International day of non-violence

June 16th, 2007

India won a small but significant victory at the United Nations on Friday with the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) unanimously adopting an Indian resolution to declare Mohandas Karamchand (Mahatma) Gandhi’s birthday, October 2, as the International Day of Non-Violence.

The government tabled the resolution at the UNGA on May 31 this year to declare the Mahatma’s birth anniversary as a day of non-violence internationally.

Item 44, a resolution in the Culture of Peace segment at the UNGA to commemorate Gandhi”s birthday, received co-sponsorship from 142 member countries of the UN.

The resolution comes into effect from the 62nd session of the UNGA beginning in September. From October 2 this year and every year subsequently, the date will be commemorated as the International Day of Non-violence, the draft declaration states.

The idea was mooted as a small token of recognition for the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi earlier this year at a conference to celebrate the centenary of Gandhiji’s adoption of the satyagraha (non-violent non-cooperation) as a mode of protest.

The Congress party had hosted an international conference in January with participants from 91 countries and 122 international organizations to commemorate the launch of the Mahatma’s satyagraha.

Minister of State in the Ministry of External Affairs Anand Sharma was nominated by the government to move the resolution at the UNGA. He addressed the plenary session in New York on Friday night, his office said.“The wide ranging support (142 co-sponsors) shows the enormous esteem in which Mahatma Gandhi is held internationally,” MEA spokesman Navtej Sarna said.

A 2006 movie, ‘Lage Raho Munnabhai,’ on how the Mahatma’s ideals influenced positive change in a Mumbai crook, was screened at the UN to considerable acclaim.

(Source: Hindustan Times | link)

“Quota hasn’t helped anyone”: Kumaraswamy

June 9th, 2007

What’s with the Gowdas? After enacting one of the most enthralling dramas in Indian politics which led to Gowda Jr. becoming Chief Minister of Karnataka after enlisting the support of the communal [for the Humble Farmer Gowda Sr.] BJP, the father-son duo tag again. Only this time the issue at hand is the veritable holy cow of Indian politics, reservation.

Here is what the Chief Minister of Karnataka, H.D Kumaraswamy had to say about the socially just policy:

“Reservation has failed to help any community in the last 40 years. Even if the internal reservation is evolved, it will hardly help any community to prosper.”

Stating that there were poor people in all communities, including Brahmins and Lingayats, Mr. Kumaraswamy said, “A 38-year-old Brahmin woman in Dakshina Kannada district earned Rs. 200 a month and she was taking care of her husband and son, both of whom are sick.”

“I have no hesitation to say that we (politicians) have been trying to mislead the people on reservation only to gain political advantage,” he said.

(as seen in The Hindu | link)

Now such honesty is indeed very laudable, were it not for Kumaraswamy’s reputation of a foolish politician. Still, truth has to count for something.

Interestingly, Kumaraswamy’s views differ sharply from that of his father. In the same article, Gowda Sr. is quoted as saying:

 ”Since the last five years, I have been asking successive governments to evolve `internal reservation’ so that the Thigala community could be helped to improve its economic status,”

 But the idea of internal reservation sounds nice. why, you ask? I’ll tell you why. Somebody ask Comrade Prakash Karat the number of SC/ST/OBC politicians in the CPM politburo. Ask Comrade Raja about social representation in the CPI Central Secretariat. Then you’ll know why.

“Reservation can’t divide an already divided society”

June 9th, 2007
“Our [gujjar and meena - RA] culture is the same, our status in the villages is the same, we live side by side, share the same well and smoke hookah together. Why then do they get the jobs and scholarships but we don’t?”Bainsla says this is because the Meenas were given st status in 1954. “Reservations provide a sort of guarantee,” he says. “Give that guarantee to everybody or nobody.”

 (as seen in Tehelka | link)

The Gurjars and the Meenas seem to have been living most harmoniously before the “socially just” policy of reservation was implemented.

And yet, its supporters will have us believe that reservation does NOT divide society.

Another curious fact - all the great votaries of reservation, starting and moving downwards from Arjun Singh, seem to have lost the ability to communicate ever since the Gujjar agitation for ST status came to the fore.

What is the way out of this reservation imbroglio ?

United Students proposes a multiple-index related, point based scheme of affirmative action that will analyize people as citizens of India rather than just as belonging to x or y caste. We believe that caste continues to be important in the Indian social scheme, but economic conditions, gender, regional and educational imbalances are also important factors of exclusion operating in society.

Any effective affirmative action scheme ought to holistically address these various factors rather than just the factor of caste, which only reinforces caste divides in society [as proved by the Gujjar - Meena clashes].
(Read more)

Issued in public interest

June 8th, 2007

Don’t abort the girl child!

Guidance for DU admission seekers

June 7th, 2007

This set of frequently asked questions about the Delhi University admissions process is likely to be a lot of help for freshers.

It deals with questions about hostel admissions, correspondence courses, sports quota, sc/st admissions, foreign student admissions, entrance tests etc etc.

Click here.

Still got doubts about the admission process? Drop a line to and we’ll get back to you FAST.

