Congress-backed National Students Union of India has made a comeback in Delhi University’s student politics by winning president post in Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) after four years. Result of the student union elections is being seen as a setback to RSS/BJP-backed Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).
Soon after the results came out, NSUI and Congress activists, including party vice-president Rahul Gandhi started celebrating the victory. On Twitter, Rahul thanked DU students for “reposing their faith in Congress ideology”. Some Congress leaders went overboard, declaring the victory as the defeat of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promises of ‘Acche Din’.
“Raj (Rajasthan), Pb (Punjab) & now resounding victory of @nsui is a rejection of false promises of ‘Acche Din’ of Modiji. Youth for Change will change Modi Govt,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted. Congress leader from Maharashtra, Sanjay Nirupam, termed the win as “Big jolt for #BJP’s #ABVP. Goondagardi in the name of nationalism rejected.”
While Congress and NSUI activists have all rights to celebrate today, there is a question they need to answer for themselves and in the interest of larger students community of DU. Do they, or those from ABVP, really work for students?
ABVP and NSUI have been dominant in the ever deteriorating student politics at DU for decades. People familiar with DU know how these two student groups brazenly abuse money power to win student body polls. They don’t depend on real issues. This year was also no exception. A First Post report today said DU students have lost interest in politics after “facing threats, bribes for votes.”
A First Post report today said DU students have lost interest in politics after “facing threats, bribes for votes.” The report highlighted how student leaders of both groups had misspelled their names on posters and banners, defacing almost entire Delhi, to avoid the wrath of the law. Some students even told First Post that they were bribed with pizzas, cosmetics and alcohol for votes. These practices, however, have been common at DU for years.
It doesn’t matter whether NSUI or ABVP wins DUSU polls, both groups indulge in similar malpractices and they rarely fight for interests of real, sincere students.
It is high time to rethink about students politics. Is it making our campuses better learning centres?
Leaders like Rahul Gandhi, who aspires to become the prime minister in future, should think twice before celebrating such victory. On Monday, while speaking during a programme to commemorate the 125th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s famous Chicago speech, PM Narendra Modi had raised this issue, saying the degradation of student politics in campuses across the country demands contemplation. Modi had also wondered as to why students’ unions never promise to work for basic issues like cleanliness.
The opposition may claim that Modi wishes to end student politics. However, he has a valid point that needs to be considered by everyone concerned with real interests of real students. Amid the absence of real issues in the minds of student leaders, student politics at Delhi University is already dead.