Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Drama. A Report

The Theatre event was the crest on the final day of MiRAAS 2013, and well drawn-out too.
The event witnessed the presence of a renowned jury, Surendra Bawra, Mahesh Vashisth and Mohd Shafique Shahryar.
SRCC, DU; Enactment of 'That Darn Plot'

Without much delay, the first performance was made-That Darn Plot-by Shri Ram College of Commerce, University of Delhi. Predominantly in English, it centered on a playwright, Nasir, dealing also with aspects of his personal life, of commercialization and plagiarism. The host team then came up with its mythological play-Madandhta.

It was followed by Banmooth by Kurukshetra University. It was a highly charged social satire condemning sacrificial rites observed in some cultures. The next perfomance was given by Ramjas College, University of Delhi-Saints and Sinners-which unfortunately had to be called off due to the use of inappropriate language in the vicinity of an educational institution.

'Baanmooth' by Kurukshetra University
Shivaji College, University of Delhi then came up with their play, Kaaki-centred around the relationship shared by a young boy and his 'kaaki'. A fascinating play-Poorna-was then performed by Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak. It left the assemblage thinking on questions of impairment and disability through the powerful protagonist, a mentally challenged girl.

'Kaaki' by Shivaji College, DU

To lighten the atmosphere, Mumbai University presented E.Star, a comic play with an undercurrent of realism. It revolved around the aspirations of a hotel staff who chances to meet a superstar, later revealing that it was a part of a shooting. It played upon the huge gap between a common man and a superstar.

Hasraj College, DU; Enactment of 'Baap Re Baap'
Hansraj College, University of Delhi, performed Baap Re Baap, a comedy. The plot is that of a miserly, old Parsi, the protagonist, his family, servants and neighbourhood, the locale being Old Delhi. Both the father and son chance to fall in love with the same girl, the father being adamant to marry her, a theft, which pushes the comic plot further. The girls from Lady Shri Ram College, University of Delhi, came up with their play-Andhon Ka Haathi-giving substance to the abstract idea through the various characters and narrator.

There was a parallel Mimicry Competition, in between the plays. Apart from being just comic interludes and sheer entertainment, it brought to light some of the hidden talents. This marked the end of the event with a wonderful reception and the presence of huge number of spectators till the end.

Shabeeh Rahat
B.A.(H) English

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

BOL, The National Trilingual Inter-University Debate.

The second day of MiRAAS 2013 witnessed an early start with the National Tri-lingual Inter-University Debate; the motion fought for and against was, “This house believes that in times of National Crises, media has been very responsible”. For three consecutive sessions, debaters from 22 renowned colleges and universities including Aligarh Muslim University, University of Delhi, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Lovely Professional University, IIT, Mumbai, Amity Business School, Noida, Jammu University, G.B.Pant University etc.displayed their oration, and tried to set the motion in their favour within the four minutes provided to each one of them.
The event was judged by a panel of judges, Dr Mohammed Shaheen,  JNU, Prof. Mohammed Akmal, NIOS, Dr Hannan, NCERT, and Prof. Ibn-e-Kamal, former HOD, Urdu, University of Delhi. Prof. Kamal also acted as the Chairperson for the session in Urdu. Mr. Bhupen Singh, IIMT, was the chair for the session in Hindi. The English debate had Prof Badr-ul-Islam from the Political Science Department as the chair and Amina Jung and Rose Varghese in the judging panel.

The event was attended by a host of students, teachers and other guests. They applauded the speakers for their interesting and informative arguments. The event stretched over three sessions and a period of more than 5 hours. The Debating Club expresses gratitude to all the participating Colleges and Universities in anticipation of seeing them again next year.

Vismaiy Avasthi                                                                                                             Kashif Shakeel
B.A.(H) English                                                                                                                       (Photos)

Poetry Competition and Recitation


As soon as the Inaugural session of MiRAAS 2013 ended, the gathering had to find its way in different directions of the premises of the University. In a while, various competitions had begun at different venues. Literature is an important part of a culture; so is the Literary Club, as a part of the Cultural Committee of the University. At a venue near the Library, the student hub, Nelson Mandela Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution, triggered the Literary Fiesta. The Students' Seminar and the trilingual On The Spot Poetry Composition-Recitation competition started simultaneously at 11.30 am.

