Yes, We Are Glorified Indians


-Yatharth Rana, 2nd Year, ECE

 

*All thoughts in this article are original(seriously) and any resemblance with any character, living or dead(especially political leaders) SHOULD NOT be considered co-incidental and should be appreciated as humor.*

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Yes, I am a glorified citizen of this “SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC”. Glorified? Because my constitution is single largest, democracy most stable and citizens, obviously, most informed and respectable.

Yes, I do enjoy my sovereignty to the fullest. No external foreign powers have a say in my governance and lifestyle, but it is just our modernity and modesty that still runs a foreign language through our spines. And for the governance, isn’t it a lovely gesture of our tradition to gift a political party to an incoming European, especially when she’s a supreme’s daughter-in-law? Come-on, she deserves it, even those Mughals gifted kingdoms…

Yes, I believe in complete socialism and secularism. Communal riots are just not our cup of tea. Political leaders are also human with their own religious orientations and the firm belief that they are right. Those mischievous so-called “educationalists” who accuse leaders for the riots – how do they not understand that leaders don’t “ignite riots”, but they “support revolutions”, of course, in their own best ways, with the best of their intentions. But yes, “Hindus and Musalmans are bhai-bhai”, because they can play in the same cricket team and go to the same shopping malls – isn’t that enough as a testimony of our progress?

Yes, I do respect each caste and creed. We may “confuse” a particular region with a certain China, but since even our PM confuses Nepal, Ladakh and Bhutan (and not China), we can take pride in calling them all “Chinese”; but again, they are our country-mates.

Yes, I believe in equal opportunities and income for all. Isn’t reservation for certain backward groups enough to ascertain that? Now if a handful of businessmen hold more than 40% of our GDP, it can surely be ignored as a mere co-incidence.

Yes, I do enjoy justice. Those highly exaggerating journalists may call it corruption, but isn’t it a moral right to collect your commission to get citizens’ works done? And then maybe deposit that money in a much talked about European bank? After all, it’s our right to earn and live. And then they call that money “black”? Strange.

Yes, we are the most well-informed and understandable citizens, as we understand and utilize our fundamental rights as completely as possible. Spitting, littering, urinating are my rights. BUT “Amrica ki roads are so much more saaf-suthri than Desi ones”.

I am blessed to have a highly considerate set of leaders, so that all murders and rapes can just be waved away because ”boys make mistakes”. But at the end of the day, even terrorism, economy and global warming are minor issues (terrorists already feel they are right, why don’t we just end at that?).

Yes, I am a glorified citizen of this country. Because each movie on a freedom fighter still collects my applause; because each act of bravery by an army man still manages my like on a social network; and I still remember those 12 years when every morning I would stretch out my hand and shout “India is my country…” in the morning assembly…

Yes, I am a glorified citizen…because even after all this, I still manage to love my India.

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Why Can’t It Be Real?

Shreya Shankar, 3rd year, MC

“Why can’t it be real?”

A simple mention of “Harry Potter”, a picture of Harry Potter fan art, or a random visit to the Pottermore website is enough to raise this question in multitude. It occupies my mind like nothing else, sending me into a sub-comatose state, pondering over the odds that a Burrow-like establishment would be standing strong in the far off English countryside or a train might be whistling through the fog on its way to Hogwarts. In the meanwhile, my ‘folks’ would be chatting over a butterbeer in the Hogshead, where lies a covert passage into a secret room whose existence is known only to a few…

…and this is how I get lost in thought.

Since the day I was introduced to the world of Harry Potter, this is the only religion I have followed with full faith and justice. Covering its every book, every movie; following every fan page, with every character’s vignette imprinted on my mind, lest I miss them on my way to London! People go as far as to call me a fanatic – which I’m proud to be.  But this is the only truth I have known since my teenage years. I have no doubts about the fact that I’m not the only lunatic in this muggle world that I’m forced to live in; there are many like me, who resonate with the same spirit and take pride in being called Harry Potter Lunatics.Image

But, as the harsh realities of the real world draw upon us and as we step into the later part of our teens, fantasies dissolve. They are questioned with wit and reason. Rationality takes over the happy belief in the existence of whimsical creatures. This deliberately fabricated world of fantasy is no longer a refuge from the real one. Many a Harry Potter fan would nod their head in unison that it takes just the mystical aroma of a Potter book to get transported in to the wizarding world once more. It takes absolutely no effort to jump through the pages from the muggleworld to the magical one. However, coming out of it is the exact antonym.

