The Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) will hold a meeting in June with all stakeholders and volunteers to decide ways to beautify the 11 Delhi metro stations that were defaced during the election campaign of 2017.
As a follow-up to a petition filed in the Delhi High Court, the court had instructed the students and candidates of different student political units to work with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to restore its defaced property across the city, last month.
In a phone call conversation with the DU Beat correspondent, DUSU President Rocky Tusheed had said, “Responding to the petition filed in the Delhi High Court by Mr. Prashant Manchanda, the DMRC had called a meeting with us. As soon as exams are over, preferably in the first week of June, we will hold a meeting to decide on how to go about with the beautification process.”
When asked how he planned to beautify the metro stations, he said “We won’t be able to restore it exactly to the original state. But we will beautify it through paintings and decorated tiles and the like. We have recognised 76 sites as of now.”
When he was asked by this correspondent whether it will be a joint initiative by the ABVP (Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad) and NSUI (National Students’ Union of India) since members of both currently occupy DUSU, he commented, “We have invited volunteers and all respondents of the petition. Since the defacing was done by almost all student units, the responsibility falls upon us to beautify it as well.”
The National Media Convener of the ABVP, Saket Bahuguna, told DU Beat, “Last year, many metro stations were defaced by different candidates and organisations. All 4 office bearers of DUSU have a responsibility to clean up the mess. So they were called by the court with this regard.”
Responding to a question on the uneasy nexus between the ABVP and NSUI office bearers within DUSU, Mr. Bahuguna said, “This is not about politics. This is an initiative taken by DUSU. But we extend our complete support to them, because we have a collective responsibility to keep our University and city clean.”
Making a unique recommendation on how this ‘politics of pamphlets and posters’ can be controlled, he remarked, “What can be done to counter this menace is, the University should mandate every college to earmark one ‘wall of democracy’ dedicated to election campaigning. It is virtually impossible for one candidate to reach out to 1.43 lakh students without posters, since the entire process of election campaign for DUSU takes place within a span of 4-5 days.”
NSUI in-charge Ruchi Gupta said her organisation would do away with posters during this year’s election campaign. “We will put up flexes and run a vigorous online campaign. Our campaign will be progressive and issue-based and thus will not need to fall back on posters.”
Notably, the DMRC has told the court that restoring the identified 76 sites would cost over INR 16 lakh and take six months’ time.
Some of the stations identified by the DMRC are R K Ashram, Kuhat Enclave, Vishwavidyalaya, Rajouri Garden, Vidhan Sabha, Shivaji Park, Civil Lines, and Pitampura.
Feature Image Credits: The Financial Express
Vaibhavi Sharma Pathak