The campaigning for Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) runs throughout August and September every year. However, these campaigns are not eco-friendly in the least, let us see how.


The student politics at the University of Delhi (DU) is a microcosm of our country’s political scenario. With examples like Arun Jaitley, former Union Finance Minister who was the DUSU President in 1973, student politicians at DU believe that they can be the ‘leaders of tomorrow’. Unfortunately, these ‘leaders of tomorrow’ are unaware of the amount of waste produced by them during political campaigning.
While walking through the streets of North Campus during campaigning months, one will come face-to-face with pamphlets, flyers, posters, brochures, and press invites littered on the roads. Students with political affiliations throw these posters out of their cars to ‘promote’ their leaders. Colleges like College of Vocational Studies, Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, and Sri Venkateswara College in the South Campus, which are affiliated to the DUSU, also bear the brunt of such hooliganism.

During the 2015 DUSU elections, as reported by The Hindu, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) issued a notice to the Centre, the Ministry of Environment and Forests, and the University Grants Commission (UGC) on the huge amount of paper being wasted in campaigning. Similarly in 2017, as reported by Firstpost, in an article titled “In North Campus, Student Bodies kick Swachh Bharat Abhiyan out of the Window”, Delhi High Court and the NGT expressed their shock over the massive misuse of pamphlets, flyers, and posters during the DUSU elections.
Since then, certain walls in the Campus were designated as the ‘Walls of Democracy’ where one was allowed to paste as many election-related posters as they wanted. But, even the 2018 elections saw the brunt of major exploitation of paper to an extent that the then sitting President, Rocky Tuseed, carried out a cleaning drive and removed the posters from near the Vishwavidyalaya metro station.

Despite being condemned over the years for their excessive use of paper in printing pamphlets, brochures, cards, and invites, the DUSU elections continue to be a hub of ecological hazard, producing extensive amounts of paper waste and littering the whole of North Campus by sticking posters on walls and littering flyers on the roads. Chhatra Marg still remains the most affected where a week before elections, we can see posters and pamphlets in every corner and niche.

As decoded by ScoopWhoop Unscripted in their video titled “How to Win a DUSU Election”, “the posters are simple and cheap; you can see it stuck on walls all over Delhi, that’s when you know that the Delhi University Elections are here.” One would believe that posters become a cheap method of promoting a campaign, inviting the masses to events organised by a particular party, and facilitate mobilisation. But, the aforementioned video revealed that INR five to six lakhs are spent in the printing process.
On the other hand, the Lyngdoh Committee, set up in 2006, only allows a small budget of INR 5,000 for campaigning and election-related activities. It also states that only handmade posters are to be used for canvassing and campaigning.

Hence, the huge waste of paper in DUSU elections is not only ethically and morally wrong, but it is also illegal.
Jaishree, a third-year student from Ramjas College pursuing B.A. (Honours) History, stated, “Nothing has changed here in the last three years, the walls are still decorated with multiple posters of the same candidate, underneath it lie decaying posters of yesteryear candidates. The heaps of garbage that the karamchaaris are made to clean every day is alarming. With climate change upon us, you’d really think that candidates would give a damn about the environment, but no.”

Feature Image Credits: Prabhanu Kumar Das

Sakshi Arora

[email protected] 

Even though each DU college has its own students’ union, the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) is the body that encompasses most of the colleges and faculties that are affiliated with it.

DUSU is a students’ organisation that handles politics at a university level. With the University of Delhi (DU) being
one of the biggest central universities of India, their position becomes all the more important and they go on
to decide the mood of the political environment of the country. They have a constitution with objectives
like ‘promoting the spirit of oneness among students’ and ‘service towards the state’. DUSU is also responsible for organising debates, meetings, and programmes for the students. DUSU’s most important function, however, is making representations to the University authorities on matters concerning the students.

Known to be one of India’s largest student elections, the DUSU elections happen every year in either the month of August or September. As announced by the University, the elections for this year will be held on 12th September. The elections for the Delhi University Students’ Union are by direct voting of the students of the colleges affiliated
with it. The panel consists of a duly elected President, Vice President, Secretary and Joint-Secretary. For the year 2017-18, Rocky Tuseed was the President of DUSU, Kunal Sehrawat was the Vice-President, both from the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), while Mahamedhaa Nagar was elected Secretary and Uma Shankar, the Joint Secretary, representing the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).

However, colleges like St. Stephen’s College, Lady Shri Ram College, and Jesus and Mary College are not affiliated with DUSU. In fact, most of the girls’ colleges don’t associate themselves with the Union. They have their own internal students’ unions to represent their issues in front of the college authorities. The manifestos of the parties remain focussed on women security, affordable hostel facilities, proper implementation of the Choice Based Credit System (CBCS), anti-ragging, and anti-discriminatory practices and so on.

The major parties contesting for the DUSU are the ABVP of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the NSUI of the Indian National Congress (INC). For the past few years, the presidents have been members of either of these two
parties. As they campaign vigorously, aggressive competition is witnessed between them.
Apart from these two giants, there are parties like the All India Students’ Association (AISA) of the Communist Party of India -MarxistLeninst, the Indian National Students’ Organisation, and Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Samiti (CYSS), the student wing of the Aam Aadmi Party. This year, CYSS and AISA have decided to contest DUSU elections together. They will raise issues like student passes in AC buses, decrease in metro fares, 24-hour library facility, and installation of CCTV cameras.

