Democracy Wall at SCMC – A Free Speech Initiative by The Print

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Mr Shekhar Gupta addressing the students
Mr Khatri
Actress Rasika Dugal
Ms. Praniti Shinde
Rahul Ram, Musician, Social Activist

The Democracy Wall is a free speech campus initiative, organized by The Print on 7 th January
2020 at SCMC. Five keynote speakers from various walks of life joined the students for a day
of freedom of speech and expression.

A bureaucrat, an actress, a politician, a journalist and
a musician/social activist, all came together to interact, talk and answer questions that the
students had for them. These arrays of questions ranged from the personal lives, to the
professional lives of our speakers and most importantly about the current political situation,
with specific regards to the CAA-NRC protests and brutality going on in our country.

The event kicked off with Mr. Khatri taking to the stage and sharing his experience of
making a major life choice when he decided to shift careers from engineering to
bureaucracy. He shared his experience with the students, assuring them that it is okay to be
scared while making drastic choices, but it is pertinent to always follow your gut, do what
makes you happy and never let the learning curve end.

The second speaker was the star of movies like Hamid, Kshay, Manto and shows like Mirzapur,
Made in Heaven and Delhi Crime – Rasika Dugal. She shared her experience of being a part of the film industry
while also touching upon the topic of the CAA-NRC protests going on throughout the
country. Having been a part of a protest in Mumbai the previous evening, she expressed her
feelings about how solidarity from the likes of us students was necessary in times like these.
She ended her segment by reading a famous poetry, “Hindustan Kehte Hai Mujhe, Mai
Gandhi Ka Desh Hu”, written by the famed writer Swanand Kirkire.

The mic was then passed on to Congress politician and Solapur MLA, Praniti Shinde who asked the students to
remain unfazed by the current political situation and encouraged them to join politics as a
representative of the new ideologies and the new generation.

Following her, the ex-Chief Editor of The Indian Express and the current Chief editor and
founder of The Print came on stage to provide a journalistic view on everything that was
going on around us.

The final guest of the evening was musician and social activist Rahul Ram. He performed a
few of his songs and expressed how freedom of speech and expression is everyone’s right
and no one can take that away.

The program came to an end with the winners of The Print photography and writing
contests being announced. The highlight of the event was that an actual democracy
wall was created outside the auditorium where the faculty, students and guests could freely
express what they truly felt about the government and its recent decisions.

 

Aadhya Venkatesh

Batch 2022