Forming Perspective about DU Politics: Introduction to the Batch of 2023

Politics is truly an enthralling element of the campus, not only because of the collectiveness in work but also due to the leveraging power…

Politics at the University of Delhi is indeed a feature most students look forward to. It is one among many factors at the campus that help us form an understanding about any matter at hand. It allows us to shape our ideals and helps us be an active citizen even if we are apolitical. The atmosphere at DU is such that any student who necessarily avoids taking a stand regarding any social issue, will, by the end of their course, be fully developed as a citizen who is opinionated in their own sense. Being opinionated doesn’t essentially mean choosing sides, but just forming rights and wrongs from our own perception. 

In the initial days at the DU, the politics within the campus of any college might seem very confusing and one might even try to avoid it. Seniors would be seen wearing badges, caps and holding placards which are intended to form an invitation to join the party they represent. Being a fresher, and hence new to this structure, one might even find it overwhelming to take it all in at once. 

I distinctly remember my first day at college. The members of the party that constituted the college union warmly welcomed us by sending sweets, sharing stationeries and following us to each classroom as if to lead us to the right place. Since it was new, I found it very difficult to adjust, at least for a month.

– Anonymous, University of Delhi

Election campaigning and voting for the new union is the best time on campus. Daily we will be meeting and greeting so many students that we had never known, that we lose count. Many might find the elections to be worse than any other political activity carried out on campus. Sometimes, we might find ourselves or people we know to be bribed for a vote, which will either make us vote for the party or move us further away from it.

Illegal activities, violent protests, DUSU (Delhi University Students Union) and opposition fights are among key factors that can force an aversion from campus politics. Fights for a space at the Wall of Democracy, fights and abuse for the biggest banner in North Campus, going across colleges in the South Campus, and many more never foreseen efforts by party supporters will confuse us and leave us in a state of apprehension. 

Once the union is formed and the academic year sets in, there will be hundreds of events formed by each party. On one hand speakers might be invited for panel discussions on any relevant topic and on the other there will be mass protesting, which happens often, to either ensure the occurrence of an event or its prevention. Protests are the vital part to the formation of perception. It helps us understand the need to protest or not, which will in turn help us choose sides, or in the least develop an ideology regarding any political concern. 

I had felt that the department or college politics has been extremely toxic in some sense. We are presented with clarity that people approach others for personal gains. However, keeping this aside, I was able to form an understanding of the politics in campus which further motivated me to learn more about the same…….

Other than the above stated description of the political structure at DU, there is one aspect that makes it truly the most admirable form- the diversity. When we look at the place and school we had studied in, there was not only an absence of politics, but also lack of representation from many areas. This often restricts our minds to a narrow range of ideologies.

However, if we look at the number of parties on campus, we will understand that most of the parties in our nation have representation in some or the other way. SFI (Students’ Federation of India), NSUI (National Students’ Union of India) , ABVP (Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad) , AISF (All India Students Federation), Pinjra Tod, are among the many parties or collectives that exist at DU. The vast representation will undoubtedly help us form an opinion regarding the sides to choose. It has the power to entirely change our thoughts and pre-set opinions by helping us form a view after studying the different elements of politics. 

It helped me shape my views by revealing new options to choose from. Understanding and realising facts will help us learn the relevance of politics and why at any point should one be opinionated especially due to the diversity in the campus.

On campus, it doesn’t really matter if you are apolitical. Everyone is free to follow their ideals. That being said, one can question “then why should we be affected or be concerned about politics?” The answer lies in the fact that politics is not just about parties and following ideologies; it is about understanding the social structure that forms the pillar of any democracy. This learning curve encompasses the concept of political correctness which is absent in the structure most democracies present today. 

Although initially we feel disturbed due to the pressure both from peers and seniors, once we are past that phase, we must try to dig deeper to learn and accept the vast void we will have if we fail to realise the relevance it brings along. If we form an ability to study politics and imbibe the fact that it impacts our life every day and that it will continue to be an invisible existence, we will surely understand the crux of political structure. As a student, the campus will mould us, help us choose or learn sides, and prompts us to rethink the preconceived notions about being disgusted by politics. 

Feature Image Credits: The Indian Express

Vaishnavi Varier

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