This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Guneet Singh Nanda. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Why DUSU Wants To Ban Our Dramatics Society For A “Fake Drama On Hinduism”

By Guneet Singh Nanda:

Our play ‘Welcome to the Machine’ produced by Ankur, the theater society of SGTB Khalsa College, has been issued a letter seeking its “immediate ban”. The play investigates how religious forces assert their dominance over ‘others’ by means of culture, education and institutional structures.

It principally articulates manipulation of religion for vested interests to polarise and gain political power, furthermore giving it a false garb of a ‘spontaneous communal riot‘ which in reality is a pogrom sponsored by the state. Controlling the state machinery, colouring the institutes in their own colour, this is the nefarious design of the fascist to destroy the plurality and multiculturality which is the strength of the Indian society.

DUSU notice demandin ban on Ankur playI believe that what troubles the issuers of this notice the most is that our play is very direct, it names the names. It says that there is no difference between the 2002 and the 1984 pogroms, to see them in the binaries of Congress and BJP is to be a part of the process of polarization. It names our leaders who propagated action-reaction theories. It names the foot-soldiers of the machinery of hate who coax women to become baby-making factories, who instigate people to rape dead Muslim women, who are hell bent on coloring history with their own agenda, who shout love-jihad and stifle our freedoms to express.

We have been constantly probing the nuances of communalism since 2012, and this year’s annual production has been performed at the National School of Drama, Connaught Place, and various other colleges of DU, 37 times since February 8th.

We are responsible students who understand how sensitive the issue of religion is in our country. To wrench out certain words from wider political contexts without any understanding of the same is a sign of ignorance. This threat to ban is a threat to the entire artist community who engage with their work politically, and it also highlights the ban-culture doing the rounds in our country.

This regressive idea to ban our theatre society is a threat to the democratic culture of Delhi University and points out to the shrinking spaces of creativity and access to public spaces to express the same.

I thoroughly condemn this Letter issued to us and call for solidarity from one and all. I also invite all of you to come see the play whenever we perform next.

Guneet Singh Nanda is the President of Ankur – The Dramatics Society, SGTB Khalsa College.

You must be to comment.
  1. ABC

    Very good just ban them

  2. ABs

    The ban is welcome. Why should anyone’s religious feelings be hurt? If Charlie Hebdo magazines cannot be printed in the country, and distributed, If Salman Rushdie’s Novel, “The Satanic Verses”, cannot be printed, and if a criticism of Christian Missionaries is taboo, why shouldn’t this play, which sounds like an affront to Hinduism be banned as well?

    1. MP

      You just hurt my religious sentiments by your comment. My religion is theatre. It finds its roots in story telling and dramatisation; which goes back to when we were apes. So technically older than any other religion. Should I ask for a ban on you?

    2. ABs

      There is no “Religion” of theatre, get your facts straight. Your Analogy is poor. It is as poor as claiming that “Evolution” is a religion.

    3. Kalpana

      So that we can wipe out the epidemic of intolerance, of which you are a victim of.

    4. Amish

      You’re an idiot. The incidents you mention are deplorable stains on our democracys promise of freedom of speech and expression. Your logic that since in the name of other religions such disgraceful acts have been committed, why shouldn’t Hinduism is extremely stupid. Things cannot just be banned on the whims of somebody who feels their sentiments are hurt. Grow the Fuck up. If you have such a problem with it approach the courts.

    5. ABs

      See, if you have such a problem with respecting other people’s opinions, go to some Islamic Nation like Saudi where opinions are not welcome. The incidents which I speak of, like the Charlie Hebdo massacre, and its ban in India, are examples of “Respecting” other people’s Religious Views. Although, I think that is a failed idea, tellin people like you about Respect, because it is so clearly a foreign concept to you. Religion is very close to people’s hearts and it is a topic to which we must be sensitive, regardless of whether you follow it or not.

    6. Nariman

      You have completely missed the point. It
      shouldn’t be banned BECAUSE OF what you mention. Because we will continue let to let these bans happen. Because one section will always feel polarized and these bans will fuel that polarization. Because one section will always feel its OK to say something as long as the other person is told to shut up. Its not about you agreeing with their point of view. It’s not about Hinduism or any other religion. Its about letting every party have a point of view. We let criminals in power get away with spewing hatred about every community whether Hindu or muslim, and we are suddenly up in arms over a theater group trying to show the impact of this hatred on society. I’m allowed to eat what I want to, wear what I want, and express myself without fear of oppression

    7. Prakash Sharma

      What u eat , wear , affects you.. bt wht u say or do if it affects others. dont compare eating , wearing with freedom of speech !! They cannot be equal.

    8. Dhruwat

      So two wrongs make a right?

