The dictionary describes ‘manifesto’ as a public declaration of policy and aims issued by a political party before elections. These aims are issued to the voters to provide them with incentive to vote for the said party, since the party claims to turn their promises into actions by bringing about changes in status quo in the University of Delhi, as promised in their respective manifestos. However when you look at the archives by the two leading parties in Delhi University Student’s Union (DUSU) Elections, being Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and The National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), and make a comparison of the same since the past four years, you notice recurring themes, promises and policies made by both parties, year after year.
This repetition then leads us to the question: Are manifestos full of empty promises? Or, are these simple, promised policies unattainable in Delhi University?
National Students’ Union of India (NSUI)
For the academic year 2013-14, NSUI released their manifesto which seemed promising and inclusive as it spoke about policies such as “Right to accomodation” for outstation students, pointing out the shortcomings in Delhi University when it comes to hostels versus student ratio, policies to end racial discrimination and bullying, women’s safety in college campuses by installing CCTV cameras and deploying lady constables outside colleges, inculcating the budget of the university online and transport facilities like bus passes in DTC busses to be made available to DU students. The years to follow till 2016-17 still contain the exact same promises made by NSUI in their agenda back in 2013 with minute additions or adjustments.
Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP)
ABVP is the leading party in DUSU elections as it has seen consecutive wins for the last four years. Their manifestos, however, when compared, point out identical themes since 2013. ABVP’s main focus has been on issues such as building new colleges in Delhi University to accomodate more students, women’s safety in campus through self-defense classes and establishment of Women’s Develpment Cells, access to E-libraries and WiFi connectivity and safety for north-eastern students.
Year after year, since 2013, the two popular parties have (despite holding office in majority of the posts) made the same utopian-seeming promises with no solutions in sight in the near future. One can only hope the “promises made, never fulfilled” barb doesn’t continue as Delhi University is nearing its annual Students’ Union Elections for 2017.
Image credits: Brown University