Known as one of the largest student elections in the country, but the question remains; are they representative of all the students who cast their vote, or is it just a game of political dominance with a handful of players participating each time?
Beginning from a sociological point of view, it is imperative to state that the caste system forms the foundation of Hinduism. Its ubiquity can be guaranteed from the simple fact that its absence from any of the aspects of life will lead to the collapse of the religion as a whole. In recent years, it has successfully made its way into student politics.
Be it the power of a temple in the state of Uttar Pradesh, or the presence of students belonging to aspiring minority communities in bulk in the University of Delhi (DU); caste as an entity has struck at every rung of the political system.
With the nearing Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) election day , parties are leaving no stone unturned to establish their presence in every DU student’s life by featuring life size posters boasting of the names of the contesting candidates . However, if observed carefully, one can conclude (like I have), that almost all the candidates belong to either the same community or different communities within the same region; predominantly the Jats, the Gujjars and the Yadavs. Hence, caste becomes an overarching term bringing region into its fold as well; in this case, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.
This practice becomes evident through the composition of major student wings such as the ABVP (Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad) of the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) and the NSUI (National Students’ Union of India) of the ‘INC (ndian National Congress) . When I consider the range of DUSU elections all over the country, I do not find any candidate from down South, the East, or the North-East. The northern region remains centripetal not just for the monetary and muscle factors, but also for the empathy factor that works in the undercurrent.
Taking into account the statistics of elections conducted in the last couple of years, it has been observed that the candidates elected for the post of president have belonged to either of the communities. For example, Amit Tanwar, the outgoing President from ABVP belongs to the Jat community. There were others such as Arun Hooda and Ajay Chhikara from NSUI, and Mohit Nagar from ABVP.
Apart from the ABVP and NSUI, who usually grab the ballots’ limelight; minor parties such as INSO (Indian National Students Organization) and CYSS (Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Samiti), the student wing of the AAP (Aam Aadmi Party) too invest in candidates from these communities so as to gain impetus. AISA (All India Students Association), the student wing of CPI (ML) (the Communist Party of India’-(Marxist Leninst) ) mostly banks on female candidates for its premier posts.
With another round of elections coming up this year, while nothing can be ascertained until the declaration of results, some things form the norm! But, for more, we will have to wait for the big day!
Feature Image Credits: Indian Express