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The Golden Age of Islam: A Catalyst for Advancements in Astronomy, Mathematics, and Medicine


The Golden Age of Islam, which spanned from the 8th to the 13th century, was a period of great intellectual, scientific, and artistic flourishing in the Islamic world. During this time, Muslim scholars made significant contributions to fields such as mathematics, astronomy, medicine, art, and literature. Islamic values, such as the pursuit of knowledge and tolerance, played a significant role in these achievements. This essay will examine the Golden Age of Islam and its impact on Western culture. Through this examination, we will gain a better understanding of how the Golden Age of Islam continues to shape the world today.

Muslim scholars and intellectuals made significant contributions to fields such as mathematics, astronomy, medicine, the arts, and literature during the Golden Age of Islam. Islamic values, such as the pursuit of knowledge, played a significant role in the Islamic civilization’s achievements during this period. The West, in turn, was inspired by the Islamic world’s values and achievements. This period is historically considered to have started during the reign of the Abbasid caliph Harun al-Rashid (786–809) with the establishment of the House of Wisdom, which fascinated scholars from all over the Muslim world to Baghdad, the world’s largest city at the time, to translate the known world’s classical knowledge into Arabic and Persian. The period is traditionally thought to have ended with the collapse of the Abbasid caliphate in 1258 as a result of Mongol invasions and the Siege of Baghdad.

Credits: Islamic-Study

The pursuit of knowledge was central to Islamic culture during the Golden Age of Islam. Scholars from the Islamic world translated Greek texts into Arabic, allowing knowledge to spread throughout the Islamic world.

Many classic works of antiquity that would have been lost otherwise were translated from Greek, Persian, and Sanskrit into Syriac and Arabic, some of which were subsequently converted into Hebrew and Latin. This translation movement led to the development of new scientific ideas and theories, which led to advances in fields such as medicine and astronomy. Paper use spread from China into Muslim regions in the eighth century via mass production in Samarkand and Khorasan, eventually arriving in Al-Andalus on the Iberian peninsula (modern Spain and Portugal) in the tenth century. It was less likely to crack than papyrus and could absorb ink, making it difficult to erase and ideal for keeping records.

The first person to introduce Aristotle‘s philosophy to the Arabs was Abu Yusuf Ya’qub ibn Ishaq Al-Kindi. Al-Ghazali was a Persian scholar who wrote The Incoherence of the Philosophers, which put logicians who supported Aristotelianism to the test. Maslama al-Majriti was an Arab astronomer and mathematician who deciphered Greek writings. Muslim scholars also made significant contributions to mathematics, developing algebra and trigonometry as well as making advances in geometry. These accomplishments had a significant impact on the Western world, for they were eventually translated into Latin and influenced European scholars during the Renaissance.

Credits: The Nation

Acceptance and open-mindedness were also important Islamic values in the Islamic civilization’s achievements during the Golden Age of Islam. The Islamic civilization was known for its tolerance of diversity and integration of various cultures. This facilitated the exchange of ideas and the creation of new innovations. Muslim scholars have also made significant contributions to mathematics. They made significant advances in the study of geometry and developed algebra and trigonometry. Al-Khwarizmi, the father of algebra, was a famous mathematician of the Islamic Golden Age. The etymology of the great word “algorithm” can be traced directly to Al-Khwarizmi. This is one of the major achievements that will serve as the foundation for future mathematical developments. Ibn al-Haytham, a famous physicist who conducted numerous optics experiments, was a great source for future developments. Al-Najjar ibn Yusuf ibn Maar was a mathematician and interpreter best known for his translations of Euclid’s works. Thbit ibn Qurra was a mathematician, astronomer, and interpreter who revolutionized the Ptolemaic framework and is regarded as the founding father of statics.

Muslim scholars made significant contributions to our understanding of the universe in the fields of astronomy. They created new instruments for stargazing and conducted detailed observations of celestial bodies. Astronomers such as Al-Farghani and Al-Battani had an influence on the growth of modern astronomy. Al-Biruni wrote about his discoveries about light, claiming that its velocity must be enormous when compared to the speed of sound. Medicine advanced significantly during Islam’s Golden Age. Muslim surgeons pioneered new surgical techniques and made significant advances in anatomy research. Physicians such as Al-Razi and Ibn Sina‘s works contributed to the growth of modern medicine. In addition to scientific and intellectual advancements, the Golden Age of Islam saw great cultural and artistic flourishing. Muslim artists and architects created new artistic and architectural styles that were both beautiful and functional. Construction of the Great Mosque of Cordoba began in 785, marking the beginning of Islamic architecture in Spain and Northern Africa.

To sum up, the Golden Age of Islam was a time of great achievement and progress in the Islamic world. These achievements were made possible by Islamic values such as the pursuit of knowledge, tolerance, and openness. These values and achievements of the Islamic civilization inspired the West, resulting in renewed interest in the study of ancient Greek texts, the development of new scientific theories, and the incorporation of Islamic art and architecture into Western culture. Muslim scholars contributed significantly to fields such as mathematics, astronomy, medicine, the arts, and literature. Their work laid the groundwork for many of the scientific and intellectual breakthroughs that we now take for granted. The Golden Age of Islam demonstrated the importance of knowledge and intellectual curiosity in shaping the course of history. The Golden Age of Islam serves as a reminder of the importance of knowledge and values such as tolerance and openness in shaping the history that follows.

Credits: Students of History

Hiba Shaikh Ansari is a student pursuing English Hons. from Jamia Millia Islamia.

Edited by: Moneera Aiman

In Joyland, Gender is the Universal Dreambreaker


Why did Saim Sadiq name his Oscar-shortlisted film ‘Joyland’? Joyland is one of Pakistan’s major amusement parks located in Lahore. The film has a scene in which two sister-in-laws go to Joyland (the amusement park) and take on a ferris wheel ride. The jethani clings to her devrani’s shoulder and screams her lungs out, “Ya allah mere saare gunah maaf karde.” Maybe Joyland is the place where you sin. Maybe it is a sin to consume or experience joy. Joyland is about these joyful sins that keep human beings and their desires in check.

Joyland is the story of these very desires that desire to flourish amongst the struggling sections of Lahore. Haider is a wimpy, jobless man whose ambitious wife (Mumtaz) finds it easier than him to butcher a goat. The adjectives here are the hamartia in Joyland. Haider gets a job as a dancer in a theatre group and falls for a transgender woman (Biba) who is fighting really hard to be taken seriously despite her marginalized identity. But what really makes Joyland worthy of all the hype and acclaim that it got is the fact that it is not only about Haider and Mumtaz and Biba. It is also about Nucchi, the wife of Haider’s older brother, his dad and the middle aged woman who resides in the neighbourhood mohalla. Gender connects all of them; it is the universal dreambreaker. Haider helps Nucchi in the household chores, so when he gets a job, he is replaced by Mumtaz even if it means her having to let go of her dearly adored job as a rising makeup artist. Mumtaz says, “Main akele nau logon ka khana aur chaar bacche kaise sambhalu.” When Nucchi cautions Mumtaz about Haider’s proximity to Biba, the former says, “Yeh ladki nahin hai.” What does it mean to be a female? Irritated by Nucchi’s daughters bickering her about fireflies, Mumtaz says, “Yeh sheher hai. Yahan jugnu nahin hote.” In Pakistan’s second biggest city, fireflies burn in their own fire.

Joyland had to go through a lot to release in Pakistan. One of Jamaat-e-Islami’s senators, Senator Mushtaq Ahmed Khan, accused the film of being “against Pakistani values”. He said “Glamourising transgenders in Pakistan, as well as their love affairs, is a direct attack on our beliefs.” In a country where thousands of young boys are exploited through baccha baazi, the lawmakers are more concerned about a film that has a bunch of adults wanting to break out of the narrow lanes of the mohallas they live in. Despite getting rave reviews and winning both the Queer Palm and Un Certain Regard Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, Joyland remains unreleased in Pakistan’s Punjab.

There is a sad, sad phenomenon that plagues film industries throughout the world. It is trans characters being played by cis actors. Popular examples include Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui (a cis woman plays a trans woman) and Super Deluxe (a cis man playing a trans woman). Why are actors from one of the world’s most marginalized communities not given the chance to play characters sourced from their trauma? Joyland joins the heartbreakingly short list of films and shows that debunk this phenomenon. HBO’s ‘Euphoria‘ is one of them.

Joyland has some of Pakistan’s best actors from veterans like Saina Saeed as the matriarch who never was and Salman Peerzaada as a patriarch who must make sure he abides by the rules that he has set for his sons and their wives. Sarwat Gilani is perfect as arguably the only person who sees the constant suffocation that Mumtaz suffers from. Despite her patriarchal conditioning, her empathy and sisterhood for Mumtaz is both hopeful and refreshing. Rasti Farooq as Mumtaz is mercurial as the woman who refuses to accept her prejudiced circumstances. I was almost looking for hints of homoeroticism between Mumtaz and Nucchi. Alina Khan as Biba is pathbreaking as a trans woman trying her level best to fight the gruesome gender dysphoria and transphobia that have been normalized beyond repair. In a powerful scene, she refuses to leave her seat in the female coach of the metro. What is there to not like about a woman who knows that her fight is bigger than the binaries of the world? Despite these remarkable characters, it is Haider who appeared to me like the biggest lead of them all. Ali Junejo’s portrayal of a man who finds himself falling for a woman whose identity he does not really understand is commending. ‘Film Companion’s’ Rahul Desai in his review of Joyland made a very particular observation about how Mumtaz struggles to rise above the exoticity of the tragedy that Haider and Biba are. I resonated a lot with his opinion.

Shamefully, Joyland narrowly missed out on the final Oscar nominations for Best International Film. It released in Indian Cinemas on March 10.

Sarthak Parashar is a student persuing English Literature from Jamia Millia Islamia.

