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- About Us | The Stephanian Forum
- 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...
- Home | The Stephanian Forum
The Stephanian Forum IDEAS Stephania View Culture View Politics View Society View Anoushka Dominic Jan 27 The Age of Anthropocene The words Climate Change and Global Warming are often bandied about. Phenomena, deadly enough to wipe out our entire species and yet, in... 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? Rhea Rose Kappan Oct 24, 2021 SOS: Indian Art and Culture India’s history is steeped in rich culture and tradition. And yet, we are caught unaware; Unaware of the beauty that exists within those.... Ria Thomas Oct 5, 2021 Indian Films – A Stereotypical World Sans Reality The impossible beauty standards displayed in films and media has standardised beauty among the Indian public. 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. Team Culture (2020-21) May 2, 2021 Gender Constructs In India Team Culture (2020-21) : Amy Alexander, Anoushka Dominic, Aryan Kathuria, Prashasti Sarraf, Reva Chhabra, Sahil Kumar and Ujjwal Kumar... 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 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... Nanditha Elizabeth Roy Nov 29, 2020 The Recipes of Life It was like any other morning- I woke up to the sound of my dog barking and reluctantly got out of bed to let him out. The sun was... 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... 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... 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 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 Who We Are The Stephanian Forum is an initiative by a few students of St. Stephen’s College who aim to create a platform to voice their opinions without a filter. It is an open space where ideas, perspectives and experiences about everything, from a grain of rice to the dire situations we face today, coexist. If you’re wondering who we are and what we do, know this, YOU are us— you define The Stephanian Forum. From the articles you read, to the ones you ponder over and finally those you contribute to this space, all that we are capable of, starts with you. DISCLAIMER The Stephanian Forum is an independent initiative taken up by a group of students of St. Stephen’s college. It is necessary to note that this is not the official website of the college and has no correlation with it whatsoever. The content published on this site is entirely based on the independent and subjective opinion of the writers.
- The Age of Anthropocene
The words Climate Change and Global Warming are often bandied about. Phenomena, deadly enough to wipe out our entire species and yet, in popular perception, far enough into the future to not warrant any immediate remedial action. If our planet’s long history of 4.5 billion years could be condensed into a single 24 hr day, the modern human has been a part of that history for less than 3 seconds and yet, our impact has been one of the most influential. But in order to understand why, we need to take a quick dive into the past; into our extensive and yet, relatively short history as inhabitants of this planet. For even though the past cannot change, the knowledge we have about it and the way we look at it, is constantly changing. Our journey into the history of our species begins with a relatively recent discovery, that of the fossil Sahelanthropus in Chad, Africa. The fossil, discovered at the start of the 21st Century, dates back almost 7 million years and is believed to be our oldest ancestor. It’s discovery has helped scientists better understand the long evolutionary journey that led to the creation of the modern human. It is believed that our story begins in Africa, where diverse groups of early humans, driven by changes in the Earth’s climate, interacted to generate the unique genetic make up of modern humans. The modern human, i.e homo sapiens evolved only around 200,000 years ago, in what we now call the Middle Stone Age. This era saw great advancements in the types and ways stone tools were manufactured and used, which significantly altered the nature of our interaction with the surrounding environment since we were now more lethal hunters and thereby, acted as a catalysing agent in the process of our evolution. The period that followed witnessed the first great human migration. Drastic changes in the Earth’s climate and landscape, specifically lower sea levels, enabled the passage of early humans out of Africa through the middle east and into the rest of Eurasia. These climatic changes were characteristic of the Pleistocene Epoch, a period during which a succession of glacial and interglacial climatic cycles took place, ultimately ending in the Holocene Interglacial or Holocene era. This period, which followed the Pleistocene, was characterised by warmer and more stable conditions. It was during this period, beginning close to 12,000 years ago, that mankind’s activities grew into a sizeable geological and morphological force, allowing the development of modern civilisations as we know it. Now, as our period of relative stability begins to waiver due to rising temperatures, we are witnessing the end of the Holocene and the start of a new epoch- the Age of Anthropocene. Over the past 250 years, since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, the world has enjoyed an era of prosperity and development. Due to great technological and medical advancements, mankind’s impact on the Earth has increased manifold, outweighing even the impact of many natural processes. This means that human beings have now become the most significant geological force on the planet- a frightening thought! In the past, the biggest threat to the survival of a species were drastic changes to the Earth’s climate as a result of natural, unavoidable disasters such as asteroids and volcanic eruptions. For the first time in history, this is no longer true. The climate change we refer to today is unlike that of the past. It is purely man made. Unnatural. A result of greed. Humans have such power to impact the natural world, that we find ourselves at the hinge of history. Our actions have a lasting, likely irreversible impact on the Earth’s systems and processes. What we do in our lifetime will determine the future of mankind.
