By DU Beat:
The second day of Mushaira 2018 was dedicated to independent journalism, celebrating 10 years of the establishment of the largest student-run media organisation, DU Beat.
Vinod Jose, Executive Editor of The Caravan, and Manisha Pande, Associate Editor of Newslaundry were on the panel that discussed “Quality Journalism for the New Age”.
The discussion touched upon the quality journalism in the age of fake news and propaganda. Vinod Jose and Manisha Pande enlightened the audience on the crises faced by modern day journalists. On being asked by moderator Srivedant Kar on the apparent crisis looming upon the media today, Vinod Jose held political pressure on journalists as responsible for the crisis. On the issue of distinguishing between quality and ‘fake’ journalism, Pande claimed that mainstream media isn’t exclusive of the phenomenon of fake propaganda; hence, social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter aren’t at fault alone.
Followed by the discussion on journalism was Dr Shashi Tharoor’s inspirational speech on “How Can The Youth Make Change Today”. Dr Tharoor started his speech on a jocular note stating how the age-old rivalry between Hindu College and St. Stephen’s wasn’t there anymore. He was nostalgic about his college days. He said that students around his time had fewer opportunities than students do today and the youth must stay aware of the country’s politics. He emphasised the need for the young of the country to participate in decision making because they should not leave it to old men to make choices about their lives. The audiences’ enthusiasm was at its peak throughout his speech, and they applauded generously numerous times. He encouraged the students to take an interest in various social or national issues and try to bring about change. He ended his speech with the poem Tehzeeb by Gopal Krishna Gandhi and left the young minds absolutely enthralled.
The speech was followed by a panel discussion by three social media influencers, Sejal Kumar, Shibani Bedi and Shivesh Bhatia. The three talked about making good content, their gradual success, and how to reach out to the target audience. Given the day and age we all live in, and being a consumer of visual art, our photography skills do matter – but Shivesh added that one must make the best of what is at their disposal, whether it’s a phone, computer or DSLR. They all ended the discussion on the fact that there are no instant results and brands eventually come if one is fully committed to one’s work.
The next speaker on Day 2 was Suchita Salwan, the CEO and Founder of Little Black Book. She also happens to be a Hindu college alumnus. Talking about entrepreneurship, she said, “There’s a difference between an influencer and an entrepreneur”. She emphasised on the fact that people who aspire to be entrepreneurs need to focus on forming winning companies. Also, addressing the problem of availing funds, she pointed out that it’s important to find the right kind of investor for the company. A brief Q&A session followed.
Former DU Beat members walked through the memory lane and engaged the audience in a spirited discourse on their lives after DU Beat. The panel consisted of Radhika, Gurmind, and Brij, all ex-DUBsters. The discussion had them share several jovial anecdotes, one of them about how Brij’s first article was rejected by Gurmind who was the Editor when he joined. They also talked about the role DU Beat had played in constructing their professional lives. When asked about the prerequisites of being a good journalist, Radhika said, “You don’t necessarily need to do English honours to be a journalist. You don’t need to know fancy words. You just need to know how to do clean reporting.”
Speaking on “Partition Literature”, Sukrita Paul Kumar opined on the anguish and pain associated with the creative reflections of 1947. Quoting Gulzar’s “Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji,” she asked the audience to revive the ‘child’ in them in order to prevent the rising homogenisation of society and keep the spirit of dynamic creativity alive. For her, knowledge of history combined with personal experience captures the essence of history better than history itself.
The team of Slip of Tongue was next. They’re a slam poetry group formed by the National Youth Poetry Slam winner Diksha Bijlani. Originally composed of seven members, only four could make it to the event. Starting with “Hero Syndrome”, Diksha Bijlani lifted the spirit of everyone present in the audience. Somesh Thapliyal’s “Toxic Masculinity” was the next performance. Diksha Bijlani and Cheryl Mukherjee performed a duet on female camaraderie titled “Bra Shopping”, much to the delight of the audience. The fourth member Ishaan Chawdhary performed a love poem titled “A wedding song”. Their performances left everyone ‘snapping their fingers’, which is a slam poetry tradition. A few other sets of poems followed before the team signed off, leaving the auditorium filled with the sound of snaps and claps.
In an enchanting performance by Delhi-based singers and songwriters Vishnu Kumar and Amani Kerr, the duo started with “Sugar” from Maroon 5. As it progressed to “I Can’t Feel My Face” from The Weeknd, everyone was already tapping their feet. The high-point of their set was when they performed “Attention” by Charlie Puth. They also captivated the audience with two of their originals, “Kite” and “Where the Light is Always Green”. With this, they drew the curtains of Mushaira 2018.