A constitution is ideally supposed to be a set of laws and principles laid down by those with authority, as the basis for governing a group of people. We know how important the Constitution is in a civilised society, especially with regards to the fact that previous week that saw the ruling on whether privacy is a fundamental right. Even though ground realities may take time to align with the lofty ideals written in a constitution, having high standards of ideals helps in aspiring for a more just world and providing legal recourse.
But what about an institution which is driven by ideas, like the University? Did you know that the Delhi University Students’ Union also has a constitution of its own? It’s a rhetorical question, because why would anybody know that? Unless, you’re writing an article about it – which is one of the more interesting ways of spending your weekend mass bunk due to the unthinking violent actions of the supporters of a certain amino acid-acronym Guru.
The Delhi University website has a link to the Constitution on it. Upon clicking on it, one is directed to a 16 page, 8 chapter PDF document. For those uninitiated in the ways of DUSU (which I’m sure is quite a lot of us given the recent years’ voter turnout), a lot of the clauses are new information. For instance, the source of DUSU funds is 20 rupees from each student who is a part of colleges affiliated to DUSU. It is apparently included in the college fees given by the students. Think of those sweet 20 rupees that you haggle over with rickshaw-wallahs for. The 20 rupees you can use for 2-3 cups of chai, depending on the generosity of your college canteen. A minute’s silence for those brave, invaluable (not literally) 20 rupees should be observed. So selfless, that they are someone else’s chai or someone else’s rickshaw fare to beat up the nearest leftist event’s organisers. It depends on you that which cause you’d rather have your money go to, if at all.
Under ‘Aims and Objects’ (not objectives, and I am not linguistically qualified enough to make a joke on that), there is the real substance – the meat of the Constitution. Among other things, “a democratic outlook”, “intellectual development” and “a sense of unity among students” is to be achieved, along with “harmonious relations” among the student community. That has definitely been achieved, no doubt. There is absolutely no irony in the Student Union demanding unity in a university where it doesn’t even serve a good number of colleges. Nope.
DUSU also has the power to organise events, debates, cultural and social service events under ‘Activities’. It can also publish magazines, journals and “wall newspapers”, whose existence had been unknown to me till now but as per Google Images it looks quite hipster, so I approve. There’s also some interesting organisational information: The Vice-Chancellor (currently Yogesh Tyagi, thank you Google) serves as the patron of DUSU, the hierarchy of the Council from top to bottom is President, Secretary, Vice President, and Joint Secretary; a student having been a part of the University for more than seven years cannot be an Executive Council member, and that a notice for an emergency meeting must be served by a telegram (Isn’t telegram dead yet?) Yes. “Why?” you ask? “Why not” is my response.
Regardless, it turns out that there are quite a few things to learn about DUSU and its functioning. We’re blessed enough to have an easily accessible Constitution that neatly mentions its aims, meetings’ procedures, structures and information on telegraph-usage. So go through it because it’s interesting, the 20 rupees trivia is definitely a great icebreaker for a date, and with the rains all around you have nowhere to go.
Feature Image Credits: DU Beat