And the hangover continues.

Even after evidences given by wit and reason that such a world does not and cannot exist, every Potterhead’s heart cannot help but break a little. However, none of the Uncle Vernon’s and Aunt Petunia’s can stop Harry from going back to Hogwarts!

However, with me reason isn’t the end to my religion. After all, how many beliefs are based on reason? If a puspak-viman could exist in Ramayana, then why can’t unicorns? If Lord Ganesha could adorn the face of an elephant, then why can’t Mad-eye Moody have an eye with a mind of its own? If a bridge made of floating stones could bear the entire Vanar-sena, then why can’t the ceiling of the great hall be enchanted to emulate the sky? I refuse to give up my belief.

Why can’t simple chemicals like potions be brewed, to induce love, to induce luck? Why can’t a piece of wood be used to channelize energies of the brain, the power of thoughts through our hands? Why can’t the platform nine and three quartersexist?! Maybe we should think about the fourth dimension? All the things a Harry potter fan is crazy about are just ahead of our times, methinks. Indeed, a Hogwarts could exist, sometime in the future, when we muggles use the magic of science to create our own Hogsmeade village.

I will not waver in my faith of Harry Potter, whose world created a dimension of fantasy that almost every child, every teenager and even adults have indulged in. Harry Potter fans tasted the terrible earwax flavoured Bertie BottsEvery Flavoured Beans just as Dumbledore did and wrinkled their nose with him. They felt the warmth surge through their veins, just as Harry did when reunited with his wand. Many found in themselves a Ron, who took a backseat and cheered for Harry as he won a Quidditch match. Many resonated with Hermione and her wit, as she fought for the rights of the house elves in the kitchen. Yes, we all found a character to fit in. How, then, could anyone ever say, “it isn’t real after all?”

The Tribute

Shashwat Kishore, 2nd year, PSCT

 

As the first year draws to an end, all the freshers of DTU will be divided into different classes (on the basis of their branches) from the next semester. This fills me with dread because the year gone by has been one of the best of my life. I have made some really great friends in college and though we will all still be around, things will never be the same. This poem is a tribute to all my first year classmates and a tribute to you, if you feel the same way as I do about your first year in college.

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I still remember the first day in class

That day, I sat beside the transparent glass.

I had never seen so many strangers seated so straight

As if noise or sound was not their trait.

The class looked completely unoccupied

although the teacher had not yet arrived.

I missed school at that horrid time

When we would continually talk and pass the time.

Two ruthless years of effort and tear

Had granted me a seat in DTU first year,

But here the college looked just sad

With the silence and awkwardness making me mad.

It took some time

And the passing of some chimes,

When we started to talk

and mingled above the floors made of stone and rock.

We filled that dreadful void

With talks of BITS vs DTU and windows vs android.

Daily discussions involved solving JEE Questions

This concluded with our lamentations.

We discussed with enthusiasm our AIRs and streams

Thereafter the debates turned into wars over which branch reigned sup
reme.

The time we spent at MechC,

The biggest challenge being getting a free treat.

We started playing cricket

With creative “jugaads” used to make the wicket.

We roamed throughout Delhi watching new films

And assignments were the ghissus’ unnecessary whims.

After some time, I made some great friends here

And college became an exciting new sphere.

And then came the dreaded endsem exams

They tested our engineering knowledge (which, by the way, is a sham!).

These tests gave us several sleepless nights

The fear of getting a back engulfed us with fright.

By now the college had completely changed

It calmed us like the soothing rains.

In class, all those who sat straight-backed and rigid

Would talk and play without being timid.

We lost our inhibitions

And took pride in taking part in fests and exhibitions.

Now a year has passed with us being together

And I am consumed by the sadness and the fear

Of being in the same situation as earlier

Where so many strangers sat with their backs completely straight

As if noise and sound was not their trait.

Though we still are in the same college

Things will never be the same as before,

And through this tribute I solemnly pledge

I will always be with you, my friends.

Though our destinies send us on different paths

Our friendship will always last,

And I would conclude with one parting line

I never thought that I would make my greatest friends in that horrid class

Where I sat beside the transparent glass.

The Big Question

Preyesh Dalmia, 3rd year, ECE

 

“You can’t go to the party, beta. It won’t be safe to return at that time of the night.”

“But Ma, we have planned for this party for weeks! All my friends are going to be there!”

