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Politics never seizes to amaze me. Like art, at a different age, you decipher the riddles of various politically active figures and their vote banks in a different way. I always knew that a large part of it requires a lot of money and support, but that was all that I knew before I decided to contest myself. Throughout my second year, I had strived hard and made a ‘name’ for myself. I had started two societies, and being a university journalist added brownie points to my already sparkling repertoire in the college. I had a really nice chance of winning, or so I thought.

A month before the elections I stepped into the limelight, letting my friends know about my intention to contest for the elections. The response however took me by surprise – “You are not election material” and “you have achieved so much, why do you have to do this?” These responses made me more eager to prove my mettle. So I buckled up for the adventurous days that were deemed to come.
Here’s what I learnt while I was campaigning –

1) Your post is never decided until the last week – This is because people who handle your election portfolio need to constantly negotiate with the opposite party for the post of each other’s liking. At the same time, there is always a risk of you not getting nominated because of some discrepancies in the filing process.

2) Endless death-threats – Your opposition is always ready to either make fun of you or discourage you. And if the preceding acts leave no mark on your morale, then the obvious next action is an obscene amount of death threats either on your face or on the phone.

3) You have to organize a good unofficial fresher’s party – Wooing the fresher’s and securing a strong competent vote-bank never seemed more important.

4) Wastage of paper reaches a record high in the election month – From posters on walls, to handed cards and even chits thrown on the floor, this menace never stops. Walls, eventually start losing colors because of these.
I ended up not contesting because of discrepancies in the form, but I have truly learned a lot from the experience of campaigning.

Image Credits- youthkiawaaz.com

Ishaan Sengupta
[email protected]