Edited by: Syed Ilham Jafri

‘In saffron hued CinemaScope’


Using celluloid to manipulate public consciousness is not a novel concept. Propaganda on film has existed as long as film itself. During the World War II era, the leaders of the third Reich commissioned Leni Riefenstahl with producing moving picture propaganda in service of Nazism. ‘Triumph of the Will’ and ‘Olympia’ are still to this day, while still depicting the leaders of fascism basking in glory, lauded as artistic enterprises and for their innovations in technicalities. On the other side of the battle, the allied forces, rallying behind the US, have an even longer and deeper history of depicting propaganda on camera.

W G Griffith’s ‘Birth of a Nation’ (1915)—a three-hour epic, full of eye-popping editing and avant-garde photography—ran parallel to the film’s unapologetic plea for white supremacy, and its nostalgia about an antebellum South. The very first Academy Award for Best Picture winner, 1927’s ‘Wings’, was created with the American army’s support. In recent decades, the filmmaking industry dovetailing with the military has led to the creation of an entire military-entertainment industrial complex.

Credits: Hulton Archive

So we learn that propaganda is entrenched in entertainment. And thus we turn the looking glass back inward into domestic territory. Bollywood lacks that same sort of avant-garde prestige that is awarded to these industries making up in quantity over what it lacks in formal experimentation. The most common output from the industry has been fun rom-coms and the other being moralistic tales about culture, tradition and family. But lately, there has been an ostentatious change in output with the industry pumping out military propaganda and tales of military accomplishments, and such in numbers never before seen. Though nothing novel, I suppose there’s something much more nefarious in adulterating ‘Masala Flicks’ with these saffron ideologies. Any foray into serious academic film study will stress upon the chasm between film and movies. Film is art; movies are for the public. Bollywood is movies, talkies and flicks; not worthy of statuary. And it is probably one of the reasons why the pernicious coming to the surface politics of these films tend to not bother audiences when they do break through the domestic barrier. With the recent success of ‘RRR’, most foreign audiences have been dismissive of the concerns raised by natives with respect to the treatment of lower caste people and Adivasi’s in the film. When discussing the fascist elements emerging in this New Pan-Indian film scene, you’re mostly met with incredulous looks.

Credits: TOI

One might argue ‘movies’ have an even more important place in understanding the semiotics of the images we consume. ‘Movies’ reaffirm the status quo-planting seeds that cops, the military, and subservience to the pre-existing system are all good at the end of day and that we need these structures to exist. Since BJP coming to power in the early 2010s, there’s been a discernible shift in expressing ideologies that are permissible and that are to be believed in. That there exists salvation in it and your favourite silver screen actor doused in tainted mythologism reaffirms it to you. Nationalism, Hindu honour, legendary Hindu icons, Hindu suffering in the past and contemporary military strength have all become popular subjects for filmmakers in Bollywood. Simultaneously, there has been a subtle and increasingly not-so-subtle othering of the Muslim community through a rhetoric that emphasises the brutality of Islamic invaders and their zeal for forcibly converting the native population.

Vivek Agnihotri’s Hindi film ‘The Kashmir Files’ was released in theatres on March 11. The only well-known actor in the lead cast of the film is Anupam Kher, but it became a massive hit, earning Rs 100 crore in just eight days. The film is a fictional story inspired by real events surrounding the forced exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from their homeland in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. While several Kashmiri Pandits have applauded the film for portraying their real life trauma, others from the community have distanced themselves from its factual inaccuracies and palpable anti-Muslim propaganda. Earlier this year Siddharth Malhotra was announced in yet another fictionalization of military exploits in the India-Pakistan border, the metaphorical primordial soup out of which every homunculus of Indian fundamentalism emerges. Military engagements in this area are especially loved by Bollywood; a privilege hardly granted to skirmishes between China or the failed peacekeeping operation in Sri Lanka undertaken in the 90s, because unequivocal victory is guaranteed.

Credits: FirstPost

More than a representation of brewing public sentiment, these movies are actively aiding the nationalistic project undertaking by the concumbent government furthering the nationalist agenda purported by the BJP government.

Sumaiya Shakil is a student pursuing English Literature from Jamia Millia Islamia.

Edited by: Ambrisha Zubeen



Mumbai’s Color Positive Foundation hosted its first pride parade on 28th January. Interestingly, an event representing one of the most diversely oppressed communities has been getting a lot of flak for its deliberate avoidance of politics. Some of the guidelines that the organizers have issued include a prohibition against political placards and the criticism of the Indian majoritarian Right-wing. Savio Mascarenhas, the founder of the foundation has stated, “What we said is, if you want to talk about politics, talk about the politics related to the LGBTQ+ community. Because our rights matter and we need to fight to get us legal rights.” His ambiguous and diplomatic words find a bit more clarity in “For example, If I can’t marry, I can’t talk about laws related to alimony. So, discuss politics around the right to marry.” In a few sentences, he ignored every queer person in a heterosexual marriage arrangement. He forgot how being queer has always been a tussle with the authoritarian state.

Credits: Wikitionary

A simple google search defines pride as “the feeling of pleasure that you have when you or people who are close to you do something good or own something good” or “the respect that you have for yourself“. Why do people from the LGBTQ+ community need to organize and participate in pride parades is one of the most frequently asked questions by people who do not belong to the community. What is it about not being straight that one needs to feel proud of? Things have gone as far as there being instances of straight prides as a counter statement and emergence of terminology like super straight (the official exclusion of trans people from dating spheres as if they did not already face deep-rooted prejudice and segregation). The history of pride is an iconic one. It began as a protest against a police raid on a gay bar called the Stonewall Inn which further inspired the now legendary Stonewall Uprising. The word uprising has now been substituted by riots as if queer people in the early 70s held enough power and resources and liberty to instigate something as one-sided as riots. TERFs (trans exclusionary radical feminists) and SWERFs (Sex Worker Exclusionary Radical Feminists) have also forgotten how the pioneers of the Stonewall Uprising (Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera) were drag queens of color who even had to resort to sex work out of helplessness. Their brand of politics, with their transphobia and prudity forgets how much cisgendered lesbians owe to the likes of Johnson and Rivera.

Meanwhile, on 8th of January, queers and allies of the capital battled the harsh Delhi cold and blinding smog that symbolize the struggles they go through. Xaz told me about their experiences at the Delhi Pride, “Pride for me was pretty overwhelming given it was the largest it has ever been. It felt very rushed but happy. I bumped into people I knew. It was really great getting to know the fact that so many queer people exist. They (the organizers) did have a ‘pride should not be political’ stance but that didn’t stop people from saying political slogans which was amazing. The end was honestly very aggravating though, as soon as the time went up, the police started to blow their whistle, forcing people to evacuate immediately through small exits and might have caused a stampede.” Pride for them was both euphoric and claustrophobic. Another participant felt the lack of Dalit representation at the event. Pride for them seemed like an upper-caste affair. There was a poster that used religious symbols to ask for the legalization of same-sex marriage. Do queer people need to be assimilated with their oppressors to be socially accepted? Perhaps nobody sums up the gravitas of pride better than the Instagram user that goes by the handle @kaalimirch_. Very poetically, they wrote, “If only people understood that going back home from pride is more political than marching those two kilometers. It is the work of returning from your queerness to a world that is still, largely, built to keep you out. You meet your shame again on the streets, in the metro, at the back of an auto. You are no longer graceful-the passing gaze of strangers and the occasional teasing on the road tells you that your saree looks wrong on your body. I march to remember what is left of us when pride is over.” Pride for them is an imperfect utopia that works as an escape twice a year.

Pride is Rajkumar Rao as a police inspector (Shardul) putting on a rainbow-feathered mask as his way of participating in an event that his institutional profession is supposed to be an archenemy and suppressor of. Pride is also him having to marry a lesbian woman in order to be eligible to adopt a child for the law that he protects is discriminatory. Pride might as well just be as subjective as its literal meaning and as diverse as its participants.

Sarthak Parashar is a student pursuing English Hons. from Jamia Millia Islamia.

Edited by: Rutba Manzoor

Women’s Writing Throughout the Feminist Waves of History


It’s not news that throughout history women have been oppressed and repressed by the patriarchal society that favours men. From getting denied their share of education and their right to freedom to being forced into marriage, women travelled a long way to get to the position where they stand today. Among all the years of struggles and fights, “feminism” took its birth in a new form. Revolution begins in the minds of writers, and as we look back, we see how women’s writing has evolved and sparkled over the feminist waves that are marked as one of the greatest movements the world will remember.

For most of history, anonymous was a woman.”

— Virginia Woolf

Over centuries, writing has emerged as an effective tool to give shape to one’s thoughts and voice about social or societal change. Women’s literature has proven shelter to issues in such a context without being an exception. Since the first wave of feminism, women have been putting pen to paper to bring to the fore the challenges and prejudices experienced by females. Even before the feminist movement, women writers worked hard at presenting the dark side of patriarchal society but were ignored for their inferior position. They wrote under pseudonyms to avoid being criticised for practicing the profession of writing, which was considered “masculine,” and therefore we see a lot of unknown written works by female writers.

Credits: History of Feminism

Mary Wollstonecraft’s “A Vindication on the Rights of Women” (1792) is a monumental work that paved the way for the women after her to not only publish their works but to also engage themselves in critical discourses related to women’s literature. Mary laid emphasis on the equality of women in the domain of education and challenged the notion that women exist only to please men in her book. The first wave of feminism argued for equal opportunities in domains that were dominated by men because of the gender roles assigned by society to men and women. The vision of Mary Wollstonecraft was later concretized by Virginia Woolf, an important modernist 20th century writer, in her seminal text “A Room of One’s Own” (1929). Considered Woolf’s master work, it is a long form of essay told through a fictionalized narrator that presents the argument of the necessity of both metaphorical and literal “room” for women’s literature within the literary tradition.