*The FAQs have been made available by the university itself and are reproduced on this website for the benefit of admission seekers.

calling all aspiring journalists

June 7th, 2007

United Students is planning to soon launch a campus newspaper for Delhi University students.

All those who’ve something to say, and  who can say it well, in Hindi or English are invited to contribute at the earliest.Articles, reports and photos are all welcome.

Those skilled at editing, rewriting or designing are also invited to apply.Email your entries to

In case of any queries, just contact US at the above email address or leave a comment to this post.

new admits mentorship campaign

June 5th, 2007

United Students members and volunteers helping out admission seekers at Delhi University north campus as part of our annual New Admits Mentorship campaign: 



(photos by Aditya Raj Kaul)


UNITED STUDENTS is looking for volunteers to help out admission-seekers to Delhi University from the 1st-15th June [not necessary for everybody to work every single day, obviously].

Here are the details:
1. We shall be offering admission related help, from the 1st to 15th of June [no sundays], at the admission centres notified by DU.
2. Timings: 10-AM to 1PM.
3. Volunteer responsibilities would include handing out information leaflets[provided by US], answering simple OMR-form related questions, basic course and college details etc. Basically, any second year student can easily handle the responsibilities. Senior US members would be at hand to help, whenever required.

Volunteers would be given certificates by People’s Action.

For registering yourself, please contact [as soon as possible] RITWIK at 9873554908 or

Remember you were a facchaa once and could’ve done with a little hand-holding!

Unity of the undercastes

June 3rd, 2007

They tell us that 85% of India’s population is “deprived”. Who constitute this magical figure of 85% ? According to them it is the STs, the SCs, the OBCs and the religious minorities.[by all estimates these groups DO NOT in fact make up 85% of the population, but facts are flexible and can be mutilated at will].  They are all deprived. Shah Rukh Khan is deprived. Daler Mahendi [a mirasi, who are considered SCs in punjab] is deprived. Laloo Yadav is deprived. 

The great theory of the century is that these deprived Indians will together rise up to throw off the yoke of “brahminism”How will this new type of revolution come about? Like this 

Or maybe like in Khairlanji, where the victims were dalits and the perpetrators OBCs, whom the news media promptly recast as “upper caste hindus”.

The gurjars are OBCs in rajasthan, so they are a deprived class but their relative deprivation is less than that of the Meenas, who are a ST community. The gurjars are now trying very hard to become more deprived than they’ve hitherto been and gain ST status, by hook or by crook.

In these days of “reservation politics” it pays to organize oneself on caste lines, extend age-old biases, promote superstitions and criminal activities [since the Mandal criterion rewards groups indulging in child marriage with the carrot of reservations], form squads of militant youths and pressurise the government to accept one’s demands.

The Meenas, who’ve cornered almost all the benefits of ST reservation over the last sixty years, are obviously unhappy at the prospect of yielding even an inch from what they consider to be their domain. So we witness caste riots [for the first time in many years in north India] between two organized and apparently militant communities both of which claim to be greatly deprived. Sometimes I wonder how a group which has political clout and money and muscle power and owns land, can be considered deprived?

The government says it will unravel the mystery. The district collectors will collate data indicating deprivation and if the gujjars are truly deprived, then they will get ST status. The Gujjars are quick to reject any such delaying tactics. They point out that the government did not feel the need to undertake any such studies when promising OBC reservations last year. The logic cannot be faulted.  

Welcome to India of the 21st century. Where it is fashionable to talk about caste. And more so if you belong to one of the deprived sections indicated at the beginning of this post. If you belong to the “other 15%”, then be ready to quickly admit the crimes your ancestors have committed for centuries. Feel a lot of guilt. Once they’ve made you feel guilty, they’ve got you and can make you accept almost any demands, no matter how blatantly these fly in the face of logic.

Welcome to India of the 21st century. Where caste = race [no matter that Ambedkar dismissed the suggestion of casteism being a form of racism with utmost contempt]. Where merit = a mythical construct. Where everything must be couched in terms of caste, and where to talk about being a citizen of India is an almost ridiculous proposition [ of course, to talk like a citizen of the world is considered to be leftist romanticisim of a bygone era]. Where there is renewed focus on evaluating individuals on the basis of their birth, rather than each person being seen as an assimilation of several identities. Where your identity is  taken as confirmation of your views [for instance, the widely popular misconception that all OBCs support reservations] Where the focus is not on production of ideas or of money, but on distribution of wealth and powers based on political clout and patronage.

This is the coming of age of the world’s largest democracy.

Test Message

May 31st, 2007

US briefs the media on latest campaign

May 31st, 2007

United Students briefed the media on thursday, 31st May 2007 about our latest campaign for rationalization of transport costs for Delhi University students which will run in conjunction with our annual “new admits mentorship programme” from the 1st - 15th June 2007 to help admission seekers at the university.

US members brief the media in New Delhi

Press Release

United Students start campaign to seek rationalization of transport costs for students : travel costs in a month equivalent to a year’s fees, say group members.

Group will run a campaign coinciding with its admissions mentorship programme for new admission seekers.

