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- Society | The Stephanian Forum
The Stephanian Forum SOCIETY "Neither the life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding both" -C. Wright Mills Maria Charles Nov 28, 2021 The Power of Harmless Flattery Flattery is a word with a bad reputation, often considered in a negative context. But is it always that bad? Allen Mathew Sep 25, 2021 Revenge Bedtime Procrastination: What is it and how you probably have it. It’s pretty darn dark outside, and raining; I’m in my room, with the fan running and the tube light switched on... Jane Eliza Cyriac Sep 15, 2021 The Impact of COVID-19: Refugees. According to reports from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), nearly 1 person is forcibly displaced every 2 seconds. Drona Sharma Sep 7, 2021 We are Grateful Dear Corona Warriors, greetings on behalf of your anxious yet grateful human family. Renee Jose Nov 8, 2020 We Need To Talk! The increasing dialogues on mental wellness, in lieu of the rising numbers of suicide cases among the youth, has urged many of us to... Jasjeev Singh Sahni Sep 30, 2020 From Desks to Desktops: The Virus’s Undoing of Education The biography of education in India foretells a constant state of flux in the medium of teaching. From the slate-chalk, the blackboard-chalk Aishwarya Mukhopadhyay Sep 25, 2017 Surviving in a Post-Truth World: Shoma Chaudhury on the needs of the times Disclaimer: The Stephanian Forum does not take any institutional position on its content and would like to inform readers that the views,... Vrinda Sharma Aug 13, 2017 Freedom of Expression and Netiquette Disclaimer: The Stephanian Forum does not take any institutional position on its content and would like to inform readers that the views,... Shreemayi Samujjwala Jul 30, 2017 Unfetter those words now, shall we? Disclaimer: The Stephanian Forum does not take any institutional position on its content and would like to inform readers that the views,... The Stephanian Forum Sep 23, 2016 Comedy is a blood-sport I live to see times when a comedy show that means no harm to any individual, religion, god or the society as a whole, is crucified. To... Pragya Jat Oct 15, 2015 On Secularism and a Happy Co-Existence. Secularism, a term as intrinsic to my understanding of India as electoral competition. But, apparently for some in the current political... The Stephanian Forum Sep 19, 2015 Of gendered spaces and absolute equality. An interview of The SUS President for the year, Aina Singh. The interview team comprises Rishi Bryan (IInd English), Urvi Khaitan (IInd... Vikram Grewal Aug 17, 2015 FIFA 16: Snowballing Feminism into Football. Ignoring the ‘fratricidal’ FIFA wars over Sepp Blatter, the officials at EA Sports gave the masses something unprecedented earlier this... Soumyajit Kar Jul 28, 2015 How much of feminism do we understand? “She feels good when they split all expenses, but also when he buys her flowers. Inside the modern feminist lies an archaic desire.”... Prerna Geeta Manian Jan 10, 2015 Following a Religion- A Façade? “You are a black stain on Hinduism if you love a Muslim man.” “I won’t let you marry a Muslim.” “Muslims are terrorists.” While studying... Soumyajit Kar Dec 16, 2014 Gender and the Epics “Being a woman is a terribly difficult task, since it consists principally in dealing with men.” — Joseph Conrad Hinduism is probably the...
