On Monday, 10th September 2018, DU Beat conducted an interview with the Presidential candidate of the National Students’ Union of India in context to the Delhi University Student Union Elections to be held on the 12th of September 2018.
Here are some excerpts from the interview.
Question: What is your plan for establishing accountability in the Delhi University Students’ Union?
Sunny: I will do my best to get the tag of ‘Institute of Eminence’ to DU so that we become entitled to get INR 1000 crores from which each college will be entitled to get INR 8 crores, and each student will, in turn,
be entitled to INR 75,000. The second thing on the agenda is a subsidised ‘chattra canteen’, a ten-rupee thali. The third thing on the agenda is to bring back the 62,600 laptops that were issued during the four-year programmes. These laptops should be re-issued to the students. Even if we don’t win the elections, we will continue to work
on these issues.
Question: How do you plan to provide a thali for a mere price of INR 10 to the students?
Sunny: Taking example from Amma Canteen of Tamil Nadu, NSUI has decided to provide the students with a INR 10 thali. The Amma Canteen offers more variety in terms of food than we are planning to. The subsidy will come from the INR 1000 crore budget which we hope to get after getting the tag of Institute of Eminence. A thali at such a low price is required because students from different backgrounds study in DU and it is important to provide them with equal opportunities.
Question: What is your take on the issue of the privatisation of higher educational institutions, especially the University of Delhi?
Sunny: The fee structure in DU is not transparent. I am a student pursuing B.A. (Hons.) Sanskrit from Shivaji College. The fee structure of any two colleges of the University is not similar, there is always some disparity.
For example, the fee structure of Shivaji College and Dyal Singh College for the same course is different. These are some indicators that show that the University is moving towards privatisation but we are making efforts to bring transparency in the fee structure.
Question: How inclusive is your party politics in terms of minority representation?
Sunny: We have ensured representation from the Scheduled Caste category in our panel. Leena is contesting from this category for the post of Vice President. In the coming years, we will be focusing on the representation of the minorities from regions like the Northeastern region of the country. We do not wish to make DUSU all about ‘jaat-gujjar’ elections. We wish to create an environment where each and every community is equally represented and enjoy equal rights.
Question: Which trick enabled you to campaign within a mere budget of INR 5000, the maximum that a candidate is allowed to spend on campaigning as per the Lyngdoh Committee?
Sunny: We are getting help from our family, friends, and relatives. The cars which you see on the road are of our friends, supporters, and family. No extra money is spent on all this. It’s within the budget.
Question: Littering in the campus has become a trend in DUSU elections. Manifestos of political parties and pamphlets are seen everywhere, on the roads, in the college campus and also on the walls.
What would you like to say on this issue?
Sunny: The paper used in printing the pamphlets is recyclable paper. We are controlling the wastage of paper. We are not pasting any posters, hoardings because six democracy goals have been assigned by DU and based on them, we are pasting our posters. It’s just the beginning. By next year, we hope to control all the waste created during the elections.
Question: Since the last three years, the None Of The Above (NOTA) option has gained attraction among DU voters. Why do you think this is happening?
Sunny: The main problem is the fight between the Left and the Right. They are not fighting for the issues of the students. Student issues should be taken care of, but when this doesn’t happen, students prefer the NOTA option.
Question: The tiff between Mahamedhaa Nagar and Kunal Sehrawat on the installation of sanitary pad vending machines was in news recently. What is your take on this?
Sunny: The DUSU office works on the collective decision-making process of the four office bearers. Even if a single person denies or objects to a certain decision, everything is re-worked again. It’s like the Parliament where everyone gets an equal say. The initiative of installing machines was mentioned in our manifesto last year. Mahamedhaa took a certain advantage of this. Though she worked hard for the installation, the credit cannot only be showered on her. Kunal Sehrawat has played a very important role in bringing this change. We fulfilled our promises we had made to the students.
Question: Miranda House saw buses outside the college gate today. On enquiring, we got to know that they have been arranged by NSUI for a movie screening. So don’t you think this is unethical when it comes to campaigning?
Sunny: No, I don’t think it’s unethical. Even as kids, we used to go on school picnics. We are not doing it for votes. This is just like a picnic for the students so that they can get a day off from their busy and hectic schedule. Not only this, we have noticed that the students are also interested in going out to have fun.
Question: What are the achievements of the NSUI led DUSU in the year 2017-18?
Sunny: We completed most of the promises we made to the students like installation of sanitary pad vending machines, and access to the library 24*7. We also put a stop to the metro fare hike till 2020. We also
fought for concessional metro passes for students studying in DU. So, yes, it was a fruitful year.
Question: Which element differentiates you from the other contenders for the post of President?
Sunny: I am not comparing myself with others. I am just focusing on trying to improve myself every day. I am not sure whether I will become the President or not, but one thing I am sure of is that I will work for student welfare and improve myself.
Feature Image Credits: The National Students’ Union of India