The nationwide hyped Student Union Elections of Delhi University (commonly known as DUSU) will be conducted on 12 th of September, 2018. In order to establish their supremacy in this country’s greatest student elections, all the candidates and their respective student organizations have released their own manifesto which has made great efforts to woo the students. Public-lucrative topics such as sanitary pads vending machines, women’s safety, metro, hostels, CCTV cameras, bus services, eco -friendly campuses are some of the issues commonly emerging in the speeches and election manifestos of almost every student organization. With an intention to provide a wholesome perspective on the promises and claims of these student organizations we conducted a detailed analysis of the three major political groups active in the campus elections.
For this election, AISA – CYSS has entered into an electoral alliance. In their joint manifesto, the organization promises for the arrangement of sanitary pad machines in all the colleges and university campuses, awakening the spirit of positive thinking inside the students, quality food in the canteens, the struggle for permanent appointment of teachers and staff, to ensure the safety of women in campus and to make a committee in each of the colleges in accordance with the honorary Supreme Court’s judgments, Opening of new colleges, to provide better facilities for health and offering better facilities for the specially abled students are some of the key issues described in their election manifesto. The same AISA leader had said that the CCTV cameras are important for keeping campus away from felony and deploy police booths. It is interesting to know that AISA is opposing CCTV in JNU, is advocating it in Delhi University. This is a Classical example of changing the stand on issues related to the power and the opposition.
At the same time, NSUI has mentioned about the failures of ABVP as well as its achievements in the manifesto a few days ago. The major promises of NSUI's manifesto include concession in college fee, construction of hostels on free land, efforts to achieve concession in Metro-DTC bus pass, distribution of free laptops, constitution of student commission, arranging the writing and reading content of regional languages, etc. The same NSUI leader had said that he would fight to get Delhi University’s status as an excellent institution through which the institute can gain additional funds.
On the third frontier, ABVP released a manifesto declaring that ABVP as the name suggests stands for A- Academic, Sports & Co-Curricular reforms, B- Bharat First, V- Vision for world class educational Infrastructure , Transportation & Facilities, ,P- Pledge for women safety . In their manifesto, ABVP promises to provide special assistance in admission to the students coming from rural background, same course-same fee in the university, healthy and quality diet for sports students, filling reserved seats, Provision of proper system of scholarship, promotion of Hindi medium at post-graduate level entrance, Regular Seminars and Lectures by eminent academicians on the relevant topic, arrangement of study material in regional language, Creation of health and wellness societies, opening new colleges and hostels, Increasing number of new beds and special medical assistance in medical center, Creation of Digital Library, Proper Bill and Law on Rent Recovery. The student organization further elaborated about their Struggle to make North Campus a closed -campus, Establishment of training centers of self-defense in all colleges, to set up women police and police booths, to arrange PCR vans patrolling , to set up
sanitary napkins vending machines in all colleges and hostels, to provide a helpline number on social media abuse; – All these promises have been made by the students council in their 11 paged election manifesto. ABVP student leader claimed that their manifesto contains almost every problem that a student faces in this so called World Class University.
The manner in which these student organizations have issued their own declarations by talking about student interests, it seems that now the work of the students is going to be overturned. Will the promises of the manifesto be fulfilled or not, can only be ascertained in the near future. In all these extravagant declarations, one cannot find any mention of the greatest problem that still persists in these reputed colleges, the lack of placement cells in colleges and the oblivious nature of the college administrations regarding student placements. I hope that these self-proclaimed advocates of student rights and interests would look into the ground reality instead of promoting their not so effective utopia and fantasies.
-Chaudhari Natbar Rai and Mayank Gautam