Credits: ThoughtCo

The second wave of feminism from the 1940s to the 1980s challenged the essentialist assumptions and acceptance of the division between gender and sex as defined by society. It sparked a rejuvenation of the issue raised about the place of women in the workforce. Presses published the lost and ignored works by women; colleges instilled the courses teaching on women’s literature and history. Simone de Beauvoir was an active participant of the second movement, and her book “The Second Sex” (1949) is credited to have paved the path of modernist feminism. Beauvoir wrote fearlessly; her writings were ahead of time, making strong points regarding the fight for the feminist cause. Every feminist might have come across this famous saying of hers: “One is not born; rather, one becomes a woman.”

Credits: Tumblr

The third wave of feminism, from the 1990s through 2000, focused more on the performative aspect of sexuality or gender. Writers like Toni Morrison, Adrienne Rich, Margaret Atwood, and Alice Walker were at the forefront. All these resulted in the commonality among women nowadays of living as singles and leading an independent life, but society still puts her under a great deal of pressure. For this reason, feminist criticism became an important subject in modern literature, which eventually took the shape of a completely new genre: “chick lit.” This genre tackles the feminist issue and is targeted towards contemporary women. It became popular in the late nineties, when “equal opportunity” and “feminism” were not popular ideologies in society. Helen Fielding is regarded as the pioneer of this modern form of women’s fiction, or original chick-lit. Fielding’s “Bridget Jones’s Diary” is a great example of a chick-lit novel that presents a clear picture of society and its implications in the life of a woman, especially single women. At the present time, Chimamanda Ngozi, one of the greatest role models of 21st century feminists, exemplifies honesty and bravery in the face of change. All in all, these writers emerged as powerful forces as they put forward the need for acknowledgement and activism for the growth and benefits of women as well as the literary tradition as a whole.

Sania Parween is a student pursuing English Literature from Jamia Millia Islamia.

Edited by: Moneera Aiman

The Beauty of Breaking Bad


Breaking Bad is a show that will live on for ages. With an entirely new concept, it ignored the usual clichés for crime shows, created a new path for itself, and acquired cult status. It ticks off the usual boxes for any good TV series: acting, background music, writing, pacing, and entertainment, but perhaps more than that, Breaking Bad is a show that has emotional depth. It raises many questions for its audience and paints a brutally honest picture of our society. It is a metaphor for the life we live, full of morally grey choices that have real consequences.

Breaking Bad’s protagonist is Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher who has lung cancer, a son with cerebral palsy, and an unplanned pregnancy. He doesn’t earn much, doesn’t like his jobs, and is regretful over his decision to leave Gray Matter. The audience empathizes with his midlife crisis.

Credits: Adam Villacin

‘Breaking Bad’ is slang for ‘rebelling against society’, ‘to go rogue’ or ‘wreak havoc and destruction.’ Walt’s slow descent into chaos is best described by this term. He went from being the guy who almost quit the meth trade after being traumatized by Krazy-8’s death to the guy who unhesitatingly poisons Brock to manipulate Jesse. That is the most stunning character development an anti-hero can have.

Tricking the Viewers

The beauty of Breaking Bad lies in the fact that it questions the moral allegiance of its audience. One cannot help but sympathize with Walt when he has lethal cancer, but why do we cheer on for Heisenberg even after the cancer is in remission and secretly want him to succeed no matter what it takes? Does the audience really believe that Walt is doing all this for his family and not because he likes the feeling of power that comes with it? Why does the audience excuse his morally bad actions?

Supporting Walter White does not mean that one is a psychopath. Most of us won’t kill people, blow up nursing homes, or poison children. If we would not do these things ourselves in real life, then why are we supporting them when Walt does them? The reason for this is that an anti-hero’s character is an outlet for the feelings that we all secretly harbor. Walt’s character is relatable; he has been screwed by life too many times, but now he finally gets his revenge. We can detach from real life and support a fictitious character who can break the rules and get away with it.

Credits: Breaking Bad

It is fascinating to watch a person go against the norms of society. We know we cannot unleash the Heisenberg inside us, so it feels really good to see someone else do it. We love the thrill we get when we identify with Walt, even if it’s temporary. This gives rise to the dilemma in Vince Gilligan’s moral universe: an audience with a moral compass that would not do the things that Walt does and yet cheers him on.

Limits of Moral Nihilism

A particular focus of Breaking Bad is to emphasize moral ambiguity. No character in the show can be termed 100% good or bad, just like in real life. Although not explicitly mentioned, Walt is a moral nihilist. Moral nihilism is a philosophy that says that morality is meaningless. It says that no action is morally good or bad, and the concept of good or bad exists only in our minds.

Walt internalizes this principle of moral nihilism early on. The threat of impending death diluted the moral principles he had, and all his actions henceforth are proof that he does not believe that there is any such thing as morality. He lets Jane die, bombs a nursing home, poisons Brock, makes a false confession tape, leaves Jesse with the Neo-Nazis, manipulates everyone around him, and gets Gale killed. He does not feel any remorse about the fact that his actions have consequences. He does not fire Todd for killing a child and does not care that letting Jane die caused a midair collision.

Credits: Breaking Bad

Walt’s “It is what it is” approach that prioritizes efficiency and survival over everything else allowed him to be the biggest drug lord in the Southwest, but there is a hidden question here: Was it really all worth it? Was Walt’s moral nihilism beneficial for him? As Walt admitted in El Camino, in a flashback, Jesse didn’t have to wait his whole life to do something special. This is the underlying motivation for Walt’s actions. All his life, playing by the rules and being good hasn’t gotten him anywhere. He does what he does to gain respect from his peers, heal his wounded pride, and exercise control.

But there is an inherent contradiction in Walt’s moral nihilism. He may not believe that morality exists, but everyone around him does. The DEA is after him, and Flynn, Marie, or Skyler won’t ever forgive him for the havoc he caused in their lives. This is the problem with using moral nihilism to justify your psychopathic behaviour because a) it does not end well for you, and b) it does not end well for your loved ones. Even if you believe that killing people is not bad, others around you still have a moral fabric. Was the temporary rush of pleasure that Walt felt when he became Heisenberg worth getting hated by his own son, destroying his family, and leaving Holly without a father? Walt’s moral nihilism leads him to believe that he will not face consequences for his actions, but in the end, it all falls apart.

Gunjit Verma is a student pursuing Chemistry Honours from Jamia Millia Islamia.

Edited by: Moneera Aiman

The Fall of Constantinople: A new era of Italy Renaissance


The Byzantine Empire had a significant impact on the history and culture of Europe. By the fifteenth century, it was in terminal decline. The Empire, which had lasted for nearly a thousand years, effectively came to an end when its capital was captured by the Ottoman Turkish army in 1453. At this time, the various Italian city-states experienced a period of cultural flourishing known as the Renaissance. Fleeing Greek scholars had a significant impact on the Renaissance’s direction and trajectory. It prompted Greek education to become more widely accessible, which altered Italy’s scholarly climate. This resulted in a deeper understanding of the Ancient Greek language as well as mythology and scientific knowledge.

Credits: Lestertair

Italy and Byzantium had a prolonged and complicated history. Sicily and a large portion of Southern Italy were under the control of Byzantium. Therefore, Italian art and architecture have been greatly influenced by Byzantine culture. By 1453, the Byzantine Empire had divided up into three empires, which were just small statelets. One of them was Constantinople. The city was only a pale replica of its former splendor. By the 1450s, the Ottoman Empire had spread across Europe and was a powerful military state. The Ottomans had previously besieged Constantinople but were unable to breach its apparently impenetrable fortifications. Sultan Mehmet I was determined to conquer the city because it was a Christian territory in his empire, and he was concerned that it might be used as a base for an invasion. Despite the city’s perceived weakness, it was thought to be the best-defended city in all of Europe. Sultan Mehmet gathered a huge army of 60,000 men and massive cannons. The Byzantine Emperor was killed during the battle. By breaching the walls with their powerful cannons, the Ottomans swarmed into Constantinople. They abstained from killing commoners and nobles, preferring to hold them for ransom to return to their home states. After the conquest, Mehmet ensured a multicultural seat of power for a multicultural empire by repopulating the city with residents of various backgrounds and faiths and moving his capital from Edirne to Constantinople.

For Europe, the fall of Constantinople marked the end of an era. The Byzantine- fighting Italians succeeded in escaping the siege and bringing many Constantinople residents with them to Italy. Thousands of refugees fled to Italy and the rest of Europe after Constantinople and the remaining Byzantine territories fell. Grammarians, humanists, poets, writers, printers, lecturers, musicians, astronomers, architects, scribes, philosophers, scientists, politicians, and theologians were among the refugees. Manuscripts from the destroyed libraries of Constantinople and other Byzantine cities were also brought with them.

Credite: Materia Islamica

The study of rhetoric has been a focus of Italian humanists. They had little interest in hypothetical metaphysical scenarios. The first publication of Plato’s complete works, however, was to change this. The Athenian philosopher’s dialogues from the fifth century, brought in by the refugees, changed the minds of many humanists. A Neo-Platonist school of philosophy emerged in Florence as a result of Plato’s writings. Plato’s ideas were introduced, which caused a shift in emphasis from ethical to metaphysical speculations. Many claim that this changed people’s perceptions of the Greek and his ideas, and that it also influenced how the humanists thought about virtue and excellence. Many Italian thinkers endorsed the Aristotelian comprehension of virtue. They discovered that Aristotle placed a strong emphasis on the importance of empirical research and study, and that experimentation was required to determine the truth. Many Italian scholars were influenced by the Aristotelian emphasis on practical knowledge (praxis) to place more emphasis on observation and experimentation, which aided in the development of science in Italy.

