On Tuesday, 11th September 2018, DU Beat conducted an interview with Neelanjita Bishwas, the Vice-Presidential candidate of the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) in context to the Delhi University Student Union Elections to be held on the 12th of September 2018.
Neelanjita is pursuing Political Science Honours from Hindu College. She is from West Bengal and has been working with SFI since class 12th.
Here are some excerpts from the interview.
A majority of students feel detached from DUSU (Delhi University Student Union). In such a scenario, what is your model of establishing accountability?
We certainly consider this a major issue. As made clear in our agenda, we plan on holding regular union GBM (General Body Meetings) with students. Yesterday, we held a program called “Ask Your Candidate” and answers pointed questions about our manifesto and policies. We are ready for all sorts of criticism and questions.
What are your party’s opinions regarding the autonomy drive of the colleges?
Our party clearly opposes any such autonomy of colleges. We understand that autonomy entails economic privatisation which will lead to fee hike and compromise the diversity, accessibility, and inclusivity of university spaces. SFI has struggled against autonomy in the past and would continue doing so.
How inclusive do you think SFI in terms of minority representation?
At SFI we believe in equality. In fact, only after the recent NSUI allegations of casteism, we looked into the issue of minority representation and found that we have people coming from all socio-economic backgrounds in our party.
Lyngdoh Committee lays down five thousand rupees as the maximum expenditure amount. How does your party maintain it?
To make things clear at the very beginning, we are against the Lyngdoh Committee for its restrictive nature. Having said that, we are the only party that follows the expenditure and paperless election regulations, when everyone else is abusing it indiscriminately. The administration should take stringent actions against the same. At the same time, seeing other leftist parties engage in the same is extremely disappointing.
This election year, AISA has been accused of aligning with CYSS for monetary gains. How do you see these allegations?
First of all, it was disappointing to see AISA not aligning with us, in spite of our ideological similarities and the many wars we have fought together. As far as your question is concerned, I believe it would be more proper to pose this question to AISA leadership.
In an environment where clean and honest politics has a history of not bearing fruits, what motivates your party to keep on fighting?
A drive to weed out the corruption and mismanagement of resources, I would say. There is an inner drive which propels one to keep on working against all odds.
1. President (SFI)
Akashdeep Tripathi- Ballot no. 2
2. Vice President (SFI)
Nilanjita Bishwas- Ballot no. 4
3. Secretary (AISF)
Subhash Bhat- Ballot no. 6
4. Joint Secretary
Srejeet K.- Ballot no. 4
Feature Image Credits: SFI-AISF
Interview taken by Niharika Dabral (email@example.com)
Interview transcribed by Nikhil Kumar (firstname.lastname@example.org)