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The ID Card Menace at Jamia


New Delhi; They fake it until they make it. In the past three months, from August 2019, the Jamia Millia Islamia administration has seized around 726 invalid student identity cards, which were used or rather misused by outsiders to enter the university campus. Waseem Ahmad Shakeel, Chief Proctor, Jamia Millia Islamia said that, checking for invalid ID cards has always been a practice in the university, however with the appointment of the new Vice-Chancellor, the administration had to implement strict measures to curb the intrusion and review the surveillance in and around the university as well. Outsiders from nearby areas enter the campus using either fake or expired identity cards to commit theft, harass students, engage in substance abuse or to simply create nuisance in the university premises.

“Students from other universities also tried to enter in order to create unrest and create political space”

as reported by the Jamia Millia Islamia Administration.

Ex-students in order to access the university library and other resources used old or expired identity cards, and can been seen hanging out in the parks and canteens.

Security at Gate No. 7, Bab-e-Maulana Abul Kalam Azad
Image Credits: Faizan Salik

“The intruders have a different behaviour. They try to hide the photograph on the ID card, or just show the backside of the card, or cover the hologram when asked for the identity card”

said security guard A. Khan

The university administration also claims of being responsible for the security of the students, especially the hostel residents who are located in close proximity of the campus. Hence, an increase in the security checking has been observed. The security guards follow simple cues to identify outsiders.

The ID card is the only proof for students to enter the university and the checking at every gate is just terrifying

as quoted by Hiba Khan, a student of the Department of English, Jamia Millia Islamia

While the administration talks of an increased presence of outsiders and invalid ID cards, newly admitted students of the university, complained about the delay in getting their ID cards. First year students have to wait for months in order to get their cards. Meanwhile, they make use of fee slips or photocopies of fee slip to enter the university premises and in this process, some students even lose their original fee slip. The student identity card is also used as a library card. Due to the delay, first year students have not been able to issue or borrow books from the library either.

The process for getting duplicate ID cards still remains hectic and exhorting and in such cases ID card becomes a prized possession for every student of the university.

Maryam Ahmed
Department of English, Jamia Millia Islamia

Why did 5 students of JMI receive ‘Show Cause Notice’?


NEW DELHI: On October 11, 5 students received the Show Cause Notice from the Proctor Office, Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI). The five students were among the 12 students who were a part of the two-hour symbolic protest against inviting Israel to be the country partner of Global Health Zenith Confluence’19 – an event organized by the Faculty of Architecture and Ekistics, JMI, on October 5, 2019.

What is Show Cause Notice?

A Show Cause Notice is a type of order that requires an individual or a group of people to state a reason or justify as to why the administration shall not take any action against them. The Constitution of India provides that an accused has the Fundamental Right to Defend oneself when charged with allegations. It is regarded as an opportunity to present oneself with a reasonable excuse for committing wrongdoing/ violation.

Why did the students receive Show Cause Notice?

On October 11, the students received Show Cause Notice for tarnishing the image of the institution, hampering the peace of the university, misconducting with the guards, breaking the lock of the Proctor Office, disrespecting the Deputy Chief Proctor, and protesting unnecessarily, as mentioned in the Notice.

One of the Protestors said, “Freedom of Speech and Expression is our Fundamental Right. We have the right to dissent, our constitution has given us that right, so how can our institution take it away from us? Our protest on 5th October was peaceful and did not hamper the conference at all. The allegations on us are false. In fact, we (including women) were manhandled by the guards. We were false-promised that an inquiry would sit to discuss the manhandling, rather we received a call at our houses and then a notice.

According to our sources, on October 3, two days before the Conference, the Proctor Office sent an official email to the Faculty of Architecture and Ekistics, asking if there was an official collaboration with Israel, the number of delegates coming from Israel, and to attach the poster/invitation circulated by the Faculty, to which the Faculty replied that there was no official collaboration, only one delegate was coming to present his paper, and no official poster was prepared by them.

The protestors condemned the above information by saying that the email was sent on October 17 at 1:58 pm, so many days after the conference, and not on October 3; “We have the Proof of the same”, they said.

Prof. Hina Zia, Dean, Faculty Architecture & Ekistics stated that there is no official collaboration with the Nation of Israel, this being an International conference.

