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No Fair Play At IIT D’s Fest As Organisers Rig Dance Competition Results

Posted by Saumya Arora in Campus Watch
October 17, 2017

Lady Shri Ram College is a premier institution of the country. Apart from excellent academics, it also boasts of brilliant societies. One of these societies is the dance society of LSR. It is considered to be one of the leading dance societies, especially in the Delhi University dance circuit.

They perform in various college fests in India, around the year. Dance societies usually have three wings: western, choreography (thematic) and classical. While there are less number of societies in the latter two, more than 50 dance societies compete in each western dance competition prelims, and less than 10 make it to the finals.

The fest season is mainly during the winter semester; however, some fests happen earlier also. One of them is Rendezvous- the annual fest of IIT Delhi.

Rendezvous was held between October 13-16, this year.The prelims for the western dance wing for the Rendezvous’17 main event were scheduled on October 13, 2017, from 11:30 am-5:00 pm. LSR’s western dance wing was backstage at IIT Delhi, gearing up for a good performance.

IIT-D had promised the team water, which is essential for a 6-8 minute dance piece. At 12 pm, the person in charge of the event’s management came backstage and told the team they were up next. LSR’s team asked for water, but the organisers said that they would have to perform without water. LSR’s team told them that they could only perfrom with the water, and they would wait for it. Five minutes later, water was brought, and LSR’s team went up on stage and performed. After the event got over, LSR’s team got quite a positive response from the judges.

The results of the teams which made it to the final round were not announced immediately after the event was over. Instead, it was uploaded on Facebook at 8:11 pm. LSR’s team tried to contact the person in charge at IIT to know the scores and where they lacked (in the light of the positive feedback from the judges), to which they got a rude reply stating that they had been disqualified because of their misbehaviour regarding water, which delayed the event.

Surprised by this, LSR’s DanceSoc uploaded an FB post on October 14, 2 pm with reference to this event, where they pose the following questions:

  • Is it justified for a host team to disqualify a participant team for asking for water and claiming it as ‘misbehaviour’ after it was promised?
  • Is it okay for the host team to hold us accountable for any delay, even though they chose to put endless breaks and filler performances, announcing that ‘the next team is not ready’?
  • Is it fair for the host team to disqualify a team without consulting or at least informing the judges or warning the team in question? At any point in time, the organisers could have announced that LSR was disqualified for ‘misbehaving’, but they chose not to. We were informed about the disqualification around 9 pm, long after the event and the result.
  • If the circuit claims to stand together for their love of dance and to make this game a fair one, then this is the time when truth needs to be acknowledged and supported. All teams have to become one unit and condemn dirty politics being played out by IIT Delhi based on their own whims and fancies.

LSR contacted the judges on the morning of the 14th and asked them if they were being selected for the final event of Rendezvous, to which they got an affirmative in the evening. The judges released the list of selected teams that they had given to IIT.

When tallied with the list released by IIT, not only was LSR excluded from the result but so was another society ‘Footloose’- Shivaji College’s dance society. They confirmed that they were asked to perform in the main event only when another society backed out.

Prashant Adarsh, one of the three judges confirmed the results. He also said in a Facebook post, “Whatever LSR’s Dance Society is claiming here is true’.

The dance society of LSR put up another post on October 15 to highlight this rigging of results. “What was the point of making three judges decide the qualifiers from more than 40 teams if in the end, they had to rig the results”, says an LSR DanceSoc member.

On October 16, IIT Delhi’s Dance Society- VDEFYN apologised for all that LSR had to go through. VDEFYN, however, was not in charge of the event management and declaration of results. The legitimacy of the winning criteria of these competitions is now questionable following these unethical series of events. IIT- D was asked for a comment regarding the issue on October 16, they replied saying that they would release a statement later in the day.