    9. ABs

      Which two wrongs are you talking about? It is a shame that Islamic Beliefs cannot be questioned or criticized in this country, and neither can the integrity of Christian Missionaries be questioned. It is an even bigger shame that mocking Hindus, or Hindu beliefs is seen as something as “Freedom of Speech and Expression”, when, in fact, it is nothing more than taking pot-shots at an ancient culture solely because there is no violent retribution.

    10. Vikram Mistry

      You sound like a supporter of bans. What is it about the free and democratic exchange of ideas and opinions that threatens you? Do you have no shame, as an educated and, I’m guessing, intelligent individual about living in a country that takes so much glee in banning anything that even remotely threatens traditional beliefs? Are you living in the middle ages? India is not ready for true democracy. I hope you enjoy living in a fascist totalitarian Hindu theocracy, because that’s what India is.

    11. ABs

      Your bitterness is evident from your comment. India is a theocracy? It is a fascist? Well, clearly you haven’t understood the meaning of Democracy. India does not have laws based solely on any religion. The recent ban on Beef was the result of a democratic process, that of enacting Laws which have a basis on protecting the religious sentiments of a group of people, much like Banning Pork should be. There should be a ban on ideas which hurt the religious sentiment of people, much like not forcing Catholic Doctors to perform abortions, not having a pork shop outside a Mosque, etc. The argument is not about traditional beliefs, the problem here is taking care to not hurt people’s religious beliefs.

  3. Udita

    Please go ahead and mock Hinduism. And them mock Islam. After that, Christianity. Then Judaism. Then Sikhism. If you emerge from it all without getting beheaded, having a fatwa issued, being called an anti-Semite, being labeled a racist, then more power to you.

  4. kishor

    this is a sponsored blog. so do not pay much attension to the content. because you will never find full news. you will only read one sided view. for example these people do not have much guts to comment on the news “Youth arrested for ‘objectionable’ Facebook post against UP minister Azam Khan”

  5. Sid

    Extremely happy at this anti-Hindu fascist play being banned. Not only should the play be banned but the members of the society be prosecuted under various sections of IPC and CrPC. Such fascist propaganda against Hinduism must be crushed immediately and nipped in the bud lest it becomes epidemic. Since India is not a Hindu state, the organizers will have to criticize all religions in equal matter or criticize no religion at all. If they want to criticize Hinduism only, they must declare India a Hindu rashtra first and then go after the ‘State-Religious organization nexus’.

  6. A Proud Hindu

    Why always targeting Hindus and their religious sensitivities? is it not true that ur play makes insensitive comments on Hindu reverence towards
    cows and also on Lord Ram. U have no courage to make commentary on Charlie Hebdo attacks or taslima nasreen situation or Islamic terrorism or even
    Sikh fundamentalism in punjab in 1980’s which killed 100’s of hindus. But u want to trash hindus and their religiuos customs in the hopes of
    creating controversy. the play should be banned.. I support DU SU on this.

  7. Rajat

    The ban is well placed. Any drama, story or movie that wilfully shows Hindus in bad light must be banned. Here, I am only talking about Hindus, since no one ever makes similar dramas about Islam or Christianity for fear of being branded communal or for fear of retribution from the media, the state and the community!

  8. Sucheta

    So ABs and Kishor – you are of the opinion that multiple wrongs make a right? Is that it?

  9. navi

    Hmmmm …. sickulaism at its best…… u guys always try to find mistakes in hinduism. …. try to make drama on 4 marriages, burqa, taquia, conversion business, kashmiri pandits, uniform civil court, one country one law nd mny mre but no won’t raise this issues coz we all knw u r ADARSH LIBRALS ND SICULARIST….. nd let me tell u guys we r PROUD OF RSS

  10. Minakshi Pharswal

    Yes, they can ban the society, but how will they ban thoughts and ideas of these students. Being a student of DU, i know almost all of the drama societies focus on the reality of our culture and society, highlighting the problems, giving solutions for them. they are never in wrong! A student who can write a play about these problems, understands it very well. I would really appreciate the principal of SGTB if he or she just condemns this letter and allow their students complete freedom of expression.

    Let India be a free country where we are free to express ourselves and not worry about being hindu, muslim or related to any religious background while expressing our views.

  11. soutrik

    banning a film which criticizes any particular religion or politics is against the freedom of expression and should not be banned…’hurting religious sentiments’is a vague term…that does not mean we cant ban something…something which calls upon to take up violence against nation,mankind and anything which promotes wilful misinformation to hurt somebody needs to be banned(like wedny doneiger)…freedom of speech by principle should remain absolute even operating in a reality of restrictions(which i have talked about)…this film need not to be banned,though the content is very wrong (saying that there has been a recent ban cultre,saffronisation)but here the question is does the fundamental right of expression even holds same in the university ??i think no…university or college campus can have restrictions and this is not against the democratic setup…and the last question why not stand against other religions…??

More from Guneet Singh Nanda

Similar Posts

By puja pal

By Criti Mahajan

By Ananya Bhuyan

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below