In a session today, AISA-CYSS and NSUI presented their election manifestoes in Miranda House. The Miranda House Student’s Union elections were also held.
Half an hour after noon today, the Miranda House auditorium was abuzz with students who had come to hear the candidates for various student’s unions making their election speeches. After the Miranda House Student’s Union elections (MHSU) candidates made their election speeches, representatives from AISA-CYSS and NSUI came forward for their campaigns.
Abhigyan, the AISA-CYSS Presidential candidate said in his campaign speech, “There is a narrative which has happened that university-level politics is very self-centred and is used as a stepping stone for advancing a person’s career, we are trying to change this narrative. Why shouldn’t there be a narrative where we can talk about politics? We are trying to build a Union which is not going to dictate the students.” Abhigyan raised several issues like financial autonomy, the use of muscle power and the masculinity that has crept up in politics. He also talked about how AISA had helped in building a girls’ hostel in Hindu College, fought for metro bus passes as well as campaigned against financial autonomy.
Abhigyan was then questioned extensively by the students who asked him on AISA’s stand on gender discrimination committees, why AISA was fielding a male Presidential candidate and so on.
After that, NSUI’s student candidate for the Vice-Presidential post, Leena tried to present her manifesto. However, some of the students of Miranda House opposed her before she could say anything, demanding that she leave the podium and that she was not “fit to be contesting elections.” Amid massive booing, Leena talked about the NSUI’s stance for women empowerment, to make University of Delhi (DU) an Institute of Eminence which would bring in public funds, to launch a thali for students worth 10 rupees, etc. Leena, who is a graduate of Miranda House, claimed that she used to “stand outside the gate of Miranda House regularly and campaign.” However, many students shouted that they hadn’t seen her outside the gate. She was also called out on her claim of not distributing any pamphlets in her name, what she would do on her part to change the politics of the University, and the fact that her name was changed from Leena to “A.A. Leena” in an alleged claim for getting the first ballot. Although Ms Leena tried to defend her position and that of her student union, the students booed her off the stage.
Ambica, a Miranda House student said, “The girl from NSUI didn’t have answers for anything. She just repeated a few things that she had been told to say. But it wasn’t surprising because once your party member has been accused of molestation and rape, there isn’t much that you could say.”
Muskan Dhar, the Vice-president of Women’s Development Cell of Miranda House, when asked if the booing was fair, said, “We heard Abhigyan and he was pretty correct in saying that the ICCs are not functional. As an ICC candidate, I know the kind of resistance we face in having meetings. The candidate from NSUI, however, did not have any proper manifesto. How Miranda reacted to it was two-fold. Some of it was justified since we know of the increasing violence around the campus, but I think we could have channelised our concerns in a better way.”
No official candidate of ABVP showed up and no official reasons were submitted for. Later in a notice released by the Staff Advisors of Miranda House, it was informed that the ABVP candidates would address the students of Miranda House tomorrow at from 12:45 to 1 p.m.
Feature Image Credits: Mahi for DU Beat