Why are students protesting? 

The indefinite sit-in protest against the Proctor Office began on October 14 and enters its sixth day today. The protest is a manifestation of their rejection of the Notice sent by the administration. It is, as they claim, their protest asking for the withdrawal of the Notice, giving them the liberty to participate in protests. They also demand an apology for the manhandling done by the guards.

Another protestor said, “University space is democratic. And this Show Cause Notice is baseless. We have a Right to choose Religion in this country, let’s say you choose to follow Islam and the government asks you to justify it, will it make sense? Similarly, we have been given this Notice to justify our peaceful protests and the allegations that are not even true. The guards are not letting professors from other universities inside the Jamia premises, not letting them meet us. We refuse to reply to Show Cause. And we boycott the Discipline Committee for the reason that the Chief Proctor would be on the jury so naturally, the decision would be biased and against us.

Mixed-Views by other students of Jamia –

On interviewing random students within the Jamia Campus, TJR came up with the list of mixed views by the students. While most of the students agree to the point that they must not be stopped from voicing, some call it a waste of time. “We have come here to study not to protest, we must focus on academics,” said one of the students.

“Jamia inviting Israel for an International Conference is a progressive idea. We should be proud that this is happening in Jamia, why is there a need for protest? However, the beating and locking of the students is no way of dealing with the students. It is wrong and cannot be justified.” said another student from the Department of English.

Some students turned out to be in solidarity with the protestors, “Knowing what Israel is doing in Palestine, Jamia must boycott any collaboration or inviting Israeli delegates. The protest was a symbolic protest. I do not get why it has been made a big issue. They are students after all.”

While some students took the administration’s side saying “There are students in the campus who are rebellious. No institution would tolerate obnoxious behavior with the administration. As for the manhandling, nothing is one-sided.”

Is it about the rights of students or the abuse of power by the administration? Is it about causing unnecessary havoc over the conference or seeking political recognition? Is it about voicing or suppressing? Let us know your opinion in the comment section.

Tasneem Zahra
Department of English, Jamia Millia Islamia

After the MiG 23 Aircraft JMI campus gets a demi INS – A Report


A model of INS Vikrant was gifted to Jamia Millia Islamia as a comradely token of commendation by the Indian Navy. The model will be unveiled and brought to display in the university on the eve of Independence Day.
The model, that costs an estimated 12 lakhs will be installed infront of the Centre for Information Technology, as was reportedly said by a university spokesperson. The present is due to be uncovered by the Vice Chancellor of the institute, Professor Najma Akhtar, as a part of 15th August celebrations.
The model that will be displayed in a glass scabbard out in the open. And hopefully will spark interest in the students to join the defence forces.

Photo Credits: Kasim Ansari

Narhitya Nawal
Department of English, Jamia Millia Islamia

New Age Atheism: A Bourgeoisie Tendency


Lenin said and I quote “Atheism without Marxism is incomplete and inconsistent.” Adding more to his comment, he also said that atheism is a natural and inescapable part of Marxism. Given this, a question probably arises as to which non-marxist things makes atheism inconsistent and incomplete? The answer to this question constitutes the objective of this article.