- Politics | The Stephanian Forum
The Stephanian Forum POLITICS "Politics can be a good thing when we bring people to the table to sit down, work together, compromise and get things done for the common good." -Bill Gindlesperger Shilpa Mariam Joseph Apr 18, 2021 India’s Political Landscape is Ideologically Bereft Around the world, right-wing populism is on the rise. Since the mid-2010s, we’ve seen one election after another ending in the victory of... Mariam George Nov 18, 2020 Surface-Level Activism When the very same people who chose to stay quiet during Sushant Singh Rajput’s unfortunate death become overnight ambassadors of mental... Diya Maria Abraham Oct 4, 2020 Dissent, But Make It 2020 Taking dissent online is not a new phenomenon. It has been used by activists in countries where governments are ‘repressitarian’- meaning The Stephanian Forum Jan 19, 2020 Protests: A Plea for Justice or an opposition propaganda? The Stephanian Forum delves into the significance of protests through a cogitative analysis of history. It is a widely held belief that... Debanjan Das Oct 22, 2019 Over-efficiency of Parliament: A dangerous precedent? By Debanjan Das, 1st History. The recently concluded parliamentary session was indeed an eventful one. It was for the first time that the... Devak Namdhari Nov 24, 2018 The Angry Hanuman Devak delves into the history, cultural ties, and the significance of what at first glance seems like an illustration with no political... Gulhaider Zaidi Sep 28, 2018 Brexit: A Convoluted Step Towards Economic Prosperity or Jeopardy? As Prime Minister May and the Conservative Party scramble through the cumbersome Brexit process, it is vital to assess the economic... Eshaa Jain Sep 20, 2018 06.09.2018 One of our editors reflects on the landmark judgement of the Supreme Court, taking a significant step towards the vision of a more equal... Suchintan Das Aug 31, 2018 The Illusion of Democracy In his first article for the Forum, Suchintan reflects on the nature of the world’s largest democracy and questions its deeply rooted... Shreya Mary Abraham Aug 19, 2018 A National Disaster, But the Nation Does Not Seem to Notice Kerala’s picturesque landscape dotted with 44 rivers, 30 tributaries, 42 dams and 1500 km of backwater canals has been ravaged by the... Jaspreet Kalra Aug 18, 2018 Monsoon Session of Parliament: Few Bills, Protests and a No-Trust Vote One of our readers, Jaspreet, pulls back the curtains on the monsoon session of the parliament and looks past the theatrics of the 18... Sehaj Bhatti Jul 20, 2018 Cracks in an Age-Old Alliance: Gauging the Trump-NATO Summit With the two-day summit in Brussels now in the rearview mirror, it is all but clear, that even close allies have lost their patience with... Arshad Muhammed Aug 27, 2017 The Politics of Language Disclaimer: The Stephanian Forum does not take any institutional position on its content and would like to inform readers that the views,... Aishwarya Mukhopadhyay Aug 6, 2017 When Despotism gets garbed in Democracy Disclaimer: The Stephanian Forum does not take any institutional position on its content and would like to inform readers that the views,... Archit Jain Jan 17, 2017 Shocking: Ugly Pillow Fight Delays Winter Session of Parliament Disclaimer: The Stephanian Forum does not take any institutional position on its content and would like to inform readers that the views,... Pragya Jat Oct 15, 2015 On Secularism and a Happy Co-Existence. Secularism, a term as intrinsic to my understanding of India as electoral competition. But, apparently for some in the current political... Arunansh B. Goswami Jul 28, 2015 Politics of Economic Security in Contemporary India Upon an analysis of economic security missions in contemporary India, I was made aware of their various manifestations. In accordance... Urvi Khaitan Jul 15, 2015 Should We Be Upbeat About Ufa? By Urvi Khaitan, IInd History The eyes of the Indian media were drawn more towards the meeting between Modi and Nawaz Sharif, Prime... The Stephanian Forum Feb 9, 2015 The Battle for Delhi By Aniket Baksy - Economics III, Divya Murugesan - Economics III, Prashant Kumar - Economics III and Usman Zafar - B.A. Programme I... Pratishtha Mamgain Jan 25, 2015 Hong Kong – Time For Change? By Pratishtha Mamgain, II year Economics Since September 2014, Hong Kong has witnessed unprecedented widespread protests that reiterate... Roy Joseph Jan 17, 2015 Velvet Glove, but Iron Fist? By Roy Joseph, Economics (Hons.) IIIrd year The Indian Armed forces have protected the frontiers of the country valiantly and... Divya Murugesan Dec 26, 2014 Fighting Bullets with Pens and Ballots On numerous accounts, the popular saying “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind” has been proven right, but not as accurately and... Urvi Khaitan Dec 16, 2014 Truths and half truths – A session with Natwar Singh Truth is a dangerous thing, and revealing it to the world, even more so. As a first year in my first month of College, the last thing I... Pallavi Rachel George Dec 16, 2014 Unapologetically Political With Natwar Singh “If I were to change three things in the way the Congress ran the government, I would say a) there should be no corruption b) there... Michelle Cherian Dec 16, 2014 Taxing Tobacco Troubles Prime Minister Modi’s Budget was appreciated for many reasons, one among them being the hike in the prices of cigarettes and other... Pratishtha Mamgain Dec 16, 2014 A golden chance for Myanmar? “Sometimes I think that a parody of democracy could be more dangerous than a blatant dictatorship, because that gives people an... Michelle Cherian Dec 16, 2014 AFSPA: Uncompromising or compromised upon? Close to six decades have passed since Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru unfurled the tiranga atop the Red Fort signifying India’s tryst with its...