For Italy, the fall of the Byzantine Empire was both a blessing and a curse. The Ottoman threat to Italy increased with the fall of the capital of the Byzantine world. The Italian states lived in the Ottomans’ shadow for a number of decades after Constantinople was taken. For Venice and Genoa, the fall of the Byzantine Empire was catastrophic. Both city-states declined as a result of lost trade and frequent Turkish attacks. On the contrary, a huge number of refugees from Constantinople sought refuge in the various Italian city-states, including many scholars. They brought with them the knowledge of the Classics of Antiquity and priceless manuscripts that aided in the understanding of philosophers and other authors, which ultimately led to the most infamous period of the Renaissance.

Hiba Shaikh Ansari is a student pursuing English Hons. from Jamia Millia Islamia.

Edited by: Moneera Aiman

What is even the point of UGC?


The University Grants Commission has been a big player in higher education in India since 1956. It was set up with the aim to “report on Indian university education and suggest improvements and extensions”. With whatever power it had, its track record has been contrary to its goals and it has fueled the rot in higher education in India. The impractical decisions and half baked policy proposals are a cruel joke for the struggling students and teachers and prove that the UGC is interested in rhetoric rather than serious deliberations.

No one can deny the grim state of education in India right now. We are wasting the opportunity to build our youth into a resourceful workforce of the future. The numerous universities and colleges are producing jobless graduates who are ill prepared to function in a competitive and technology driven world. Due to decades of turning a blind eye towards the ineffectual university system, we are nearing the point of no return. Part of the blame for this can be assigned to the University Grants Commission which has ignored, misidentified and aggravated the problems in our higher education system. As a regulatory body under the Ministry of Education, its core function is to coordinate, determine and maintain standards of higher education in India.

Credits: IndiaTV

It has been on the chopping block for the past decade with the government accepting its shortcomings and recognizing the need to have a new regulator. The powers of the UGC has been slowly taken away and diluted and it has been reduced to a mere white elephant. Despite this, the UGC, in its dying days, has been adamant to wreak havoc on the university system in India. Pushing for more online courses, a four year degree and now the setting of campuses of foreign universities in India are some of few ill thought policy proposals which show that the people who affect our lives do not have a clue of what they are doing.

Under the UGC, numbers of universities and enrolled students have grown exponentially but the standards of education have remained stagnant or declined. It has been reduced to a mere body to give grants and funds instead of pushing for meaningful reforms and excellence in education. A government panel even said that the “UGC staff is unhappy as only few find favour and are delegated with powers to perform in important areas while many of them are left out with hardly much to contribute…. is said that they are pushed around through an element of fear and threat”. The report further pointed out that the “working structure of UGC is so ad-hoc that many do not know how many bureaus representing various disciplines and activities are currently existing……. regional offices of UGC and even Consortium of Educational Communication (CEC) have failed to deliver and are a waste of good money and manpower”.

Perhaps, the UGC was doomed from the start because the complete control that the UGC and government exercise over a university is not conducive towards a holistic educational environment. No university can independently start its own degree course or recruit faculty or take its decision without interference from the state/central governments and the UGC. Politics takes priority over research and academic productivity, innovation, learning. Too much interference has led to subpar education in terms of quality and quantity.

The UGC has overseen the abysmal system of fellowships and scholarships which does great disservice to underprivileged students. Furthermore, the UGC is plagued by sycophancy and nepotism at the top, ensuring that those who have the decision making powers do not have students and professors’ best interests at heart and instead take orders from their bosses. It has engaged in petty fights with IITs and IIMs over the years and let smaller universities off the hook who are giving useless degrees.

Economic powers were taken away from UGC and HEFA was set up which would give loans to universities for their required funds (something that will definitely not lead to an increase in tuition fees). The to replace the UGC in 2018. Higher Education Commission of India Clever rhetoric has been was proposed used to sell this as a revolutionary makeover of the education system in India but it is nothing more than old wine in a new bottle. The bill lacks a basic understanding of why UGC failed and does not desire for radical innovation.

It seems that UGC is working on the principle that ‘something must happen’ even if that something is detrimental to students. from the minds at UGC and lengthy jargon New and flashy policy propos and slogans are als emerge used to justify them. Terms like holistic, world class, ranking are used liberally to convince a person that something great is happening even though it is not.

Although to be fair, this problem cannot be solved by just fixing UGC. The UGC is not the cause of the problem but its facilitator. The real problem lies with our messed up priorities when it comes to the education in India. The deep rooted structural problems in our education system have no easy solutions but we have to first accept them. Instead what we do is, make a bad situation even worse.

Gunjit Verma is a student pursuing B.Sc. Chemistry from Jamia Millia Islamia.

Edited by: Rutba Manzoor

Taking the Hijab Off – Misrepresentation Through Compelling Visuals


Representation is how societal aspects such as race, gender, age, ethnicity, nationality and social issues are presented, according to the BBC. In terms of representation, Muslim have been thoroughly underrepresented and misrepresented. One of the recent tropes is that of taking off a hijab, a catharsis of sorts for the character. Hijab already has enough stigma attached to it. Women who choose to wear one are said to have been forced or brainwashed. This trope, making its appearance frequently, underplays the choice and narrative of the women who choose to wear the hijab, in the name of representation.

In September 2022, Bisleri launched their ‘Limonata’ drink with a campaign called “Let loose”. The advertisement shows a group of men playing football on a hill, and the ball is accidentally thrown towards a group of girls sitting nearby, clad in the traditional pheran and a headscarf. One of the girls decides to stand up and showcase her excellent footwork with the ball while the boys try and fail to keep up with her. Towards the end of what would have been a harmless advertisement otherwise, the girl takes off her headscarf, while the background track resonates the lines, “Just let loose”.

A still from the ad.
A still from the ad.

To think from an outsider’s perspective, this advertisement is nothing out of the ordinary. But, this kind of a depiction has a different effect for Muslim women who choose to wear hijab, even if it’s not unusual to come across. Most of the representations of Muslim characters wearing hijab set up the story for them to take out and toss their hijab later on. It’s inevitable. You already know what’s going to follow when you see a hijabi Muslim character on-screen. It [taking off hijab] magically takes away the problems that they’re shown to be facing throughout.

The point is, those girls in the campaign may not even be representing Muslims, but the recurrence of women removing their headscarf in the mainstream media is far too much for it to just be a happy coincidence, or an aesthetic addition. Hijab has been portrayed as a tool of oppression, and taking it off as freeing. If a piece of clothing justifies the oppression of women, and its removal is the solution, then how does one justify the subjugation and oppression still rampant against women of other communities, and basically women in general?

In Minhal Baig’s film Hala (2019), Hala, a Pakistani American, hijabi Muslim is shown to be struggling with her values and desires. The film was a matter of debate when many Muslim women took to social media to discuss its representation and ending, where Hala also removes her hijab. Nowhere in the film is it hinted that she has been struggling with it. Removing the veil is often depicted as a solution, or the means to one. With the few token representations that Muslims get in mainstream media, it seems that most of them are aimed at, or end up spreading Anti-Muslim sentiments.

Credits: Apple

Muslim characters are churned out in bulk through the old generalizing, stereotyping machine, with each new one dimensional character resembling the others already in line. Whether it is Hollywood, or Bollywood, Muslim men are almost always either terrorists or oppressive patriarchs; or both. The women are silent and suppressed, or struggling for freedom. Diversity is non-existent. There is hardly ever a portrayal on-screen which represents, even to a small amount, the dynamics of a regular Muslim family or society.

Another film that comes to mind is Mani Ratnam’s Bombay (1995), a film that shows an inter-religious marriage, in the backdrop of the Bombay communal riots. Shaila Banu and Shekhar are both planning to elope, away from their intolerant families that won’t accept their love. While reaching Shekhar who is waiting for her near the sea, Shaila’s burqa gets entangled while she is approaching Shekhar; and she leaves it behind. Film critic Anupama Chopra, in a review for her platform Film Companion wrote, “ As Shaila runs to Shekhar, her burkha gets entangled. She removes it and goes to him, almost as if she is freeing herself from the shackles of her family, society and religion”. There are two points worth noting here – one: why doesn’t Shekhar, a Hindu man, need to break free from these shackles? Second, Shaila’s burqa – her veil is drawn in likeness to the shackles of her family, society and religion. These heavy juxtapositions play with the psyche of people. Whether subtle or apparent, these tropes work at instilling and ingraining a suspicion and to a greater level, hatred of Muslims and their way of life.

With these representations, women who choose to wear the hijab, by choice, to practice their religion and to exert their freedom are ignored and their agency disregarded. There is no denying that a lot of women are forced to wear the hijab, and denied their agency as well. But this narrative, of “the oppressed Muslim woman” is being overdone deliberately. It robs the Muslim representation of the nuance it can otherwise present on screen.

Credits: ANI

Taking control of the narrative, and bringing forward their own stories is important for Muslims. There have been films, mostly independent, created by Muslims, that explore and bring out the diversity, and the struggles of Muslims in a much kinder and realistic way. In the mainstream however, the representation feels almost satirical at this point. It gives away an impression that the creators have not had proper interactions with Muslims, or lack the creativity to move forward from redundant and dehumanizing stereotypes that were created decades ago.

Mukaram Shakeel is a student pursuing English Literature from Jamia Millia Islamia.

Edited by: Ambrisha Zubeen

Sons and Lovers: Industrial Revolution through the lens of Literature


Lawrence’s ‘Sons and Lovers’, though excessively called out for being obscene and even pornographic in its early days, is now believed to be one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century. Apart from themes of familial dynamics, autobiographical elements, and psychoanalysis, the novel dwells on a less discussed yet crucial theme: Industrialisation. In various instances, the novel presents a critique of the aftermath of the Industrial Revolution.

Credits: Medium

Lawrence had been an advocate for the importance of nature in human life. His desire to spend a life away from materialistic chaos inspired him to create a community called ‘Rananim‘. He believed that humans are an extension of nature and it brings them comfort and solace. In the novel as well, Mrs. Morel is shown to find solace in the moonlight when thrown out of her house.