“No, you can’t go,” her mother replied, unperturbed by her pleas. With a final look of resentment, she angrily stormed back to her room. Her parents, saddened by the disappointment on her face, tried to cheer her up but to no avail. Sound similar? This is the story of most households in Delhi. Yes, our much defamed national capital. Lauded by many as the most advanced city in India and yet, the most unsafe. It has been just a while since the atrocious, brutal gang rape of a medical student in Delhi rocked the nation’s conscience and triggered heightened discussions over the security of women in the country and the capital in particular. These issues continually bring us to this question: Is locking up our daughters the answer to stopping rape? Denying them the most basic and fundamental right – the right to live freely, as they want to. Is it right for the society to instill fear in them? To tell them if they go out at night in their city of residence that they may not come return home safely? Have we been reduced to a society of hypocrites who cried out with much gusto after the Nirbhaya incident for the protection of women and then after a fortnight were back to schooling them on what they can wear? Tell me, in such a scenario, where are our country’s daughters to go?Image

For sure, the society struggles with a polarizing issue; a powerful force stands in the way of any fundamental change: a police force that is incompetent, corrupt, easily affected by political interference,  male dominated and woefully understaffed. Simply put, they cannot guarantee a woman’s safety when she steps outside her home. But is that the real problem? Or is it the callous attitude of our citiznes and the shame associated with a woman who has been raped deterring her from coming forward and reporting the torment she has been subjected to?

Circumstances have forced women to accept Delhi as it is, even though they have to battle for survival here every day. Society claims to have grown with leaps and bounds in terms of acceptance and a global lifestyle, but this is only superficial. We cry about how barbaric and inhuman an act female foeticide is but no one raises their voice against a girl being unfairly denied the opportunity to take her career forward – an opportunity her husband or brother are practically served on a platter; how, even in the upper middle class, it is considered a woman’s job to bury her ambitions and replace them with the “greater good” for the family; or how parents prefer to have their daughters work in their home towns when there are much better opportunities available outside. We have had and continue to have wide-staged protests demanding equality for women but how can there ever be equality unless the consciousness of every stratum of society accepts it?

Quoting Alex Paul:

“I never doubted that equal rights were the right direction. Most reforms, most problems, are complicated. But to me there is nothing complicated about ordinary equality. “

30 Days of ‘MODI SARKAR’

 Aditya Tripathi, 3rd Year, CE

 

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30 days of ‘Modi Sarkar’ have passed. It is unfair to judge them on the basis of one month worth of work but given the expectations on which this government rides, the process of criticism and denigration has begun. Congress and other opposition parties are sparing no chances to avenge themselves by protesting and belittling the government’s efforts. Be it Jitendra Singh’s Article 370 remark or the Railway Fare hike, INC is getting desperate to reappear on the national front. PM Narendra Modi started his premiership by calling a meeting of all bureaucrats, instructing them about his future plans, asking the IAS officers to be fearless and bold in taking decisions. He then abolished all Group of Ministers (GOMs) and Empowered Group of Ministers (EGOMs) which existed in the UPA regime to appease the allies. All Secretaries of various ministries gave a Power point presentation of 10 slides to apprise Modi of the prevailing situations in India regarding food, health, infrastructure, economics, security, etc.

Modi’s style of working is an authoritative one; he tends to check all his ministers and secretaries. He understands the importance of bureaucracy in policy making and hence he has injected them with the courage to take audacious decisions. SIT on bringing back black money was instituted within 3 days and Environmental clearance for important infrastructure and industrial projects was started online. All this was done to provide a hassle-free, seamless functioning.  Excise duty on Automobiles and computers was reduced marginally and Hike in CNG and Cooking gas prices is postponed.

But all was not well for this Government. When Railway fares were hiked by the Ministry of Railways, it was met with disparagement from all fronts. Third front mocked the NDA government as ‘UPA 3’ while Congress chided them with ‘Achhe Din’ remarks. While Modi promised action against neighbors like China and Pakistan for their frivolous penetration of border security, nothing actually happened. Pakistan is still violating ceasefire while China is including Arunachal Pradesh in its borders. China even plans to build a railway route starting from POK. However, Modi Sarkar is silent. Also when Rape case against Minister of Chemicals, Nihalchand, surfaced along with the MP Government’s infamous VYAPAM Scam of 5000 crores, Central leadership kept mum. They tend to hide themselves beneath the good old ‘Court is doing its work’excuse.