New age atheists are undoubtedly materialist: the revelation of modern science- mostly natural science- as they quote in their assertion. And also because it makes no sense to be an idealist and an atheist at the same time. The problem with them is that they ignore the historicity of this materialism. They claim that their body is made up of matter and they are an evolved creature but they gives no attention to the historical setting under which this material body evolved. Can we imagine ourself to have evolved in isolation without a society? Do history support it? I claim the answer to be negative. Human history informs us rather about what Foucolt calls ‘bio-history’. It means that the evolution of the body at a certain stage coincided with the society-formation. It is saving primitive communism when we say that in all human society there have been classes which struggled against each other. It is in this background that Karl Marx asserted that “the history of hitherto existing society is the story of class-struggle.” What this long explanation aims at is very simple: A materialist must see the class struggle that goes on. To put it differently, an atheist must see the class struggle that goes on. Lets move one more step ahead: The societies are characterized by a culture that echoes the interest of the dominant class. Also, these societies hint at a rather unique phenomena which is the very basis of materialism: The ideas, thoughts and concept of every class is the result of the material condition that they belong to. Having said this, I think the new age atheists do not give adequate consideration to the class-based idea of religion among people. They openly criticize religion but do not realize that the proletarian view of religion and the bourgeoisie view of religion is different. Where Proletarians’ view it as a ‘hope in hopelessness’ and a ‘sigh in the backdrop of oppression’, the capitalists view it as a faculty of legitimacy for their capitalist economic enterprise because it lays special attention to charity. Here, the new-age atheist fails to recognise the link between capital and religion. Religion is used by the bourgeoisie to maintain their dominance because on one hand they exploit people by their capitalistic enterprises and on the other hand do charity to withhold any criticism. The prolertariats are ignorant of any natural sciences given their material deprivations. They do not know any thing about science. In such a context, an open war on religion will only add up to the fanaticism of religion on part of the poor people- the working class. This is exactly why, as mentioned above,“atheism without Marxism is incomplete and inconsistent”. The new age atheists’ approach is wrong. They should criticize capitalism more than religions. Simultaneously, they should press for the socio-economic upliftment as well as a scientific education for the poor because in this process they will learn about the contributions of modern science to be conscious of themselves- that is to say, to be a materialist or to be an atheist in the extreme cases. Claiming to be materialists, and ignoring the historicity of materialism is the greatest failure of New Age Atheism.

All these said I shall now write about why I called new age atheism a bourgeoisie tendency. Firstly, I should say why I called it a tendency, not a movement. It is because it is incomplete and unrepresentative of the majority of people- the working class. It is just a product of the leisure-hour-study of few countable people. To me, it is marxism that could be called a movement because it aims at both scientific explanation of the human history as well as the welfare of the people, not to mention it’s high ideals of communist society. New Age Atheists on the other hand are only targeting the readable middle-class or bourgeoisie people. Even if they claim that they target the common people, it means nothing since they do not have the same tendency to criticize Capitalism- which is an actual solution to the problem. As to why I call it a ‘Bourgeoisie‘ rather than a ‘Proletarian‘ tendency can be explained by the same logic.

Just to add emphasis on what I have so far said, I cannot resist but say how many times does ‘The Richard Dawkins Foundation’, orchestrated seminars on the the relationship between Capitalism and religion. For how many times, did Sam Harris demonized Capitalism as opposed to religion, particularly Islam? Why does a life-long leftist Christopher Hitchen became a votary of Iraq invasion narrative of U.S, despite knowing that it was out and out a capitalistic venture of U.S to appropriate the resources of Iraq? The deficiency of proper answer to these questions is sufficient to hold strongly as to what I have attempted to show as the weakness of the ‘New Age Atheists‘. They are by and large liberal and, in most cases, as much sympathetic to capitalism as they are inconsistently against religions.

Ali Ahmed Sabir
Department of History, Jamia Millia Islamia

Ours is the Age of Anxiety


Converge, Converse, consume, contain & coast, this is exactly what Malin, Quant, Rosetta & Emble do in W.H. Auden’s 1948 Pulitzer winning baroque eclogue ‘The Age of Anxiety’. The 138 line psychological &  spiritual verse is an allegory on the lives of the four protagonists Malin, Rosetta, Quant & Emble perfectly manifesting Jung’s concept of disintegration of psyche into four different functions thought, feeling, intuition & sensation respectively.

Plotted against the backdrop of World War II, in a third avenue bar, The Age of Anxiety serves a natural setting contrasting with an artificial style of diction, which in all regards does justice in capturing the context of fear and malaise afflicting the population after the war, and hence certainly advocates the concerns of a generation continually in the vicinity of turmoil fighting wars externally at fronts and internally with itself as well, but more in a way we deem it to propel rather than driven by itself.

 For the past 75 years human beings have been intricately attached to the horrors of war, bloodshed, genocide, belief and norms provided by the authority and mutually brought out by the anxiety cultivated. Although, previous eras were far more jittery than ours provided with much impacting revolts, pillaging mercenaries, famines, devastation, plagues and wars, but with the tantrums or ‘bounties’ of the modern world, the advent of ‘Self-awareness’ serves a staunch, paradoxical pedestal to consider anxiety as a condition, leading to a state of depression eventually.

