GREATER NOIDA: The Department of Mass Communication conducted a panel discussion recently on a very sensitive yet relevant topic – increasing rapes in the country. The discussion titled “Aakhir kab tak” took place in the courtyard outside the octagonal Administrative Building at Sharda University. The core team behind the ideation and everything from pre-production to production were students of MJMC 2nd year.
It all started when these students were assigned a challenging task of coming up with a relevant issue and conducting a panel discussion on it. After a lot of brainstorming the students finally decided on the topic “increasing rapes in the country”, the stimulus being the Nirbhaya verdict. This decision was greatly appreciated and supported by the faculty members involved.
This topic was chosen not just because it was a classroom assignment but also because each and every single student is shaken to the core in the light of recent events in Delhi and beyond. Everyone feels less safe today, especially if one is a woman. Therefore, male and female students joined hands and took this as a window of opportunity to express themselves on an issue so close to their hearts.
The next step, and perhaps the most important step, was research. It took the students a lot of time and a lot of research to get their facts straight; to obtain statistics from various sources, analyze the data, watching and observing the content as well as the presentation of numerous talk shows on similar topics. In the end, the kind of information and data they had, it was startling and extremely overwhelming.
According to data by NCRB, rapes have increased by 55% over the past decade. Over 50,000 rapes have been reported in the past two years; and this happens to be the “official” figure. One can’t imagine what the real figure would be. So, if one does the math, it comes down to around 69 rapes in a day and one rape every 22 minutes.
A basic skeleton was given to the panel discussion in which questions of all kinds were included. By the time the final, probable questionnaire was made, the team had questions ranging from a lot of fields, be it sociology, psychology or law. The next step involved identifying experts from varied fields and inviting them. Mass Comm students were very fortunate to have Mr. Prabhat Shunglu, an eminent media personality and a visiting faculty at the department, as their first panellist. The second panellist was Dr. P. Rathna Swamy, a retired IAS officer and currently Dean, School of Law at Sharda University. His vast knowledge of the legal framework of our country proved to be a vital facet in the panel discussion. The third panellist was Ms. Rupa Gupta, a social activist. Calling three panellists from different fields and mindsets gave multiple dimensions to the discussion.
What was extremely invigorating was the fact that on the day of production, volunteers, especially first year students of BJMC & MJMC, worked really hard. Mr Haridev Arya, Adviser to the Mass Communication Department, and some faculty members joined students who comprised the audience. Some of them even took part in the discussion.
The discussion bore great insights as a lot of burning questions were answered. The actions and basic psyche of a rapist, analysis-based questions on the legal framework of the country and effective solutions to this problem were discussed.
Sharda University’s Pro Vice Chancellor, Prof. Vijay Gupta, and Prof. Shovan Saha, Dean, School of Art, Design and Media Studies, watched the entire proceeding with interest.
By Rishabh Mehta
Courtesy : The Shardans