New Delhi , 31st May, 2007 : Members of United Students, the group that initiated the campaign against caste-based reservations last year and organized a new student’s union to fight the DUSU elections has today kicked off a campaign to highlight the abnormal costs of travel borne by University students.”When the cost of travel per month begins to equal your annual fees, you know that there is something seriously wrong at a policy level,” said Aaditya Dar, Chief Coordinator of the group.United Student volunteers will start a signature campaign to make admission-seekers aware of what their real expenses will be once they join college and secure the support of parents who will be accompanying them during the admission process.

“US members will run this campaign along with their annual campaign to help admission seekers with information, insight and assistance during the admission process,” said Dar

Ritwik Agrawal, a member and student of Hindu College said, “We have done an analysis of approximate cost of traveL to and from Delhi University for students and we find that for some students living in areas like Dwarka, just the Metro cost is a stupendous Rs. 42 per day. Add to that the auto or cycle rickshaw costs, the DTC Pass and other transfer costs and we have a monthly bill touching Rs. 3000 per month in some cases.”

Nikhita Arora, another member and student of Kirori Mal College said, “We had petitioned the DMRC Chairman to rationalize the Metro fares for students but he summarily rejected our plaint. Similarly, a letter to the Transport Minister of Delhi for augmentation of University Specials and a special shuttle service in North and South campus has gone unanswered”.

The recent indications that the DTC Pass will also cost more has got the students body up in arms. “Everywhere else in the world students are subsidized to the extent that they can move about freely – this is the only instance in the world where the transport and conveyance costs more than the fees for an education,” said Ishaan Wadhwa, a student of Venkateshwara College in South Campus.

For more information, please contact Ritwik Agrawal on 9873554908 or at

And they say reservations don’t divide society

May 30th, 2007

Gurjars on Warpath, 16 Killed

At least 16 people were killed and over a hundred injured when the police opened fire in two districts of Rajasthan on Tuesday to disperse violent mobs of Gurjars demanding their community’s inclusion in the list of scheduled tribes (ST). The army was deployed in Dausa, Bundi and some other places to restore order.

Nine people, including two policemen, were killed near Patoli in Dausa on the Jaipur-Agra national highway; seven deaths were reported from Bundi, about 250 km from Jaipur.

State home minister Gulab Chand Kataria said, “Six civilians and two policemen died in Dausa. The identity of one more person, whose body is not being released by the protesters, is not known. Six villagers and one policemen died in Bundi. There is no information about the four policemen who were abducted by the crowd.”  

In response to a call given by the Gurjar Sangharsh Samiti to block highways, thousands of Gurjars broke prohibitory orders in Jaipur, Dausa, Tonk, Sawai Madhopur, Karauli and Bundi districts and clashed with the police. The Gurjars, currently part of the other backward classes, have been demanding their inclusion in the ST list for several years.

In Dausa, 70 km from Jaipur, several thousand Gurjars blocked the Jaipur-Agra highway. The police fired tear-gas shells when the mob surrounded them and started throwing stones. Unable to check them, the police opened fire, killing six people on the spot. Several others were injured. Kataria said, “The police had to open fire after the agitated crowd became violent and started dragging away policemen.”

The protesters then burnt down every police picket in sight. Several entered the nearby Sikandara police station and set it on fire, killing two constables.

Outnumbered, the policemen ran for cover but many could not escape. Kataria said, “The crowd hacked the limbs of unarmed constables.”

After chasing the police away, the protesters placed the bodies on the road. Ambulances and police vehicles rushing the injured to hospitals in Dausa and Jaipur were attacked and not allowed to pass. In Bundi, thousands of Gurjars gathered at the Dev Narayan Temple on the Kota-Jaipur highway and later pelted the police with stones from the surrounding hills. Six people died after the police opened fire to control the mob. Kataria said, “One constable was killed by the crowd and another is in a serious condition.”

Sources said the protesters abducted four policemen and took them inside the temple. Kataria said over 300 persons were arrested across Rajasthan in connection with the violence.

Sachin Pilot, the MP from Dausa, likened the police action to the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. Demanding the Vasundhara Raje government’s resignation, Pilot said he would go to Delhi on Wednesday to seek central intervention and the imposition of President’s rule.

In Delhi, the Centre decided to send over 2,000 paramilitary force personnel to the trouble-torn districts to assist the police in restoring peace.

(Source: Hindustan Times  | link)

US looking for Volunteers for DU Admissions

May 25th, 2007

UNITED STUDENTS is looking for volunteers to help out admission-seekers to Delhi University from the 1st-15th June [not necessary for everybody to work every single day, obviously]. US conducted such a campaign last year as well, which was a great success.

Here are the details:
1. We shall be offering admission related help, from the 1st to 15th of June [no sundays], at the admission centres notified by DU.
2. Timings: 10-AM to 1PM.
3. Volunteer responsibilities would include handing out information leaflets[provided by US], answering simple OMR-form related questions, basic course and college details etc. Basically, any second year student can easily handle the responsibilities. Senior US members would be at hand to help, whenever required.

Volunteers would be given certificates by People’s Action.
For registering yourself, please contact [as soon as possible] Nikhita at 9818318359 or