When, anxiety was at the forefront of medicinal & mental consideration, Depression was a rare sickness but since then, it turned out to be the focal point of mental health concerns. By 2015, 4.5% of India’s population was suffering from mental depression whereas 3.47% were suffering with anxiety problems that account to be the highest in the world according to WHO (World Health Organization). One of the most puzzling phenomena in the history of psychiatry is how depression replaced anxiety as the most intense health condition associated with stress conventions.

Source: The Times Of India

This stress convention envelops a diffuse & multifaceted cluster of mystic, physical & inter-personal issues that frequently emerge as a response to the strains of everyday life. The wary of expectations, burdened with insecurities, and denunciating external conditions with over thinking completing this vicious cycle, lead to other problems like headaches, fatigue, inability, distractions, crippling panic attacks, loneliness, suicidal tendencies, ultimately paralyzing our capabilities, compromising our professional & intimate terms, unable to redress in terms of that specific epoch, or that accounting further.

The effect does not only cater to the person suffering from it but largely effects the people around him or her, which certainly describes Auden’s concept of ‘local understanding’, certain anxieties may be overcome not by the altering of conditions but by the cultivation of mutual sympathy – perhaps mutual love, even among those who were strangers before or you have fought wars with. Freud highlighted it as

“The nodal point at which the most various and important questions converge, a riddle whose solution would be bound to throw a flood of light upon our whole mental existence.”

-Sigmund Freud

The most significant way seeking relief from this stress of anxiety is seeking a refuge of comfort which one seeks, the substantial ventilation of emotions seems more effective than keeping it restricted to oneself, one should find comfort in sharing their distress.

“Our primary mode of relinquishing presence is by leaving the body and retreating into the mind — that ever-calculating, self-evaluating, seething cauldron of thoughts, predictions, anxieties, judgments, and incessant meta-experiences about experience itself. The brainy modern loves not matter but measures, no solids but surfaces.’’

Alan Watts, British Philosopher & Writer

The constant thinking, and judging of one’s actions on the basis of one’s previous experiences hinders their presence and diminishes the vault of happiness, the very art of presence is the crux of human existential happiness and best antidote to anxiety. In this scenario, anxiety has now received a realization more than ever before, and hence our age possesses the potential to curb it by love, care, empathy, understanding and sharing our distress with each other rather than surrendering to the monsters of anxiety or depression.

“We would rather be ruined than changed
We would rather die in our dread
Than climb the cross of the moment
And let our illusions die.” 

W.H. Auden, Age of Anxiety

Md. Faizan Salik
B.A Hons. English, Jamia Millia Islamia

Once a Kingdom of Books, now abodes Screams and Horrors


A silent spectator that houses multitude continually envisioned to protect knowledge and progress through the shelter and nurture that it offers has served millions since it’s inception; but the same couldn’t withstand the harbingers of ignorance that attacked it ruthlessly on a cold winter night. Dr. Zakir Hussain Library retells the account the night and the horrors it withstood through one of its readers.

When the library of Alexandria started to lose its significance, its when rulers saw its knowledge as a peril rather than pride. Libraries are often seen as silent hosts for the people who seem to rote entire academic manuscripts into their brains.

A library is a refuge to many like me, where silence is peaceful and the wanderers of text often come home to a place which has books and knowledge to cater to. Where else do you go when the world is too noisy?

I have been one of those people who will be seen, sitting in one corner of the library. The one who likes to know anything till deep, with a heavy bag of books, the library card reserved and is always sipping chai while browsing through books The library is no less than a home to me, much like my university.

Caption: Dr Zakir Hussain Library on a fine day.
Credits: Shah Ali Faisal from TJR

Dr Zakir Husain Library was established in 1920, and is named after the third President of India and former Vice-Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia, His Excellency The Honorable Dr Zakir Hussain. As one of the founders of Jamia Millia Islamia, he was one of the profound thinkers who worked relentlessly for the cause of education and development of this country.

Caption: Dr. Zakir Hussain Central Library, JMI.
Credits: jmi.ac.in

The library, whose name itself is the metaphor for inclusive thoughts is built on ideal foundations, was attacked mercilessly by the very same state machinery which was supposed to protect it.

