Sangam 2018

Vrittanta, the undergraduate student’s organization of the Department of International Studies and History, CHRIST (Deemed to be University) has held the belief – “Reaching the Zenith” – since its inception. This aspiration of the organization is best expressed in its annual National Level Fest Sangam. Sangam means ‘confluence of rivers’. It is an expression used to represent the confluence of the varied talents and flairs that the students of CHRIST University hold. The theme for Sangam 2018-19 was “Parallel World”. This year’s edition of Sangam had a plethora of events: Young Statesmen Award, Sangam Model United Nations, Youth Parliament, Mosaic (art event), Avant Garde (dance event), Synchronous (music event) and Street Play.

Sangam 2018-19 was held on 30 and 31 August 2018. The fest commenced with the inauguration ceremony at Block IV, KE Auditorium, where a lamp was ceremoniously lit by the professors of the Department, along with the student conveners, Harsimran Singh Sondhi, Hanish Immanuel and Tania Thomas. The conveners then took the stage and declared the fest open. This was followed by a celebratory dance.

The inauguration ceremony was immediately followed with the beginning of competition for Young Statesmen Award. The Young Statesman Award (YSA) is the flagship event of Sangam 2018-2019. The four-round event was the crowning jewel of the fest allowing students of different states and backgrounds a chance to exhibit their talent on a national platform. The Young Statesman Award began on a most auspicious note, brimming with eager enthusiasm and healthy contention. Hosted in room 911 in the Central Block, the event lasted for the entire day and was attended by the students of the Department. The contestants first had to do a presentation on a country that they had to make out of their imagination. They had to present on their country’s polity, society, environment, economy, culture and general information. In the second round, they were given crises like floods, overthrowing of regimes, wars, internal disputes, economy crashing, to which they had to give their response. In the third round, a general debate was held on topics of general public concern. The event saw participation from the department, deanery as well as from other colleges and universities. The event bolstered several insightful rounds of discussions. The contenders, whether they won or not, left with pride knowing that they partook in an engaging event. The results were celebrated by all and all the competitors were congratulated for their efforts.

Model United Nations is a simulation of the United Nations for the youth to understand and tackle global issues. MUN at Sangam 2018-19, the first Model United Nations initiative of the Department, was a power packed affair. Students from diverse backgrounds gathered to speak and debate on issues concerning their areas of interest. Three committees – the General Assembly, the Crisis Committee and the Security Council – presented intelligent debates and informative sessions. Right from the beginning participants were encouraged to take up authority and present their innovative ideas, ask questions, learn and correct mistakes and quell queries. Tania Martha Thomas as Secretary General and Rajoli Siddharth Jayaprakash as Under-Secretary General were well equipped to deal with the fervor of its member teams and handled moments of chaos with great care. Limited intervention and full support from the event heads and judges ensured success of all the committees.

Youth Parliament is an event that has been a part of Sangam since the beginning. This year’s Parliament had the theme of “Praetectio de Terra: The Lines at Threat”. With great promise bearing upon the previous editions of youth parliament, this year’s event kicked off with hopeful and open dialogues. About 32 members participated in the event. The portfolios being represented included the Prime Minister, Finance Minister, Minister of External Affairs, Defense Minister, Minister of Law and Justice, Leader of the Left, Opposition Leader, Deputy Opposition Leader and Home Minister. The event was judged by Sagar Kote and Mandhara BM. The event found a most supportive and encouraging event heads, Arushi Ganguly and Aswathy Anil. The formal proceedings began at 8 AM with all participants jumping onto their respective agendas with unbeatable fervor. This enthusiasm and rigorous engagement was maintained throughout the event. The event took a surprising turn with the disqualification of a few leaders along with the resignation of another, presenting a real-world picture of parliament and its proceedings. The participants did not take this as discouragement, but instead cheered the proceedings. The event, as a result, turned into a formidable success owing to excellent participation of the members as well as the judges.