Participants at work

The organisers had devised an interesting way to inspire participants into writing their poetry. The judges for the event, Kausar Mazhari (for Urdu), Indu Virendra (for Hindi) and Baran Farooqui (for English), also found the idea of putting up pictures, clicked by fellow students (Akanksha Srivastav and Belal Khalique), innovative.

It was a well attended event with participants from Kirorimal College, Ramlal Anand College, B.R.Ambedkar College, Atmaram Sanatan Dharma College, P.G.D.A.V., Jawaharlal Nehru University, Amity Institute of Physiotherapy, Jamia Hamdard, A.B.E.S.Engineering College and from the host University as well. The lot of budding poets was unbelievably imaginative and powerful, in both, their composition and its recitation.

Shabeeh Rahat                                                                                Nabeel Khalid
B.A.(H) English                                                                               (Photos)

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Report on The Case Study Analysis Competition.

The “Management Guru” a Case Study Analysis competition held on 26th February at 2:30 pm. The hosts of the event were Kriti Gupta and Nargis Akhtar. The event had 16 participating teams which included Sri Venketswara College, Amity Business School, Amity University, Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, NIE, Jamia Hamdard University, Jesus and Mary College etc.
The contest was divided into two rounds, first of which had case studies being distributed to the participants. The topic of the case study was Noble Energy- Solar Technologies Limited. They were given 50 minutes to analyse and solve the case studies in consultation with their team members. At the end of the time period, an additional 15 minutes were given at the end of the 50th minute to prepare their oral presentation.

The second round had the top 10 teams who had given exceptional responses to the questions asked. The teams were to give an oral presentation, not exceeding 5 minutes. They truly proved their mettle and business acumen in the presentation round as each team member came forward and argued, for and against the given business plan proposed in the case study. It was evident that they had put their best foot forward as each analysis was thoroughly worked upon and solved. The event ended with Prof Rehan Khan Suri saying a few encouraging words to all present and especially to the JMI entrepreneurship club and announcing the results.
The host team bagged the second and third while the winners were Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, D.U.

Aashish Birgi, e-Leader and Chief Coordinator of the JMI Entrepreneurship Club then introduced the newly launched newsletter of the E-club which was a product of the immense hard work and dedication of the team of E-Leaders. This was followed by the vote of thanks to those present for their participation and their efforts to make this event a success.

Ad Mad, Creativity and Innovation! A report.

JMI E-club as a part of the cultural committee of the University was one of the many facets of the annual fest MiRAAS 2013. The E-club successfully organised and conducted three major events under the management fiesta. First in the lot was Ad-Mad (Creativity and Innovation) competition held on 26th February 2013, at 11a.m., and a total of 10 teams from different universities including JMI took part in this highly entertaining and exciting event.

The judges for the event were Prof Ritu Sapra, Prof Amitabh Roy and Prof Saad Ahmed.
The competition was divided into 3 rounds, first round being the pictograph round which required participants to pick up chits randomly containing names of different organisations and major companies and draw them out on the whiteboard to let their team members guess the names of the companies solely on the basis of the pictures drawn. The teams that successfully guessed the companies on the basis of pictures proceeded to the next round.

6 teams were selected for the next round, which was the poster-making round. A theme was given to the participants “Privatization of Indian Railways” on which they were required to make advertisements within 20 minutes. The teams were then required to enact the scenes of the advertisement they had prepared.

Finally the results were announced and the best teams were adjudged the winners.
The Amity Business School,Noida stood tall above all, Jamia Hamdard University and Apeejay School of Management were the first and second runners up respectively.

The participants, judges as well as the audience thoroughly enjoyed the entire event as it turned out to be an entertaining event with the entire audience in splits at the various enactments carried out by the teams. Overall the ad mad contest was a brilliant success and a feather in the cap of the JMI Entrepreneurship Club!

Reporting Mask Painting Competition.

Vibrant hues were brushed upon dull masks, to make them come to life, at the Mask Painting competition held in the morning, at the Open Air Theatre. The competition seemed like a battle of themes and styles, ranging from contemporary to tribal themes, to a mixture of themes. The artists were provided with all the raw materials, but they were free to bring in their own requirements and implement their ideas on the masks provided.

