Others may talk about the freedom of expression, but this young group exercises it like few do. The debating society, or ‘deb soc’ of Delhi University’s Miranda House College, feels that there’s nothing better than a word war to prove one’s point.
The society, founded 15 years ago, has 20 active members today. “Everybody here is a debater. Some are good at oration, others at interjection,” says Debasweta Banik, the president.
The group hosts two annual events each year — Manzar — the international debating event, and Dialectics, which is a national-level event where students from colleges all across the country are invited to participate. Today is the festival’s last day. Good debaters also get a relaxation in academic scores as part of the girls’ college’s Extra Curricular Activities (ECA) quota.
Apart from their own events, the community is part of three different types of debating tournaments conducted by the university every year. These are the parliamentary debate, just-a-minute session and the conventional debates.
So, what makes a good debater, we ask the team. “The use of logic and reasoning while speaking. It’s quite a challenge,” explains Junty Pathak, a member. “One needs to think on their feet,” adds Banik.
What you need to join the camp: “the three Ms — matter, method and manner”. “The matter, or the content of the debate, is very important,” says Aditi Kumar, the vice president of the society. Each year, the society holds auditions for new members. “We had some 40 students who auditioned this year, and we selected 20 of them,” says Kumar. However, the girls say that debating societies of other colleges are male-dominated. So, they have to compete with more males than females. “Debating societies of colleges like Hindu and Stephen’s are male dominated. But, we are no less,” says Kumar.
Debating Society Fact file
Active Members: 20
President: Debasweta Banik, 3rd year student
Staff advisors: 2
USP: A bunch of vocal girls who think differently, yet stick together
Fest: Tempest — February 9-11Meet the word warriors