On 15th December 2019, following the protests against the Central forces, the Delhi Police allegedly barged inside the premises of Jamia Millia Islamia and started shellacking the students present inside the campus. As they entered through the University gates pushing the guards aside, they stepped inside the Ibn Sina (Old) Reading Hall, the textbooks and research centre adjacent to Premchand Archives section and went further towards the New Reading Hall & Central Library to perform what they seemed to be there for, giving sleepless nights for the beholders and many else to those who need it.

The worst part, however, remains that the students present in the reading halls and library weren’t even a part of the protest and were actually just studying there, while they were locked, thrashed, handled and abused for a crime that they seem to be skeptical about! More than 20 students were detained from the same place which through the years had nurtured and given to the society some of its most influential and intellectual workers.

Tear gas smokes circulated inside the library and reading halls while they were inhabited by hundreds of students.

Caption: Books plying on the floor.
Credits: Sahil Kazmi from TJR

The smoke is still there, as the closed gates for inquiry and broken glasses store memories that has traumatised students, who have not just sustained physical injuries but also grave mental ones.

I was not there, I was inside my home, safe and sound, but I could hear the gunshots and explosions late till 9 pm. I still remember the panic-stricken voice of my friends and the frantic messages on university groups that I am a part of. There was only one appeal, it was to escape. And then the media did its deed, the photos and videos started circulating, and the destroyed structure of my library and reading rooms came to surface. It was heartbreaking.

I saw the Old Library broken where I have dozed off while studying “Burmese Days”. They broke a chair on which I read “Fahrenheit 451”. The stairs where I cried were all laid by the glasses that adorned Zakir Hussain Library.

The place where I soaked the sun in the winters of Delhi, the places where I studied. They attacked the places where I sat with my friends. They attacked the places where I read and cried and smiled through the books. They attacked the places where I slept through the exhausting routine. They attacked my memories. They attacked my home.

The testimonies of victims, who were my friends, beloved seniors and acquaintances very well stated the intention of the police that night. It wanted to kill them. It wanted to silence them permanently for speaking against their masters. No permission, no process and unending brutality.

15 December was the Black day for Jamia Millia Islamia and Dr Zakir Hussain Library, which does not only has books and artefacts but the aspirations of the young, what they “future of this country.

Caption: New Arrivals in the Central Library.
Credits: Sahil Kazmi from TJR

They might state officially that they did not enter the library, but the cost of lies is always heavy. The technology does not discriminate, because the evidence and testimonies speak otherwise.
As I write this, I feel heavy with the burden to pass on the trauma that I did not experience forehand but my friends did. All I was nothing but the witness to sounds that made their way to me, from one home to another.

From then on, I could not sleep. I was in constant fear, they might attack again and this time, to my own home. They have destroyed my library, now they will destroy this one too.

But, our broken glasses and harrowing screams has reached every corner of the world.
From some local dailies to the international ones, everyone reported the brutality of police around the world. The entire capital and the Nation and world stood with us, every other institution stood with us because our library was a symbol of state-sanctioned violence and students felt the same insecurity as the victims.

The images are horrifying, the campus is empty and yet you can still see the remnants of the glasses and stones from the outside.

The state that fears its wise young voices is doomed to fall, the citizens are not subject, you are not a king. The government is not a nation, it’s the nation that has built this government.
You may give roses to the one that broke my home, but it has lost my trust, as I feel unsafe yet secure in this paradoxical politics, ironical leaders and the great Union of India, those who are striving hard for justice are the true heroes that the world shall remember.

Mantasha Sayed is a student pursuing English Literature from Jamia Millia Islamia.

Plotting Tales of Partition: Friction that Fuels the Fiction


“Unbiased at least he was when he arrived on his mission,

Having never set eyes on the land he was called to partition.

Between two peoples fanatically at odds,

With their different diets and incompatible gods.”

Where W.H. Auden’s Cynical evaluation of Sir Cyril Radcliffe’s division of British India into Independent dominions- India and the nascent state of Pakistan, inspired him for his 1966 poem ‘Partition’, the great political upheaval prompted many other profound works. Poetries of Faiz and Agyeya; Stories by Manto and Chughtai; Paintings by Satish Gujral and Jimmy Engineer have vividly encapsulated this great political tragedy, which triggered one of the most violent and devastating massacres of human history and an enduring acrimony between the two nations.