Though the participating colleges and universities included, Apeejay Institute of Technology, Amity University, Kurukshetra University and Jamia Millia Islamia ,the numbers were very modest. The event had an early start, and by 12 noon, most of the masks were more than half done. The participants painted their masks intricately and with enthusiasm. The judges of the event were Vijendra Sharma and Onkar Singh, with whom Wafia had a conversation which is uploaded on the page titled “In Conversation.
The event was handled with ease and there were almost no complaints from the participants. I had a short conversation with one of the participants, Kashish, from Department of Fine Arts, JMI who seemed to be working without pressure mixing warm and cool hues on her mask. The participants seemd at home and the event concluded on a happy note.

-Vismiay Avasthi
B.A.(H) English

Photos: Nabeel Khalid

Reporting Ragas

Indian Vocal (Solo), Amity University
It was a warm Tuesday morning when Miraas was declared open. The first event to take place at Miraas was the Indian Vocal (Solo) Competition at 11 am. The venue was M.A.Ansari Auditorium and it was packed to the rafters with an enthusiastic crowd. The judges for the Indian Vocal (Solo) Competition were Ustad Saeed – a composer and sitar maestro from the Kirana Gharana, Anwar Ali Sahab – a music director belonging to the Delhi Gharana and Dr Ayesha from the Gwalior Gharana.
Indian Vocal (Solo), Sri Venkateshwara College, DU
Students from various universities and colleges participated in the competition and presented a host of masterpieces in various genres. This was followed by the Indian Vocal (Group) Competition which started at 12:45 pm. The panel of judges was the same as Indian Vocal (Solo), and the different universities participating in the competition fuelled the enthusiasm in the crowd with their music and set the stage on fire.
Indian Vocal (Group), Maitreyi College, DU

The Western Vocal Group and solo competition were equally enthralling. Dr Ayesha, Dr Yaruingam, and Mrs Aruna Massey formed the judging panel for both the events. Their judgement seemed to have been extremely difficult owing to the equally competent performers. By the end of the music events, the auditorium was roaring with amusement and appreciation for the participants. Music truly rules over hearts.

Western Vocal (Group), Jamia Millia Islamia

Zainab Abrar
B.A.(H) English II

Inauguration of MiRAAS

The Dignitaries

26 February,2013

Jamia Millia Islamia inaugurated MiRAAS 2013, a three day Inter-University Cultural Festival making it a grand Tuesday morning.
Mr Najeeb Jung, Vice-Chancellor, presided over the function. Ausha Rizvi, the chief guest, Mrs Amina Jung, the guest of honour and Prof. Tasneem Meenai, Dean, Students' Welfare, declared the festival open.

The function started with a slide show which introduced Jamia Millia Islamia and MiRAAS to the assemblage. This was followed the felicitation of the guests by the Organizing Committee (Momin, Shabeeh, Sadia, Zakir, Insha and Mansoor). Gowsia was the compere of the event.

The Gathering
Mrs. Amina Jung launched the first edition of the MiRAAS Newsletter, an initiative of the Entrepreneurship Club. 

This was followed by an address by the Vice-Chancellor. He remarked that a festival acts as a uniting force between students of various communities and background. Anusha Rizvi reminiscing her fellowship, blessed the students involved in organising such a festival. The programme concluded with the Jamia Tarana.

Wafia Kissa                                                                                                         Nabeel Khalid
(Report)                                                                                                                        (Photos)

Sunday, 24 February 2013

A Day Before Deadline

In less than 24 hours, Day 1 of this festive extravaganza titles MiRAAS will near its closure. Sitting uselessly at home on a dim Sunday I wonder what it will actually be like to see the events unfurl one after the other. The Music Club, Entrepreneurship Club, and The Fine Arts Club, will be hosting some of the most entertaining and competitive events such as the Solo and Group singing competition, "Ad-Mad"(Creativity and Innovation Competition), Management Guru(Case Study Competition), and Mask Painting competition, respectively, in sync with the Literary Club which will host Poetry Composition and Recitation Competition, and The Students' Seminar.

