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Exploring The Dynamic Debating Culture @ DU

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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Delhi North chapter.

The University of Delhi (DU), with its sprawling campuses and bustling corridors, holds within its walls the dreams, aspirations, and journeys of countless students. Here, the sound of academic endeavors and the exhilaration of teenage ambition coexist in harmony. Futures are molded, friendships are made, and passions are stoked between the historic walls and the contemporary lecture rooms. Every nook and cranny carries tales of tenacity, achievement, and inclusion. Delhi University is more than just a place to study; to everyone who steps foot on its sacred grounds, it serves as a haven of hope, a guiding light of opportunity, and a second home. Delhi University is well-known for its lively debate culture in addition to its varied student body and stellar academic record. The university’s debating organizations provide an atmosphere where students may participate in thought-provoking debates, improve their public speaking abilities, and share opinions on a variety of subjects. The rich tapestry of DU’s debate culture is examined in this article, along with its relevance, history, and effects on students’ intellectual and personal growth.

DU’s extracurricular program has included debating for generations. Debating societies such as the Debating Society of Hindu College and the Shri Ram College of Commerce Debating Society are among the oldest and most distinguished in the nation, having been around since the university’s founding. These societies have not only survived but also thrived over time, drawing fervent debaters from a variety of academic fields and backgrounds.

The St. Stephens College is poised to hold the 76th Mukharji Memorial Debate (The Debating Society) from April 13 to April 15, demonstrating its dedication to promoting robust discourse and critical thought. The college has a strong heritage of academic success and intellectual fervor. In the meantime, the 21st Memorial Premchand Debate (The English Debating Society, Hindu College), a celebration of literary skill and philosophical curiosity, recently reverberated throughout Hindu College with lively debates. The 16th Hansraj Parliamentary Debate (Hansraj English Debating Society) echoed the college’s passionate discussions, representing the college’s commitment to advancing parliamentary democracy and civic participation. These occasions give students a platform to show off their skills, share ideas, and motivate the next generation of debaters—all while showcasing the dynamic debating culture that is flourishing at Delhi University.

Debating is much more important than just an extracurricular activity. It gives students a forum to investigate difficult subjects, hone their critical thinking abilities, and master the art of persuasion. Debates touch on a broad range of subjects, including current events, literature, philosophy, social issues, politics, and economics. Because of this diversity, students are exposed to a wide range of viewpoints, which challenges their preconceptions and expands their intellectual horizons. 

Additionally, Delhi University’s debating culture encourages students to acquire a sense of intellectual and social solidarity. Regular intra- and inter-college tournaments, workshops, and guest lectures with distinguished speakers and alumni are arranged by debating societies. Students can demonstrate their debating skills at these events, but they also give them the chance to network, work together, and gather valuable insights from their peers. Healthy dialogue, respect for one another, and constructive criticism are all encouraged in the competitive yet encouraging atmosphere, which promotes intellectual curiosity and progress.

It has a significant cultural influence on students’ growth, both at personal and professional levels. Students who participate in debates develop their confidence, communication skills, and capacity for clear idea articulation. Further, it fosters traits like empathy, tolerance, and open-mindedness since kids learn to respectfully debate ideas and listen intently to those who hold different opinions. These abilities are extremely valuable not only for academic endeavors but also for professional success, and involvement in the community.

Being a part of this culture has been revolutionary for me. As soon as I entered the debating circuit, I was made to feel like a part of a second family. The friendly and supportive environment amongst fellow debaters fostered a supportive and encouraging environment. Through debate, I developed lifelong connections with people who shared my enthusiasm for discussion and intellectual inquiry, in addition to honing my oratory talents. 

Debating also confirms the worth of critical thinking and intellectual curiosity, which validates my passions and interests. It inspired me to learn more about subjects I was enthusiastic about, undertake research, and develop strong arguments. Debates force me to be quick on my feet, flexible in the face of unforeseen events, and able to express myself clearly and concisely. Above all, the debating community’s seniors were a priceless source of guidance and inspiration. They are not just skilled debaters but also mentors who freely pass on their wisdom, expertise, and experience. They serve as the center of these college societies, embodying the spirit of friendship and guidance- from advising on effective arguing strategies to offering consolation during tense competitions.

The debating culture at DU epitomizes the university’s ethos of academic excellence, intellectual inquiry, and inclusive learning. It provides students with a platform to engage in rigorous intellectual discourse, develop critical thinking skills, and foster a sense of community. As students immerse themselves in the art of debating, they not only enhance their academic prowess but also cultivate qualities that will serve them well beyond the confines of the university. Thus, this culture thrives as a beacon of intellectual enlightenment and inspiration for future generations.

Arshia Mehta

Delhi North '27

Born into a generation characterized by tumultuous times and instability, Arshia possesses a profound zeal for global politics and international affairs. Since 2019, she has actively participated in more than 90 Model United Nations (MUN) conferences, showcasing her fervor for diplomacy and negotiation. Arshia stands as a dedicated orator, earning accolades not only from MUNs but also from debates, extempores, and various other competitions on both national and international stages. Her commitment to social responsibility is exemplified by her collaboration with numerous humanitarian organizations, including Goong NGO, The Menaka Gandhi Organisation for Animal Welfare, Humans for Humankind, and Sexceed India. She firmly believes in the pivotal role of nurturing young minds to contribute to a better world that upholds our shared values and principles.