Dance, music is passé, students relive World War history at Mumbai college festivals
Students explore unusual themes, with economics and politics the hot favourites.mumbai Updated: Sep 11, 2017 00:31 IST
Gone are the days when annual college festivals were limited to dance, music and other forms of art. With different departments of colleges focussing on niche topics that attracts niche audiences, topics ranging from world war history, youth literature as well as the country’s current state of politics and economics are now being used as themes for fests by students across colleges.
Take, for example, Arthanomics, the annual fest of the Economics department of Jai Hind College in Churchgate, where the focus was on the current economic status of the country. “We are talking about hundreds of economics students who are taught textbook knowledge but are not aware of what’s happening in the country at present. Such festivals help give students a better understanding of economics concepts,” said Ashok Wadia, principal of the college.
Conducted over the weekend, hundreds of economics majors from across the country participated in the two-day event that, for the first time, also included a panel discussion on the political and economic status of India at present. “Even the other events conducted during the two-day fest go beyond just fun and games, and instead try to incorporate the basic of economics in everything. We have received a very positive response from students year after year,” said Vivek Parashar, 20, chairperson of the fest.
Students of UPG College, Vile Parle, for the first time will be conducting an open-for-all literature festival at their institute this weekend. And what’s new? There are no competitions, and there will be no winners. “In times of festivals that only foster competitiveness, this will be a unique festival aimed at celebrating art and culture—spoken as well as written,” said Mayur Sarfare, professor, heading LitFest for the institute along with students. This will be the first time that a college will open its gates to outsiders to participate in a festival. “The aim is to treat this fest as a platform for literature lovers across ages and professionals,” he added.
While dance and music does attract a large audience, organising festivals on such a scale require large funds in the form of sponsorships, which is becoming difficult to garner off late. “Instead, we are focussing on more relevant issues, and things that might be of interest to a small audience, but very effective and useful for them,” said Kavish Tripathi, a student. Recently, St Xavier’s College, Dhobi Talao, conducted a two day stamp collection exhibition called ‘Deutsche Dak’, where over 300 stamps chronicling the history of Germany from pre-World War I era to the 1900s was highlighted. The exhibition was curated by third-year students of the history department of the institute.
“Festivals are worth the effort only when it’s a fun as well as a learning experience. Students themselves realise how these are not just more informative, but also enjoyable. We do our best to support students with such endeavours,” said Rajpal Hande, principal of Mithibai College, Vile Parle.
Vivek Parashar (20), third year student of Jai Hind College
“Interacting with experts in the particular field that we are majoring in helps bring more perspective to all that is taught in class. Even though our festival is based on economics and related topics, the events are just as fun as events at other cultural festivals.”
Aryan Desai (19), third year student of UPG College
“This will be a one of its kind festival where there’s zero competition between the participants. Instead, a series of workshops, panel discussions and seminars will be held giving space for all the creative people to interact with experts in the field of their choice.”