26th February, and the days that follow will hold a great scope for the students at Jamia to improve, improvise and implement the plans they have set for MiRAAS 2013 and beyond. Though the Festival is being held for the basic purpose of lightening up the atmosphere, it does put the organizers under a lot of stress as it approaches. This pre-fest anxiety has been fueling adrenalin in those who have shouldered various responsibilities. I see them all running around with files, and loose sheets of paper, around my work station. Though the media team has been a bit slow, we will be covering the Fest as best as we can and keep the blog up to date. Our work will begin the moment the festival is inaugurated, our reporters and photographers will be scanning the different venues where the festivities take place, and load the editors.

Vismaiy Avasthi
B.A.(H) English 2nd year

Sunday, 3 February 2013


'Haal hai, mustaqbil b hoga, maazi raha hai khaas,
Kal, aaj aur kal, zinda rahegi, ye meri jo Miraas!'

To borrow from the words of Rasheed Ogunlaru, "Legacy is not what’s left tomorrow when you are gone. Its what you give, create, impact and contribute today while you’re here that then happens to live on."
The legacy, left behind by our past is not monetary gains or material values but the everlasting tradition and culture that helps us identify who we are. It is our heritage. It still continues to live with us, in whatever we do, guiding us as a pedagogue, making us better sailors on the sands of time.

Cultural Committee is the hotspot on the culturescape of Jamia Millia Islamia. With the wealth of literature, music, drama, art, oratory and economics, the title of the wealthiest of beings on land is accorded to us.

As Benjamin Franklin says, "If you would not be forgotten as soon as you’re dead, either write something worth reading or do something worth writing", here we effort to make things worthwhile enough to be sung rather than just being written.

Miraas, as a festival, was born with the view to magnify the confluence of different arts at Jamia Millia Islamia.
In the literal sense, ‘Miraas’ means legacy, or rather inheritance or heritage. For us, it is what we celebrate as our glorious past. The past that we want to remake and refurbish for laudation by generations to come. ‘Miraas’ isn’t just a name, but an asset of the Cultural Committee, a full moon on the sky of culture at Jamia Millia Islamia.

" The songs of our ancestors are also the songs of our children." –Philip Car-Gomm

The festival finds its place in the heart of the University as an upbringing of the Cultural Committee. The urge to speak and declaim, the passion to play on the stage, the drive to become music’s muse, the love for ink and colour and the idea to economize, every aspect of proficiency in a being is what Miraas passes down generations.

To say no more, THIS has.. and would continue.. 

- Momin Mobeen Khan
B.A.(H) English 3rd yr
Jamia Millia Islamia

A sneak peek into the world of Theatre

'The stage is a magic circle where only the most real things happen, a neutral territory outside the jurisdiction of fate where stars may be crossed with impunity. A truer and more real place does not exist in all the universe" -P.S.Baber

The moment a discussion about theatre pops up, we are inevitably reminded of Shakespeare's great words 'All world's a stage' which reverberate in our minds till we accept that we are mere actors in this world playing different roles and eventually dedicating ourselves to daunting tasks which determine our existence. In simple words, theatre is a medium through which one expresses his emotions, his relationship with the contemporary world and most importantly, his artistic sense. Theatre provides a platform to the individuals to convey their sense of the world and society to the audience in a highly amusing manner since the individuals don a garb of different characters and innovate various strategies to convince the masses.

Time and again there have been playwrights and dramatists who had a staunch belief in portraying the existing world through drama. If we go back to its origin, theatre is believed to have emerged from myth, ritual and ceremony. People in the ancient world used to perform several rituals and ceremonies on festivals and other important ocassions to please their Gods. Processions were carried out and people actively participated in various events. The earliest example of ceremony and ritual evolving towards theatre comes from ancient Egypt. The most important Egyptian drama, the Abydos passion play which was concerned with the story of God Osiris is probably the first recorded example of theatre.

Since then theatre has evolved into a full fledged art. While speaking of theatre and drama, one cannot overlook the significant contribution of Greeks in this genre of literature. It was with the advent of Greek drama that the term 'tragedy' was first introduced. Sophocles, Euripedes and Aeschylus were three well known Greek tragedy playwrights. Infact, Greeks were responsible for the birth of drama in the western world.

