New Delhi

Roses Red and Papers Brown: Five Years at Delhi University

Surjit Mansingh


Surjit was brought up in many different places in India, went from Delhi University into the Indian Foreign Service, and subsequently joined her husband in academics, shuttling between India and the United States. Now a semi-retired professor with two grown-up sons, she lives with her Himalayan cat, music, books, and walks in Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

Editor’s Note: This piece was originally written for “Down Memory Lane: The Platinum Year 1922-1997”, Delhi: University of Delhi” 2000 when the author was a Professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. The author was a Delhi University student over 1953-58 in Miranda House.

Roses. Roses. It was not roses all the way, not by a long stretch, and there was no myrtle strewn on the muddy paths. But it is roses I remember best, in serried ranks of yellow and white, pink and flame and hectic red, encircling the fountain. Where on its steps I was accustomed to pass winter afternoons, book in lap, heady with the scented air\; until a sudden chill, a change of light, or a dry throat, reminded me that it was time for tea.

Delhi 1938



This film is part of 'Before Midnight' - a touring programme of 27 films shot in India prior to Independence. Shot by the legendary Jack Cardiff, this is one of a number of short films that he made in India in the late 1930s. This film presents the city of Delhi - and the period - as rarely seen before.

First Republic Day in Delhi and First President of India

Fauji Akhbar
Glimpses of the First Republic Day Celebrations and India's First President
Editor’s note. This article first appeared in Fauji Akhbar (now renamed Sainik Samachar) February 4, 1950. It was posted as

Unforgettable scenes of enthusiasm and rejoicing marked the beginning of a new era in Indian History when the Republic of India was born with the swearing in of Dr. Rajendra Prasad as the as the first President.

At the most solemn ceremony, held in the brilliantly lit and high domes of Durbar Hall at Government House, India was declared a Sovereign Democratic Republic exactly at eighteen minutes past ten on the morning of Thursday, January 26, 1950. Six minutes later, Dr. Rajendra Prasad sworn in as the President.

The birth of Indian Republic and the installation of its first President were announced by a salute of 31 guns shortly after 10-30 a.m.

The simple and yet grand ceremony of the Durbar Hall, the excitement of hundreds of thousands of people lining the five-mile route through which the President drove in state and the spectacularly colourful parade at Irwin Stadium, where the President hoisted the Union Flag and took the salute, will remain in the peoples' memory for long.

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