Being the son of a coal miner and therefore facing the cruelties of the revolution first hand, Lawrence believed that the course had been harmful both to nature and its extensions. The revolution deemed mechanical development to be superior to human life. The value of beings became directly proportional to the need they cater to. The revolution brought a rise in capitalism and changed social arrangements. It gave birth to rapid classist outcomes.

In the novel, the characters have been directly or indirectly affected by the course of action. Mr. Morel is shown to be a victim of the unhealthy work ethic that emerged due to the revolution. The desire for development gave rise to a large number of workers working in dangerous environments. The revolution gave birth to greed for extracting resources, which brought up the need for mining and let the labourers work in unhealthy conditions. Humans seem to be equivalent to objects or even less than machines. Mr. Morel worked in similar conditions in a coal mine. He, along with other workers, was degraded because he belonged to the lower section of society. He is shown to be trapped in the clutches of a capitalistic society. He, along with his family, dwells in buttons.

Due to the endless working hours, he ends up losing his emotional elements. He is struck with chronic poverty and has no time to converse with his wife or children. The dull, gloomy coal pits have seemed to erase the lustre of emotional needs from his heart. This results in his torn marriage life. His wife, Mrs. Morel, is also a victim of the system. She belonged to “Hell Row,” where the upper class dwells. Though she marries a coal miner out of love, her marriage life stays in jeopardy due to the unseen issues created by the class divide. Mrs. Morel is shown to be a culturally affiliated woman, which is common for women in the upper class. Mr. Morel, a lower-class guy struck with chronic poverty, is unable to provide her with the intellectual companionship she desires. The shift in class makes her life suffer in the dark, gloomy localities adjoining the grey coal mines.

The dysfunctional family dynamic, later on, puts enormous pressure on the sons of the family to provide Mrs. Morel with her desired emotional and financial needs. This shows the tragic reality of lower-class children, who would spend their lives working tirelessly to shift from one class to another. William, the elder son of the Morels, dies in the city due to overworking. The younger son, Paul, spends his life untangling the threads of chaos intertwined due to the unsettling reality of his family, which has been strangling his happiness.

The novel has been an influential take on the degradation of humans at the hands of the tyrannical power of mechanical advancement. The readers get to witness the hidden conflicts that emerged as an outcome of the industrial revolution, which shook the pillars of familial bonds as well. It has managed to shed light on serious subjects including the alienation and objectification of humans, the messing up of moral values, the belittling of human worth, and the equalisation of lives with assets. The novel has definitely been an impactful effort in creating awareness about the tragedies that await a society where money becomes God.

Ashna Arif is a student pursuing English Literature from Jamia Millia Islamia.

Edited by: Ambrisha Zubeen

Hockey 2023: Revival of the Indian Sporting Legacy


It was 1975, the last time India lifted the Hockey World Cup Trophy. Since then, it has become a wait of almost half a century to feel that energy again and a dream living in the hearts of the true fans. The good news is that the lost game is finally back on the fields of the country that had once seen immense height globally through it! When India was announced as the host country for the “2023 Men’s FIH Hockey World Cup,” the deep-rooted dream bloomed again, and Naveen Patnaik, Odisha’s CM, is no less to be credited for this beautiful revival.

Credits: The Hindu

Hockey, one of the oldest modern games to exist, was first introduced in India during British Rule in the 1850s. Gradually, the game captured the attention of the younger generation, which ultimately led to its popularity in the country, having large fields and open spaces to be played on. With the formation of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) in 1924, came the permanence of hockey to be added in the Olympics. The Indian hockey team participated and grabbed the gold medal in the very first game of the 1928 Olympics. It was then, the beginning of a golden era. The Indian team dominated the field of world hockey with the rise of Dhyan Chand, one of the greatest hockey players the world has ever witnessed. His legacy continued, and India went on to win eight gold medals, a record till date.

After the 1970s, India’s domination seemed to be in danger and hardly managed to strike a gold in 1975. It was a decline caused by both external and internal factors- the change from grass to astroturf (artificial grass) was one India couldn’t adapt with the changing times. Despite this, the men’s team, taking advantage of the depleted field, won the eighth Olympic gold at the 1980 Moscow Games.

Meanwhile, the women’s team had also emerged and was doing quite well. However, these were the final years of the golden period, and after that, everything became stagnant. Players dropped, coaches were changed, and India struggled to regain its position at the global level. It was an arduous period for both men and women’s team as they felt shortage to make it to the semi-finals of the international events, eventually restraining themselves to just bronzes and silvers. The scenario worsened when the men’s team failed to even qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, which led to a huge setback.

Credits: OpIndia

41 years of this dormancy finally broke when the Indian men’s team entered the semi-finals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The medal drought ended with a bronze, and the achievement was doubled by the women’s team’s historic appearance in their first semi-final match. Hockey was breathing again. Thus, revival is what people knew had crept in and would be chanted from here on.

This revival is not a sudden outcome but the result of years of groundwork by the teams, a resolute journey toward betterment, and the admirable strength offered by the pillars around them. The pillar that stood the tallest has to be Odisha’s Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik. The CM, with his deep interest in the game, took on the sponsorship of Indian Hockey in 2018 when all the national sponsors of the team had pulled back. He rescued the national game from fading away from the sight of the countrymen. With funds, infrastructure, all the basics were developed and provided from the very root by Odisha. The state proved to be the “second home” for the players. It would not be an exaggeration to say that this initiative filled in a new life and brought the game back its glory in times like these where the crowd apparently is crazy after cricket and football.

The Government of Odisha continues to extend its full support, and now what lies ahead is the 2023 Men’s Hockey World Cup, an addition to the process of revitalisation. The 15th edition of the game has already begun as of January 13, 2023, taking place in Odisha’s Bhubaneswar and Rourkela. There is excitement surging among the hockey fans as India kicked in the enthusiasm winning the first match against Spain. The Chief Minister, who was there to witness the thrilling performance, tweeted “I am sure spectators will experience finest hockey during World Cup 2023. Let’s celebrate the spirit of hockey as Hockey comes Home” and he also congratulated the Indian team for their amazing win.

Credits: Hindustan Times

There is indeed a long way to go for the Men and Women in Blue to make this revival a historic example of belief and hard work. Looking forward to the ongoing World Cup, it doesn’t really matter at what rank India will end up because, after all, it’s a sport where one wins and one loses. What truly matters is not letting this spirit die which the CM of Odisha envisaged while putting his efforts and the Odisha Government’s attempt in bringing back hockey to the nation’s field and in its people’s hearts.

Sania Parween is a student pursuing English Literature from Jamia Millia Islamia.

Edited by: Moneera Aiman

Akbar and The Forbidden Experiment

source: Pinterest

The 16th-century Mughal emperor, Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar is profoundly known through various instances as being one curious soul. As per today’s terminology, the emperor could be considered a psychology enthusiast, who held a keen interest in the human mind. Akbar wanted to identify the language that develops naturally, without any hindrance. His eagerness to learn about the phenomenon led him to conduct a psychological experiment for identifying the development of communication, which was later termed the ‘Forbidden Experiment’ by modern scholars.

The emperor was quite famous for inviting Christian missionaries over, hosting them and making efforts to get acquainted with their beliefs. He would often let these leaders tutor his kids to get them familiar with the ways of the world. He was known to have initiated ‘Ibadat Khana’, a centre for religious debates among the various religious preachers.

It’s amusing to know that these debates often ended up in heated arguments and even took a physically violent turn at times. Apart from having a keen interest in various societies and cultures, the emperor was also renowned for his curiosity in interpreting human behaviour, which is evident from the Forbidden Experiment.

The emperor Akbar instructed his subordinates to send away twelve newly born infants into isolation at a distant palace. The palace came to be known as ‘Goong Mahal‘ or ‘The Palace Of The Mute‘. The children were meant to be kept in utter solitude from the exterior, social world. Mute nurses were appointed for their supervision and feeding needs, to avoid any hindrance in the procedure. The children were deprived of any kind of social interaction, while their necessities for survival were arranged. The isolation period was called off a few years later.

The emperor had presumed notions about language being a learned behaviour instead of an inherent proficiency which was the root of conducting the project. The outcome of the experiment turned out quite close to his expectations. The consequence of the experiment led these children to not develop any language, instead, they used sign language for communication purposes. Later on, the scholars considered the outcome to be ambiguous, considering the development of sign language was caused by the deterrent in the process. It was observed that the mute nurses might have communicated to the children or within themselves, through actions, which led the kids to observe and develop sign language as a mode of communication.

The experiment is known to be the Forbidden Experiment, considering its unhealthy and hazardous effects on the behaviour of its subjects. When a child is isolated from the social structure, they develop to be incompetent to survive in society later on. They are most likely to live a life full of chaos and anxiety. The Forbidden Experiment has been represented in pop culture through content like Paul Auster’s ‘The New York Trilogy‘, in ‘The Twilight Zone‘ (1963), ‘Batgirl’ comic series, and many more.

Credits: Wikipedia

Interestingly, this experiment wasn’t the only one conducted for discovering the inherent mode of communication in humans. There have been four historically recorded accounts claiming the conduction of similar experiments. In Herodotus’ book ‘Histories‘, the Egyptian pharaoh Psamtik I (664 – 610 BE, i.e. 200 years before Herodotus) carried out such an experiment and concluded the inherent language of humans to be the Phrygian language. The conclusion was backed by the claim, that one of these children babbled a word that is known to have its origins in the Phrygian culture. Another instance of this experiment could be traced to the holy Roman emperor Frederick II ( 13th century). He claimed, the children developed fluent Hebrew, which is perhaps the original language of humans. Apparently, both of these conclusions were criticised to be fabricated, lacking authentic substance and solid evidence.