Although English drama too had gained momentum, it suffered a setback in the years between 1642-1660 as the Puritans worked to drive out 'sinful theatre'. They viewed the theatre and its advocates with contempt and believed that it polluted the society. It was only after Charles ll returned to England from his exile that the theatre was restored. Gradually, theatre had acquired so much value and importance that it became an essential part of an individual's life. Since theatre is one form of aret which intensely focusses on the human being, it became an important symbol of individuality and offered immense freedom to the actors to experiment with different techniques that would elevate their performance.

It was with the idea of 'experimentation' that the modern theatre blossomed in the world of art. Playwrights now wanted to depict reality in their plays that would hold the attention of the audience. Entertainment was no more the sole purpose of plays and dramas. Rather, these played carried social messages far and wide that often struck a direct chord with the masses and so people held this form of art in high esteem. It became a pssage to purge their emotions which hitherto had remained buried deep in their hearts. People could actually relate to their immediate surroundings which often appeared strange.

G.B Shaw, a famous English playwright was a vocal writer on social problems. He wrote satiric plays such as Pygmalion, Arms and the Man and Candida. Bertolt Brecht was another important playwright who belonged to Germany and wrote plays with the goal of alienating the audience, a technique he successfullly employs in Mother Courage and her children. Then there was Henrik Ibsen, very well admired for his play 'A doll's House' and who is aptly known as the father of modern realism. One can go on with a list of such dramatists from around the world who earnestly worked to uphold the theatrical dimensions of life . In all the ages, the drama through its portrayal of the acting and suffering spirit of man, has been more closely allied than any other art to his deeper thoughts concerning his nature and destiny.

One can no longer deny the relevance of theatre in an individual's life. Since every human being is born with an artistic sense, it is but natural that he craves to express his creative ideas and finds the most direct and spontaneous expression in theatre which is a panacea for most wandering souls who wish to be heard, who wish to make a difference! Here one would find complete solace in recollecting the words of Alexander Pope: "Act well your part, there all the honour lies."

- Sadia Khan
B.A.(H) English 3rd yr
Jamia Millia Islamia

Lets address Debate!

"Men are never so likely to settle a question rightly as when they discuss it freely."
Thomas Babington, Lord Macaulay

From its very beginning, debate has been inextricably intertwined with the concept of open society. In ancient Athens, citizens gathered in forums to discuss and debate the most pressing issues of the day before casting their votes. Such debates were an integral part of the new form of government Athens was to bequeath to the world: democracy.
Unlike totalitarian and other undemocratic regimes, where a limited set of ideas are imposed as absolute truths, democratic societies depend upon the free and open exchange of ideas. Indeed, it may be said that true democracy cannot exist without debate. For democracy to function, the values that debate encourages - reason, tolerance, the careful weighing of evidence, etc. - must be cherished and nurtured. But even within societies that restrict open discussion, debate can teach young people that no one person or government possesses the ultimate truth.

Just as Socrates spurred his listeners to examine their assumptions 2,500 years ago, such debating forums and events today encourage students everywhere to question, to listen to each other and to explore even the most volatile subjects openly and in the spirit of tolerance and cooperation.

"I may be wrong and you may be right and, by an effort, we may get nearer the truth."
Karl Popper

Debate is a formal contest of argumentation between two teams or individuals. More broadly, and more importantly, debate is an essential tool for developing and maintaining democracy and open societies. More than a mere verbal or performance skill, debate embodies the ideals of reasoned argument, tolerance for divergent points of view and rigorous self-examination. Debate is, above all, a way for those who hold opposing views to discuss controversial issues without descending to insult, emotional appeals or personal bias. A key trademark of debate is that it rarely ends in agreement, but rather allows for a robust analysis of the question at hand.

"Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress."
Mahatma Gandhi

The process of debate offers profound and lasting benefits for individuals, for societies and for the global community as a whole. The individual skills learned through debate have a broader impact on society as well. Debate can help fledgling democracies heal from the wounds inflicted by oppressive dictatorships and ethnic violence by providing a forum where these volatile issues can be openly discussed. Newly enfranchised citizens engaged in such debates learn first-hand how democracy works. Additionally, because it teaches the principles of tolerance, nonviolence and respect for different points of view, debate can close the gap between minority and majority cultures, and other groups divided by long-standing animosities.