DUSU has been a gateway to real-world politics for many of its former members, and several of them now hold office at the local and central governments. Leaders like Arun Jaitley, Ajay Maken, Vijay Goel, Vijay Jolly, Alka Lamba, etc., have been union members of the DUSU in their time in DU as students.
With campuses littered with a sea of campaign posters and blaring voices on megaphones promising better infrastructure, the DUSU elections are worth all the hype they get. Because it is the voice of the youth that goes on to decide what the country will look like in the next few years.

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat

Maumil Mehraj
[email protected]

How many times have we been handed pamphlets and completely ignored them? In the age of social media, where a tweet can be more effective than a hundred such pamphlets, the Delhi University political parties need to shift their focus to digital campaigning Campaigning tactics during the Delhi University Student Union (DUSU) elections, follow a recurring pattern almost every year. Enormous numbers of pamphlets bombard DU students and infrastructure alike, posters and hoardings litter the campus, party notebooks and pens fly from every direction and walls suffer from having to bear the alphabets of candidates’ names in the most glaring font. All parties put in massive amounts of money to make their presence felt and endorse their candidates. However, while the sheer intensity of party campaigning is ridiculous, social media isn’t still being utilised effectively in the DUSU elections. One need not look far in order to gauge the impact of smart social media campaigning. As the second most followed Indian on twitter, Narendra Modi has been titled the ‘first social media Prime Minister’ of India. In the 2014 elections, BJP carried out an aggressive social media campaign, harnessing the popularity and reach of digital media. Live interaction platforms like ‘Chai pe charcha,’ catchy slogans like “Ab ki Baar Modi Sarkar’, interactive twitter handles, youtube channels and facebook pages captured the attention of the 80 million Indian internet users. Almost 30 to 40 percent of the overall seats had been affected by social media. Similarly in Delhi University, capitalising on the social media frenzy and shifting focus to more of digital campaigning can pave the way for a more receptive election. As a two way communication platform, the queries of students can also be addressed by party officials. Extensive digital interaction will make party politics more transparent and keep the voters more informed. Sourcing of manifestos online, hashtag campaigns, live sessions and chat boxes could be more effective than thrusting a handful of pamphlets at random autorickshaws containing students. By sourcing party manifestos online and gauging the response of the voters, their suggestions can be included as well. Digital spaces will not only spark the interest of the voters but will make the elections more participatory in nature. By way of interaction, voters begin to feel like they’re contributing more to the election. Candidates become more than mere names on posters. By now, many students have grown wary of offline campaign tactics. With the NOTA option this year, parties need to gain the respect of the voters even more so than previous years. By situating people dressed in mickey mouse costumes holding party banners outside Vishwavidhyalai station or carpeting campus roads with paper, they’re in no way increasing their respectability. Voters need to be updated during the campaign as well as after the elections by means of a responsible and responsive social media presence on the part of various political parties. Image Credits: thehindu.com Swareena Gurung [email protected]]]>

  • Pamphlets, pamphlets on the wall; who is the most anti-environment of all?
  • If you have never walked over a carpet of pamphlets in your college life, worry not! DUSU election candidates will make your dream come true. They’ll exclusively get their faces and names printed on pamphlets for you to tread upon them! But on a serious note, this is the worst way of campaigning. Each year these candidates waste huge amount of paper and money over these pamphlets. We have been reading about saving trees and ‘3 R’s’ since childhood. Do we want such candidates who are anti-environment? By wasting resources these candidates only show off their money power not, leadership abilities!
    1. You can run, you can hide, but you can’t escape – the white walkers!
    DUSU season is the only time in Delhi University where instead of your college guard and the usual rickshaw-wallas, you meet the white walkers – frantically forcing you to accept their cards and chanting the names of their candidates as soon as you step into your college or out of the metro station! The other kind of white walkers are found in groups. They’re usually going around the college shouting slogans and once they find a group of kids, they stop to tell them about their candidates, agenda and mention the flaws of the rival party contestant. They often interrupt the lectures, hence irritating professors. This is not exactly a bad way of campaigning but, please don’t make us listen to your manifesto and resentful ranting towards the current union or opposition 5 times a day. We like to be informed but, making us late for lectures and interrupting our conversations doesn’t really make us happy!
    1. From the bus pass to latest movie tickets – they’ve got you covered!
    So, this is one of the most unethical way of campaigning. Under the garb of helping students, the campaigners try to buy the student votes. Yes, there are some who genuinely help students with the form filling, anti-ragging, offer ‘if you’ve any problem come to us’ kind of thing. But that’s not the only kind of help they do. They lure the students by offering Lakme lip-colour, latest movie tickets, free amusement park trips, food vouchers – basically money! To nip this corrupt way of campaigning is to ‘refuse’ any such help. The candidates and the party are not the only ones corrupt when they offer such stuff, you also become corrupt the moment you accept it!
    1. The vicious circle of blame game and violent fights!
    Every year the rival parties indulge in this blame and negative publicity. We don’t want to listen to the failures of your opposition party neither want to be a part of your character-shaming/shredding activity. Each time the ruling student union won or lost a battle, we were at the receiving end of the consequences. Also if you failed to deliver your promises, don’t go around blaming people. The last thing we want to hear is your ‘sorry excuse’. We want solutions, we want to see the actual work. Let your actions speak for yourself – and by actions we don’t want you to beat each other or break stuff, we want leaders not goons who just have money-muscle power and zero intellect! Informing us is not wrong but, spreading hostility and hooliganism around the campus doesn’t exactly show off your leadership qualities. Nidhi Panchal [email protected]]]>