With almost a quarter of total human population, the two countries share a resonating relation with each other, which has been under continual surveillance over the years, with such presence on the international sphere and critical political mechanisms interplaying, matters as sensitive as partition require a very measured, careful and sometimes chary approach.

Like the Russian and French Revolution, throughout the Indian Freedom Struggle literature played a crucial role in unifying the nation together, but after the division literature had a different character to enact, with more varied demographics and much agitated nerves, the new literature as Priyamvada Gopal calls it, ‘Partition Literature’ needed to correspond to things differently.

Although there’s no consensus on what actually determines a work as partition literature, the accounts that narrativize this impudent historic event could be referred as partition literature.Irrespective of the fact that the narrative is a work of fiction or non-fiction, almost every work has shown ‘partition’ in a negative light.

Where works like Dr. Rajendra Prasad’s India Divided, The Other Side of Silence by Urvashi Butalia, Nisid Hajari’s Midnight’s Furies or TCA Raghavan’s The People Next Door: The Curious History of India’s Relations with Pakistan narrate the incident under the purview of Non-Fiction, ample work of fiction provide the description of the event through varied perceptions.

Dressing the partition of India in fiction was perhaps one of the most difficult tasks as a writer, from occupying the void created by political turmoil to filling it with imaginary settings, detailed characters and a storyline which accommodates multiple emotions and sentiments judiciously is a mammoth task.

Celebrated diplomat & author of The Great Indian Novel, Shashi Tharoor says, “Fiction reaches path of readers that other kinds of books don’t.

Partition of India provided the base for many prominent fictional narratives that substantially fulfill all the aforementioned aspects skillfully in an unprecedented manner.

Credits: Penguin Books
Caption: Booker Prize Winner Midnight’s Children (1981) by Salman Rushdie.

The first book of this lineage has to be the 1981 Man Booker Prize Winner Salman Rushdie’s epitome of magical Realism ‘Midnight’s Children’, narrated by the protagonist Saleem Sinai himself who is born at the midnight of Independence, he is compared with India itself. With his telepathic powers, he unravels the domain of cultural, linguistic and religious diversities, and further extends to a jarring note on Indira Gandhis’ ‘Emergency’. Rushdie’s ‘Shame(1983) is another phantasmagoric epic about an artificial country which is and is not Pakistan simultaneously.

It is followed by one of the most appropriate novels in this context, Khushwant Singhs1956 retelling ‘Train to Pakistan’, which talks about the Muslim Sikh unity in the fictional village of Mano Majra, the story exemplifies how communal tensions develop in an otherwise peaceful setting.

The 1988 publication The Shadow Lines by Amitav Ghosh is a paradigm of Ghosh’s intense narrative, capturing style and subtle characters that echo the pangs of partition in the psychological urn.

Credits: Penguin Books
Caption: Looking Through Glass (1995) by Prof. Mukul Kesavan.

Mukul Kesavan’s Looking Through Glass explores the possibilities of aversion of Partition through a young photographers’ eye in 1942 British India and the tumult of Hindu Muslim riots in 1947. The story provides a fresh perspective with harsh political commentary and sexual comedy to compliment.

Stories by Saadat Hasan Manto are unarguably the most realistic descriptions of the horrors of partition, endowed with the faculty of sympathy and understanding Manto’s stories like Colder than Ice, The Return or Toba Tek Singh provide a picturesque like no other writer.

The exodus and the subsequent aftermaths of division have also been captured on celluloid adroitly. Beginning with Yash Chopra’s directorial venture Dharmaputra, the 1961 feature film is based on Acharya Chatursen’s novel of the same name and deals with the religious bigotry, fanaticism and communalism against the partition.

Credits: IMDb
Caption: M. S. Sathyu’s Garm Hawa (1973) written by Ismat Chugtai.

In 1973, M.S. Sathyu’s debut feature Garm Hawa raised questions regarding the differentiation of an integral population and the dilemma that the protagonist Saleem Mirzai faces like many others, based on Ismat Chugtai’s unpublished story, the movie earned several accolades to its name.

The cinematic adaptation of Bhisham Sahni’s Tamas continues to be one of the longest movies of Indian Cinema, starring Deepa Mehta and Om Puri in lead roles it revolves around an immigrant family during the Rawalpindi riots of 1947.

