Be it hiccups like the election officials cancelling his nominations, or reliefs like the High Court allowing him to contest the elections, or moments of ecstasy at finally winning the elections, Rocky Tuseed of the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), the newly elected President of the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) who is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Buddhist Studies, has seen it all in just a week’s time. In an exclusive interview with DU Beat, he discusses his ideas for the betterment of the University.
Q: You have been considerably active in politics this past year. From where did you start your venture into the field?
Ans: I joined Shivaji College in 2013; in my first year, I encountered several small problems like the non-functionality of the water-cooler, unavailability of Girls Common Room, etc. On being persuaded by my classmates, I contested and won the election for Executive Committee of DUSU, and that’s how it all started.
Q: Now that you are the DUSU President, what are the key areas you would like to personally focus on?
Ans: There are several areas that I am going to work on for the betterment of the students. Alongside working on every issue that has been mentioned in our manifesto, I will try to ensure that University students are entitled to metro passes because many students travel daily from far-off places.
Q: Providing affordable accommodation to students was one of the main agendas of NSUI this time. Given the fact that DUSU doesn’t have any power to construct hostels, how do you plan to see this promise fulfilled?
Ans: Although DUSU doesn’t have the authority and budget to construct hostels for students, we can certainly pressurise the University of Delhi (DU) administration to construct more hostels. The University returned nearly Rs 150 crore meant for infrastructure development to the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) despite the fact that it has more than 95 acres of vacant land where it could have constructed new hostels. We will also take up the issue of implementation of the Room Rent Control Act with the Delhi government.
Q: Your campaign focused on ensuring transparency in the DUSU budget. How do you plan to turn these words into action?
Ans: We are planning to ensure maximum transparency in our budget allocation. We will try to upload all our bills that are sanctioned by the Union on the DU website if allowed. Or else, every bill will be uploaded on the NSUI website.
Q: How do you plan to ensure a violence-free campus wherein our academic spaces remain free from intimidation and political interference?
Ans: We will try to restrict outsiders entry into the University. No type of violence in the shadow of fake nationalism will be allowed under our leadership of the Union.
Q: With several hiccups, your campaign must have been hectic. What is that one moment that you recall as being particularly unique in the course of your entire campaign?
Ans: There was this moment of disappointment after my nomination was cancelled by the University authorities. But, as the High Court reinstated my candidature and allowed me to contest the polls, the whole team just cheered and we all shouted in joy. I will cherish that moment of small victory forever.
Q: In one line, what would be your motto as the DUSU President for the year 2017-18?
Ans: Ho gayi peer parvat si bighalni chahiye, is baar DU se nayi dhara nikalni chahiye. Ye buniad ab parde ki tarah hilne lage, maksad hamari hai ki ye buniyaad badalni chahiye.
(The University has encouraged new voices and ideas. These very foundations are shaking now due to a new wave of change.)