Intro : The most keenly contested students’ polls in the country will be held on September 11. In DUSU, ABVP is super-confident about repeating the last years performance. So-called Left affiliates are struggling to hold on their base in both the campuses.
The stage appeared to be set for battle for the elections of Delhi University’s Student Union (DUSU) and the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU). The elections considered as the most keenly watched students’ polls in the country, will be held on September 11. The date and venue for the counting of votes will be announced later.
Last year, the DUSU polls were swept by Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) trouncing National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) by bagging all four positions. But the election this year promises to be a multi-cornered fight with two new groups joining the fray – AAP’s Youth wing Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Samiti (CYSS) and Students’ Organization of India (SOI), the student wing of Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal).
SOI of the Akalis is making its debut in Delhi after sweeping the Punjab University polls. However, the ABVP is on a high with its graph rising dramatically in the past two elections even while Congress’ NSUI is trying hard to regain lost ground. On election agenda ABVP National Secretary Rohit Chehel told to Organiser, “The main agenda for this time is Room Rent Control Act, concessional passes in metro for students, women safety & security and youth special busses.”
On the issue of new students’ wings contesting for first time, he said that CYSS is not even a rival. Infact, the CM’s office is personally involved in the student election which is such a shame. Organisation is using money and muscle power. CYSS which has been campaigning extensively with the slogan ‘let’s end money and muscle power’ but they are doing totally against their slogan. Organisation is organising rock concerts and spending crores to woo students. Even the walls of Delhi University campus are prominently covered with CYSS advertisements.
On the other side JNU students will also vote on September 11, after the always much hyped Presidential debate on September 9. The JNUSU election this time is taking place simultaneously with DUSU. The claims of having a proud Left tradition in JNUSU somehow defend the electoral process being corrupted. But the elections are contested on agendas which lead to a capture or sharing of power. The only extension which JNU offers is that they even cross the four walls of the campus to integrate issue of national and international importance in the process as well.
A vast Left arena spear headed by CPI (ML) Liberation’s AISA, along with AISF, SFI, DSF, DSU and others claim a politics of ideology. This veneer of ideology remains a cloak for their mutual contradictory interests. Of course, the space for dialogue remains vibrant, but nothing actually comes out of it. The other strand remains of a struggling NSUI and an emergent ABVP. A campus such as JNU is always an arena of contestation for ideology which ABVP represents. None-theless a dedicated party cadre who is devoted to the causes of nation building and progress, without falling in trap of farce ideologies, is what driving ABVP ahead. They delivered promising results in last elections winning key counsellor seats in different schools.
The main election agenda remains “hostel accommodation”. JNU fails to provide accommodation to such a small number of students, sometimes even after a semester. Different parties are showing their struggle against it, but somehow it is a political gimmick to allure the fresher, because the problem still continues. There are issues regarding library timing, having a JNU Press, increasing the frequency of DTC Buses, increasing scholarships and many more. There are even Left organisations such as AISF who envisage an organised front for release of political prisoners such as Hemchandra who was arrested for being a Maoist courier. One of the major agenda remains for Left organisations and NSUI to create a furore against the present government in general and Narendra Modi, in particular. The one who can criticise Modi Government as much, is being certified a greater secular. Many stalwart politicians such as Shashi Tharoor, Sitaram Yechury, D Raja have already been at the campus to advertise their respective student wings. Some rock concerts have been organised too to attract the students. On a closer examination one finds, that all the tall claims of having an ideal student representatives is gradually falling apart in JNU. In the larger interest of JNU one should wish that Left dominance should now wither away to make space for a politics of reform, result and progress.
—Nishant Kr Azad