The experiment conducted by emperor Akbar, despite providing ambiguous outcomes, is the sole experiment considered imprecise yet authentic by scholars. However, the inherent mode of communication in humans continues to remain a mystery.

Ashna Arif is a student pursuing English Literature from Jamia Millia Islamia.

Edited by: Syed Ilham Jafri

The Shocking Reality of The Pink Tax: Why Does it Cost More to Be a Woman?


Massive global political movements are defending women and reiterating that they support gender equality. Given the social pressure associated with women’s rights, it is surprising to observe the lack of concern among many corporations and business owners. The pink tax is yet another tactic used by corporations to steal as much money as they can from customers.

Have you ever noticed that products and services for women are more expensive than those for men? How does simply giving products a delicate appearance—often by making them pink—help brands draw in more customers? Men and women frequently purchase similar everyday goods. However, studies show that consumer goods marketed and advertised to women often cost more than comparable goods marketed to men. This inequality is referred to as the “Pink Tax.” It refers to gender-based price discrimination, where women are made to pay more than men for the same products and services. In other words, it’s not actually a tax but an “income-generating proposition for private businesses that managed to make their product appear either more geared toward or more appropriate for a specific segment of the population.

Pink tax is a prevalent phenomenon. According to research, women spend more than twice as much shopping as men do on average. Similar personal care items marketed toward women were 13% more expensive on average than comparable items marketed toward men. The report claims that overall, women spend significantly more money than men do on comparable goods. Meanwhile, an analysis in the UK found that women’s deodorant was on average 8.9% more expensive than men’s, and the cost of facial moisturizer for women increased by 34.28%. In India, we do not have any reliable evidence to show the existence of a pink tax, which gives rise to the argument that the pink tax is non-existent in India. It would be more accurate to say that there is no actual pink tax on women’s products in India, but that there is a gender price gap in goods and services.

Given that women continue to earn less than men, the “pink tax” has long placed a financial burden on them. According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2022, this year, 129 countries reported that fewer women than men were participating in the labour force. According to the report, one of the most obvious factors causing overall gender-based wealth inequality is the gender pay gap. If women, or someone who buys products marketed to women, are forced to pay more for a pink or delicate razor than a blue one, that is unjust and discriminatory. In order to get them to spend more money, capitalism and popular culture sell them their insecurities and self-consciousness. Big businesses and brands frequently view women as “feeble-minded” and insecure targets who are only used to increase profits. The world is full of sexist advertisements that sell fairness creams while instilling an ever-evolving ideal of beauty. I believe if women don’t start accepting who they are, the battle will never be won. Women must understand what their bodies require and resist being misled by advertising.

Some strategies can be incorporated to avoid falling prey to the “pink tax.” There should be awareness about the topic. Charging more for necessities like sanitary pads and tampons is nothing short of extortion, but one witnessed how public outcry and protests compelled the government to eliminate the tax on sanitary pads. Instead of adhering to the manufactured roles that society has imposed on women, there should be a self-assurance when they make purchases of items that may not fit the mould of the stereotypical woman but are still beneficial to their financial situation. There should also be a boycott on discriminatory products and brands. Every branded item has a perceived value in addition to its actual value. The price will increase if the perceived value is higher. Marketers are aware of the needs and financial capacity of consumers. One can avoid buying things that have unfair pricing structures based on gender. People must also express resistance. Women make up the majority of consumers in the Indian market, so they must never undervalue their influence. The next time a retailer tries to charge you more money just because you’re a woman, question them and register your resistance. Speak out against the sexist practices of such businesses and show your support for those with non-discriminatory or gender-neutral pricing practices.

Hiba Shaikh Ansari is a student pursuing English Honours from Jamia Millia Islamia.

Edited by: Bushra Faridi

Suits: The Egoistical cum Entertaining Law Drama


Brimmed with witty one-liners, haughty characters and suspenseful subplots, Aaron Korsh’s Suits is among the most enjoyable legal drama series. It aired from 2011 to 2019, lasting for nine seasons. Driven by class, elegance and ego, the entertaining storyline, at times, makes us question its accuracy as well as authenticity.

Credits: Amazon Prime

Suits centres on Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) and Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams). Harvey is a senior partner at Pearson Hardman, one of the biggest corporate law firms in New York. He is known as “the best closer in the city”. His colleagues include the Managing Partner Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres), Junior Partner Louis Litt (Rick Hoffman), Paralegal Rachel Zane (Meghan Markle) and his Secretary Donna Paulsen (Sarah Rafferty).

Mike Ross got dropped out of college due to ill fate. He has an exceptional photographic memory, with which he impresses Harvey and eventually gets hired by him. However, the problem is that Pearson Hardman only hires Harvard Graduates whereas Mike does not even have a law degree. This heavy secret, having the capability to alter the fate of the firm and its employees, drives the plot of the show for many seasons.

The Pilot episode is quite well-crafted. We are introduced to the main characters, and the base for the entire plot is skilfully set. Entering the seemingly lavish life of the corporate lawyers, we witness the ongoing competitive tension in the firm. Everyone wants to come out at the top, and nobody seems to be a fan of making compromises.

The writers of the show do not receive enough credits for the entertaining sarcastic remarks as well as the haughty yet motivational dialogues. Harvey is the central mouthpiece, where he always comes up with a clever line: “When you are backed against the wall, break the goddamn thing down.”

Credits: Shane Mahood

The picturesque urban life radiates with the theme of glamour. The scenes are set in luxurious buildings, and are at times complemented by good popular music to set the mood. The cast was close to perfection in their roles, and the dramatic plots created enough tensions for the viewer to remain glued to the screen for as long as possible.

The drawbacks of the series include the unrealistic success portrayals. The lawyers win most of the cases mostly by carrying out settlements, and the defeats are usually minor in nature. Despite the regular bending of the law according to the “subjective truth”, the people still possess unfound ego. Not one episode goes by where anyone of the characters have not lost their temper, resulting in the decreasing genuineness behind their apologies.

The exit of Mike and Rachel resulted in a slow burn season 8, while Donna and Harvey’s relationship came after a really dreadful stretch. Moreover, the constant alteration of the firm’s name was not at all pleasing. There was persistent criticism of the field of Corporate Law, which comes below Criminal Law in terms of morality, but definitely not on monetary lines.

The series undoubtedly has some immensely affective character developments, the best being Louis’s. His journey from being a toxic counterpart to a supportive partner seemed immensely real and genuine. Harvey too, matured over the years, but the rest kept on embarking on more or less the same route. The perpetual scenes of the therapy sessions are a significant and commendable aspect of the show.

Credits: Ian Watson

The omnipresent glamour is justified with the title of series, and is paradoxical to the mental turmoil suffered by the characters. Despite the sometimes inaccurate drama, Suits definitely has the capability to engross you throughout its long length. This show will entertain you, while also making you unnecessarily aware of quite a few terms of the law.

Zaina Shahid Khan is a student pursuing English Literature from Jamia Millia Islamia.

Edited by: Maryam Hassan

Highway: The Journey Away from the Dictatorial Milieu


Brimming with pleasing picturesque scenes, Imtiaz Ali gifted us a film which spoke volumes, in limited drama or action. ‘Highway’ was released at a time when a shift was happening at Bollywood—the films were beginning to bear deeper messages and having bare endings. The aim shifted to highlight the ongoing disturbances beneath the surface rather than moving ahead with the storylines alike the typical box-office hits. Starring almost amateur faces and taking the risk to rank as average, ‘Highway’ is a normal-paced piece, sure to rouse goosebumps and shift the hearts of its viewers.

Veera Tripathi (Alia Bhatt) feels suffocated amongst the extravagant preparations of her wedding. She convinces her fiancé, Vinay, to go on a ride in the middle of the night. Her partner reluctantly takes her out, even to the ‘dangerous’ highway on her persistence. Turns out the outskirts of the city is indeed dangerous—Veera gets kidnapped by a gang of robbers headed by Mahabir Bhati, (Randeep Hooda) amidst their robbery at a gas station. As Veera shouts for help, Vinay only screams from the inside of his car, “I told you not to get out of the car!”

But, it is in this captivity that Veera paradoxically finds her freedom. Away from the constraints of the society, she sets on an external journey to explore the countryside, as well as a symbolic venture to find her true self. A glance at the film from far procures the plot to be a typical portrayal of Stockholm syndrome; but ‘Highway’ offers much more.

Shot along the road highways of Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir, the film captures the raw essence of nature, alike the rawness of its plot. A subtle, overall soothing soundtrack accompanies its cinematography. Anil Mehta was the key cinematographer for the film, and his contribution was simply outstanding especially whilst considering the fact that the film was finished before the targeted timeframe despite incorporating strenuous locations. A.R Rahman composed the soundtrack album, which became an instant hit, with ‘Maahi Ve’ and ‘Patakha Guddi’ topping the charts. Beautifully capturing the symbolic as well as visual essence of the story, the songs intensified the emotions of the scenes.

Imtiaz Ali started working on this story after a long time since it occurred first to him. Many dialogues were improvised on set itself amidst nature, as the filmmaker wanted it to be as realistic as possible—the characters were on a journey of discovery, just as the film discovered itself with the flow.

Credits: Screen Space

This being her second film after the high-school chick’s role in her debut ‘Student of the Year’, Alia Bhatt proved to be far more talented than initially expected of her. Her role was not merely of a feisty young woman, but of a woman in search for herself. There seemed a few notable slips in some parts, but the monologue near the end was as impactful as it could have been. The inner turmoil of carrying on unaffected under the same roof as her rapist and assaulter, came out all at once, providing the audience with one of the most powerful monologues in the cinematic history of Bollywood. Randeep Hooda, despite being for a while in the industry, had just began to gain footing. He was a perfect fit for this role, as he added authenticity to his character who otherwise would not have been so believable.