The art event MOSAIC was organized for the students of the Department to bring their artistic talents and imagination. The event consisted of Face Painting and Costume Designing. The topic for the event was “Our Paradoxical Relationship with Nature.” There were a total of 22 teams, each consisting of three members. After the stipulated time, the participants were given 45 seconds to present, in which they had to explain what they wished to represent through their art work. The event was very lively with participants oozing with enthusiasm. The judge opined that she was surprised by the sheer amount of effort and talent that could be seen there. She also said that it was extremely hard for her to decide the winners. The event was successful in the sense that it was able to bring out the imagination of the students as a lot of symbolism was used to portray the given topic.

The dance event Avant Garde was an elaborate affair, sequenced into 4 rounds, namely the battle round, the prop round, the iconic round and the group performance round. The participants had ample space to showcase the best of their abilities and win away glorious prizes. Judged by Ms Jeffi, the event was an exciting, power packed one presenting tough competition for the judges and the audience alike. Key features of these rounds included the use of split screens, on the spot dancing and the use of interesting pre-decided props as umbrellas, badminton rackets, Chinese fans etc. The participant teams were asked to replicate the signature and dance moves of actors. Fusions of two different dance forms was seen as all the teams participating put in their best step forward and competed for the winning position. The participants were filled with enormous energy and enthusiasm. Interaction with the audience for the dance form quiz and dancers among the audience were given opportunities to showcase their talents.

The music event Synchronous, took place on 31st August at the Sky View, Central Block. From the structuring to the execution, this event was abundant with creativity and innovation. Synchronous made a loud cheer at Sangam 2018-19. The event was judged by Ms. Rajeshwari VR and the event heads, Ayush and Biswarupa Bhattacharjee together, lent an encouraging and cheerful jibe. The event was structured into 3 rounds: the first one being a solo non-themed performance, the second a pick-a-chit and the third round a sing along performance. The idea of bringing in a progression to sing along an entire song brought out the novelty among the participants’ musical tastes. Even the pick a chit round lent a fresh competitive edge to the participants’ awareness about their individual musical interests and passion towards the same. All participants were confident and comfortable while performing. There was enthusiasm and constant anticipation among the participants. The entire event was thoroughly enjoyed by the audience, the participants and the judges alike. Synchronous provided a great platform for all budding singers within the Department; there was a spirit of healthy competition and encouragement among the participants. Everyone left with high hopes of more such events to be conducted within the Department.

Sangam 2018 also saw enthusiastic participation for Street Play. Entitled as ‘Expressions’, the Street Play held over the course of two days. The theme of the event was in line with the general theme of Sangam: ‘Alternate Universe’. On the first day, students from Bannerghatta Campus were able to showcase their plays in Garden Street. On the second day, students from the Department presented their plays at the Bird’s Park. Street play garnered a massive audience due to their innovative ideas. The group that won the second place, for instance, did a play on an alternate universe where women were treated as men and men were treated as women. They were able to inspire the audience to take a different view on gender inequality. All the teams came up with creative ideas of their costumes and props and were able to successfully incorporate them into the larger spectrum of their play. Dr Madhumati Deshpande and Dr Koiremba were the judges and congratulated all the participants for their unconventional, wonderful plays.
Sangam 2018 was brought to an end with an elaborate closing and valedictory ceremony. The closing ceremony was attended by the faculties and students of the Department. The professors spoke highly on the amount of effort that had gone into the making of the fest and appreciated the efforts of the students, volunteers and participants. A dance group, Chuvudu, brought tears to the eyes of the audience with a heartfelt performance on the Syrian War. Vrittanta’s own music club glistened the event with a choir that sang songs from different regions of the country. Hanish and team performed an acapella performance which mesmerized the audience. The closing ceremony was emotional for the batch of final year students, especially those who formed the Sangam team. They have been through all the three years of Sangam’s inception and have witnessed it grow. The Sangam team was appreciated and congratulated by all the faculty members, especially by Dr Father Jose CC.

Sangam serves as a beautiful reminder of what young minds are capable of. The entire process of the fest, from its inception to its execution was handled by the young and it was a grand success. The level of debates and discussion surpassed expectations from such young students. Participants maintained decorum and poise beyond their age and substantiated all their arguments with facts. Volunteers were always on their feet and were ready to do any work required. It was an enlightening and enriching experience overall. Now all the hopes rest on the next batch to uplift the Department fest and make Sangam 2019 bigger and better. 


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