- Stephania | The Stephanian Forum
The Stephanian Forum STEPHANIA To the outside world, Stephen's still remains a mystery. The red brick walls refuse to divulge its secrets and people have their own opinions of this institution. But what does it truly mean to be a Stephanian? What is the true spirit of Stephania? Team Stephania (2020-21) Apr 25, 2021 The trials and triumphs of virtual college: A Stephanian Experience As COVID strikes again, the fear of spending yet another year at home was creeping in. Stephen's still remains a mystery to a majority of th The Stephanian Forum Feb 13, 2020 Bon Appetit It was just another day when First Years were rushing to make it to the Morning Assembly on time, birds were chirping and 8;30 a.m.... The Stephanian Forum Sep 22, 2019 Political Participation in College This study was conducted by our First Year contributors, namely Abhinandan Kaul (I BAP), Debanjan Das (I History), Shagun Tyagi (I... The Stephanian Forum Sep 11, 2019 Of the times of Losing Faith and the need of Breaking the Silence A candid conversation with the SUS President (2019-20), Raman Mohora The interview was conducted on September 3, 2019, by Siddharth... Suchintan Das Aug 20, 2019 The Abuse of History and Making of the Anti-Nation By Suchintan Das, 2nd History The University of Delhi, which is no stranger to controversies, has recently found itself at the centre of... The Stephanian Forum Oct 5, 2017 In conversation with the President Disclaimer: The Stephanian Forum does not take any institutional position on its content and would like to inform readers that the views,... Nitish Vasav Sep 15, 2017 Ad Dei Collegium Disclaimer: The Stephanian Forum does not take any institutional position on its content and would like to inform readers that the views,... The Stephanian Forum May 19, 2016 Burning humanity: an appeal. The temperature in Delhi, as I write this, is quite unusual. A molten effervescenve is in the air. Seems like humanity is burning,... Ishita Blest Dec 15, 2015 Onam 2015: a celebration of diversity One can be found whining about the alienation on the part of certain groups in St. Stephens college, and about how cliquey communities... The Stephanian Forum Sep 19, 2015 Of gendered spaces and absolute equality. An interview of The SUS President for the year, Aina Singh. The interview team comprises Rishi Bryan (IInd English), Urvi Khaitan (IInd... Rishi Bryan Sep 15, 2015 Being a Stephanian and not being one. When one writes about St. Stephen’s college these days, one has to do so with extreme caution lest one treads deep into controversial... Urvi Khaitan Dec 16, 2014 Truths and half truths – A session with Natwar Singh Truth is a dangerous thing, and revealing it to the world, even more so. As a first year in my first month of College, the last thing I... Pallavi Rachel George Dec 16, 2014 Unapologetically Political With Natwar Singh “If I were to change three things in the way the Congress ran the government, I would say a) there should be no corruption b) there...
Blog Posts (72)
- Framing Women’s Sports Rethinking How We View Our Female Athletes
In a 2020 BBC survey conducted in India, 42% of respondents felt that women’s sports were not as ‘entertaining’ as men’s. This notion, which has been around since the advent of female participation in sports, has often come to be perceived as an indisputable truth. Perceptions of this nature rely heavily on normative beliefs regarding femininity and gender stereotypes, helped along in no small part by stakeholders such as the media and sports regulatory authorities. The most pressing issue with the media’s treatment of female athletes is insubstantial and differential coverage, which has impeded their visibility and potential popularity. In the US, the coverage of women’s sports did not manage to supersede coverage of dogs and horses until 1992. The argument typically put forth to explain the gap in coverage is circular - the media showcases women’s sports rarely and infrequently compared to their male equivalents, which leads to them having fewer viewers and generating lesser interest, and this lack of popular interest is then touted as the reason for their lack of coverage. Even when female athletes do receive media attention, their portrayal in the news is often significantly different from that of their male counterparts. Their athleticism, instead of being the sole focus, is frequently framed as tangential. Instead, their image, physical appearance, sexuality and private lives are given considerably more attention. In an interview with tennis star Sania Mirza, journalist Rajdeep Sardesai asked her about her plans for motherhood and ‘settling down’. When Hungarian swimmer Katinka Hosszu broke a world record and won a gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, the NBC broadcast coverage panned to her husband and coach, and a commentator said, “And there’s the man responsible”. In a report on the media coverage of women’s sports, Dr Murray Phillips notes that “Women were often photographed in inactive shots, in relationship caricatures or as models; men were more often shown in active poses, less in relationships and never as models. Similarly, the writing that described women’s and men’s sports reinforced a gender dichotomy. Women were stereotyped by their physical traits, their clothes, their emotions and their relationships; men by courage, aggression and toughness…” Women were stereotyped by their physical traits, their clothes, their emotions and their relationships; men by courage, aggression and toughness… Media portrayals of female athletes are regularly linked to their alignment with conventional standards of beauty and the performance of femininity. Their outfits and body shapes are subject to undue scrutiny, often at the expense of reporting on their athletic accomplishments. The objectification