 As a process that both embodies and encourages peaceful discussion rather than aggressive confrontation, debate offers the world a tool that could not be more timely or more necessary.

“The clash of ideas is not weakness. Truth reaches its place when tussling with error.”

“Man has been accustomed, ever since he was a boy, to having a dozen incompatible philosophies dancing about together inside his head. He doesn't think of doctrines as primarily "true" or "false," but as "academic" or "practical," "outworn" or "contemporary," "conventional" or "ruthless."

And hence, each one of us is a debater, whether we know it or not. From the time we wake up, to the time we go to sleep, we are constantly debating. So never back down from a verbal Duel again.

1. The microphones… quiet. Event starts, Frantic footsteps numerous.
2. The sweat down the participants necks as they stare down at crumpled pieces of paper
3. The Buzzing sound all over.
4. The Dry Humor and Good Graces.
5. The Opening Sequence.
6. The Ping Pong Game Intensifies and Tensions Rise: Lips moving swiftly, faster than a bees wings, “Its darkest before the dawn”, they say, and metaphoric dawn comes to be true when participants express their difference through their tone, their body language, and of course their actual arguments.
7. The interruption by the regulator.
8. And towards the end you realize how the room was filled with mature, may be too mature and intelligent voices of the speakers- their excitement, their powers, all their built up pressure, research and consultations let out in one blast, all amidst the screeching microphones..

In a media landscape hijacked by cable news personalities, internet trolls, and radio blowhards and an education system hijacked by standardized testing uniform curriculum, platforms and events for debating are more than reassuring.

They’re—dare I say it—enlightening.

- Iqra Meraj
B.A.LLB 1st yr
Jamia Millia Islamia

Republic of Letters

In a lifetime, one has to often deal with questions of substance and significance. These are about the bigger realities, so to say, of the world- inside our minds and the one outside it, if there is one. Literature is one tool that helps us in discovering and perceiving these realities, at the same time. It is not to demean the stature of letters (figuratively speaking). In dealing with perceptions and realities, one gets closer to ideas of identity and existence. This is the struggle which all of us undergo. To explore the truth of existence is the undercurrent of literature and its thrust as well.

Talking more specifically about literature, one could say, it is the undeniable potential of a language, a people, a culture. It generates and regenerates. It creates and recreates. It is indeed the power to rule the world one creates. A poet (creator of literature) is Shelley’s “unacknowledged legislator”, Elizabeth Browning’s “prophet”, and one possessing “fine madness” for Michael Drayton. Is it not the might and clout of a poet when “sleepless themselves to give their readers sleep” and “stop it from going to sleep”, at the same time!

“To be a poet is a condition rather than a profession”. Their creations work like “lighthouses built on the sea of time”. Its propensity to bring to the forefront the oddities and bestialities of human race is well evident in the works of Dickens, Shaw, Sarat Chandra, Premchand, to name a few. In the Republic of Letters, the poet doesn’t only please, but also move. Poet’s imagination gives the “airy nothing” a form; it names the unnamable; their experience of empathy changes reality.

Here stands Immanuel Kant asserting- “Dare to know!”

- Shabeeh Rahat
B.A.(H) English 3rd yr
Jamia Millia Islamia

Music and Life

Lord Byron has said- "There's music in the sighing of a reed;
                                  There's music in the gushing of a rill;
                                  There's music in all things, if men had ears:
                                  Their earth is but an echo of the spheres.”

Music is the universal language of mankind. He who sings scares away his woes. Our culture immerses us in it for hours each day, and everyone knows how it touches our emotions. Music is a powerful thing. It evokes feelings and has the power to bring people together. Music is also a way for people to express themselves and share ideas. Music is whatever you want it to be.

Music does not have any one concrete meaning. It has different meanings for different people and is unique in each person's life. To a musician, music is his life. They eat, breathe, and live music. For others, music is a hobby, a pastime. Music is something universal, something unique, and something which is soothing to our heart, our senses, which makes our nerves calm down - the effect is simply astonishing. Without music, life would be a mistake.” We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams. Music expresses feeling and thought without language. It is incontestable that music induces in us a sense of the infinite and the contemplation of the invisible.

- Shailja Verma
M.A. Public Administration Final Year
Jamia Millia Islamia