. They voted for a leader who they believed deserved another chance.”

Or as NDTV‘s Aunindyo Chakravarty wrote in his blog, “The Modi government might have failed in the…various type of ‘measures’ through which modern nations gauge their government’s performance – GDP, industrial output, profit growth, employment, and similar ‘data’ that states produce. It has, however, been extremely successful in creating ‘touch-points’ between the government and the poor.

“Swachh Bharat, PMAY (Awas Yojana), Ujjwala, Jan Dhan, Ayushman Bharat, Mudra, PM Kisan, are all such touch-points, that aid the operation of ‘governmentality’.”

Of course, this doesn’t mean some people didn’t vote for the BJP precisely because of the bigotry and divisiveness, as shown by journalist Supriya Sharma’s piece on Scroll.in. Yet, I would argue that a greater portion of people voted because of many other reasons – governmental schemes, choosing stability over a weak and fragmented opposition, popularity of Mr Modi and other such considerations. After a single term, the anti-incumbency factor isn’t that high either and people might often be willing to give the government another chance.

Hence, the “fascist, communal, bigot” arguments are quite incorrect. But they’re more than that – they’re also lazy.

Apart from the clichés of how it is very easy to sit in our air conditioned rooms and condemn people’s preferences, there are also the dangers of ideology. Living in a box is easy but also dangerous for it blinds people in their ideological echo chambers. The left using labels of “fascist”, “hyper-nationalist”, “communal” for right-wingers is basically the same as the right attaching derogatory connotations to “liberal”, “secular” or “communist” or using labels of “anti-national”.

Both are different ways of using the same tactic of attaching labels to opponents while ignoring nuance all along the way. This thumbnail point of view never allows for nuanced understanding or debate because most people, irrespective of their ideological leanings, don’t accept the fact that they might be wrong. This lazy argument of limiting the other’s perspective to a couple of fancy words remains meaningless to some and incomprehensible jargon to others. Ultimately, the root of the issue isn’t tackled and evils of communalism and bigotry are allowed to get away. In any case, when has Insta-activism ever solved a problem?

I’m not trying to do armchair political analysis and fall into the irony of critiquing armchair activists at the same time, which is why I’ve quoted from people much more experienced in this domain. Instead, I’ve tried to have a non-thumbnail, non-lazy argument with people like me who I think are missing the point.


Image credits – The Hindu


Prateek Pankaj

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The youth forming a dominant share of votes, is a major vote bank for the political parties. Despite this, the representation of youth in the Lok Sabha is a concern in our country.

India is a young country with a median age of 27.9 years. By 2020, youth will make up 34% of the country’s population. 45 million young people, having become eligible to vote as they turned 18, have been added to India’s electoral roll since 2014, according to 2018 data from the Election Commission of India. This has expanded the voter list by 5% since 2014.Thus, the youth forming a dominant share of the vote bank, certainly forms an important determining factor of 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The irony here is the pride that India takes in being a young country but has the least representation and an ageist prejudice towards the representation of youth in the political arena. Only 2.2% of the members of Lok Sabha are below the age of 30. The gerontocracy problem of Indian political system makes politics inaccessible to the youth with their issues and representation not being addressed. Though we are set to exercise our vote on 12th May 2019,  670 million young Indians including many first time voters don’t have a fair representation of the youth demographic through young candidates fighting for Lok Sabha elections.

Ignorant, immature, impulsive, carefree are some of the adjectives associated with the youth in India. It is believed that youth can’t understand politics and stand for the issues of their community therefore, the age of candidacy to fight for the elections being 25.The youth with their strong will to be the change makers in their community find it difficult to navigate their way forward in the ageist prejudice existing in the Indian Political system. To solve the fundamental social evils of the society politics should be taken as a serious tool to bring about change and not just post retirement plan of people. Mobilization of the youth and their increased representation in the Lok Sabha will surely act as a lubricant for social change.

While we cast our vote on the 12th May, we need to be prudent while choosing our leader and take a step towards solving the gerontocracy problem of India.

Feature Image Credits: India Today


Sriya Rane

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As someone who has dreamt of living an independent life to get one step closer to his ambitions, shifting near the campus was a big deal for me. But as they say, with great power comes great responsibilities, I began succumbing to the responsibilities. The problem of plenty is real, and here’s why.  

Suppose you are living a life of comfort, following a flamboyant and careless lifestyle, eating anything recklessly, sleeping at odd hours and then one fine day you suddenly feel a prickling pain in your chest. The pain doesn’t go away, it persists, for a day or two and is mildly affecting your consciousness. You wake on the third day and the pain comes back again. You go and see a doctor and it’s your liver! It has been deteriorating for a while now. The physician hints at your sedentary lifestyle and absurd eating habits for the situation. You regret, you repent, you cannot accept the fact that you have succumbed into a chronic disease at such a young age. Though it can get worse with time, the relieving part is that only if it’s not controlled or managed well. Your liver will get back on track if you undo the effects with a disciplined and healthy lifestyle. Now, out of scarcity of option you willingly or unwillingly have to follow a better lifestyle.

If you are wondering why the medical situation of a careless youngster is being discussed here, then let me tell you, this careless youngster is me and probably you or a friend of yours. Let me clear the ambiguity first. I have used this analogy to illustrate the “problem of plenty”. A situation 11th-hour lovers must be familiar with.

Now, allow me to associate this problem with my decision to shift near the campus in order to concentrate on my college and academics. The most relevant argument a student gives to their parents or guardians (or at least I did) while persuading them to allow relocation to a flat or PG near the campus is that it will save the time lost in commuting daily from home to college and back. The other argument is generally the availability of a student-friendly environment in a flat or PG near the college. Subsequently, one also thinks about having a typical bachelor’s experience. In hindsight, a student comes with hope and determination to lead an independent life for the next few years.

And then comes the problem of plenty. The problem of plenty roots within the luxury of abundance. The abundance of resources, time and affinity. Just like “you” took your abdomen for granted and got marred by a deadly disease, I got marred by the assurance of resources and time.

Once I left the comfort of domestication and set foot out in the real world, I saw a lot of opportunities, experiences to seek, and things to try. A distorted sleeping cycle, untimely eating habits, eating whatever I got at hand, etc. became common practices. Exploiting the freedom I had was the foremost task my mind was alluded to do once I got out of home. Now, I could dare to miss classes on a regular basis and still sleep in peace, unlike my home where my parents would have ranted out their frustration had I missed classes so frequently. And academics – you remember the 11th-hour lovers I mentioned initially? I became that student inadvertently.

But then, the grass is always greener on the other side. When I see it from another perspective, I realise the vast amount of experience I am extracting at such a young age. I am maturing as a person, learning to tackle emotional and mental upheavals, discovering the value of every teardrop I shed. I am making friends who I am sure will become family to me if I hold on to them.  And if with great responsibility comes with great power, this independence, this abundance is nothing but power to me!


Image Credits: Adventure In Adventure Out



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