of these athletes by reducing them to their desirability denigrates them both as women and as athletes. This issue is exacerbated by the dress codes enforced for various sports by their respective overseeing administrative bodies. The regulations that female outfits are subject to have drawn considerable scrutiny in recent years for their active and conscious contribution to the sexualisation of these athletes. Dress codes in sports have historically been dictated by commercial interests and devised almost entirely by men, many of whom seem to subscribe to the adage that “sex sells” when it comes to the promotion of women’s sports. While regulated form-fitting or lightweight outfits serve technological and functional purposes in sports such as gymnastics or swimming, the same cannot be said for others such as women’s beach volleyball and handball. Beach handball requires women to wear bikini bottoms when they compete, while men are permitted to wear shorts. The International Handball Federation rules even include specifications on the nature and style of this apparel, stating that the bottoms must be “a close fit”, be “cut on an upward angle toward the top of the leg” and have a side width of no more than 10 centimetres. Despite claims that these stipulations “increase athlete performance”, there is scarce evidence to prove it. The regulations go on to state that these rules are necessary for coherence with the “sportive and attractive image of the sport”. In 2021, the Norwegian women’s beach handball team was fined 150 euros for switching out their bikini bottoms for shorts. The Federation drew global criticism for its unfair dress code and soon amended its rules to allow women to wear shorts. However, parity between the sexes has not yet been achieved in beach handball - women’s shorts are required to be of a “close fit” while men’s shorts simply are not allowed to be “too baggy”. Television angles of female athletes lean into the existent focus on aesthetics over athleticism. Female athletes are subject to objectifying camera angles ten times more often than their male counterparts. For example, camera angles tend to linger on the backsides of female athletes during coverage of beach volleyball, ostensibly to capture the strategic hand signals they pass to each other. During the 2012 London Olympics, tabloids ran photo spreads covering the women’s beach volleyball event that had scarcely a set or spike in sight. Then-mayor of London and later Prime Minister of the UK, Boris Johnson, described these players to have been glistening “like wet otters.” Unsurprisingly, most of the reasons as to why this belief is so easily internalised can be traced back to good old-fashioned sexism (as it almost always can be). Simply put, women athletes are made to be viewed as women first and athletes second. People feel as though women’s sports are intrinsically not entertaining as they are never seen simply as sports - the prefix of ‘women’s’ is inseparable from their judgement of them, which is subsequently clouded by the same. Unsurprisingly, most of the reasons as to why this belief is so easily internalised can be traced back to good old-fashioned sexism (as it almost always can be). The significance of the role of the media and regulatory authorities when it comes to moulding public perception of these sports cannot be overstated and deserves far greater critique and critical attention than it currently receives.
- Don't We Keep Coming Back?
We are all chasing our dreams, or maybe are on the journey of finding them. Although not necessary, it does require moving out of our comfort zones. Sometimes, this could mean changing the primary basis of our identity - our home. The truth is, this could happen at any point of life - school, college, or work. Change is probably something that disrupts most of our routines, flow of thought or even our behaviour in some scenarios. Let's say one starts using a different pen than usual or takes a seat different from their so-called 'spot'. Now, this wouldn't necessarily be something that increases your anxiety level. For some, it does, and it feels like their productivity compromised. A fear might even begin to creep in that something bad might happen to them that day. Moving away from one's home or hometown - the place where they made their most cherished memories and spent good moments with their loved ones - is more or less like a domino effect in this regard for many people. This is because when most of us crave stability in all spheres, this shift is a tricky one to tackle. To be honest, it can feel like the whole world around you is falling apart. When one spends many sleepless nights on whether to take this decision or not, or even after one takes it, the realisation that this is a make or break situations sets in at some point or another. For example, it wouldn't be wrong to admit that many tasks that we consider to be 'trivial' can start eating time off our schedule. This could be washing one's own clothes or trying to be an experimental chef turned miracle worker, whipping up dishes in a jiffy with just a handful of ingredients and little to no equipment. We end up bumping into memories of home from something as simple as a cup of tea , a whiff of curry from someone's tiffin, or maybe just the drizzling raindrops that you see from your window. All these occasional happenings are often very intimidating at first. Nevertheless, let's make an effort here to see the brighter side of all the changes we undergo in our lifestyle. On this journey, we end up learning what we are capable of and discovering the undiscovered realms within ourselves. Being responsible for ourselves and our decisions (to a certain extent) sheds a lot of light on the potential we possess. Above all, the change brings a lot of independence into our lives, which helps us be more