Delhi University is one of the most prestigious central universities in India both for academics and fun. The most fun season when you can enjoy your college life is during the fests and the time of elections which makes you realise the meaning of being a responsible citizen as well. Elections are held every five years in our country for all tiers of the government.
But in Delhi University , which epicentre of student politics , we experience a unique political every year in August-September . Is this election is really a representation of student leaders or it is a platform for future politicians. This time, the Delhi University Students’ Union Elections are scheduled for September 12, 2019, and the powerful RSS-backed Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, INC-backed National Students Union of India and some left-wing students organisations like Students Federation of India of CPI (M), All India Students Association of CPI (ML), All Indian Students Federation and not to forget, CYSS of Aam Aadmi Party are ready to contest the much-awaited and sort-of general elections this year. Some people I know very well are also contesting this year.
Well, what excites most of the students is not the range of candidates but the fights between two groups which are very common in Delhi University, especially in colleges of South Campus.Democracy is just a word in our law books which are covered by a thick layer of dust, showing the ignorance (even) of the cleaners of library shelves. Many students have been protesting outside the Arts Faculty at North Campus for the last couple of days next to the student activists of CYSS, for the demands of students.
What is democracy? Is it a new form of anarchy for students in Delhi University or is it a license for vendetta politics, or license to use money and muscle to influence votes? Or is it really in its crudest form, a saviour?
Democracy as a system of governance which is being followed blindly should also be questioned at the national level but to start with, let’s ask these questions at the student level. I do not have the intention to name any organisation but we get news of an activist from party ‘A’ beating an activist from party ‘B’ – are we even talking about democracy at this point? If we are in a democratic nation, it must be a representative democracy and everyone must have a say.
We have the right to contest in free and fair elections (which we haven’t seen for ages though)? In a nation with over 50% of its population under 25, this question becomes crucial for the existence of the democratic structure. It is very obvious that student politics is influenced by national politics. We see in our parliament, our representatives throwing paper balls at the Speaker, using pepper sprays, watching restricted content, using unparliamentary language and of course, we see the electoral system of this nation being tampered with. Then, what can we expect from the young minds? Though I see a ray of hope from some leaders of different student political organisations.
There are many problems in Indian universities and Delhi in particular. Very recently, the Central Library was open for 24×7 access, which was a welcome change. We have issues of fee hike, lack of infrastructure, lack of hostels, transportation issues and many other things as mentioned in the manifesto of different organisations but politics is a game of promises and fabricated lies (even nationally) and unfulfilled promises.
In this article, I cannot force you to believe in anything that I write but equate these things with your life and you will automatically believe my hypothesis. As per the rule, candidates are not allowed to get a convoy of cars but they do. Candidates are provided with a budget of ₹5,000 for promotion and campaigning, but they spend lakhs on it. Most importantly, the High Court has ordered not to stick any posters on the walls of colleges and the university campus but take a walk in North Campus and you will see the ‘Wall of Democracy’ covered with posters. So, are we producing leaders? Well, I will leave that to you.
Last year, I mentioned in the article; do not vote for those who ask you to vote, support and elect, but vote for someone who can bring change in this university, because a majority is important but a majority is not everything in the university scenario.
I was reading a book by the former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam and there was something that I found appropriate to quote here, “a young child says, ‘what can you do?’ A politician says, ‘tell me what I should do for you? But a leader says, ‘let us work together.’” (Though these are not the exact wordings but the synopsis is clear.) Today, politics is largely limited to the second phrase, “Tell me what I should do for you?”All the freshers by now must have given their numbers to almost every candidate campaigning in Delhi University. The most comical thing I have experienced is a candidate came to me and said “ support the deserving candidate “ but what’s the definition of a deserving candidate ?
I am in favour of student politics in Indian universities but I am against the money-muscle politics, caste-based politics and vendetta politics, which is present in Delhi University in its entirety. Even at the national level, the new-age political figures are mostly ideologically hollow and the case is very similar to Indian universities.
So to conclude, yes these elections are exciting, they get violent sometimes, but still remain a platform to express your dissent as a student. These elections are a platform for responsible leaders who are not here just for indulging in politics but to really question the authorities and find solutions for various student-related issues. With this, I still have hopes for a better