While Narendra Modi and his team have impressed on the Governance front, they are constantly reproached on other issues. The Railway Budget on 8th July and Union Budget on 10th July will give us a hint of NDA’s next 5 year Agenda but it is still too early to compliment or condemn them. 

DU: Voices unheard?

Shreya Shankar, 3rd  year, MC

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The roll back of the three year course structure at Delhi University after a week long stint between the DU academicians and the UGC has brought to light an issue of national concern.

Many engineering students (like us) who had decided to settle with a traditional four year B.Tech course would join their hands in and praise their good thinking of choosing it over the newly designed FYUP (Four Year Undergraduate Program) at Delhi University.

We, who have safeguarded our careers in a B.Tech course at an engineering college, do not have the right to debate over the fate of DU students; but being a part of the student community of India, we have to have our voices heard. Amidst all the bickering and the numerous blame games which have followed, there is a collective voice that remains unheard: The student community’s.

The debate certainly is all about whether a reformed four year course or a traditional three course would bring the needed educational reform in the global scenario, but a more deep rooted concern is the exclusion of any student involvement from the decision making process. Neither were their views taken into consideration, nor were their genuine qualms about the loopholes in the FYUP paid heed to. The students admitted under the FYUP were merely guinea pigs to be experimented on. While the fate of thousands of students who lost a year under the FYUP is still in limbo, there is nothing but an air of confusion and apprehension that occupies the more than 2.5 lakh applicants seeking admission into the University this year.

The discordant notes between the Academicians and the UGC created a drama interesting enough to be highlighted on national television, however it was yet again the students who suffered. In fulfilling the vested interests of the position-holding authorities, it was the students who became the puppets. Clearly, DU has become a warzone in recent days with bitterly divided views of the teachers, the academicians and the UGC on the FYUP. However, little heed is being paid to the views of the students who are the ones actually going to study the course and on whom the impact of the decision will be maximum. Students were simply told to fall in line, yet again.  

The need of the hour is not to squabble over who is accountable for the loss of a year; DU has already tarnished its image amidst all the controversy. Only a well-planned and sought out course structure which is beneficial for students in both the research arena and the job market can help DU reclaim its lost reputation. The teachers, academicians and the UGC need to leave their vested interests and egos aside to bring forth a course structure which is in favor of the students’ needs and ambitions. But this process should not miss out on the most essential element i.e. the views of the students.  

CRIME OF A NEWBORN

By: Kunal Mathur, Ist yr, M.Tech (CD)

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What crime can a newborn possibly commit? The baby has not even opened his or her eyes yet. It’s a strange question. The only actions a baby does is sleep, smile and cry. Can these actions of a baby be termed as criminal? No, not at all. The crime that I am talking about is being born in a poor family. Technically, it is neither a crime nor done intentionally by the newborn, but the system and the society constantly punish them for this ‘crime’.

For starters, hunger becomes the child’s best companion because the ration shop which is supposed to distribute food at subsidized rates to the poor is mostly out of stock (a message to all those who want food, to pay higher rates). Then, the child has to bear the scorching heat as well as the harsh winters. Right to education is a cruel joke played on this child as the resources, both human and infrastructure wise that are provided are abysmal. Many parents actually send their children to schools only so that they can at least get a free mid-day meal, but even that is sometimes not edible. Eventually, a lot of them drop out of school so that the family can get an extra pair of earning hands. The child has to work for a living from a very young age, and in the ages when his or her counterparts in well- placed families are being nurtured with love and care, this child of a poor background grows up either getting beaten up, generally for something he hasn’t done or has to absorb all the foul language spat towards him by ‘humans’.

And if that isn’t enough, a poor child’s medical needs deteriorate the situation further. He or she goes to the hospital only to stand in everlasting queues, and if they get diagnosed, they’re given a prescription for medicines which are not available in the hospital and have to be bought at very high rates from outside. Such is the discrimination in India that an international level player diagnosed with an early stage of cancer is flown abroad on government expenses, but a poor child who has been diagnosed with cancer is not even slightly cared for. His parents have to sleep outside one of India’s biggest hospitals for months as each of their child’s chemotherapy sessions is distanced apart by months, when ideally these sessions should be at least once a week.

Some people might disagree with me and point out to how some of India’s famous people came from very poor families, but have made their fortunes because of their hard work and persistence. But these people are very few in number. Inspiring yes, but still few in number.

At one point we say that children are our future, but at the other end we are smothering them, because when we say children, we mean only our children. This attitude towards the poor has to change otherwise I would say that we are moving towards the destruction of our own country’s potential.