How DU's North Campus is looking like Srinagar's Lal Chowk on Fridays

Shadab Nazmi
Shadab NazmiMar 03, 2017 | 13:15

How DU's North Campus is looking like Srinagar's Lal Chowk on Fridays

"Come join us, Mallika Dua is coming to Hansraj College" - read the college fests' posters outside Delhi University Metro station. As I walked, innumerable posters and flyers kept coming underneath my feet, and I was greeted by the unusual sight of Delhi Police, CRPF and special task forces vacating the spot where e-rickshaws and auto-rickshaws generally park.

Giant billboard ads featuring jewellery were nowhere to be seen. ABVP's locally printed slogans took over all the space - "Come join us for the rally today" they said. The road seemed fairly empty, something which is rare in North Campus, and everyone around, generally pumped up during this time of the year, looked low on energy.


This is the 360 image at DU — Delhi Police forms a line to control the crowd: 

Post from RICOH THETA. - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA

While preparations for the rally were being made, I took a halt at a local tea shop to munch on some snacks. "Tum reporter ho?" a man snapped at me when he saw the tripod bag hanging on my back.

Harish, a local from Maurice Nagar, didn't seem too happy when I said yes. "It's because of you guys that these events are happening in Delhi University. Everyone loves the camera. Do you know why they changed the name of this chowk to Kranti Chowk? Because a student self-immolated here 20 years ago and it was the same media who sensationalised his death for their news reports. I hate the media," he informed me. I didn't say anything and walked away.

Delhi Police in front of the Arts faculty, prepping up for ABVP rally on March 2:

Post from RICOH THETA. - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA

It was almost 10 am, and you could see the Delhi Police blocking the traffic coming into the campus. Every 10 minutes, they formed a hurdle of 20, discussing the strategies to control the crowd. CRPF forces with cricket helmets and teargas guns were on their toes.


Delhi Police personnel walk to Kranti Chowk, where ABVP supporters assemble in large numbers:

Post from RICOH THETA. - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA

Then something struck me. Delhi University reminded me of Lal Chowk in Srinagar where India's armed forces always stay pro-active and incessantly patrol the downtown area on Friday afternoon (every Friday afternoon, there is a protest in downtown Srinagar after the prayers).

In DU, the roads were blocked, only a few students could be seen, cars were asked to take alternative routes and the roads stretched vacant with dry leaves on the ground - a sight similar to the Chinar leaves strewing Lal Chowk during curfew time in Srinagar.

Juxtaposed views of Lal Chowk and Kranti Chowk:

 As the time clocked forward, more and more men in saffron marched towards the Arts Faculty in order to start their rally.

Cries of "Vande Mataram" and "Desh mai agar rehna hai, toh Vande Mataram kehna hoga" rent the air as ABVP members and supporters started their rally on the campus around noon.

Here's a 360-degree view of the rally amid curfew-like atmosphere in Delhi University on March 2, 2017.

Last updated: March 06, 2017 | 14:08
Please log in
I agree with DailyO's privacy policy