Around the Web

Watch: JNU’s famous rapper is back. This time he’s singing against the JNU Vice Chancellor

‘If Swachh Bharat was a real mission, it would be cleaning the likes of [the JNU VC].’

Play

Rahul Rajkhowa graduated from Jawaharlal Nehru University in 2017. Though he works as a full-time musician now and is about to wrap up the last leg of a 20-city tour, his conscience won’t allow him to ignore the critical situation in his alma mater.

“A lot has happened in JNU over the last couple of months and the country is unaware of most of it,” Rajkhowa told Scroll.in. “We need to spread more awareness on what’s happening, which is why I put out the song.”

Staying true to his preferred form of protest, the 23-year-old posted a rap video (above) in which he yet again took on the Vice Chancellor of JNU. It was a follow-up to a song he had posted nearly a year ago.

“This song summarises all the recent events that are threatening education not just in JNU but education as a whole in our country,” Rajkhowa said. “It discusses certain arbitrary decisions made by the VC, like the imposition of compulsory attendance, his lack of action against Professor Johri, or his decision to make Amita Singh the Chairperson of the Centre for Law and Governance.”

JNU Professor Atul Johri was arrested only on Tuesday, the day after Rajkhowa posted his video, for allegedly sexually harassing eight students. His arrest came after days of protests by students. The Patiala House Court, however, granted him bail almost immediately.

“Education is of primary importance,” said Rajkhowa. “In other countries, people promote education and provide so many scholarships and so on. Here, we are trying to curb student power. Which is why the students cannot give up. I get a lot of messages from people telling me to be careful. But we can’t give up the fight. More protests, more articles, songs, poems and theatre productions need to be coming out. My bit to the students across the country: do not be afraid, stand up and speak up. We should be questioning things and arguing more. Because wasn’t that the purpose of education, and a democracy?”

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

What are racers made of?

Grit, strength and oodles of fearlessness.

Sportspersons are known for their superhuman discipline, single-minded determination and the will to overcome all obstacles. Biographies, films and documentaries have brought to the fore the behind-the-scenes reality of the sporting life. Being up at the crack of dawn, training without distraction, facing injuries with a brave face and recovering to fight for victory are scenes commonly associated with sportspersons.

Racers are no different. Behind their daredevilry lies the same history of dedication and discipline. Cornering on a sports bike or revving up sand dunes requires the utmost physical endurance, and racers invest heavily in it. It helps stave off fatigue and maintain alertness and reaction time. It also helps them get the most out of their racecraft - the entirety of a racer’s skill set, to which years of training are dedicated.

Racecraft begins with something as ‘simple’ as sitting on a racing bike; the correct stance is the key to control and manoeuvre the bike. Riding on a track – tarmac or dirt is a great deal different from riding on the streets. A momentary lapse of concentration can throw the rider into a career ending crash.

Physical skill and endurance apart, racers approach a race with the same analytical rigour as a student appearing in an exam. They conduct an extensive study of not just the track, but also everything around it - trees, marshal posts, tyre marks etc. It’s these reference points that help the racer make braking or turning decisions in the frenzy of a high-stakes competition.

The inevitability of a crash is a reality every racer lives with, and seeks to internalise this during their training. In the immediate aftermath of the crash, racers are trained to keep their eyes open to help the brain make crucial decisions to avoid collision with other racers or objects on the track. Racers that meet with accidents can be seen sliding across the track with their heads held up, in a bid to minimise injuries to the head.

But racecraft is, of course, only half the story. Racing as a profession continues to confound many, and racers have been traditionally misunderstood. Why would anyone want to pour their blood, sweat and tears into something so risky? Where do racers get the fearlessness to do laps at mind boggling speed or hurtle down a hill unassisted? What about the impact of high speeds on the body day after day, or the monotony of it all? Most importantly, why do racers race? The video below explores the question.

Play


The video features racing champions from the stable of TVS Racing, the racing arm of TVS Motor Company, which recently completed 35 years of competitive racing in India. TVS Racing has competed in international rallies and races across some of the toughest terrains - Dakar, Desert Storm, India Baja, Merzouga Rally - and in innumerable national championships. Its design and engineering inputs over the years have also influenced TVS Motors’ fleet in India. You can read more about TVS Racing here.

This article has been produced by Scroll Brand Studio on behalf of TVS Racing and not by the Scroll editorial team.