Instead of ending with the inevitable fate of returning to her family or a happily ever-after, the quest of discovery of the heroine wasn’t undermined. This might be a reason why it didn’t emerge as a hit at the box-office. The film touched upon deep aspects such as child sexual abuse, class based criticism, as well as misogyny, and included skilful comic relief throughout its strenuously loaded plot. Hence through ‘Highway’, Imtiaz Ali provided a taste of all, and delivered a deeper, more impactful mark on his audience.

Zaina Shahid Khan is a student pursuing English Literature from Jamia Millia Islamia.

Edited by: Maryam Hassan

The Right Wing Cancel Culture


In December 2022, a controversy came to light in the Government New Law College, Indore, concerning an “anti-Hindu” book in the college library. ABVP activists caused much ruckus against the book decrying its alleged Hinduphobic overtones, which eventually led to the resignation of the Principal and action against five other professors. The incident is part of a worrying trend seen across universities in India where ABVP fabricated scandals, raised hell and subsequently had their way because of an implicit endorsement of the government.

Despite all the demonization of the West and their derelict ways of life, the concept of cancel culture has been happily co-opted by the right wing in India. Whether it is boycotting companies like Tanishq for their ads, seemingly Hinduphobic Bollywood movies, or people offering namaz in public places, the list of things cancelled by the right goes on and on. Through ideological discourses, weak institutional opposition and culture wars with specific symbols and expressions, the right-wing has engaged in widespread social pressure, publicly calling out and ostracizing individuals to create an atmosphere of fear and dread.

Credits: Viral Bake

The Forced Scandal

An apt example is the recent scandal in Government New Law College, Indore. The student wing of the Sangh Parivar, ABVP, launched protests against six professors for promoting religious fundamentalism and negative thoughts about the government and the army in first-year students. The usual buzzwords like ‘love jihad’ and ‘anti-national’ were evoked to allege that professors performed namaz instead of teaching. Subsequently, the professors were taken off duty, and an inquiry was set up. Later, a library book titled ‘Collective Violence and Criminal Justice System‘ grabbed the attention of the ABVP activists. They objected to its content that painted RSS in a bad light and promoted ‘anti-national thoughts‘. After the protests raged on, Principal Inamur Rahman forcibly resigned. Shortly, a case was registered against the principal, the author of the book- Farhat Khan and the publication, Amar Law Publications.

An Overzealous Government

The government could not resist staying out of the drama for too long. The Minister for Higher Education, Madhya Pradesh, promptly constituted a committee to look further into the matter. The committee submitted its report, concluding that anti-national content was being taught in the college, and teachers were involved in various objectionable activities on the campus. Principal Rahman and Professor Mirza Beg were suspended, along with three other teachers. Home Minister Narottam Mishra ordered the arrest of the author of the book, Professor Farhat Khan and declared to take action by cancelling her PhD.

Not a One-off

Rising above the absurdity of this whole situation, one can see, with proper context, that this is one of the many manufactured scandals across the country which end with severe and unjust actions – a hallmark of the cancel culture. Of particular concern is the fact that such made-up controversies, whose primary aim is to establish and assert dominance, are creeping into the academic world. This cancel culture in universities is led by the foot soldiers of the Hindu nationalist movement, the ABVP activists; they are the energetic, angry young men and women who are dedicated ideologues of the Hindu Rashtra. With the full might of the BJP government behind them and buoyed by the ideological bedrock of the RSS, they are unfazed, unapologetic and relentless in the pursuit of their goals.

These protests reeked of anti-intellectualism and covert Islamophobia; they were a way to show “those” people their “rightful place”. After all, the book was not even mandatory for students and was purchased way back in 2014 under a Hindu principal. Yet the matter was popularized into the mainstream with pomp and show. The committee provided no proof that the Muslim professors were denigrating the army, luring Hindu girls, or that there was an unofficial ban on applying ‘tilaks’. It was simply about blowing a matter out of proportion because opposition must be paralyzed, and criticism of VHP and RSS amounts to gross blasphemy. It was about showing Muslims that they will be marginalized and must accept being second-class citizens in a homogenous society.

ABVP is at the forefront of ridding universities of any liberal ideology. Young and free-willed students are a grave threat to the dreams of Hindu Rashtra, and so, one way or the other, dissent must be muffled. Cancel culture not only banishes people who are deviants in a Hindu state but also serves as a warning for other people to fall in line. This culture is not just online but very much takes the ugly form of vicious physical assaults. ABVP’s tactics include raking up culture wars through emotive issues and garnering support by appealing to the identity of the neutral observer.

ABVP’s cancel culture intimidation is successful because it has the backing of the government and the police. Retaliation is almost negligible as no party wishes to defy the overton window, and civil society and student organizations are too scared or resource less to mount a defence. In the end, only one view prevails – the one that subscribes to the virulent hateful ideology.

Gunjit Verma is a student pursuing B.Sc. Chemistry from Jamia Millia Islamia.

Edited by: Alisha Uvais

Authoritarianism at its Finest


In an unprecedented step, the JMI administration, suspended Professor Sonya Surabhi Gupta who was the returning officer for the JTA elections, citing her actions as unlawful. In addition to this, the Jamia Teachers Association was dissolved till further notice. Given that this blatantly dishonest and tyrannical step is basically a precursor to annihilating the JTA and another way of suppressing the democratic voices of the Jamia fraternity, it is shameful that there was no resistance from the students and professors.

Credits: Prensa Latina

On November 17, the Jamia Millia Islamia administration suspended Professor Sonya Surabhi Gupta, Centre of Spanish and Latin American Studies, over her role as the returning officer (RO) for JTA elections in 2022. A notification issued by Professor Gupta regarding the conduct of the elections was also declared null and void, the JTA was dissolved, and their office was sealed till further notice. The university also threatened disciplinary action against members attending the General Body meeting on November 18 called by the JTA, which was ultimately cancelled.

These actions were completely uncalled for and thus seem like a calculated move by the administration to repress the voices of the teachers. The whole issue stood on shaky reasoning from the start. After Professor Gupta issued the notification on October 26 and the final nomination list was released on November 16, the registrar issued a memo on the 17th declaring the notification null and void, citing that JTA has not been “approved by a competent body” and her appointment was illegal as the term of the JTA office bearers had ended in May.

Although far from perfect, the Jamia Teachers Association is an almost six-decade-old teachers union that has served the interests of the teachers and raised its voice on pressing issues ranging from leave rules to CAA protests. It is an independent body that is subordinate to no one and does not require the prior consent of the authorities for its activities. So, it is baffling to realise that JTA’s constitution must now be approved by the JMI authorities, and the simple exercise of conducting an election is unlawful. It should be highly concerning for anyone that still cares for the basic right to speech.

The Jamia administration is engaging in what is called “union busting,” the activity of reducing or destroying the power of a union. Initiating harsh, unjust actions against a select few to stifle dissent is a classic tactic. The Registrar justified dissolving the JTA by reasoning that its term had ended way back in May. If that is really the case, why was action taken so late? Why was the university allowing a supposedly illegal organization to function for almost six months on its premises? Why was action taken just before the election that was to be held on November 23? Was it because the university wants a watered-down version of the JTA that is subservient? It is obviously a power grab to establish the iron fist of the administration.

In answer to Professor Gupta’s reply, in which she stated that previous ROs didn’t have to take prior permission, the Registrar said that argument “is not sustainable because if some illegal act has happened in the past, the administration is not bound to carry out the same in perpetuity.” This begs the question: will the Registrar be taking action against all the previous ROs since what they did is allegedly illegal? If not, then is the administration tolerating unlawful activities? Also, why did the Registrar meet with the JTA on September 27 when they were protesting for their demands? Since the JTA’s term had ended in May and it had no legal authority, going by the logic of the administration, wasn’t the registrar willfully engaging with an organization that was “illegal“?

In further proof that the Jamia administration was engaging in bad faith, the VC, in a meeting with the deans of faculties, constituted a “committee to look into the shortcomings of the bye-laws and constitution of the JTA and submit a report within a period of one month so that notification of transparent and smooth conduct of the election of the JTA can be made at the earliest after following due process.” That is a lot of words for ‘I want the JTA to be a stooge’. Rest assured, the administration is working hard day and night to destroy the JTA, a level of dedication that is not seen when it comes to resolving students’ issues.

Surprisingly, the issue was of no concern to the Jamia community. However, a protest for Jamia students should not be confined to reciting mushairas in front of the central canteen. After this incident , the fraternity, unfortunately, went about their business as usual, along with the professors acting like all was well and good, thus formulating no efforts to galvanize support among the students. This aspect, however, should be pondered upon and looked into. The Jamia fraternity cannot claim to be a citadel of resistance against a fascist government while tolerating authoritarianism at home. Remember the lines:

Then they came for the ---
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a ----
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me

Gunjit Verma is a student pursuing Chemistry Honours from Jamia Millia Islamia.

Edited by: Bushra Faridi

Adulting: The Inevitable, Universal Profession


Some four months ago, Jamia Millia Islamia decided to finally open in the offline mode after being online for more than two years. This became a reality after a lot of protests from students who thought that their college experience was being diminished because of Google Meets and the suffocating familiarity of their hometowns. However, today it is continuous struggle to adjust to the life in the capital city for students who have come from all over the country. Alia Bhatt from ‘Raazi’ crying and saying “Mujhe ghar jaana hai!” has become a frustrating reality for many.

Online mode did come with a lot of conveniences. Open Book Exams were a cakewalk, which is exactly why most of us are struggling with our ongoing offline exams. Previously, students could be sleeping through classes, totally dependent on their friends for calling them just before attendance. What crazy times!

Credits: Education Corner

With dreams in our eyes and suitcases full of existence, we boarded flights and trains and buses and soon we were in Delhi, a city plagued by the August humidity. Navigating this city of almost 3 crores is not easy at all. Finding the difference between the steps of the magenta, violet and pink metro lines made people realize how small their world used to be. Finding a place to live was the first speck of adulting for most of us with having to adjust to nosey landlords, sexist curfew timings or strangers as roommates. It was anything but easy.