The second film of Deepa Mehta’s Elements Trilogy, the Nandita Das-Aamir Khan starrer 1947 Earth (1998) is based on Bapsi Sidhwa’s ‘Ice Candy Man’, where a Parsi family is caught in the communal tensions between the Hindus and the Muslims, in the city of Lahore.

Credits: Moviebuff
Caption: Earth 1947 (1998) by Deepa Mehta.

The 2003 period drama Pinjar, is based on Amrita Pritam’s novel of the same name where an ensemble cast comprising Manoj Bajpayee, Urmila Matondkar, Sanjay Suri and Isha Koppikar is shown to struggle against Hindu Muslim probe of partition.

Irrfan Khan, Tisca Chopra starrer Qissa (2015) continues to be a popular citation among critiques, where a Punjabi man’s desire for a son against the backdrop of partition provides a different angle to the historicity of the event, Viceroy’s House (2017) by Gurrinder Chadha is a new entry on this list.

While it’s been Seventy two years of Independence and the tragedy of partition, the narratives provided in these stories have continued to preserve the essence of this great political schism which has great social, mental and emotional implication on the lives of millions of people, fiction as always will continue to exert its presence in every significant account of history.

Faizan Salik is a student pursuing English Literature from Jamia Millia Islamia.

A Cinematic Offer One Cannot Refuse


Rarely does a film compare favorably with the book on which it is based. Francis Ford Coppola’s depiction of “The Godfather” is a shining example of a film either being lavished the same praise the book or even surpassing it. The director’s masterstroke lies in his decision in appointing the author of the book, Mario Puzo, to write the screenplay for the film. Coppola’s earlier films pale in comparison to this cinematic gem of his.

The film traces the journey of Vito Corleone from his native Italy to the land of opportunity- America, and how he establishes himself as the head of a mafia family, a person both feared and respected. It also plots how the family is destroyed and the passing of the Godfather’s ring to his youngest son, Michael, who initially maintains a safe distance from his family business.

Credits: www.amazon.com

The selection of actors playing these iconic roles is nothing short of a casting coup. The choice of Marlon Brando for the title role, James Caan as his eldest son, Sonny and Al Pacino as his youngest son, Michael bears testament to the director’s vision. One cannot visualize other actors doing justice to these roles. The entire ensemble of actors both lead and support flourish under the baton of this visionary director.

Credits: www.teahub.io

The period, sets, and costume transport the viewer to America at the turn of the century. The haunting background score and the theme song further elevate the film. The director of photography, Gordon Willis, takes the art of cinematography to a whole new level. The production values lie beyond approach.

The film, in its entirety, can only be labeled as a flawless work of art. One can visualize this film being screened for aspiring filmmakers in institutions around the world as a beacon to follow. The film can only be recommended as eminently watchable and true value for one’s time and money.

Waqas Khalid is a student pursuing English Literature from Jamia Millia Islamia.


Life is like a desert
Where it ends we don’t know,
It faces happiness and hurt
But we never forget the years ago.
Life keeps on going further
But we never bother about the future,
We keep of thinking of new stocks
Before we face a sudden shock.
Suddenly a sandstorm comes in face
And we have to handle the situation with grace.
And in one moment life becomes miserable without fun
And then we have to live to cheer someone,
And life continues on this way
And on this desert we have to stay.
We have to live whether we want or not
As we cannot make excuses of any sort.
Life has many ups and downs
At times we smile at times we frown.
In this way life is like a desert
Facing happiness, sadness and hurt.
Life is like a river,
The way it starts is crazy,
And goes on further and further
It starts becoming lazy.
As it flows along its journey
It faces a lot of difficulty
But overcoming all of them
It goes on shining as a gem
Similarly, life is filtered with miseries and trouble
But in these situations we need to be humble
As being rude, angry and bad
We make everyone sad.
Some struggle and pass their way
And those who don’t have to suffer.
Those who succeed find happiness and gay
And those who don’t remain like a duffer.
The river starts it journey from a peak
And as flows it becomes old and weak.
And if it was good, it carries tributaries
And if bad goes alone to the seas.

Waqas Khalid is a student pursuing English Literature from Jamia Millia Islamia.

The Jamia Review