In a rather sorry state of affairs for the Students’ Union of Miranda House, University of Delhi (DU), no one is contesting for the posts of President and General Secretary while one student each filed their nomination papers for the posts of Vice President and Central Councillor.
The Miranda House Students’ Union will not have either a President or a General Secretary for the academic year 2018-19. The Union will only consist of the Vice President and Central Councillor, who are interestingly running for their respective posts unopposed. The reason? No one else wished to run for the Students’ Union.
At the outset, it might seem like there is a lack of initiative from the student community of the college. However, questions have been raised about the availability of information regarding the process of filing the nomination papers and other nuances of applying to the Students’ Union. Ayushi V., a third-year student told DU Beat, “How is it possible that no one is standing for the highest post in the Students’ Union? The truth is we were not informed about how to apply for the Students’ Union. The notice boards did not contain the timeline for filing the nomination papers and no message was circulated about the same.”
Priyanka Choudhary who filed her nomination for the post of the Central Councillor said in her manifesto reading, “Main Waade Nahi, Iraade Lekar Aayi Hoon.” (I’m not here to talk about promises. I’m here to talk about my intentions). However, when asked about the exact duties of a Central Councillor, her answer did not seem to satisfy the audience. Vanshika Mishra, a second-year student of the college told DU Beat, “This student is so ambiguous in her statements. It is just sad that we don’t have a choice but to accept them as our representatives.” Notably, Priyanka had stated in her speech, “A vote for me is a vote for you.” Ironically, it is dubious whether the students will find scope for a ‘vote’ here since Ms Choudhury is running unopposed.
Snimar, the only student who filed her nomination for the Vice President’s post, was asked whether the fact that she is running unopposed will affect her position or the influence that her position wields. While she did not answer the same in specific terms, she told DU Beat, “Since I am not sure about the level of competency of the student who is running for the post of Central Councillor, I will request the Principal to appoint volunteers who will work for the Union.”
When the DU Beat correspondent approached a senior member of the college administration, Mr Jagdish Prasad, and asked him how the college union will function with only two members, he hesitated to comment and simply stated, “We will find out a way.”
Asmita Kashikar, the former Vice President of the MHSU said, “I think it is really sad that no one is standing for the post of President this year. I believe it is mostly because of the attendance issues. But also, during our tenure, we removed the foundation of any form of corruption for the national student bodies in our college. That is why they couldn’t come up with any candidate that they could support.” She concluded on a positive note, “Let’s hope that these two candidates who are standing do justice to their posts.”
While this situation in one of the most reputed and politically active colleges of DU is displeasing, can it entirely be blamed on the student community? Allegations have been made regarding a serious lapse in the discourse of information about the Students’ Union applications. Can student politics in the college retain its democratic character when students are deprived of a real choice in choosing their representatives? Only time will tell.
Feature Image Credits: India Today
Vaibhavi Sharma Pathak