Living alone is so less about hook-ups, night-outs, or being “apni marzi ka maalik”. It is about making the decision every single night between horrible mess food and expensive Zomato orders. It is about having to do your own laundry, dishes and cleaning. It is about eating your dinner all alone and having to buy the groceries yourself. It is about failing to manage the money that you get from home. It is about the constant struggling between reality and escapism.

It is also about Antara from TVF’s Sisters ranting to Mahi, “Yahan pe koi nahin hai. Bill khud bharo, khana khud banao, light chali jaaye toh electrician ko bulao, paani kat jaaye toh balti khud bharke rakho, mutual funds mein invest karo, taxes bharo, dusting karo aur yeh sab kuch karne ke baad bhi somehow sink mein koi naa koi bartan reh jaata hai.” It makes you think of the stinking dishes in the sink that your flatmate was supposed to wash.


Some of us have the privilege of having our hometowns a few hours away and going there once in every few weeks to rejuvenate our souls, upset stomachs and get our laundry done. But the rest wait for winter vacations (that are being eaten up by end-semester exams).

Delhi is a strange place. At times and localities, it feels like the most unbothered city out there but then you feel judgemental and perverted gazes piercing through your slightly “revealing” outfit in the metro and it starts feeling like a really huge small town. You start wondering if the Bangalore colleges that you turned down for Jamia were any better.

Fatima from Kashmir says, “Honestly to me, it’s like you can’t belong here. You miss the fresh and sympathetic ethos of your motherland.” Delhi as a city feels cold, both literally and figuratively. Hamia from Odisha has not gone to their home since august. Very poetically, they say, “You try so hard to fit in but there’s something in the back of your mind telling you that you are the other, the new, the thing that doesn’t fit, and after all you realize the home you fought so hard to move out of is the only one inviting you back in.”

Adulting is egalitarian: it does not discriminate, but there are certain minorities that find it much tougher to settle in and have harsher battles to fight, every single day. Casteism, Islamophobia, misogyny, sexism and queerphobia loom large over the supposedly progressive world of young citizens. Online and offline harassment haunt female students like a nightmare. What happens to the young queers whose existence is up for discussion and debate and the possibility of hate crime? Who talks about the flexible morals that only hurt the marginalized? Jamia considers ragging a non-excusable offence but how do minorities deal with the hatred they see on the Instagram stories of their classmates? These are questions that should give sleepless nights to all of us so that there is way we can make our university a safe space for people of all backgrounds and identities.

A regular, non-distance college program is supposed to be offline,” was one of the prime arguments given in favour of reopening our University during the student protests. Truth be told, no matter how cold, we have to make do with Delhi. We have to headstrongly face the challenges this city throws at us but most importantly, we have to make sure to be kinder and more accepting to each other. This is no civil war: students cannot be one another’s enemies. Away from home, we are home to one another.

Sarthak Parashar is a student pursuing English Literature from Jamia Millia Islamia.

Edited by: Zaina Shahid Khan

180DC JMI Wins Prestigious Awards at The Global 180Degrees Awards 2022


This year, 180Degrees Consulting JMI bagged three mentions at the esteemed award ceremony: Best Consulting Project: Silver Medalist (APAC Region), Best Sustainable Initiatives Award: Winners (APAC Region), and Honourable Mentions: Plantation Drive.

180Degrees Consulting (180DC) is the world’s largest student consultancy for non-profits and social enterprises. It provides charitable organizations with the finest and most affordable consulting services by connecting them with the untapped capabilities of top university students. Present in leading universities around the world, students identify and overcome organization-specific challenges. They develop innovative, practical, and sustainable solutions whilst offering consulting services, including strategic planning, financial management, communications, and social impact analysis. There are 165+ branches worldwide, which have completed 1250 Projects and dedicated 900k hours of consulting services.

The Global Leadership Team organizes the 180 Degrees Global Awards to publicly reward the impactful work done by various branch members around the world. By celebrating outstanding work together, they encourage the 180DC community to perform even better. The Awards expose the teams to some of the highest-performing branches, as well as give them a platform to showcase their expertise on a global scale.

This year, 180DC JMI bagged three honours under its belt, including Best Consulting Project: Silver Medalist, APAC Region. The award recognize the best core consulting work and the evaluation criteria is rigorous. The judgment is on the basis of the application round, live presentations, and interviews, while being scored on the Consulting Quality, Social Impact, and Client Feedback. 180DC JMI beat 60 branches and 82 project applications to win. It worked with HRF (Human Rights Advocacy and Research Foundation) to design a campaign to fight manual scavenging in the state of Tamil Nadu. Based on the deliverables, the organization has impacted more than 4000 families of the Arunthathiyar community.

The organisation also won the Sustainable Initiatives Award: APAC Region. By completing 16/17 UN SDGs, carbon-positive initiatives, and environment-friendly operations, they became the winners of the first-ever Sustainable Initiatives Awards (APAC Region). The award is rewarded to branches that address the room for improvement and take special initiatives to maximize their social impact or make their operations greener.

Last but not the least, 180DC JMI was honourably mentioned under the category of Best Practices for its plantation drive organised in October in order to encourage environmentally cautious decisions.

Since its establishment in July 2020, 180DC JMI has made efficient consulting services accessible to the cluster of 70+ socially diligent organizations cradling near Jamia Nagar, New Delhi. It has provided 3000+ hours of consulting services and managed 16 projects across international and state boundaries. Presently, 180DC JMI has positioned itself as one of the most esteemed organizations in the university, scaling its impact across geographies of India, Indonesia, Lebanon, and Malaysia.

Report by: Alisha Uvais for TJR

Is Gen-Z the New Silent Generation?


Owing to the adverse effects of ongoing hazards, the response in action developed strange similarities between generations that were miles apart. Generation Z has not only been influenced by the economic and political climates in which they’ve grown up, but they have also come of age at a time when profound shifts have been occurring on a cultural level. In this aspect, following the Strauss-Howe thesis, Gen Zs are supposedly resembling the Silent Generation.

The new global wave, known as ‘Generation Z’ or the ‘Centennials’, was born between 1995 and 2010 and is starting to be recognized as a totally different species from their Millennial ancestors. Generation Z has already lived through two economic crises and a war against terrorism, in contrast to Millennials, who grew up in the comparatively tranquil and prosperous 1990s.

Credits: Forbes

The Millennial generation has squandered its innocence. On the other hand, the Generation Z has lived their entire lives with their eyes wide open to the harsh side of the world. Experts contend that Generation Z is more realistic and diligent than previous generations due to its upbringing in turbulent times. In that sense, Generation Z is compared to the ‘Silent Generation.’

The phrase ‘Silent Generation’ was first used by Time magazine in an article titled “The Younger Generation” on November 5, 1951, even though it appears to have existed before the publication. The Silent Generation, commonly referred to as the Traditionalist Generation, is the generational group that came before the Baby Boomers and followed the Greatest Generation. People born between the mid-1920s and early 1940s are referred to as being part of this generation. They also experienced both a war and a recession as they lived. They were thus molded into hardworking, pragmatic careerists who primarily shied away from taking ideological leaps.

Credits: Pinterest

In the years following World War II, the ‘Silents’ came of age. Their early years were characterised by instability. Similarly, Generation Z was born post-9/11. In actuality, as long as Generation Z can recall, the US has been at war. Both economic and environmental catastrophes have affected them. Gen Z has subsequently evolved into a risk-averse generation like the Silents prior to them.

The Great Depression, during which millions of Americans lost their employment, had a profound impact on the Silents. The Great Recession, a less severe but longer period of unemployment during which huge masses were incessantly losing their source of income, had a significant impact on Gen Z. The Silent generation introduced a strong work ethic to the factories of industrialised society because they were raised by farmers around the turn of the century. They grew up in hard times and viewed employment as a privilege. They all concur that the only path to achievement is via arduous labor and long hours. This chain of thought was thus carried on by the Generation Z.

This brings us to the Strauss-Howe theory, which holds that America has four different generations that recur periodically. William Strauss and Neil Howe developed the Strauss-Howe generational theory, which depicts a supposed recurrent generation cycle in Western and American history. The idea is that repeating generational identities are linked to historical events. A new turning with a lifespan of 20–25 years is ushered in by each generational persona, during which a new social, political, and economic condition is present. A larger cyclical ‘saeculum’ (a long human life, which usually spans between 80 and 100 years, although some saecula have lasted longer) consists of these. According to the theory, a crisis follows every saeculum in American history and is always succeeded by resurgence. Institutions and communal values are robust during this recovery. Finally, in the name of autonomy and individualism, consecutive generational archetypes attack and weaken institutions, which eventually results in a turbulent political environment that paves the way for another crisis.

Credits: Lucky Hunter

Like any generation, the Silents are mainly composed of a continuum of personalities with distinctive edging. They were the ones who were determined to make things work and the individuals who believed in the dream enough to make it come true as many of them swore by the effectiveness of the government. Much like the Silents, the Gen-Z are self-effacing in a visible and silent way and inherently pragmatic. Nevertheless, both generations have worked and are progressively working hard to make the world a better place to live. Instead of excluding, they have been the ones to include; those who view disability as a condition rather than predestination. Some of these traits were imposed by the speed of history, while others resulted from the unique conditions that were typical in the years of youth.

Generational differences can help diversify the world and bring a variety of perspectives. While this pragmatic trend may give the impression that today’s generation is tragically and needlessly world-weary, it also may contain the possibility of prosperity. After all, the richest generation in history was the Silent Generation. Following which, the Generation Z has great potential to be the game changers in the ongoing and upcoming world affairs.

Ambrisha Zubeen is a student pursuing English Literature from Jamia Millia Islamia.

Edited by: Syed Ilham Jafri

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