HomeCultureThe Vociferous Comedy: The Shams of Student Politics

The Vociferous Comedy: The Shams of Student Politics


Whenever student elections hit town, the whole city starts speaking the language of politics; and the recent DUSU (Delhi University Students’ Union) elections in the capital were no exception.

The word ‘politics’ throws our mind into a tumult of emotions. ‘Religion’, ‘manipulation’, ‘double-cross’,’ exploitation’ are the few terms that come to mind while thinking of politics, thus creating an aura that is challenging, revolting and repugnant all at the same time. Be it making ‘burning trains’ a reason for election or dragging in ‘riots’ and religious propaganda as an agenda for development, we have learnt to fear and hate politics. The net effect of the ‘dirty-politics’ image is that people do not want to enter the field. And when the people with change on their mind choose to abstain from politics, people drunk with ‘power’ take their place and the trend of mindless manipulation continues, with no one thinking of the nation as a whole.

The Current Scenario

The most basic stage of politics, is student politics and the DUSU elections open up ground for all aspiring politicians to join in and prepare to shape the future government. The whole university is engaged in some form or other in the elections. Those few months of campaigning, it’s all the students talk about. Rumours, protests, threats, slogan-shouting and adrenaline sum up the college air at the time.

We talk of literacy as a cure for all bad things. However, seeing the debauchery of the students involved in the elections in the largest University in India; seeing the supposedly most literate people of India use the power of their education to brainwash the minds of the illiterate; we are forced to think: Is literacy indeed the cure we hope it is?

The planning goes on extensively for months prior to the elections.

Any DU (Delhi University) student would tell you how paying-guest accommodations and flats become the main place for campaigning and students’ material benefits like money, certificates, and placement or simply power, the basis of casting votes.

Flyers are strewn all over the city, with everyone from the college canteen’s ‘bhaiya’ (cafeteria food server) to your local ‘auto-walas’ (auto-rickshaw drivers) shoving pamphlets of the election nominees of various parties in your face.

Opposition parties beating up candidates, or threatening other students’ to vote in favour of the selected candidates, all are a common thing for the college students. Most students are non-Delhi residents and stay independently in the city. Thus, afraid of the complications one would be getting into in case they oppose such ‘wrongs’, let alone the scrutiny and harassment the victim is put under by the concerned authorities when filing a complaint against any candidate, students find it best to leave the situation as it is. On top of this, parents constantly telling the students to not get involved in ‘useless politics’ and to focus on studies , definitely doesn’t help change the situation either.

The suicide attempt by a Deshbandhu College’s students’ council candidate after being disqualified; or the attack on the NSUI (National Students’ Union of India) candidates by opposition parties, with aluminium rods, where one of the attacked was a girl; both reflect the growing depravity amongst college students, running after power and being instilled with the desire to win, taking out anyone that comes in the way.

Facebook gets littered with hate messages, rumours and anti-campaigning reaches new lows each year with opposition ratting out deepest secrets and personal incidents just to get mass support.

Choosing the Worthy Leader

Half the students don’t even know in whose favour they are casting their votes. Election candidates have poor agendas that are equivalent to a minister promising to provide electricity once elected; in both situations the promises vanish into thin air once elected. Plus the students’ who are bogged down with semester exams, fests, events and internships do not bother to ask questions. Most of the times, the votes are cast not by seeing who the deserving candidate is, rather the candidate that is favoured is the one who resides in your locality or whichever candidate’s lobby  delivers bottles of Blenders Pride or Daniel’s and the maximum supply of cigarettes and ‘ganja’ to your room.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not writing this article to condemn drinking or stating out a judgement in any way on addiction-inducing habits. What I want to focus on is the fact that even at the basic levels politics is already choosing candidates that will always advertise corruption. And we being the beneficiaries now, encourage this attitude into power and the same ‘we’ would abuse the government 20 years later when these same student leaders are in power and ‘we’, the common man, would be suffering from their bureaucratic fallacies and the corrupt system.

Our worthy leader should be one who actually is capable enough of helping the youth; and presents our problems at a level where we have failed due to the pressure of our daily student routine; a person who does not dole out ‘sifarish’ (recommendations) or help to only those who favoured him during the elections, but to all, when in need; it’s his duty if elected, not a case of charity on his part. We should all really be more careful about who we chose to fight for our rights.

The Final Say

Some might say, to beat the others’ even the unwilling ones have to take this path to win. But that is exactly the point. It’s as if we are creating a filter to take in the goons. And both: the ones electing and the ones getting elected, have closed their eyes to the real issues that surround us and both do not want to bother about ‘trivialities’ like doing the ‘right’ thing and both are involved for their own selfish needs.

When we talk about India being a country with immense potential invested in its youths, I believe, student politics is something that needs to be cleansed, being the origin or the stepping stone unto the administration network that ‘makes’ India. What, we all can hope is that the leaders that got elected this September set the path for change and the voters take ‘choosing a candidate’ a bit more seriously than just a favour returned in exchange of free passes to the hottest night clubs.

[Image attribute: Abhinav Kumar]
Previous post
Politics Over Mosquitos in Delhi
Next post
Click With Confidence: Viruses and the Modern Internet