creative and adventurous. Even so, at the end of the day, it is on us to channel this energy in order to influence our long term goals for the better. Long story short, this is probably just one of the bumpy rides you will take in your life, where you meet new people, forge lifelong bonds with some and end up breaking away from others, learn new lessons and forgo some others. Ultimately, it is YOUR journey. The circumstances around you might have changed. Still, I believe that there will be a part of that abode or people you call 'home' deep in your soul, and also a part of you which identifies with what Benjamin Button said in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: "It's a funny about coming home. Looks the same, smells the same, feels the same. You'll realise what's changed is you." The shining beams in the night sky are no longer the stars that my mom pointed out when I was little; It's the trail of that bird that I long to hop on soon, that engineering marvel which takes me back now, at least in dreams. Maybe I am getting used to finding meaning in this noise, or adjusting to the surprises that the weather presents everyday. Now, maybe, the brick and mortar of my blood, sweat and tears might create that heavenly place right here, but then, would I ever really be here? Because I just keep coming back, never really knowing if I miss that abode, the lives in it or just the breeze that swayed back there. Or maybe not, 'cause, people and problems are really just the same. They may look different from the outside, but all they want is, me understanding them, their purpose and that I can do, wherever I am as long as I am myself: not trying to be you or anyone else, just me, as I am or maybe a better ME that I try to be everyday.
- One Week, Two Elections, Three Lessons
My first month in college residence introduced me to the phenomena of college elections. If there is something in the college close to the SUS (Students Union Society) elections, it is perhaps the JCR (Junior Combination Room) elections. In a single week, I had witnessed JCR as well as Block Representative elections. In this swift period, I got to see politics unfolding first hand and got to hear opinions from candidates, campaigners and observers about events and outcomes. It may sound like an oxymoron, but despite being a student of Political Science, I stay at a distance from real politics. Nevertheless, I never miss a chance – as a voter – to exercise my right and responsibility, and – as a student – to analyze the events, their results and the reasons and factors at play. Here I share three conclusions I have arrived at from my experiences in the past week. 1. Showing up is important Each residential block has two block reps – one each from the second and third year. My block ran into these elections days before the JCR. Dr Mahesh Gopalan, our block tutor, came and instructed each one of us to put down names of two candidates – one from each year – on a ballot. Each of us was told to go to our rooms and do so in secrecy. Long story short – one of the candidates I voted for won, and one of them lost. The one who won managed to do so by a margin of just two votes. Back in my room once the whole business was over, the realization struck me: the candidate won by two votes, and I had voted in his favor. It meant that if I had voted for the other candidate, the final count of ballots would have ended up being equal for the two candidates. That would have resulted in a clearly different situation. This deciding vote need not be my vote – it could have been anyone’s. But just one vote on a different side, and the outcome would be different – like the final hair turning the scale! Two days later, I would find myself sitting in the mess during breakfast and listening to discussions about JCR among other mess-mates. Someone quipped, “There are so many of us! How much does my vote count?” I was quick to jump in, “Everything in this world!” Especially when there is no sweeping majority, our vote is really a deciding factor. Even otherwise. 2. When things get political, nothing remains isolated Discussions are not the only things that happen in the mess. I came to hear of some hushed argument that erupted in the mess a couple of days before the JCR elections. It led to certain differences between two groups. The argument in itself had nothing to do with the elections. The matter snowballed however, and seeped into elections. It ended up being a determinant issue, and the results that came were reflective of these differences. This has many parallels with the larger elections. An accident, a military misfire, a crime, a foreign visit, an unexpected calamity – whenever these and other such incidents happen during an election period, even though they could have otherwise been isolated events, end up being decisive for the elections. This is rooted in human weakness: we tend to remember and prioritize things on the basis of their recency, and end up ignoring both the larger picture and the past experiences. When things get political, there are no isolated events. 3. Zoon politikon: No exceptions? From February till a month ago, I was pretty much impressed by the coexistence of various groups in the college. I saw an almost absence of ‘political’ ambitions at the cost of someone else, and a mutual respect among members of all communities and geographies towards each other. JCR and Block Rep elections, sadly, did not conform to this incomplete ideal that I had cradled for two semesters. Elections brought out all forms of the politicisation of identities along with conscious discussions about who we are and where ought we to belong. As Prof Ayde reiterates Aristotle in his classes, man is zoon politikon. Unlike what I had wrongfully imagined, it is as true here at the melting pot that St. Stephen’s is, as anywhere else.