- The Power of Harmless Flattery
Ah, childhood! If I could go back in time and experience those moments again. I didn't yearn to be a grown-up. I was the oldest in my generation so I had enough power to boss around the brood that followed after me, thanks to my parent’s big families. Being the firstborn, I had enough influence over my uncles and aunts, enjoying all the attention and warmth of the family for a period. Moreover, I came into a family with very few females, so I was received with much anticipation. I thoroughly basked in that glory till the younger ones came along; one by one. But even then, I was the big sister. I never bullied them, but they would probably have a different story. For the time being, it's my story, so I decide to place on record that I was a very gracious big sister. Summer holidays and school holidays were times when all of us came together at our ancestral home. One day, all of us were sitting together and playing. My ammachi (grandmother) called out for me. I picked myself up very reluctantly, knowing I couldn't say anything. As I approached my ammachi, I had a look of displeasure on my face because I knew she was going to give me some chores to do. She said, “Maria, please fold Grandpa's shirts and keep them in the cupboard.” One look at my face, and my grandmother knew what was going on in my mind. Then, she told me, "Do you know why I called you from that lot? It's because only you can do a perfect folding. Grandpa always says that when you do it, it doesn't even have to be ironed.” My face lit up and I took to the task with all my prowess. In my excitement, I forgot about my cousins playing on the other side of the house and most importantly, I was so preoccupied with impressing my grandparents that I took no notice of the fact that I had never folded my grandpa's shirts before! And oh my, did I not do a good job! So here was my first management lesson from my grandmother, who was no MBA graduate. She not only got the work done but also got the best out of a cranky 10-year-old with harmless flattery. Flattery is a word with a bad reputation, often considered in a negative context. But is it always that bad? Flattery feeds directly into our ego and self-identity. It makes us feel good about ourselves, so naturally, we are not immune to its charms. It affects our behavior outside of our awareness. We tend to respond more positively to situations, people, and products that make us feel good about ourselves; so says the psychologists, not me! Like the child who said the emperor is naked, sometimes we need to be brutally honest. But it's okay to boost each other’s ego once in a while and lift self-confidence with small words of praise and flattery. Believe me, it works like magic!
- SOS: Indian Art and Culture
They say that art appreciation is also an art form. The art and culture of any nation is the backbone of its civilization. India stands apart on the global stage as the amalgamation of multicultural, pluralistic value systems, beliefs, traditions, fairs, festivals, rich classical music and dance forms, handicrafts etc. But people who understand and appreciate Indian art and culture are a dying breed. One can always argue that there are more pressing problems than cultural illiteracy that ails our country. But given the current state of affairs the very ethos of the Indian civilization, which is in great part embodied in our art and culture, it will die a slow and painful death. In these harsh times when artists of great talent languish in sheer neglect, is it not the need of the hour to salvage and reclaim the legacy of our heritage, a heritage that has taken thousands of years, and the toil of numerous artisans, poets, singers, dancers, sculptors, architects, performing artists et al to develop and preserve? Enter the advent of smartphones; the concept of what a person does with his or her leisure time has undergone a sea of change. Ask the average Indian youth of today if they have ever heard of a Raag Malhar or Bhairavi and I'm sure the answer would be a big no. Forget our parent’s generation, how many of us have been directly or otherwise been exposed to the classical arts and literature of our great country. Maestros like Bismillah Khan, M. S. Subbulakshmi, Bhimsen Joshi, Zakir Hussain, Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Shivkumar Sharma, Allahrakha, Kishori Amonkar, Ravi Shankar, Amjad Ali Khan, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt and so many more that are such intrinsic parts of the repository of rich Indian classical music, are probably just names one recalls from the GK textbooks. In the words of a former diplomat who is deeply concerned about the depletion of cultural enthusiasts or rasiks (people who enjoy and understand Indian art and culture), “India must rank as one of the most unique civilizations of the world, marked by great antiquity, substantial refinements and unprecedented audacity of thought. Why, then, do successive governments treat culture with such disrespect?” According to him, very little investment has been made in terms of money and priority when it comes to culture with the Ministry of Culture being clubbed with other subjects like tourism and at the same time inadequately budgeted, often leading to negligible development. “India must rank as one of the most unique civilizations of the world, marked by great antiquity, substantial refinements and unprecedented audacity of thought. Why, then, do successive governments treat culture with such disrespect?” Comparing this glum scenario with efforts put in by China and other Southeast East Asian countries by way of investing in state-of-the-art museums and galleries, along with art districts, rows of streetside cafes and art programs, one can only wonder at the commitment of our politicians towards our “Bhartiya Sabhyata” which the current dispensation often alludes to. There are two unfortunate consequences of this neglect of our cultural heritage- Cultural Indifference and Cultural Illiteracy. The former refers to the total lack of interest in our heritage, leading to a loss of balance between popular and classical culture. Can you imagine a jam-packed auditorium for a Bharatanatyam performance versus any crowd-pulling Bollywood dance number? In London, Hyde Park visitors throng both pop group shows as well as those showcasing western classical music. Our National Gallery of Modern Art hardly gets 30,000 visitors annually compared to the millions in the West. The second fallout which is cultural illiteracy refers to cultural militancy which compensates for one’s lack of knowledge. Culture becomes nothing but a mere slogan in the hands of the uninformed, which does unimaginable damage to the highly complicated fabric of our heritage. Modern India needs to reclaim the legacy of our great cultural heritage. Probably the faintest idea about Indian classical culture survived in the collective memories of the pre-millennial generation. Minimal exposure to the real India has only worsened the issue. Popular culture is held in great sway (mostly Bollywood and West based) in this land of the Natya shastras and amid the remnants of great dynastic monuments. Where are the world-class museums and art galleries that this country needs, and more importantly, where are the audiences for it? A revival of the arts through proper preservation and education at every possible level is the only solution to save it from the brink of extinction. The time for merely paying lip service to it has long passed. Proactive measures are urgently required to bring back the lost glory of our artists, most of whom languish in deprivation. Acknowledge, respect and uplift them. Cultivation of interest and promotion of our arts through popularisation via various media channels is a must, and most importantly, institutional investment in the arts and culture will surely bring back the audiences and keep India's unparalleled cultural tradition alive.